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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Universities call time on handwriting | World Round-up - University World News

Rising numbers of students in the United Kingdom are doing their exams on computers, rather than having to complete handwritten papers, in a move that could spell the death of the pen-and-paper test, write Sian Griffiths and Julie Henry for The Sunday Times.

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Universities such as Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge are testing the move – but adopting different policies on whether to allow spell-checking. While undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge are not allowed to use the spell-check function during the trial exams, Brunel University London’s director of learning, Simon Kent, said it tried to make assessment as authentic as possible. “In the real world, students will have access to spell-checkers in their everyday work, so it is reasonable to allow them to use a spell-checker in the examination. We don’t award degrees for good spelling,” he said.

More than 60% of universities have brought in ‘e-exams’ in at least one or two modules, while one in five have introduced it in entire departments, according to a survey by the Heads of eLearning Forum, a network of academics. Professor Alan Smithers, from the University of Buckingham, said he worried the move could lead to “the death of handwriting”. Critics also complain that allowing access to spell-checking in exams is dumbing down.  
Full report on The Times site

Source: University World News