The Swiss e-assessment initiative is now really hotting up

It is true that, for very many lecturers, e-assessment systems still constitute uncharted terrain, but they do, nonetheless, offer decisive advantages. With them, it becomes so much simpler to organise, stage and mark examinations. How to improve existing solutions and make them accessible to all Swiss universities is a target that SWITCH has set itself in cooperation with those universities that are doing active development work on e-assessment.


Starting situation and project objectives

In those places in which Swiss universities have developed e-assessment systems in the context of AAA/SWITCH these are generally well established today. In so doing, each university has built up its know-how by itself and collected it locally. The e-assessment systems actually in use differ massively not only from one university to another but even from one faculty to the next – in terms of group sizes, software and hardware, types of questions, spatial factors and much more. The aim is to structure and bundle the information on the various e-assessment products, to test the systems for use in other institutions and to simplify both deployment and authentication.


Expert portal as the initial point of contact

SWITCH is pushing ahead with the creation of an e-assessment portal. The aim is for this to allow support personnel, lecturers and other decision makers at the universities to establish the appropriate e-assessment solutions for their institution themselves, and it should also provide answers to the most important questions. It ought also to supply proven procedures and progress reports as well as data and facts on all aspects of the use of e-assessment systems in practice at Swiss universities.


Keyword "community building"

In parallel with all this, SWITCH is mobilising e-learning experts, IT managers, lecturers and decision makers in the Swiss university community. Their commitment, know-how and the lively exchange of knowledge is decisive for the success of highly promising e-assessment systems in Switzerland.

What is meant by further development in the field of e-assessment?

For existing systems to become usable throughout one university and across several universities they need to be enhanced, for instance with administrative interfaces or authentication. There ought also to be better support for various examination scenarios. In future, it is going to be possible for students to use tablets or even their own private laptops in examinations. That constitutes a huge challenge technically and organisationally. Examinations are focusing increasingly on acquired skills – employing additional types of questions, media and third-party applications that students have already used during their studies for learning, working or specifically for preparing for examinations.