A Comparative study of Open Book-Open Web (OBOW) exams and Invigilated Closed Book-Pen and Paper (ICBPP) exams
Authors: Mohammed Amanullah, Gaffar Sarwar Zaman, Ayyub Ali Patel and Khalid Mohanna
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This paper evaluates the effectiveness of ‘open book-open web’ (OBOW) examinations in comparison to invigilated closed book-pen and paper exams. An OBOW exam was conducted during April 2013, wherein 127 students participated in it. The result obtained in this exam was compared with the invigilated exam taken by the same students previously. The percentage of marks obtained by the students were graded as “A” for 90-100% marks, “B”, “C”, “D” and “F” for 80-89%, 70-79%, 60-69% and 0-60% respectively. Some students were placed under ungraded category (“U” grade), as they faced some technical problems during the exam. Cheating was assessed based upon the time at which the student started taking the exam, the total time taken to complete it and the marks they scored. The results indicated that there was no notable difference in the results between the two types of exams. The number of students scoring “A” grade was almost the same in both the type of exams viz. 36% of all the students scored “A” grade in OBOW as against 38% of the students in the invigilated exam. However the number of students scoring lower grades i.e. “B” to “F” was more in OBOW exams then the invigilated exams. A few cheating cases were observed in the OBOW exam and also in the invigilated exam, which is unavoidable in any circumstance. About 10 students faced technical problems like loss of internet connection, slowing of the internet connection due to traffic congestion in the network, hanging of the user’s computer system. It can be concluded that OBOW exams are better in accessing the student’s ability to understand the subject and reproduce it.
Keywords: Open book open web examinations, closed book invigilated examination, online exams, authentic assessment