Online Exam Tips and Tricks

The purpose of this document is to assist faculty with transitioning their in-class assessments to online

Think about your Course Outcomes

When you are modifying an exam to be distributed online, you want to begin by reflecting on what are the key takeaways that the students are expected to show after taking this class.

For example, if one of your objectives is for students to articulate or justify an argument relating to offshore wind power, then self-graded multiple choice questions would not be the best assessment to measure the outcome. However, might effectively assess students’ ability to recognize an offshore wind power argument, or identify an illogical one.

Think about using Open Book Exams

In a traditional course setting, students would spend hours studying for an exam, come into the classroom, and take an exam with no (or few) notes. Although proctoring exams through the Respondus Browser tool  is an option, you will want to reflect on whether it is necessary for your exam to be a closed book exam in the online setting.

Closed book exams require more memorization, but open book exams may demand more information from the student. Meaning, closed-book exams are designed for students to be able to recall specific information, whereas open-book exams allow the students to be provided to elaborate and explore deeper meaning within the content of the exam or course. Final assessments in the form of closed-book exams are strongly discouraged. Instead, alternative assessments such as written assignments like papers or projects should be used.

For open book exams, the questions are geared towards asking students to explain, evaluate, or compare things from their text or notes. The answer to these types of questions will not appear in a single paragraph in their text or notes, but the question requires them to have a complete understanding of the different views that they could have by attending class or completed required reading.

Think about Your Assignments

When you are thinking about your assignments, many of which are being currently collected or distributed in class can be collected and distributed online. Final assessments in the form of closed-book exams are strongly discouraged. Instead, alternative assessments such as written assignments like papers or projects should be used.

Written Papers

If you are collecting written papers in class, you can easily replicate this behavior by creating assignments  within Canvas. This will allow students to upload their assignments for grading. To grade the student’s work, you can either use the SpeedGrader  to grade within Canvas, or you can Download Student Submissions  to grade the student’s work using your computer. You will also be able to Upload the Student Submissions  to provide the feedback to the students.

Group Assignments

If you tend to use group assignments within class, you can create groups in Canvas for the students to work together in. You have the option to automatically create groups , manually create groups , or allow the students to self-enroll  in groups. Once you create the groups in the group sets, you can automatically assign students  to groups or manually assign students  to groups.

Once you have created the groups and the students have been assigned, each group now has access to a Canvas group site, which they can use to collaborate and share documents. You can then assign an assignment to a course group , which will give you the option to grade all individuals in that group together, or each student will be graded separately.

Presentations

Whether group or individual presentations, the use of Zoom can be effective with moving presentations online. Students will have the ability to share their screen , speak, and share their video to mirror the presentation that would be completed. If you would like the students to share their slidedecks prior to or after their presentations, you can create a discussion board for students to post to, which will be visible to all.

Exams

Final assessments in the form of closed-book exams are strongly discouraged. Instead, alternative assessments such as written assignments like papers or projects should be used.

You can create quizzes  within Canvas to act as exams if you use questions such as multiple choice, multiple answer, true/false, short answer and essay. When you use multiple choice, multiple answer, or true/false, the questions will be automatically graded for you. There are also strategies for delivering exams  in Canvas, which includes using question banks, randomizing answer choices, providing time limits, and other features available.