Crowdsourcing college examinations using technology to improve assessment and higher learning by students

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


A highly ranked Management Information Systems Department at a leading american university has implemented crowdsourcing, where students generate the questions in an introductory course. This paper describes the process and results after two semesters and participation of approximately 1000 students. The course blends students attending scheduled classroom lectures and significant use of an open source Learning Management Systems, (LMS). The LMS, accessible through the university's website, contains all course material including readings, team exercises, videos, related websites, grades and online exams. At the beginning of the semester, students are assigned to a team of five. The total number of teams in all sections per semester is approximately eighty. Each team is responsible for preparing four questions, generating a collective pool of over 300 questions for the exam across multiple course sections. After editing and removal of duplicate questions by teaching assistants a study guide of all the questions without the answers is provided to the students in advance through LMS. An on-going issue in higher education is academic dishonesty. Crowdsourcing properly used in conjunction with an online LMS can significantly reduce the risk of students cheating on exams by increasing the complexity of sharing answers in the test setting among students. Students and teams benefit from performing higher on learning activities by engaging more thoroughly with the subject matter when comprising complex questions. Using the philosophy "to learn a subject is to teach it", or in this case, by writing exam questions more actively engaging in personal learning whilst dictating what fellow students learn. Teams are not given credit for questions that are too simplistic, where explicit guidelines and prompts of how to write good multiple choice questions are provided. Students are given access to all the exam questions, but not the answers, so they have a comprehensive study guide before the exam. The course uses technology to improve the quality of education. Crowdsourcing is a compelling tool used in education to increase student collaboration and higher learning. Students see the input side of preparing examinations and the output in two different forms: a study guide and individually LMS generated exam. Academic dishonesty is significantly minimized by the use of the LMS's student logs, documenting: date, time, content, duration, facilities and monitoring student IP addresses location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, ICEL
EditorsTeresita Arenas Yanez, Paul Griffiths, Oscar Saavedra Rodriguez
PublisherAcademic Conferences Limited
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781632668301
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event9th International Conference on e-Learning, ICEL 2014 - Valparaiso, Chile
Duration: Jun 26 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, ICEL
ISSN (Print)2048-8882
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8890


Conference9th International Conference on e-Learning, ICEL 2014


  • Academic dishonesty
  • Blended courses
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Digital classroom
  • Higher learning
  • Learning management system
  • Test banks


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