Students’ Responses When Given 24 Hours to Submit Their Final Exams by Online Assessment

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Abstract Background: In 2020, the pandemic forced all educational institutions to move student assessment from in-person to online. As a result, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Strathclyde gave students 24 hours to complete their final exams. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the outcome of these assessment method to make future recommendations. Objective: To examine the effects of gender, extra time to submit, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), overseas status and submission time on students’ final grades when the they were given 24 hours to submit their final exam. Method: Data related to the final exams for one assessment in the penultimate year and two in final year were analysed. An independent two-sample t-test and a two-way ANOVA were used to analyse the effects of independent categorical variables on the dependant categorical variable. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the correlation between time to submission and the final grades. Results: There was no statistically significant effect on students’ grades related to gender, extra time, SIMD or overseas status except final year paper A, which showed a statistically significant effect on the grades of overseas students (p = 0.01). There was no statistically significant correlation between time to submit the exam and final grade for the penultimate year and the final year paper A (p = 0.32 and 0.24, respectively). This correlation was statistically significant (p = 0.001) for the final year paper B, but the magnitude was 6.9%. The final year paper B showed a statistically significant difference in grades as a function of time to submission (p=0.015), with the difference mainly observed between those who submitted between 6 and 12 hours, who had a mean grade of 74.46%, and those who submitted between 18 and 24 hours, whose mean grade was 80.36%. However, no statistically significant effects were found in the groups of the other two papers. Conclusion: Based on the findings, it is suggested to limit the allotted exam time to 6 hours. Moreover, future research is needed to understand student behaviour and other factors affecting the responses.