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Challenges in implementing online assessments at Maldivian higher education institutions: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

Fathimath Muna, Aishath Waheeda, Fathimath Shaheeda, Aishath Shina

Article ID: 1907
Vol 9, Issue 3, 2024, Article identifier:

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to abruptly adopt online assessments in place of traditional assessments, posing several challenges especially in the developing countries. The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges experienced by lecturers in implementing online assessments at HEIs in the Maldives, during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. Data was collected using qualitative, semi-structured interviews from a purposefully selected sample of 30 lecturers representing eleven different disciplines and ten HEIs in the country. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis method. Findings revealed seven major themes which include difficulties in keeping up with the fast-changing assessment policies; students lack of awareness on institutional assessment policies and procedures; inadequate infrastructure and work-space to deliver online assessment; lack of technological competency of lecturers and students; issues related to work-load and time management; lecturers’ competency in designing online assessments; addressing student diversity; and ensuring academic integrity. In the light of these findings, it is recommended that both students and lecturers need to be made aware of institutional assessment policies, better training needs to be offered for lecturers to enhance their skills in designing and implementing online assessments so that they can offer more authentic online assessments that would enhance academic integrity.


challenges; higher education; Maldives; online assessment

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