To what extent is ‘thinking on your feet’/reflection-in-action relevant to the role of Further and Higher Education Examination Invigilators? Implications for examination policy and practice


  • Mark A Minott Independent Researcher, UK.



Examination Invigilator; Exam Invigilation; Higher Education; Reflection-in-action; Proctor; Further Education.


The aim of this small-scale grounded approach qualitative study was to examine the extent to which the skill of ‘thinking on your feet’/reflection-in-action is relevant to the role of Further and Higher Education Examination Invigilators particularly during the phases of an examination where students are present. The importance of this study rested in the fact that there is a paucity of research which examines the role of examination invigilators at the further and higher education levels. Therefore, it aids in filling a literary gap and gives them a ‘voice’ in the research literature. Study participants were six examination invigilators, working in a London Further Education College. Purposeful convenience or opportunity sampling was used in their selection. Interviews and documentary analysis were the research methods used. The main research question was: ‘To what extent is ‘thinking on your feet’/reflection-in-action relevant to the role of Further and Higher Education Examination Invigilators? This also formed the topic for this paper’. The findings revealed the fact examination invigilators have a common understanding of the research term ‘thinking on your feet’/reflection-in-action, and rated it relevant, very relevant and extremely relevant to their role. Relevance was linked to its usefulness i.e., usefulness in various circumstances; decision making; preventing mistakes and uncovering students’ duplicity. The implications of the findings are discussed.


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Original Research