Transitioning a Large Biology Class from an in Person to an Online Exam During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Niki Sharan1, Meaghan Cuerden2, Denis Maxwell3, Anne Simon4
1Dr. Niki Sharan*, Department of Biology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.
2Dr. Meaghan Cuerden, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario, Canada.
3Dr. Denis Maxwell, Department of Biology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.
4Dr. Anne Simon, Department of Biology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.
Manuscript received on September 21, 2021. | Revised Manuscript received on September 27, 2021. | Manuscript published on October 30, 2021. | PP: 1-4 | Volume-3, Issue-5, October 2021. | Retrieval Number: 100.1/ijbsac.D0465094621 | DOI: 10.35940/ijbsac.D0465.103521
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© The Authors. Published By: Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Abstract: As occurred in many Universities worldwide, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic required us, professors at Western University (London, Canada), to quickly convert a first-year biology course with over 1200 enrolled students from an in-classroom format to an on-line format. This transition included the course exams. While the first multiple-choice exam in February 2020 was in-person and proctored, we changed the second multiple-choice exam in March 2020 so that it was completed by students online at home without a proctor. We had concerns about this online conversion, including whether the grades would represent student understanding of the course material when access to peers and other resources during the exam was not monitored. In this report we show student scores on the online exam were highly correlated with their prior in-person exam. A similar correlation was observed with prior first-year students who took similar exams in February and March 2019 which were both in-person and proctored. These results provide some reassurance that it is possible to rapidly transition the delivery of an exam from an in-person format to an online format without compromising the exam process.
Keywords: Biology Education, Examination, COVID-19