First large-scale digital exams at Maastricht University

First large-scale digital exams at Maastricht University

30 Oct 2019

Last week were the first large scale digital exams using the new digital exams facilities. These facilities are the result of a UM-wide project in collaboration with the Student Services Centre, ICTS and the faculties. From 21 to 25 October a total of 4,036 digital exams took place using Chromebooks at MECC Maastricht. Another 600 FHML students took their exam in TestVision at the Randwyck Computer Facilities (UNS.50).

Why digital exams?

Digital exams offer new possibilities for the content and format of the exams. The software contains the traditional multiple choice questions, but also more creative question formats such as ranking or fill-in-the-blanks. You can add media to make the exam more authentic. In the future, we hope to make applications available next to TestVision so you can even have students use specific software during their exam.

The entire process is contained in the cloud-based software, which makes the process more efficient; there is no handwriting to decipher, and all multiple choice questions are graded automatically by the software. Afterwards the students can log on to review their answers and give feedback on the exam.


First experiences

The teachers involved in the first exams had access to an online training module in Canvas that explains the TestVision software step-by-step. Additionally, for each faculty a key-user guides the teaching staff through the software, and can advise on how to use the software most effectively. Their feedback on these first exams will be used to improve our processes for the next exam week.

For the students the transition seems to come naturally, as they are better at typing than writing and they are used to using computers to study. The keyboards took some getting used to for some, but the QWERTY layout itself did not lead to any problems. It did become apparent that some students had trouble using the Shift key correctly to type their password, and that some keyboard shortcuts led to an error message. These were minor issues that were quickly solved by the invigilators and on-site IT support. The benefits of having students practice in TestVision really showed: the groups that had done a demo exam in TestVision needed very little support.


Expanding to 1,400 Chromebooks

Even before the start of the academic year, it was clear that the 800 Chromebooks would not be sufficient to meet demand. The university has decided to purchase an additional 600 Chromebooks, as well as a small set to facilitate the decentralised exams with special arrangements. These are expected to be ready for use in the course of 2020.


If you would like to digitalise your exams, please contact your faculty digital Exams Coordinator.

For more information, visit our Digital Exams portal on the UM Library website:

Author: Tineke de Beaumont, Functional Support Digital Testing


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.



Library update

Last updated: 13/12/19

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