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Moving assessments and final exams online

Last updated: July 31, 2020, 10:08 a.m.

***The content on this page will be continually updated.


Moving your courses online also means moving your assessments online. This transition will pose many challenges for faculty and students. Some courses use assessment methods that are more easily transitioned online, while others use formal, proctored exams that will prove very difficult to administer virtually for a variety of reasons.

We encourage all faculty to give serious consideration to an alternative assessment forms, but that still measure intended learning outcomes to ensure students have achieved the course requirements.

This guide is intended to assist faculty who typically hold final proctored tests or exams find viable alternative assessment activities.


Before making a decision on how to adapt your assessments & evaluations

Revisit your course objectives

Examine your assessments/exams and think back to how you designed them. Write down learning objectives for each assignment (if you did not do so originally). Determine:

  • What evidence of student learning were you looking for?
  • What knowledge, skills, attitudes or values did you want your students to demonstrate by completing the assessment?

This will help shape your thinking about the online assessment alternatives you might use to evaluate your learning objectives.


Considerations for selecting the best assessment option

The following topics are important considerations for faculty as they select the best assessment option for their specific needs and context:



Use Moodle Quiz settings to reduce cheating

Cheating is always a concern when it comes to online assessment. The following tips can help minimize cheating.

  • Create multiple (unique) versions of the test: Moodle’s Question bank allows you to create multiple questions for each question that test the same content area and learning objective and organize them into categories. When you create your test, you can set the system to randomly draw questions from each category. Moodle can also randomize the order of all questions and answer choices within each question, so students will receive a different version of the test even though you do not prepare extra questions for each topic. 

  • Set a time limit and start time: You can set a time limit with Moodle Quiz to reduce the opportunities for students to cheat. However, you also need to ensure that students have sufficient time to complete the exam in case of technology problems. Additionally, give students an ample time frame (usually a day or two) within which they can complete the Quiz. This is to accommodate students’ different schedules. However, if you want to do a high stakes exam with Moodle Quiz, starting the exam at the same time for all students is one way to minimize cheating.


Apart from these general guidelines, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is ready to support your assessment continuity amidst the Covid-19 crisis by providing individual support tailored to your needs. Simply contact teaching@concordia.ca.


Additional resources

  1. Checklist for teaching remotely produced by the University of Calgary
  2. Ryerson University has developed a comprehensive list of alternative assessments
  3. The Association of College and University Educators’ Online Teaching Toolkit
  4. Assessments and Final Exams: Consideration for Change created by Carleton’s University
  5. Remote Teaching Resources produced by Johns Hopkins University
  6. UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN–MADISON Accessibility and Accommodation
  7. The University of New South Wales: Using assessment tools in Moodle

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