Different Assessment Methods in a Civil Engineering Course


  • Vidar Hellum Institutt for ingeniørvitenskap, Universitetet i Agder
  • Anette Heimdal Institutt for ingeniørvitenskap, Universitetet i Agder
  • Ingrid Lande Institutt for ingeniørvitenskap, Universitetet i Agder




Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a need for exploring different assessment methods and approaches to teaching. The purpose of the present paper is to share the experiences and discuss three different assessment methods that have been used in the same university course within civil engineering studies over the last three years. The three assessment methods which have been explored are (i) a conventional four-hour unseen exam with calculation tasks performed at the campus, (ii) a 24-hour home exam with calculation tasks and (iii) a portfolio-based assessment with an additional oral exam.

The choice of assessment method clearly influenced the grades where the portfolio-based assessment with the additional oral exam produced more than a grade higher average than the two other assessment methods. Interestingly, there were no indications of gender differences between the assessment methods. Females and males achieved similar average grades in all the introduced modes of assessments.

Based on comparisons between the portfolio results and the following oral exam there are indications that the improved grades were not only a function of an “easier assessment method” but might also be because of better performance which may partly be induced by the mode of assessment.


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