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The Place of the Closed Book, Invigilated Final Examination in a Knowledge Economy

Educational Media International Volume 43, Number 2, ISSN 0952-3987


This paper argues that in the information age the closed book, invigilated final examination has become an anachronism. Most significantly, it is an assessment instrument that does not assess deep conceptual understanding and process skills. Indeed, the anecdotal evidence one often hears from students is that "cramming" the night before amounts to "data dumping" on the day, with little knowledge retention thereafter. The defence of the traditionalists is that we have to have invigilated final examinations or students will cheat. However, as this paper posits, it is possible to structure a summative final assessment item in such a way that the scope for plagiarism/cheating is minimal. This requires a commitment to authentic assessment where real-world problems take centre stage and the information and communication technologies are harnessed to allow an element of interaction. In the process the student is engaged more effectively with the assessment task which, in turn, serves to induce deeper learning. (Contains 1 figure.)


Williams, J.B. (2006). The Place of the Closed Book, Invigilated Final Examination in a Knowledge Economy. Educational Media International, 43(2), 107-119. Retrieved June 16, 2019 from .

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