Assessment Strategies

Modifying Exams for Online Delivery

Repurposing current exams to an online format might work for you and your course material. Exams that are currently in Moodle can easily be configured to allow for students to take them from home – but there is no invigilation of that exam. For this to work effectively, a few things need to be taken into consideration: 

  1. Understand that resources are available to students (in a variety of formats) - their textbook, their notes, the internet... This means that recall and knowledge level questions become quite easy as the answers are often available quickly and easily. 
  2. With knowledge level questions becoming simply a matter of looking the answer up, consider a move to application or synthesis level questions. Synthesis questions are those that push the students beyond simply recalling or looking up facts to asking them to apply that information to situations or cases to demonstrate their understanding. To minimize read-as-you-go test-taking, reduce the amount of time students have to take the test so that only those students familiar with the material can answer the questions in the time allotted. Alternatively, replace selected response tests (such as multiple choice and T/F) with short-answer or essay questions that require students to apply textbook facts to novel scenarios. Keep in mind that these types of questions take longer to complete!
  3. Time limits can be used to reduce the amount of time that students can take to simply look-up the answers. While time limits can not be set for each question individually, a time-limit for the exam can be set in the exam settings. The Teaching Centre can help with the configuration of your assessments. You can contact them at
  4. Help students prepare for a take-home or take-at-home exam. Exam preparation is different for this type of exam experience. Depending on the nature of your exam, it might be beneficial for students to have their notes and class readings laid out in an organized manner prior to the exam. Review of key concepts and learnings will also allow them to focus on the questions that they need to answer rather than spending their time reviewing and locating resources during the test writing time.
  5. All Faculty will receive formal letters from the Accessible Learning Centre (ALC) for any students who have accommodations. Please ensure that you have these letters in order and consider the variety of accommodations that you have in your class when preparing your assessments. 

Alternative Online Assessments

Academic Integrity and Online Learning

Online Exams

Alternative Online Assessments

Moodle Answers Exams and Quizzes Tutorials

Determining the best time frames for multiple choice exams

It is difficult to advise on how many questions to present on any given exam and how much time to allow for exam completion. Here are a few things to consider to help guide your planning.

  • Consider the difficulty of your questions. Some questions will require more time than others; simple recall questions for example may require less time. 
  • Consider using Universal Design for Learning (UDL); some students may need more time than others to answer the same question. Slow readers for example should not be penalized.
  • Consider having a colleague take the test; log the times to help determine the testing time.
  • At the university level, 60-90 seconds are generally allotted for multiple-choice questions. 


Snow, H., Monk, A., & Thompson, P. (1996) Guidelines for the use of multiple-choice and computer presented tests for university assessment. Psychology Software News, 7, p. 4-8. Retrieved from

Final Projects

If you are currently engaging your class in final presentations or projects, there are a number of adaptations that can be made to still allow for these. Some of these might be:

  • students record an audio track as part of their PowerPoint presentation and submit that (tutorial can be found here to help with this)
  • groups can be modified to individual presentations (to support social distancing)
  • students can be encouraged to meet virtually to work on their presentations (via Zoom or Google Hangouts)
  • students can present to the class via Zoom (which has been secured for Faculty). Students would be able to present and share their projects/presentations from their cell phones, tablets or personal computers from anywhere. Faculty can access Zoom for their class by logging into and clicking on the Sign In button. You can then authenticate with your U of L credentials. 
  • An alternative to this is to have students record their final presentations as YouTube videos and share with you for grading. Many students can do this from their cell phones. 
  • students can submit the presentation and work product rather than the final presentation

Again, consider the accommodations that your students might have when considering timelines and the components involved in completing an assignment like this.

Participation Marks

Many of our classes have participation marks that students are awarded based upon engagement in classroom discussions, asking questions, working with groups (and many other variations). Consider how these marks might be applied to your new form of delivery:

  • possibly asking you questions based on material that you are sending out to the class)
  • participation in online discussions in Moodle
  • assisting other students to work through the material or even to access the material
  • helping you to engage the class. 

Other Options to Consider

Transitioning from a final test/quiz to an assignment involving a critical reflection or other form of summary learning activity. Keep in mind, that these activities take considerably more time for students to complete and for Faculty to grade. 

Provide choices for students. Some may prefer to write a paper/complete a project (in order to increase their current grade), while others might prefer to keep the grade that they have. 


Thank you for your continued support of our students with disabilities. When moving to alternate models of teaching and learning, we are engaged in planning to ensure that you are supported in accommodating your students.

Our work is guided by legislation and the requirement to provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship; even during these exceptional times. To make the alternate mode of teaching and learning experience positive for all students, there are some adjustments that will not only accommodate students with disabilities but will benefit all students.  

Academic Integrity

What can you do as an instructor to encourage your students to do honest work? There are many reasons cited by students when they are asked why they cheated, plagiarized or collaborated dishonestly. Some of the most common reasons can be instructive regarding what faculty members and teaching assistants can do to discourage dishonest behaviour and encourage academic integrity in their courses.

Learn more

Toolbox on assessment that speaks to AI and online