The use of open-book examinations to motivate students : a case study from Hong Kong

Ming Yin Jonathan Chan, Kwok Wai Mui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Open-book examinations are believed to be able to reduce students’ anxiety and rote memorising of facts. However, in cultures where prescriptive teaching dominates, open-book examinations may need to be accompanied with changes in lecturing methodologies and better preparation for individual’s critical thinking. The purpose of this study is to assess what preparations students have undertaken before taking open-book examinations and what learning style they adopted during the preparation of this non-traditional approach to subject testing. The methodology chosen was to interview 10 students who had no open-book examination experience before. They had their first trial a week before the interview. The results indicated that, although students had a positive perception towards open-book examinations, the preparation needed and the processing of information read in order to answer the examination questions were relatively minimal. Students appeared to need more guidance as to how they would be assessed and more trained on critical thinking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Education


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