Computer-based examinations: unearthing exam invigilators’ perspectives, tacit work-related knowledge, and skills via reflection-on-experience

Mark A. Minott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The purpose of this small qualitative study was two-fold: one, to show how reflection-on-experience enacted through interviews can unearth the tacit work-related knowledge and skills exam invigilators developed on the job. Two, to continue redressing the lack of attention given to invigilators in the research literature. Interviews were the data collection method used and responses analysed to reach interpretation and answer the research questions.

Interview results revealed participants viewed invigilating computer-based examinations as either 'easy' or 'demanding'. They displayed knowing: the facets or procedures of exam invigilation (timekeeping, giving instructions, rest, or toilet breaks), the characteristics of the students (special educational needs—SEN), and computer and operational knowledge—such as knowing about a USB stick and deleting a document, and who to call when there is a problem with a computer. Participants also displayed procedural skills (discretely directing students to the toilet and computer troubleshooting) and intangible skills (mental flexibility, care, and creativity).

This study shows, through a critical discussion of the literature, coupled with the findings that invigilators learn on the job, i.e., they developed work-related knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skills are often implicit or tacit and may remain that way if not given an opportunity, via reflection, to be made explicit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022

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