Remote Exam Considerations

Recommended Remote Examination Considerations for Instructors
Compiled by Office of the Provost's Final Exams Working Group

General Commentary

  • If you will be offering a time-limited exam, make sure you are familiar with how to extend the time for students with disabilities who are approved for extended time. Resources on how to extend time within the various Learning Management Systems can be found on the Rutgers Access and Disability Resources page.
  • Instructors (or departments) have to make a decision about how much they want to rely on a technology solution (like ProctorTrack) and how much they want to rely on changing their approach towards assessment. These decisions in all likelihood will have implications for how instructors approach final exams.
  • There are pros and cons of technology solutions to “proctoring.”
  • From what the working group was able to ascertain, the consensus opinion of education experts seems to be relying on technology alone is naïve.
    • Technology solutions alone will not eliminate cheating, but might reduce it.
    • From a student’s perspective: Technology solutions do not replicate the “in-person” exam experience.
    • From an instructor’s perspective: Technology solutions will not indicate learning and understanding to the same degree as in-person exam.
    • Thus, it is reasonable to expect that most instructors (and departments) will rethink their approach toward testing and assessment even if they opt to use ProctorTrack.
    • The result of this self-examination could be modest changes, a significantly different approach toward assessment, or something in between.

Suggestions to facilitate the process of reevaluating testing and assessment

  • Reduce exam weight, length and/or schedule multiple lower weight exams/quizzes.
    • Lower-stakes exams reduce the likelihood a student will cheat.
    • Lower-stakes exams often involve a shorter testing window, and shorter tests make it more difficult for students to seek and obtain outside help.
    • For some instructors, a series of weekly quizzes could eliminate the need to give a final exam; for others the final exam might be given, but not carry the weight as it had in an “in-person final.”
    • Reduce the length of the final exam, perhaps aiming for it to take closer to two hours to complete. This would allow additional time within the three-hour final exam period for students to submit their exams and deal with any potential technical issues.
  • Increase variability in exams.
    • Create exams based on a random selection from a pool of questions. For instance, for each chapter you can have Canvas (or Sakai) randomly ask a subset of questions from the larger pool of questions.
    • Shuffle answers within a question.
    • Introduce a random number into calculation-based questions. In this case, each student would have a similar question but each student should have a different numerical answer.
  • Make exams open book/notes. This is a great Universal Design approach for all students.
  • Increase the number/weight of open-ended questions.
  • Consider assigning a project or paper instead of an exam.
  • Convert exam to a “Take-Home” untimed format.
    • Give students an extended time period, potentially several days, to complete the exam/assignment.
    • If you are choosing this option, please be aware that you must still accommodate students with approved accommodations from ODS. For example, if a student has been approved for 50 percent extended time, and you are giving four days for the take home test, this student must receive six days.
    • More useful information is available regarding the creation of take-home exams.