Professors of the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg University (GSOM) hold regular meetings to exchange experiences and tools for effective teaching. On March 10, 2020 the meeting of the faculty was held online the second time. The main issue of the meeting was the search for suitable platforms and electronic tools to ensure control over the students during the examination tasks.
Anna S. Veselova, Academic Director of the Bachelor's program, noted the importance of adapting traditional methods of testing students' knowledge to the online format. It will reduce the level of stress in an already stressful situation. “During lectures in the classroom, I often used tests to monitor the students' knowledge and I now continue to use this method on the Blackboard platform. The site’s functionality allows me to create tests with a limited response time, which reduces the chance of cheating. In this way, I can test the knowledge that students have gained in the previous lesson, and the system automatically compares the answers and sets the number of points, ”Anna Veselova commented.
GSOM professors and students have been using the Blackboard System for more than a year. It has great functionality and allows lecturers to create different formats for testing acquired knowledge. “For third-year students of the Bachelor program, I am going to conduct an exam with questions in two formats. The first is true / false — when the student needs to choose the right or wrong answer, definition or example. The second one consists of open-ended questions, which need to be answered based on knowledge gained from the course materials,” Dmitry V. Ovsyanko, GSOM visiting lecturer said.
Dmitry Ovsyanko is sure that these formats will help the lecturer to check how the student understands the material. “It is important to understand that the result of the educational process is not the mark earned in an exam, but the knowledge that students gained during the semester,” the lecturer emphasized.
Despite the fact that some methods of measuring knowledge gained in the classroom are easily adapted for e-learning, other formats are not suitable for using online. For example, assignments that were given in a classroom in a closed-book format (without the use of additional materials, lectures and textbooks) can now be reformatted into case studies — when a student needs to prepare a solution to a problem and defend the choice made in as much detail as possible.
The introduction of a proctoring system will help to simplify the assessment to of the assimilation of the material. It will allow lecturers to monitor students online during testing or exam. “I try to compose the questions in such a way that even without proctoring, it’s impossible to cheat or to quickly find the answer on the Internet. But, of course, proctoring will help to control student behavior, the use of some sites on a computer, etc.,” Anna Veselova noted.