To Write or To Type Exams?

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Image of students taking a test
One student writing a test and two students typing a test on their laptops

How do you Express Yourself?

I can more easily get into “the zone” when I’m typing.  How about you?

Let’s offer students the choice to write or type their tests so that they express themselves the best way they know how.  The added benefit of typed exams for students is that they can use editing tools to refine their response.

Universal Design for Learning

UDL principles suggest that we offer students choice where possible so as to increase their chances of success.

In-class execution

  • Same exam, same time, and same room for all students
  • I divided the classroom into sides (written versus typed)
  • Everyone received a paper copy of the exam questions for reference (the questions were also available online)

Results

About 40% of students opted to hand write their tests whereas 60% chose to type their responses directly into the learning management system.

Recommendations for the future

  • Use browser lockdown software that is inherent to learning management systems to prevent cheating
  • Use file folders on each side of screens for added privacy
  • Request that screen brightness be 75% or so

Universal Design for Learning

UDL principles suggest that we offer students choice where possible so as to increase their chances of success.

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