Teaching Matters

PS2 R4a Mitigating technology fear allows digital connections for successful assessment

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 30 November 202030 Nov 2020


Mitigating technology fear allows digital connections for successful assessment


  • Miguel A. Iglesias, School of Health Sciences, CoHM*
  • Michele Dowlman, School of Nursing, CoHM


Digital connections

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Room 4




The coronavirus pandemic forced teaching and assessments to be performed online. Oral exams, part of the requirements for accredited Nursing courses, were no exception. Digital connection between students and assessors via Zoom emerged as a viable option to examine 320 students using full audiovisual experience over the internet. Students were located in Sydney and Hobart; while examiners were in Sydney, Hobart, Launceston and Malaysia. The exam required a well-designed, fully supported process to allow student-examiner connection.

Fear of technology in both students and examiners appeared as the most significant block for this assessment; lack of trust in their own digital devices, their internet connection, or their abilities to use Zoom were quoted as reasons to apply for a deferred, face-to-face exam at an unknown date. Fear of technology was mitigated prior to the exam through: production of videos for the students simulating an online exam; videos for the examiners explaining the technology, its possibilities and limitations; and providing opportunities for both students and examiners to test the technology prior to the real assessment. On exam days, one coordinator was monitoring emails exclusively to support students and examiners experiencing problems connecting to the exam session. In the end, only 12 students deferred their exam for 1 week due to technological difficulties, 308 completed their exam.

In conclusion, digital connections for assessment are possible, provided that both parties are comfortable with the reliability of the technology and its use.

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