Introducing ACTFAiREST2 to implement online assessments amid COVID–19: a case study from a low resource setting

Naghma Rizvi, Kiran Mubeen, Shanaz Cassum, Hussain Maqbool Ahmed Khuwaja, Zeenar Salim, Kiran Qasim Ali, Dilshad Noor Ali, Khairulnissa Ajani, Pammla Petrucka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Amid COVID-19, soon after the closure of academic institutions, academia was compelled to implement teaching and assessments virtually. The situation was not the same for all countries. This transition was much more challenging in low-resource settings like Pakistan, where the students were geographically distant with minimal connectivity. A private university in Pakistan instituted a systematic approach for ensuring quality assurance and reliability before launching online assessments amid the COVID-19. The purpose of this study was to reflect on the phased transition to online/remote assessments to facilitate continuous student learning through distance modalities during the pandemic. Method: To assist faculty in re-designing their assessments, a workshop was conducted which was based on the modified Walker’s nine principles. The principles coded as “ACTFAiREST2” were introduced to ensure that the faculty understands and adapts these principles in designing online assessments. The faculty modified and re-designed their course assessments, from face to face to online modality and submitted their proposals to the Curriculum Committee (CC). To guide the process of approving modified and re-designed assessments, a checklist was adapted. All the pre and -post workshop assessment proposals were analyzed using a content analysis approach to ensure the alignment of course learning outcomes with the assessments. Results: A total of 45 undergraduate courses’ assessment proposals were approved by the CC after deliberations ensuring their applicability in a virtual environment. From the analysis of the course outlines and assessment proposals submitted to the CC, faculty made four key changes to their assessment tasks in the light of ACT FAiREST2 principles (a) alternative to performance exams; (b) alternative to knowledge exams; (c) change in the mode of assessment administration; and (d) minimizing the overall assessment load. Conclusion: This transition provided an impetus for the faculty from a low resource setting to build momentum towards improved and innovative ways of online teaching and assessments for future nursing education to adapt to the new normal situation. This development will serve as a resource in similar contexts with planned and evidence-based approaches for enhancing faculty readiness and preparedness for online/remote assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number361
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Faculty readiness
  • Nursing education
  • Online assessment
  • Pakistan
  • Undergraduate nursing program


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