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26/11/2018 - 11:50

Exams at the University of Iceland will change radically

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The University of Iceland plans to make all exams digital within a few years using the new Norwegian software Inspera which is used all over the Nordic countries.

More mature individuals no doubt remember the strain of getting all of their knowledge on paper with a pencil or a pen with the accompanying stress and hand cramps. This feeling will soon belong to the past at the University of Iceland with the new digital software that will be implemented in all University faculties.    

"The University of Iceland is a pioneer in digital exams in Iceland and they have been in place at the university in some form for the last twenty years. However, the advances in technology in digital exam design in the last three to four years have made it possible for us to implement digital exams for the entire university," says Hreinn Pálsson, director of examinations at the University of Iceland. Hreinn says that in their search for a suitable software for digital exams at the University of Iceland the team soon focused on the other Nordic countries who seem to be at the forefront when it comes to digital exams. "The team reached the conclusion that the Inspera system was the best choice for us. This system meets the different needs of the diverse University faculties as it offers 20 different types of questions and maintains project returns and examinations of various kinds. The system is thus useful for distance examination and all solutions are available to the teaching staff independent of location.  Furthermore, this system has been successfully implemented in numerous universities all over the Nordic countries," says Hreinn on a few of the system's main benefits. He adds that they are working on connecting Inspera and the Owl (Ugla), the University's intraweb so that the students' courses and grades can easily travel between systems.
 

"Students log on a certain link and take the exam in an accessible and simple user interface. The Inspera environment is locked which means that it is not possible to go on-line. The teacher can, nonetheless, define which programmes or websites the students can access during the exam," says Hreinn Pálsson director of examinations at the University of Iceland. 

Students can take their exams in computer labs at the University of Iceland or on their own private computers; be it at home or at the University. "Students log on a certain link and take the exam in an accessible and simple user interface. The Inspera environment is locked which means that it is not possible to go on-line. The teacher can, nonetheless, define which programmes or websites the students can access during the exam," says Hreinn. 

The system's implementation also involves financial and environmental benefits as the photocopying of exams will cease along with the special examination sheets for solutions. 

Several examinations in Inspera have already taken place within the University and been a success.  Hreinn says that implementation will, however, take time; a few semesters. "The University in Bergen, which is similar in size as the University of Iceland, began their implementation in the spring of 2015 with 5% usage. During the autumn semester the same year the usage went up to 48% and during spring semester 2017 it was 67%," says Hreinn and adds: "Within a few years this situation will be reversed and only students with computer phobia will use writing utensils when taking their exams." 

Univeristy students now and in the past