Delivering Remote Exams
Last modified on 29 September 2023 02:33 PM
This article outlines best practices and suggestions for delivering fully remote exams using the eClass quiz activity. Our team also provides a number of additional supports on campus to assist instructors as well as specific guidelines for the different exam delivery scenarios available.
Instructors are encouraged to contact email@example.com with any questions when deciding on a delivery format and to take advantage of our exam checking service to review the details, setup, and configuration of their exam in advance. In addition to the guidelines below, instructors are encouraged to register their exams to allow the eClass team to review exam configurations in advance, and complete usage and system performance testing if applicable.
The remote delivery of exams has its own challenges with regards to academic integrity or from a student-user experience. Instructors can book a consultation with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) regarding the restructuring of assessments while adhering to learning outcome objectives.
CTL has also created the following videos regarding the topic:
With the mix of online and in-person delivery methods now available, one challenge facing students with mixed schedules is finding a location where they can write online midterms. In some cases, students face challenges with travel time between home and campus for online or in-person classes, meaning that they will require an appropriate place on campus to write their exams.
Instructors can ease student struggles by booking a classroom for a specific day and time and day for an online exam. Doing so will ensure that their entire class has access to a space for exam taking. Rooms can be booked using the RO’s Classroom Booking page.
Additionally, Instructors can inform students about the temporary drop-in workspaces available for students to attend online classes (or take exams): Temporary Workspace Locations.
Under a quiz 'Layout' settings, it is possible to set Navigation to Sequential. This should be avoided as it only allows the students a single viewing of a question and they can never navigate back to it. The default (and by far the most commonly used) Navigation selection is Free which allows students to flag questions and return to them if necessary just as they would in a paper exam. Changing this setting to sequential may cause student confusion as they are used to the ability to navigate.
As mentioned above, remotely delivered exams pose a range of challenges to be overcome. Some of the technical/practical challenges can be addressed by communicating early with students, clearly outlining expectations, and running practice exams to identify issues before exams. From an academic honesty perspective there four main challenges:
The available options for exam delivery are listed below in order of increasing ability to meet these challenges but also in increasing order of potential for technical challenges. No academic honesty measures are going to be 100% effective. It is up to instructors to decide which challenges to address are most important to them and which of the options below they feel comfortable with having their students use. There is also the cost of the service to consider.
- Method: CTL has provided suggestions for this type of assessment and they are available for consultations on how to convert existing assessments.
- Support: Assessments of this type create the fewest barriers to student access and have the fewest technological limitations and are - often carried out in eClass which is fully supported.
- Cost: Charges may apply depending on the delivery method chosen by the instructor, but use of eClass is free.
- Monitoring: This style of exam does not provide any of the four types of monitoring noted above. Instructors should be aware that exam questions may be copied.
- Method: Instructors use eClass or another exam delivery method and use SEM to monitor the exam session. SEM features an option to deliver eClass quizzes in a forced-full screen mode. Any students navigating away from the exam-taking window are automatically flagged. For more information, please view this webinar demonstrating this SEM closed book set up for eClass quizzes (using the interface prior to June 2023.)
- Support: eClass exams and SEM are supported by the eClass team; instructors can engage the team and sign up to have their exam validated. Other exam delivery methods are up to the instructor to support; SEM may be able to be used in these scenarios.
- Cost: Charges may apply depending on the delivery method chosen by the instructor, but eClass and SEM are free.
- Monitoring: Provides identity validation, monitoring/recording of the student’s physical environment, and lightweight monitoring/recording of the student's onscreen activity. Does not provide question security or full monitoring of the student’s computer activity.
- Method: Instructors use eClass and ExamLock to deliver their exam.
- Support: eClass and ExamLock are both supported by the eClass team.
- Cost: eClass and ExamLock are free to use.
- Monitoring: Provides some identity validation through CCID access; reports on the student’s online and computer activities; provides some question security, although students could take pictures on their phones. The physical environment is not monitored.
- Method: Instructors use eClass and ExamLock to deliver their exam and combine it with Smart Exam Monitor to monitor the session.
- Support: eClass, Examlock, and SEM are all supported by the eClass team. This article describes this scenario in detail and instructors can also view this webinar demonstrating how to set up SEM and ExamLock together.
- Cost: eClass, ExamLock, and SEM are free
- Monitoring: Provides identity validation, monitors and reports on the student’s computer activities, monitors the student’s physical environment, and provides some question security (screenshots are prevented).
- Method: Instructors use eClass or their own delivery method and combine it with the remote proctoring service, Proctorio.
- Support: Access to the remote proctor is set up through eClass, and technical support is provided through the vendor. Not recommended for exams that require the use of paper to facilitate the exam, Please see option 2.
- Cost: Proctorio charges for usage and is subject to your Dean's approval.
- Monitoring: All four types of monitoring are supplied, and an audit report is produced by the vendor. All session videos are available for instructors to review.