Take-Home Exam

How to implement it on Moodle

Tutorial is available under “Moodle Tutorials

What is a “take-home exam”?

It is a test that is given to candidates to complete on their own time, without supervision, over a specified period of time. It is typically assumed to be open-book.

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]

Advantages of take-home exams

The main benefit is that they provide an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their ability to reason, organize and synthesize knowledge and convey
judgement and higher-order critical thinking skills in writing.

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]

Disadvantages of take-home exams

For assessments involving subjective scoring (i.e., ratings) such as essay questions or case studies, the nature of the scoring can be unreliable and subject
to a number of biases (e.g., context effect, halo effect).

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]

Test security guidelines

It is essential to provide explicit instructions about what is and what is not permitted. The following points are provided as examples of information that can be included in the instructions to increase the security and defensibility of a take-home exam.

  • Inform candidates of the confidential nature of the test and their responsibility to respect it and to take the test honestly.
  • If access to reference materials is deemed appropriate, specify the types of materials that may and may not be consulted (e.g., resources, reports and reference materials) and the expectation that all materials must be cited accordingly.
  • If appropriate, inform candidates that consultation or collaboration with other candidates or individuals is not permitted.
  • Have candidates confirm and sign that they have read and understood the instructions.
  • Include consequences for breach of guidelines (e.g., invalidation of test results, termination of job application, fraud investigation).

The following is an example of take-home exam instructions given to students at Harvard University:

  • “You may consult your books or other reference material. You may NOT consult any person other than (the instructor) about any aspect of this exam. The rules of attribution apply to take-home exams: All sources must be cited.”
  • Students are also required to sign a compliance affidavit: “I affirm that I have had no conversation regarding this exam with any persons other than (the instructor) and other authorized persons. Further, I certify that the attached work represents my own thinking. Any information, concepts or words that originate from other sources are cited in accordance with (university) guidelines. I am aware of the serious consequences that result from improper discussions with others or from the improper citation of work that is not my own.”

[Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/services/public-service-hiring-guides/best-practices-unsupervised-testing.html]