BetterExaminations Implementation Project
As part of UWindsor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our online learning technologies were reviewed and some areas were identified where additional investment and tools would better support instructors in their move online. Managing online assessment was one of those areas where extension of the existing tools in Blackboard was needed to help ensure pedagogically sound and reliable assessment. To address this, the University is in the process of acquiring the BetterExaminations assessment management system to support instructors in developing high-quality online assessment.
This page will provide regular updates on the progress of the BetterExaminations project, along with FAQs and guides to using the tool. The project is currently in the early stages of implementation, with planning for a full roll-out in the winter 2021 semester
What is BetterExaminations?
BetterExaminations is a cloud-based system designed to help institutions manage their online assessment practices. It is a comprehensive end-to-end assessment management platform that helps universities easily and securely create, approve, manage, and deliver online exams and e-assessment.
For instructors and students, it provides a modern, accessible, easy to use interface that works across virtually all devices and operating systems, which will be integrated to and accessed from Blackboard. It provides instructors the ability to create large question banks for exams, and associated grading rubrics. The BetterExaminations platform has over 40 question types available (most of which can be auto-marked), including specialist question types for mathematics and chemistry, as well as audio and video response questions. It also offers the ability to provide rich feedback to students on their performance. This powerful system will give instructors many more options than they currently have for creating online exams, and because it is cloud-based, it is highly scalable and reliable. Strategically, many institutions are also looking to solutions like BetterExaminations to deliver paperless exams in on-campus settings, saving time and money on printing and distribution of exams, marking, and increasing security.
Ongoing training and online documentation will be available for faculty wanting to use the system. Workshops will be available through the Office Of Open Learning workshop database, so check there for the latest events: https://ctl2.uwindsor.ca/openlearning/workshops/24/
You can find support documentation for BetterExaminations at: https://docs.betterexaminations.com/
There are approximately 40 question types currently available to instructors, with more being regularly added. A list of all question types can be found here: https://docs.betterexaminations.com/articles/better-examinations-online/academic-staff/creating-questions/list-of-all-question-types/
Instructors and students will primarily access the system through its integration with Blackboard. For instructors, it will appear as a content type that can be added to any content area in a Bb site. Once added to Blackboard, instructors will be able to click the link to go to BetterExaminations (opens in a new window) and start creating or marking exams. As a backup if Blackboard is unavailable for any reason, instructors and students will still be able to access the system by logging in at https://online.betterexaminations.com/
BetterExaminations is an Irish company based in Dublin, and is part of the Terminalfour Group
etterExaminations is hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. For Canadian customers, data will be stored in AWS Canada’s Montreal data centre. BetterExaminations, as part of the Terminalfour Group, is the only eAssessment solution in the world to meet the AWS Well-Architected Standards, based on the Education & Public Sector Competency evaluation criteria. They are an AWS Advanced Partner and meet ISO Standards in Information Security Management (ISO 27001) and Quality Management (ISO 9001). As BetterExaminations is based in the EU, they are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires very strict privacy and data protection compliance.
Online exam invigilation can take many forms. The BetterExaminations platform provides an optional service that includes access to multiple forms of invigilation, from identity verification, to device lockdown, and automated proctoring. The approach is customisable with a strong focus on student privacy. The University is currently developing guidelines for online exam invigilation to help instructors make informed and appropriate pedagogical decisions.