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Concordia introduces a new online exams platform

COLE features simple navigation and a user experience that prioritizes student success
May 6, 2020
By Taylor Tower

Concordia is introducing a new platform called Concordia Online Exams (COLE).

COLE is the latest addition to the university’s suite of tools for online course content delivery. Developed in collaboration with Concordia’s Moodle provider Catalyst and Monash University in Australia, COLE features simple navigation and a user experience that prioritizes student success.

“We’re impressed with its user-friendly design that addresses the needs of students and faculty,” says Sandra Gabriele, vice-provost of innovation in teaching and learning.

“In our commitment to providing a secure exam site, COLE has undergone extensive security testing. Any issues that were identified during the testing phase have been resolved. We are ensuring the software stays up to date in order to maintain ongoing security.”

Students and faculty can access the COLE exam site at and log in using the same username and password they use to log in to Moodle.

For information about COLE, including frequently asked questions and video tutorials, visit the COLE information site at

COLE is an innovative tool for teaching and assessments, offering a wide array of features designed with ease-of-use in mind. These include a split-screen function to keep questions in view while answering, an “Unsure” button for easy review of questions before submission, autosave every 15 seconds, a timer, an equation editor, a summary page that allows students to review the exam, and more.

For faculty, COLE features blind reviewing of exams, an option to divide grading work across teaching assistants and professors and an auto-grade function for multiple-choice questions, among other things.

“Faculty have risen to the challenge in quickly transitioning courses and assessments online,” Gabriele says. “We are deeply grateful for their dedication to our students. Their determination and commitment are what make Concordia a special place to work and learn.”

All courses will be delivered online for summer 2020. The majority of finals and midterms for the summer 2020 terms will be administered through COLE or Moodle. Information about exam delivery is in course syllabi.

Exams will be configured to meet accommodation needs for those registered with the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities.

Exams on COLE will not be proctored unless explicitly noted in the course syllabus.

Proctored exams

Online courses that require a proctored exam will state so clearly in the course syllabus. Students who do not wish to take a proctored online exam have the option to drop the course. In order for faculty to administer a proctored exam, they must get approval from their dean.

Any proctored online exam that goes beyond two hours may include a break for students.

What you need to know about proctored online exams

  • Proctored exams delivered through COLE will use the software Proctorio, a Google Chrome browser extension available to students when they log in to the COLE platform.
  • Proctorio is used by more than 400 universities worldwide.
  • The recording collected by Proctorio undergoes full encryption and is accessible only to university personnel.
  • Proctorio does not have access to the data or the ability to decrypt the data.
  • The encrypted data is stored within Canada on the Microsoft Azure cloud environment.
  • The examination and its recording will be destroyed following Concordia’s retention policies that apply to all course material.
  • Proctorio does not have access to a user’s computer hard drive or personal files.
  • During the exam, the software monitors screen activity, keyboard activity and sounds in the room via the computer microphone.
  • Once the exam is completed, students can uninstall and permanently remove the Proctorio extension in the Chrome browser settings.

For all information related to online exams at Concordia, including FAQs and demonstration videos, visit To log in to the COLE exam site, go to


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