Academic journal article Research in Learning Technology

Challenges When Introducing Electronic Exam

Academic journal article Research in Learning Technology

Challenges When Introducing Electronic Exam

Article excerpt

Challenges when introducing electronic exam

Matti Kuikkaa*, Markus Kitolab and Mikko-Jussi Laaksob

aFaculty of Business, ICT and Life Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland; bDepartment of Information Technology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

(Received 11 September 2013; final version received 8 September 2014; Published 8 October 2014)


Time pressures often necessitate the use of more efficient exam tools, such as electronic exams (e-exams), instead of traditional paper exams. However, teachers may face challenges when introducing e-exams in a higher education context. This paper describes what kinds of challenges teachers may face when introducing e-exams, based on experiences in Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) where e-exams have been used since 2012. For this research, the authors used their personal experiences as administrators and teachers of current e-systems used for e-exams in universities in Turku, Finland. Quantitative data were collected by survey from teachers in TUAS (the case study). The learning management systems, Moodle, Optima and ViLLE, and dedicated e-examination systems, Soft Tutor and Tenttis, were also compared to clarify what kind of features are available in order to ease teachers' work with examinations. The results identified various challenges during e-exam introduction in TUAS. The paper also provides a list of essential services or features for teachers to ease the introduction of e-exams. Among the analysed systems, ViLLE supported most of the required features, and can be used for both learning management and e-examination systems, providing teachers with one single system, which was found to be important to teachers. The key service found by this paper is 'support for teachers', which is in line with previous studies.

Keywords: e-assessment; e-examination; e-exam; teacher; feature

*Corresponding author. Email:

Research in Learning Technology 2014. © 2014 M. Kuikka et al. Research in Learning Technology is the journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), a UK-based professional and scholarly society and membership organisation. ALT is registered charity number 1063519. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2014, 22 : 22817 -


Assessment accounts for a significant part of teachers' workload, especially in large student groups. The use of e-examination could help in addressing this problem, but the introduction of new technology can be challenging.

To investigate these challenges, Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) is used as a case study, which uses Optima as the main learning management system (LMS) and Soft Tutor for (camera-controlled) electronic exams (e-exams). Piloting of e-exams in the camera-controlled environment started in 2012, at which point the main purpose of using e-exams was re-takes. The adoption of e-exams has been quite slow in TUAS, primarily because the teachers decide whether to use e-exams or not, and also because these teachers have faced difficulties in using e-exams. This article thus clarifies the reasons behind this slow uptake and proposes means to overcome the challenges.

The systems used in the University of Turku (UTU) are used here for comparison. UTU uses Moodle and ViLLE for LMSs and Tenttis for (camera-controlled) e-exams. All the LMSs compared are used for e-assessment during courses, and for e-exams in a classroom environment under teacher supervision. …

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