Thanks to digital testing, VU University Amsterdam is making gains in terms of efficiency and the quality of its teaching.
Since its founding in 1880, VU University Amsterdam has stood for the application of a distinctive form of science. The university asks its students, researchers, PhD candidates, and employees to look that little bit further. A good example of this is its vision for and implementation of digital testing.
Digital testing and successful studying
Silvester Draaijer, educational technologist at VU: “Modern teaching that is digitally supported must go with digital testing. Students no longer have to write things down, but rather process texts. Use multimedia, and have them use professional software like SPSS or MATLAB during their tests. Students are then able to analyse or process databases on the spot. With the great diversity of types of digital questions, you can have students analyse high-resolution images, show videos, or answer ‘drag and drop’ questions. Test results are available much more quickly. All of this activates students and makes it possible to hold tests that are more authentic and profession-oriented. That benefits the study success rate.”
DigiTent: large-scale digital testing
Silvester Draaijer removed the obstacles to enable the introduction of large-scale digital testing. The DigiTenT is an indication of how successful he has been. The test centre, where 370 students take their digital tests at the same time, is one of the largest in Europe. Silvester Draaijer: “The first step to take is to convince a lot of people. The management, IT staff, the financial organisation, and of course the education organisation and the teachers. We only had a few small computer rooms. That meant a lot of work. The logistical planning of spreading large groups of students across the rooms is a case in point. Teachers had to reserve different rooms, arrange the invigilators, and ensure themselves that the test appeared on the system. And this was while some systems were not suitable for every test. DigiTenT has sorted all that out in one go.”