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Assessment Options

Consider the following as you determine how to assess your students:

Align assessments with course learning objectives. Effective assessments allow students to demonstrate they have met the course learning objectives. Traditional assessment strategies may not translate well to a remote instructional environment.

Set expectations by communicating what students will need to do to demonstrate their learning. Review grading criteria for each assessment, as well as grade calculations for the course.

Maintain academic integrity. Research suggests that infrequent, high stakes exams may induce students to cheat. Students are less tempted to cheat when assessments are lower stakes, more frequent, and include opportunities for original contributions.

Students do not have equal access to resources. Not all students can access the internet, printers, and scanners. Be flexible and make accommodations for students when necessary.


Open-Book Exams

Students are permitted to use notes, books, web resources to complete the exam.

Resource: A Guide for Academics – Open Book Exams (PDF)

Benefits

  • Reduces student anxiety.
  • Permits assessment of complex thinking and skills.
  • Allows for time flexibility.
  • Greater rigor in answers can be expected.
  • Provides a real-world problem-solving environment.

Considerations

Students might collaborate or search for pre-written answers. You can minimize academic integrity violations by:

  • designing questions that that cannot be easily answered/looked-up online
  • asking for a written explanation or rationale for some or all questions
  • requiring students to reference course-specific content, resources, and/or discussions
  • assigning questions randomly from a pool
  • allowing collaboration on part of the exam and requiring that collaborators be identified
  • requiring students to submit their work to Turnitin and, if assessed above a set percentage, make the case that the work is not plagiarized

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Multiple-Choice Exams

Resource: Writing Good Multiple Choice Test Questions, Designing Multiple-Choice Questions

Considerations

You can minimize academic integrity violations by:

  • writing questions that involve complex knowledge and thinking skills
  • randomizing questions and/or answers
  • using a question bank
  • setting a duration within which students must complete the exam
  • showing only a single question at a time
  • limiting students’ ability to see exam answers after submission

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Short Answer / Essay Exams

Resource: Writing Better Essay Exams (PDF), Writing Constructed Response Items (PDF)

Considerations

You can minimize academic integrity violations by:

  • randomizing questions and/or answers
  • using a question bank
  • setting a duration within which students must complete the exam
  • showing only a single question at a time
  • limiting students’ ability to see exam answers after submission

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