Some thirty years ago, when I was a professor at Tulane Business School, we had a project to develop software for taking exams on computers. It never got completed, but such software now exists, developed later by other people. Our main design objective was to make taking exams easier for students and grading them easier for professors. The main design objective of the current software appears, as best I can tell, to be preventing students from cheating, understandable but depressing.
In a post
some years back I discussed the ideas for our software, to be titled "Electric Bluebook," and offered one possible solution to the cheating problem. An alternative would be to combine our design features with something similar to what the currents software does, mechanisms to lock the user out of both the internet and his own hard drive while taking the exam. How difficult that would be I do not know.
As best I can tell from using the current commercial software
, it has none of the features I want, aside from making life easier for students who find typing on a computer easier than writing on paper and solving the problem of reading students' handwriting. A quick look at the producer's web page did not suggest otherwise, but I might be missing something. There are open source programs already in existence for taking exams online, but I have not found any equivalent of Electric Bluebook, software to make taking ordinary exams easier for students and grading them easier for professors. If a reader knows of such software—you can get a picture of what I want from my earlier post
—by all means let me know.
The purpose of this post is to see if anyone out there would like to start an open source project to revive Electric Bluebook.