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Successful Digital Exam pilot project

The new AU-wide platform for digital exams has been tested and evaluated.

2015.09.24 | AU Uddannelse

Ninety-five per cent of students experienced no errors, while the user satisfaction score among the administrators was 100 per cent. For the assessors, some challenges did present themselves. This sums up the results of AU’s pilot test, performed in connection with the summer exams, of the digital exam platform which AU is developing jointly with the University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University, Aalborg University and Copenhagen Business School.

Following the test, which involved exams at a number of degree programmes at Arts and Science and Technology, students, assessors and examination administrators took part in an overall evaluation of the Digital Exam platform. The evaluation shows that almost all the students felt that accessing the system is easy. The examination administrators said that the process was satisfactory, but also that there is scope for improvement and a need for new routines which are tailored to the platform.

In connection with the registration of results, the assessors said that the new platform fulfils its intended purpose. The reported results were automatically transferred from Digital Exam to STADS and then to the self-service system – allowing the students to quickly check their marks online. However, the assessors also experienced some challenges with the online annotation functionality used by the assessors to comment on exam papers online. Helle Stolzenbach Steffensen, who is heading the roll-out of the Digital Exam platform at AU, says:

“Unfortunately, the online annotation tool had been configured incorrectly by our supplier. This meant that this particular functionality was not available for some of the time, which was unfortunate for the teachers who used the system.”

Continued development of platform

Based on the evaluations from the pilot test, a number of issues have been identified which will need addressing to improve user satisfaction with the digital exam platform. For example, the online annotation functionality must be adapted to cater more specifically for user needs, system stability must be improved, and more user instructions and tools must be developed.

“Based on the issues identified by the pilot test, we will focus on improving and further developing the digital exam platform with the aim of increasing user satisfaction. However, there are some issues which we cannot solve in the short term, and which we therefore do not expect to resolve before the winter exams,” says Helle Stolzenbach Steffensen. 

From pilot tests to common system at AU

After the pilot testing of the Digital Exam platform, the project is now progressing from the development phase to the implementation phase. The organisational implementation will be handled locally. Specifically, this means that the faculties’ implementation of the Digital Exam platform will be managed by a local coordinator and a working group under the studies administration offices at the four faculties. AU Student Administration and Services will be supporting the local implementation by organising a mobile team which will assist the faculties in connection with their implementation of the system.   

The next step is the roll-out of Digital Exam, which will take place over two examination periods. This means that stage 1 of the implementation will take place in connection with the winter exams 2015/2016, while stage 2 is planned for the summer exams 2016.

The objective is that all exams suitable for digitisation – in other words, the forms of examination supported by the solution – must be administered digitally. This means that in future all written assignments, written assignments followed by an oral exam, on-site examinations and theses will be digitised.

Read more about the milestones for the project and the general implementation process.

Why do we need a common platform?

AU is obliged to offer digital exams to all students. It is a requirement from the Danish Agency for Digitisation. With the new common platform, AU will be in compliance with the applicable statutory requirements, and when fully implemented, it will lead to a number of advantages for AU such as:

  • Increased flexibility for teaching staff in connection with assessments – online assessments can be carried out anywhere and any time.
  • Students and teachers will receive the same high level of service at all four faculties.
  • Fewer administrative systems – and thus lower operating expenses.
  • More efficient planning and administration of exams.
  • More effective prevention of cheating (plagiarism).

What is a digital exam?

A digital exam is an exam in which the entire process – from the setting of the exam to the submission of exam papers to the final assessment – is digitised.

For the assessors, the introduction of digital exams means that in future they must prepare, read and assess exam papers digitally and register exam results digitally.

Further information

  • At digitaleksamen.au.dk, you can find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the use of the Digital Exam system. Guidelines and videos are also available on the site.
  • If you have any questions about the project, you are welcome to contact Project Manager Helle Stolzenbach Steffensen
  • Read more about the background and milestones for the AU-wide platform for digital exams at the project website.
  • Log onto Digital Exam – eksamen.au.dk

Facts about the pilot test:

  • The objective was to test how the system works in connection with written take-home exams (exams without supervision) and some on-site examinations (exams with supervision).
  • The pilot test involved 31 exams and more than 1,000 students, 44 academic staff members and 13 technical/administrative staff members divided between Arts and Science and Technology.
  • The exams were held from 14 May to 10 August with the option for students to sit reexaminations.


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