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Online assessment platforms

At Concordia, instructors can choose to administer online exams either on Moodle or COLE (Concordia's OnLine Exam) platform.

While Moodle supports a variety of timed and untimed assessments with assignment, quiz, forum, workshop, wiki, etc., COLE only supports timed assessments (midterm and final exams) which are created using the Quiz Activity (termed Exam on COLE).

This page will focus on using COLE for online assessments. For more information on using Moodle for your online assessments please refer to the CTL page Moodle Assessments: Assignments & Quizzes.

Last updated: May 29, 2024, 2:17 p.m.

Getting started with online assessments (COLE)

Why COLE? 

Apart from the enhanced quiz/exam features, faculty can benefit from the services provided by a dedicated exam support team including creating exams, entering questions, adding ACSD extensions, configuring Proctorio (if the exam is proctored), and marking support. Students can benefit from in-exam live support via a built-in chat feature and a help line.

COLE overview

This is the COLE information site on Concordia’s website. Here students and faculty will find FAQ and video tutorials about the COLE platform.

How to use COLE (sign-in required)

Information on uploading your exam into the COLE system.

Video tutorials on COLE

Learn how to use COLE, Concordia's OnLine Exam platform by watching these instructional videos (resources for faculty and students).

Proctoring vs. non-proctoring

Quick view of online assessment platforms (sign-in required)

The page provides an overview of the advantages, limitations, where to use, and when to avoid non-proctored and proctored exams.  

COLE faculty support

Did you know there is a COLE faculty support site within the COLE platform? Here you will find an overview of COLE platform features, COLE exam process, Proctoring options, as well as Proctorio review and marking related support materials. 

Cole faculty support (sign-in required)

  • Below is an outline of the topics you will find on the COLE faculty support site.
  • If you do not see the faculty support site on your COLE dashboard (below), please contact
In the COLE menu, we see the following options: FAQ, COLE Basics, question types, marking, proctoring basics and get in touch
COLE basics (sign-in required) Marking (sign-in required)
Introduction to COLE  Batch grading
COLE Exams: The Process Grades
Find your way around COLE Manual grading
Question types Mark by questions
Upload options for pen and paper exams Responses Export
Create Your Own Exams Make marks and feedback available to students
  Export grades from COLE and Import into Moodle Gradebook

The COLE process & deadlines

Setting up your exam

Make sure you are familiar with the COLE process. Review the following:

COLE Exams: The Process (sign-in required)

  • Before the exam
  • During the exam
  • After the exam

Additional resource 

How to use COLE for your exam (with or without proctoring) (Carrefour sign-in required)

Information on uploading your exam into the COLE system.

Exam deadlines

IMPORTANT: To have your exams hosted on COLE, you will need to let the COLE support staff know your plans in advance as per the deadline schedule below. Missing these deadlines makes it difficult for the exams to be created, tested and made available on time. 

Make sure to check COLE exam submission deadlines (sign-in required).

Student support

Here are some suggestions on how you can prepare your students to write their exams through COLE.

For faculty: How to administer exams on COLE

  1. Review information on COLE integration deadlines and procedures
  2. Review resources explaining how to communicate exam requirements especially when an exam is proctored. (Determine what information to include on your syllabus — see below: Your Syllabus & Exams.)
  3. Keep up to date with Concordia’s communications to professors regarding exams.

For your students: How to prepare students to take exams on COLE

Your students have access to practise exams, either with non-proctored and proctored (auto proctoring or live proctoring).

  1. Provide COLE link and brief instructions on your Moodle course.
  2. Make sure students take practise exams 
  3. Students are recommended to take the practice exam 7–10 days before their exam to test the system and get familiar with the exam environment.
  4. Students can log in to to find the practice exam on the dashboard once it’s made available.
  5. Each student only has one trial for a proctored practise exam. It is recommended that they take the exam at least a few days before the exam to leave enough time to fix any possible technical issues that show up during the trial.

    NOTE: Some non-proctored practise exams provide the opportunity for students to get familiar with COLE and different question types. These can be accessed by students any time and as often as they wish.

  6. Share with your students how to contact support (whom to contact for what).
    Students should contact the COLE support team via the built-in help chat or the toll-free number at the bottom of any COLE page. Even if it's a Proctorio-related issue, it is good to first reach out to COLE support so there is a record of the technical problem, which may be used to provide the student with extra time later on if warranted.

COLE FAQ (sign-in required) — Make sure you are familiar with: 

Your syllabus & exams

Some of your courses may have proctored exams (on COLE) using one of the two proctoring solutions; some may have non-proctored exams (either on COLE or Moodle).

However, if you are going to have proctored exams you should include this information in your course outline and provide students resources on what they need to do to prepare for a proctored exam. This way if a student does not agree with the protocol process, they can choose to drop the course before the deadline.

ALL courses that have been approved to use Proctorio, must ensure they attach the prescribed syllabus language.

FAQ for students (Concordia website)

Share this FAQ with your students. Online exams on COLE will not be invigilated (proctored) unless stated in the course syllabus. This FAQ provides general and technology information, and addresses security and privacy concerns.

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