RESEARCH ARTICLE: Early transition towards a computer-based examination system: The perceptions of senior university students in the Middle East


  • Hala El Ganzoury University of Sharjah, Sharjah
  • Osama H. Mohamed Ibrahim University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates & Cairo University, Egypt
  • Arwa Alkabbi University of Sharjah, Sharjah
  • Ayman Noreddin University of Sharjah, Sharjah
  • Sameh Soliman University of Sharjah, Sharjah


Examination, Computer-based Examination, Pharmacy Students, Middle East


Computer-based examination (CBE) systems are a widespread technique used by some higher educational institutions in Western countries. However, this new learning technology is starting to gain popularity worldwide, including in the Middle East. Therefore, it is important to investigate the perceptions of students in the Middle East to the transition from a paper-based examination (PBE) system to a CBE system before widespread implementation. The objective of this survey study was to explore the perception of senior students at the College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, towards the transition from the PBE system to the CBE system in order to avoid possible risk factors. Thus a cross-sectional survey study was conducted on senior students at the College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah after their first exposure to a mock exam followed by midterm exams using the CBE system. The results showed that there was a strong relationship between the students’ early experience with the CBE system at their high school, and type of education system to the students’ acceptance of employing the CBE system. Around 80% of the students did not like employing the CBE system. The students explained their negative perception regarding the use of the CBE system was due to their fear of employing a new system (43% of students); and the insufficient training procedure (24% of students). However, they suggested that Pharmacy Practice (46%), Pharmacology (27%), Pharmaceutics (24%) and Clinical Pharmacy (20%) can be the best subjects to apply CBE systems. Identifying students’ perceptions and feedback may enable higher education institutes to detect unintended consequences of this change and potential areas to improve whilst transitioning towards a CBE system.

Author Biographies

Hala El Ganzoury, University of Sharjah, Sharjah

Institute of Leadership in Higher Education

Osama H. Mohamed Ibrahim, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates & Cairo University, Egypt

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah & Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University

Arwa Alkabbi, University of Sharjah, Sharjah

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics, College of Pharmacy

Ayman Noreddin, University of Sharjah, Sharjah

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics, College of Pharmacy

Sameh Soliman, University of Sharjah, Sharjah

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy


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Research Article