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Electronic exams offer benefits such as ease of marking, reduced need to read illegible handwriting, saving of time

Emerging models[edit]

  • eExam System: the first use of any eExam.[1] for the award of a degree was in November 2009 at the University of Tasmania.[2] It was subsequently adopted for university entrance examinations by the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority in 2011.[3] In 2016 the eExam system became the subject of a national project in Australian universities.[4] Security methods limit access to the eExam USB flash drive, prevent use of all communication channels, and require a unique desktop security image photograph for every sitting. The source code is available under open source GPL licences.
  • CQUniversity Australia - eExam trial at the School of Engineering and Technology: A commercial product, Exam Pro software, was used in a supervised e-exam consisting of short answer and essay-type questions.[5]
  • Abitti: the mission of the Abitti project is to transform all university entrance assessments in Finland to eExams by 2020.[6] The source code[7] is available under a GPLv3 license.
  • RU exam system: this uses a Linux-based bootable USB exam system for students' laptops at Reykjavik University[8]
  • Secure-Exam-Environment: from Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt uses Moodle on a Knoppix-flavoured Linux distribution[9]


Many innovations face reactionary challenges in the social, political and technical spheres. Objections focus on the unreliability of computer equipment or the potential for cheating. Some 'hacks' against eExams use cooling of the computer RAM to 0 degrees Celsius, when the contents can be preserved for about 45 seconds.[10] This is irrelevant if the exam question paper is published after the assessment and open source software is used (since the material is put in the public domain anyway).[11] These criticisms have been answered by a risk tree comparison with paper-based examinations, finding the typing and handwriting in examinations are similarly secure.[12]

The challenges of e-exams are: usability issues during the exam, increased stress level due to unfamiliarity with e-exam systems and inadequate functionality.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome to Electronic Examinations". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  2. ^ Lane, Bernard (18 November 2009). "Laptops pass the big exam". The Australian. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. ^ Geeves, Phil (19 April 2011). "ITS315108 exam arrangements in 2011". Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards & Certification. Tasmanian Government. Archived from the original on 11 January 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Transforming Exams - A scalable examination platform for BYOD invigilated assessment". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  5. ^ a b Wibowo, Santoso; Grandhi, Srimannarayana; Chugh, Ritesh; Sawir, Erlenawati (September 2016). "A Pilot Study of an Electronic Exam System at an Australian University". Journal of Educational Technology Systems. 45 (1): 5–33. doi:10.1177/0047239516646746. ISSN 0047-2395.
  6. ^ "Digabi – timetable" (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  7. ^ "digabi/digabi-os". GitHub. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  8. ^ Alfredsson, Frey (2014). "Bring-Your-Own-Device Exam system for campuses". Nordunet 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  9. ^ Frankl, Gabriele; Schartner, Peter; Zebedin, Gerald (2011-10-19). "The "Secure Exam Environment" for Online Testing at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt / Austria Why Online-Testing?". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Gruhn, M.; Müller, T. (2013-09-01). On the Practicability of Cold Boot Attacks. 2013 Eighth International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES). pp. 390–397. doi:10.1109/ARES.2013.52. ISBN 978-0-7695-5008-4.
  11. ^ Dawson, Phillip (2016-07-01). "Five Ways to Hack and Cheat with Bring-Your-Own-Device Electronic Examinations". British Journal of Educational Technology. 47 (4): 592–600. doi:10.1111/bjet.12246. ISSN 1467-8535.
  12. ^ Sindre, Guttorm; Vegendla, Aparna (2015-12-15). "E-exams versus paper exams: A comparative analysis of cheating-related security threats and countermeasures". Norsk Informasjonssikkerhetskonferanse (NISK). 8 (1): 34–45. ISSN 1894-7735.


  • Hillier, Mathew (2014). "The very idea of e-Exams: student (pre)conceptions" (PDF). Rhetoric and Reality: proceedings of ascilite 2014, 23–26 November, Dunedin, New Zealand. ASCILITE. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  • Mogey, Nora and Fluck, Andrew, “Factors influencing student preference when comparing handwriting and typing for essay style examinations”, British Journal of Educational Technology, 46 (4) pp. 793–802.doi:10.1111/bjet.12171
  • Fluck, A and Pullen, DL and Harper, C, “Case study of a computer based examination system”, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25 (4) pp. 509–523. DOI: