Implementation of large-scale online mathematics examination: successes, challenges and thoughts for the future.

Although in recent years mathematical sciences have seen a diversification in its assessment practices, closed-book time-constrained examinations still form a significant proportion of students’ assessments. In March 2020 it became clear that “traditional” closed-book examinations would not take place. By April 2020, an alternative approach was required that maintained academic rigour, met the needs of over 1,500 mathematical sciences students based all over the world, was accessible, and satisfying accrediting bodies’ criteria.

We explore how student partnerships formed a vital element of the design process, allowing us to understand the challenges students faced. The result was a new process that closely replicates students’ “standard” experience. Engaging students from the outset permitted evaluation of different technological approaches to ensure accessibility, usability and development of literacy around the examination approach. We present some details of the overall implementation; reflection on both student and staff feedback, examine some initial data on student outcomes, and offer our thoughts for the future.