Guidelines for open book exams

Tips for constructing questions for Take Home exams or (open book) written exams online

These tips are offered to give lecturers some guidance. They will be supplemented in the near future.

  1. The questions should not be on a level of facts and definitions. They should be formulated in such a way that students can demonstrate that they have read, digested, and understood the material. That they have insight and are able to apply what they have learned.
  2. Don’t make the questions so generic that students will be able to get the answers off the web for any part of it. Google some words of your question and see what will come up as a check beforehand.
  3. Let students formulate their own examples to explain something, come up with their own arguments, etc. 
  4. Ask students to apply a concept/theory from the syllabus to an unfamiliar situation not discussed in class.
  5. Ask students to explain something based on a case or example and use different kinds of examples cases.
  6. Provide a casus. Ask to choose a statement or solution and let students explain why this is the right or best choice. Stress that all or the most points will be provided for the explanation or argumentation. 
  7. Ask for relations or let them contrast or compare something. How do the ideas in chapter XXX about YYYY, relate to what was discussed in lecture AAAA about …. [or in article BBBB]?

Transparency and asking for honesty

Cheating possibilities to be aware of

To prevent cheating 

Resources used:;wap2