The strategies below will help you adapt your exams and assignments for teaching remotely., These flexible, supportive recommendations provide options for conducting final exams with or without the use of identity verification and proctoring. Consult with your discipline-specific colleagues and work with your chair or associate dean for undergraduate or graduate education, especially when determining alternative means of assessing learning outcomes.
Quick Tip Sheet: Assessment Types & Recommendations (pdf)
Consider disruptions and potential limitations students might be experiencing and be as flexible as possible. Limitations may include things such as loss of access to preferred devices, software, or consistent high-speed internet, and other challenges such as time zone differences, personal illness, or family obligations. Stay in communication with your students regarding your expectations and their needs. Be flexible with due dates, participation windows, and alternative ways to access course content.
Adjusting your assessment strategy may be more challenging in some disciplines than for others. By reflecting on the essential learning outcomes, leveraging technology, and providing the appropriate support and feedback for students, we hope that you will be able to measure student learning for the things that matter most for your course. Email KeepTeaching@umd.edu if you would like a consultation on your assessment plan.
View the assessment types below and our recommendations for how you might plan, prepare and leverage technology to accomplish your course goals:
Design an “Un-google-able” assessment. Creating assessments that allow students to demonstrate what they know, think, and are able to do while minimizing cheating can be a complicated task in ordinary circumstances. You don’t need to have every assignment revised all at once, focus on the big ones for now and make a plan to circle back later.
When transitioning to a new assessment, be sure to:
Need support? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an “assessment consultation”.
Offer formative feedback: If at all possible, give students clear feedback and allow them opportunities to revise and resubmit their work so that their mastery can develop over time. This is especially important if the assignment is new, and there might be misunderstandings about your expectations.
Create and Grade assessments in ELMS-Canvas. Our learning management system has a series of tools to make feedback and grading easier and to increase academic integrity. Consider Using tools such as:
Have questions? Attend a webinar hosted by DIT to learn more about these tools. In order to maximize your time and provide adequate feedback to your students, adjust your assignments to assess only the essential learning outcomes.
Online proctored exams are possible using the quiz tool in ELMS-Canvas and the HonorLock remote proctoring tool. However, proctored online exams have several drawbacks. We strongly encourage instructors to consider whether proctoring is truly necessary.
Things to consider:
Stress. Online proctoring tools create more stress than in-person proctored exams, which can negatively impact student performance.
Access. Students must have strong wifi access, a Chrome browser, a video camera, an audio input device and complete privacy for the duration of the exam. This may be a significant challenge for some students and instructors will have to make accommodations. See the HonorLock FAQ
Setup. Online proctoring tools require substantial setup and practice on the part of the instructor as well as the student. A no-stakes, “trial run” proctored assignment should be provided to give students a chance to experience the software prior to the real exam.
Privacy. Students may have privacy concerns about third-party recorded remote proctoring. This FAQ about Honorlock may help clarify questions and concerns related to this matter.
Extra work for you. After the exam is finished, there are often many flagged instances, many with false indicators, that have to be reviewed and considered by the instructor.
For the reasons mentioned above, we recommend using alternatives to timed, proctored exams wherever possible. Large courses reliant on in-person exams should consider open-book exams or frequent low-stakes assessments as alternative assessment strategies that are relatively easy to grade. (See tips for Adjusting your Exam content.)
In general, students commit academic misconduct because they are anxious about their performance, are unable to meet deadlines, or do not understand the rules and expectations for assignments. All of these stressors are heightened as we move online. The Office of Student Conduct has provided the following recommendations:
This is a new and unsettling process for both students and instructors. Give yourself and the students low stakes opportunities to practice using any new technology.
Ask for help if you need it. Your colleagues, staff, TAs and all of us here at KeepTeaching@umd.edu are available to provide support for whatever you may need.