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Take-Home Exams in Higher Education: A systematic Review

Journal article
Authors Lars Bengtsson
Published in Education Sciences
Volume 9
Issue 4
Pages 267-285
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 267-285
Language en
Keywords take-home exam; in-class exam; higher-order cognitive skills; unethical student behavior
Subject categories Learning, Pedagogy


This work describes a systematic review of the research on take-home exams in tertiary education. It was found that there is some disagreement in the community about the virtues of take-home exams but also a lot of agreement. It is concluded that take-home exams may be the preferred choice of assessment method on the higher taxonomy levels because they promote higher-order thinking skills and allow time for reflection. They are also more consonant with constructive alignment theories and turn the assessment into a learning activity. Due to the obvious risk of unethical student behavior, take-home exams are not recommended on the lowest taxonomy level. It is concluded that there is still a lot of research missing concerning take-home exams in higher education and some of this research may be urgent due to the emergence of massive online open courses (MOOCs) and online universities where non-proctored exams prevail.

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