Code your job to be easier: ExamStart

I make lots of little programs to make my life a little easier. There’s the 2 line code that reminds me that I’ve made a cup of tea, the 10 lines that strips out everything but numbers from things on my clipboard to the 100 lines that automatically finds the computer name that the user I’m on the phone to is using (which then automatically loads our remote desktop software). But ExamStart was a little different…

ExamStart was something that other people should use. Our students would launch Exams through Blackboard if it was a Perception exam, through a generic account if using Word, through typing an address into Internet Explorer for drug calculations. The students would look to the invigilators for instruction, and the invigilators were expected to know how to launch everything with very little training.

This need to make things easier was the reason ExamStart was made. The program would launch in exactly the same way in every exam and know which Exam a particular room was due to take. It stripped the dependency on Blackboard, the need for staff to remember to add links to VLEs, added security to websites that didn’t have any and showed real time statistics to the IT team.

I’ve now had online seminars ( on the software as well as two papers at the CAA Conference (2011, 2013) I’ve decided to write up a little more about it. At the University it has received a little more attention after winning a Vice Chancellors Award for innovation for creating the software.

More to come @