Exams and finals are primarily used as summative, high-stakes assessments that aim to evaluate students’ cumulative understanding and skills in relation to course learning outcomes. In the online environment, it may be more difficult to assess students’ independent work with traditional, high-stakes exams and finals, yet evaluating independent work remains fundamental to student learning assessment.
The following guidance has been developed to support the administration of such assessments during remote instruction.
- Consider a variety of assessment methods, using more frequent, low-stakes assessments and de-emphasizing high-stakes exams as the primary or only way to assess student work, and assign a grade.
- Clearly set expectations with students concerning when collaboration on course work is appropriate and when it is not. Open-book and other formats for exams, while suitable in some circumstances, do not promote independent work or restrict students from communicating and collaborating with others. Literature also shows that honor codes or pledges of integrity are largely ineffective and provide a false sense of academic integrity.*
- Use Canvas Quizzes features to create a question bank, randomize the questions that appear on each student’s exam while covering the same concepts, and set a time limit. Similar options such as setting up multiple data values for an item can be done in Atomic Assessments, an advanced quizzing tool available through Canvas.
- For papers, essay questions or other written assignments, consider using the Turnitin originality checker.
* Lang, James, 2013, Cheating Lessons – Learning from Academic Dishonesty, Harvard University Press, 172 pgs.