Title: The optimal exam experience: a timetabling approach to prevent student cheating and fatigue

Authors: Emrah Köksalmış; Christopher Garcia; Ghaith Rabadi

Addresses: Turkish Air Force Academy, Industrial Engineering Department, Yesilyurt, Bakirkoy, Istanbul, 34149, Turkey ' College of Business, University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, USA ' Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Old Dominion University, 241 Kaufman Hall, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA

Abstract: University exam planning is a notoriously difficult endeavour that involves satisfying numerous classroom capacity and conflict-prevention constraints. Accordingly, exam timetabling has received much attention in the literature over the years. Despite research advances, student cheating and fatigue continue to persist and are typically addressed separately from timetabling considerations. In this paper, we show how both problems can be addressed effectively by incorporating such considerations into the timetabling. We address a real problem occurring at the Turkish Air Force Academy (TUAFA) and develop two versions of an integer programming model. The first finds a feasible timetable while respecting cheating and fatigue-prevention constraints. The second maximises classroom utilisation, decreasing both the number of classrooms and proctors required. Computational experiments using TUAFA data show that both models are tractable in practice and that by incorporating the objective function, classroom utilisation can be increased by 55% leading to a 43% reduction in required classrooms.

Keywords: integer programming; student cheating; student fatigue; Turkish Air Force Academy; TUAFA; exam timetabling; university exams; higher education; Turkey.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOR.2014.065408

International Journal of Operational Research, 2014 Vol.21 No.3, pp.263 - 278

Received: 09 Nov 2012
Accepted: 14 Feb 2013

Published online: 24 Oct 2014 *

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