Exams & Finals

Scheduling Exams – Policies and FAQs

Review policies and guidance for scheduling exams including answers to FAQs.

Important Reminders for Successful Remote Exams

Remote exams require particular attention to: 1) exam design, 2) exam fairness and integrity and 3) supporting students.

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Careful Exam Design

Careful exam design is critical for remote exams because unlike in-person exams you may not be able to respond to student questions in real time.

  1. Remind students of the purpose of the exam and communicate your expectations clearly.
  2. Preview the exam format for students.
  3. Develop carefully worded questions that students will be able to understand on their own, without need for clarification.
  4. Consider whether the exam should be synchronous or asynchronous. For example, synchronous exams allow for instructor presence; asynchronous exams allow students greater flexibility to address issues such as internet access, appropriate space to take the exam, time zones and other scheduling issues.
  5. Given the remote conditions and potential technology concerns, ensure the exam can be reasonably completed in the time allotted.

Exam Fairness and Academic Integrity

You want to administer a fair and equitable remote exam while also ensuring students demonstrate their own learning.

  1. Understand students may have technology limitations and/or encounter technology issues during the exam.
  2. Consider whether the exam should be synchronous or asynchronous (see #4 above).
  3. Extend the windows of time for exams to ensure that students who encounter issues or need accommodations are well supported (e.g., technology issues, time-zones differences, other scheduled exams, etc.). Exam windows that are 10-12 hours are most effective for students.
  4. Use Honorlock, the campus proctoring service, to promote equity and exam integrity.
  5. Provide a practice exam in advance of the final exam. This could be a simple technology check, a brief graded quiz or a full-fledged ungraded exam simulation.
  6. Ensure the exam aligns with the learning outcomes, course materials and activities; highly difficult exams do not ensure integrity or fairness.
  7. For papers, essay questions or other written assignments, consider using the Turnitin originality checker.

Supporting Your Students

Planning and providing support for students prior to and during remote exams can help minimize disruptions and reduce stress.

  1. Preview the exam format ahead of time, and provide a practice exam (see #5 above).
  2. Outline pathways for students to ask questions or get help in real time, if possible.
  3. Use windows of time for exams, allowing up to several hours for an exam to be completed. Adding time for technology support or if there are disruptions with technology helps alleviate the stress of the timed exam, and makes for an overall better testing experience.
  4. Provide specific guidance about available resources when students have technology issues or need assistance (e.g., DoIT Help Desk, Honorlock Support, local support, etc.)