The Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures (SCADP) has recommended changes to the policy on the Exam Bank, according to a report presented to the Senate on Feb. 17, 2023.
“These changes came from the Senate Subcommittee on Exams, and in its discussion of the motion, members of SCADP indicated that they supported the goal of the Exam Bank being as comprehensive as possible,” Pierce wrote in a statement to The Journal.
At its meeting of Feb. 9, SCADP approved two minor changes to the Exam Bank policy. Stuart McPherson, manager of examinations, teaching assessment and convocation, was present at the meeting to address any queries.
The two amendments reinforce the existing norm regarding exams, Pierce noted. These motions, most recently revised on Feb. 28, aim to clarify the policy’s application to privately administered and confidential exams.
Under these amendments, final exam question papers designated as confidential will not be shared on the Exam Bank, and those that are privately administered by the instructor or department will not be made available on the Exam Bank.
Under the current policy, procedures for releasing exam papers not exempted from the policy are determined by the relevant faculty or school. However, this does not explicitly exclude private or confidential exams from being posted to the Exam Bank.
“The proposal to explicitly exclude private and confidential exams from the Exam Bank was considered at the September 2022 meeting of the SCADP Exams Subcommittee. No issues, concerns or objections were voiced by committee members,” Pierce wrote in a report presented to Senate.
“No issues, concerns, or objections were voiced by committee members.”
The changes come as the “practicalities” around the Exam Bank policy have evolved due to the increased prevalence of privately administered and online exams, Pierce added.
Private exams are mostly administered by the instructor, who arranges the proctoring and printing of the exam, and any accommodations students need.
“The Exams Office arranges the venue for private exams, and schedules them in order to create a conflict-free schedule for students,” the report said.
During the pre-pandemic period from Dec. 2018 to Dec. 2019, private exams represented around 20 per cent of all final exams. From Dec. 2021 to April 2022, when on-campus exams resumed, the number rose to 37 to 44 per cent.
In Dec. 2022, numbers returned closer to pre-pandemic levels, with just over 25 per cent of exams being privately administered. SCADP considered the proposal to exclude private and confidential exams from the Exam Bank at their Sept. 2022 meeting, and no concerns or objections were raised.
“SCADP therefore supports the goal of ensuring that as many exams as possible are made available to students,” Pierce said.
Education, Exam Bank, Queen's, SCADP, Senate
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