Designing open-book exams: Guidance on the pedagogy


This guide outlines some pedagogic considerations when designing take home offline exams or real-time online exams, both effectively ‘open book’ exams.

Benefit of this resource and how to make the best use of it

This resource supports educators who are considering the design and implementation of open-book exams. Approaches suitable to open-book exams are outlined, in addition to question formats that generally translate to this context. The OER also contains a concise guide around maximising academic integrity and deterring plagiarism / unauthorised collaboration. Finally, pedagogic considerations for open-books exams in the COVID-19 context at TCD are outlined. A helpful appendix is also linked in the resource, supporting the repurposing of face-to-face exam questions to open book exams.

Related OER

Since March 2020 higher education has experienced one of the most disruptive phases in its recent history. In a sector typified by considered, researched and incremental change, overnight everyone began emergency remote teaching, learning and assessing. The dramatic shift resulted in positives and negatives, and posed a series of questions for students, staff and other stakeholders. Though still living through the pandemic, in March 2021 fifteen partners from a range of stakeholders across the sector agreed to work together to answer one shared persistent and urgent question: In the context of Covid-19, what have we learnt and what does it mean for the future of teaching and learning in Irish higher education?

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