Exams by e-assessment: Long-term movement or short-term reaction?

Over the last 10 to 15 years, there has been a gradual increase in the amount of automatically marked mathematical assessment taking place driven by such factors as the advent of new technology and software and the pedagogical advantages that they provide. Since March 2020 there has also been a sudden increase in the take-up of such assessment due to the practical difficulties of gather students together in invigilated exams due to Covid-19. With invigilated exams opening up again, it is interesting to see to what extent assessment stays online and to what extent it goes back to traditional means.

This talk will look at several course-units and their assessment profiles during the years 2019 to 2022. A mathematics unit to second year Electrical Engineering students has been examined fully online (STACK) over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. Mathematics course units to 1st year MACE (Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering and to Foundation Year have been carried out using a combination of online (again STACK) and written papers. In addition, there have been papers which were examined using STACK or other software in 2020-21 but which have reverted to traditional means in 2021-22.

This contribution will consider the background and decisions that went into assessment for these courses and how this can help with such decisions for the future.