ECEL Keynote Speaker Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Speeches which will take place at ECEL 2021.

Reflecting on Higher Education Examinations

Led by: Shawren Singh, University of South Africa

‘even successful, able and committed students – those who become university teachers – have been hurt by their experiences of assessment, time and time again, through school and through higher education’ (Boud. 1995, 35)


Covid-19 has forced the higher education system into overdrive. Universities have been caught wanting on several levels. While universities have developed a reasonable approach to the examination of postgraduate degrees, there has been little progress made on how we examine our undergraduate candidates in the absence of traditional venue-based assessment. This keynote will reflect on the nature of examinations and how we as academics have approached them. The concept of digital scholarship will be introduced in the context of the undergraduate journey. A rich description of the distance education context will be provided which will lead to why undergraduate candidates can be considered digital scholars. We then reflect on the ritual of examinations and online examinations. In this keynote, seven uncomfortable truths will be considered.