The only way is OSE (Open Source Examinations)

Childs, Alice (2021) The only way is OSE (Open Source Examinations).


Confronted with the same sector-wide conundrum as other Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) during the 2020 pandemic, Griffith College made the call to host our exams as normal, at the close of the academic year; but at the same time fully online, in-vision and invigilated, using the Zoom platform. Military operations have appeared less daunting in the face of patchy national broadband, pockets of technophobia and a pressing need for training in Open Source Examination (OSE). However authentic assessment practice and deep learning opportunities are concepts we collectively aspire to, and are benefits which an OSE approach offers [1].

This presentation explores the experience of supporting staff and students before and through-out delivery of online OSEs; while reflection and feedback from the first two iterations (June exams and August repeats) paved the way for a better training model for our fast approaching February 2021 online examinations. Challenging lecturers to embrace this contemporary approach to assessment, and preparing learners for this unfamiliar practice, continues to be our focus in the coming year.

Protocols and logistics aside, making the case for OSE is the key learning nugget from the first two exam iterations of 2020. Therefore, better implementation of this understanding will help our learning community instil motivation and enthusiasm, going forward. This has been a year of improvement through experience, made possible using technology enhanced learning tools and activities. Anticipating the Semester 1 exams in February 2021 we planned a timely Autumn campaign of improved communication, choreographed through a raft of resources, and peer learning opportunities and hosted on a variety of platforms from the VLE and website, to Zoom workshops. Our Teaching, Learning and Assessment committee, in tandem with the college’s Digital Learning Department (DLD) devised, promoted and facilitated these initiatives, which will be explored in this short presentation.


Bloxham, S. and Boyd, P. (2007) Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education: A Practical Guide, McGraw Hill

Open Access Papers

Bengtsson, L. (2019) Take-Home Exams in Higher Education: A Systematic Review, in Education Sciences, Vol 9

[1] Gupta, M.S. (2007) Open-Book Examinations for Assessing Higher Cognitive Abilities, in IEEE Microwave Magazine, pp. 46 – 50

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