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UoL Leads the way on Digital Assessment

The University of London has undertaken a move to digital assessment for its global student population as a pace and scale that would have seemed impossible a few months ago.

Male Postgraduate Student working at home
Providing alternative assessment routes has been a monumental undertaking for the entire organisation

Speaking at the JISC and Emerge Education Step Up Summit on 21 May, Pro Vice-Chancellor Chris Cobb outlined the extraordinary steps that have been taken to change from 110,000 face to face examinations for some 37,000 students in 130 countries to going fully online.  Within 24 hours of the lockdown in the UK being announced, UoL had set up a task force bringing together colleagues from across the University, including specialists in IT, data protection, digital systems, course development, pedagogy, assessment and the online student digital platform Moodle, to assess all the options.  

Within a matter of weeks, students were offered alternative assessment routes, being either online open book exams, online exams using Moodle or digitally supervised exams for about 10,000 students. The exam timetable was extended to allow for large scale testing of the systems for students with early results being overwhelmingly positive. 

Chris Cobb, who chaired the national group of experts examining the future of digital assessment, commented: “The group originally had set itself an ambitious 10 year horizon to imagine a world where digital assessment had become normal. Little did we think that digital assessment would become a necessity so soon. I’m very proud of what we have achieved within our organisation and believe that this is a real benchmark of how the future can be transformed for future generations of students”.

Read the report here and access the conference proceedings here.