Recommendations for Pivoting to Remote Exams

  • Faculty & Staff

Introduction

• This article explains how to use Canvas to create and administer remote exams.
• It addresses the technical aspects of administering final exams in Canvas. For pedagogical guidance, please consult
  CTL’s Exams and quizzes when teaching remotely.
• For additional tips on administering remote exams, please consult: Planning a Final Exam.

Overview:

Consider what question types & options will work best.

• When setting up an exam in Canvas, see the Canvas Instructors Guide for a complete description of question types
  of options for setting up exams.

• Determine when you will let students see the results of automatically graded questions.
• For long form essays, the Canvas Quiz "Essay Question" isn't optimal because it only has a small box for the response.
   Instead, create a "File Upload Question" and tell the students to write their response in a word processor and then
   upload it for that question.
• If you're absolutely sure that every student has a smartphone (which cannot be assumed), you can have students draw
   graphs and use an app to upload an image to a "File Upload Question". Scanning apps include Office LensAdobe Scan
  
or Genius Scan.
• If you're using a new exam format that this class hasn't seen before, consider offering a practice test. This is especially
   important if you are using the "File Upload" question type or asking them to scan something.

Details: Exam Settings and Question Types

For all formats and question types, we recommend a Canvas Quiz, but you can customize the question types.

Start creating the exam as a Canvas quiz

1. Apply settings in the “Details” tab when creating the quiz in Canvas to facilitate academic integrity among exam takers.

     i. Use a time limit (please see #2 in the screenshot for “Set Quiz Options”).

• Important: A time limit is not the same as availability dates (viii below), so both should be used.
• Note that all synchronous online exams should still be given at their scheduled times to avoid conflicts with other
   scheduled exams.
• Example: an exam with a 120 minute time limit with December 20th 12pm-December 21st 12pm EST availability
   dates is set up so that a student can take the exam during any 120 minute period within the designated window of
   time (24 hours in this example).

      ii. Un-check the box next to  “Let Students See the Correct Answers” (please see #6 in the screenshot for “Set
          Quiz Options”)
.
     iii. Check the box next to “Show one question at a time” (please see #7 in the screenshot for “Set Quiz Options”).
          • Important: The “Lock questions after answering” setting is not recommended if you want students to have the ability
             to answer questions non-sequentially (e.g., you want to let students skip a question and return to it later). 
     iv. Use the “Require an access code” setting (please see #1 the screenshot for “Set Quiz Restrictions”).
          • Important: Do not use the “Filter IP Addresses” setting--since students will be using many different IP addresses to
             take the exam.
     v. Use availability dates to limit students’ access to the exam to a designated window of time.
     vi. Add a due date that is the same as the “Until” availability date.
2. Scroll to the bottom of the quiz-creation page and click Save. 
3. Start creating quiz questions: each type of question is described in detail below.

For multiple Choice Questions

Recommendations:

• In the "Details" tab described above, check the box next to “Shuffle Answers” (please see #1 in the screenshot for “Set
  Quiz Options”)
.
• Use Question Banks to create a collection of questions on the same concept.
• Create questions for each concept in its designated question bank.

1. Navigate back to the exam and click Edit.
2. On the page where you set the time limit and due date, click "Shuffle Answers", and be sure that your questions don't have
    "none of the above" or other wording that requires possible responses to be presented in a specific order. This will apply to
    all multiple choice question on your exam.
3. Click the “Questions” tab.
4. Use Question Groups for the exam to randomize the questions in a Question Bank that each student receives on a given
    topic.
5. When you are finished adding question groups, scroll to the bottom of the quiz-creation page and click Save & Publish.
    • Important: Only click Save & Publish if you have enabled availability dates; otherwise, the quiz will be accessible to your
       students. If you decide not to use availability dates, you will need to publish the quiz before you want students to take it.
6. Enable quiz-audit logs to keep track of students’ quiz attempts-- useful if you are concerned about an academic integrity
    issue.

For short-answer questions that only require text answers 

Recommendations:

• Use Question Banks to create a collection of questions or essay prompts on the same concept.
• Create questions for each concept in its designated question bank.

1. Navigate back to the exam and click Edit. 
2. Click the “Questions” tab.
3. Use Question Groups for the exam to randomize the questions in a Question Bank that each student receives on a
    given topic.
4. When you are finished adding question groups, scroll to the bottom of the quiz-creation page and click Save & Publish.
5. Enable quiz-audit logs to keep track of students’ quiz attempts-- useful if you are concerned about an academic
    integrity issue.

        • Important: Only click Save & Publish if you have enabled availability dates; otherwise, the quiz will be accessible to
           your students. If you decide not to use availability dates, you will need to publish the quiz just before you want students to
           take it.

For longer-response essay questions

• The Canvas Quiz "Essay Question" isn't optimal because it only has a small box for the response.
• Instead, create a "File Upload Question" and tell the students to write their response in a word processor and then
  upload it for that question.

For questions that require calculations, formulae, curves, etc.

• If you're absolutely sure that every student has a smartphone (which cannot be assumed), you can have students
  draw graphs and use an app to upload an image to a "File Upload Question".
• Scanning apps include Office Lens, Adobe Scan or Genius Scan.

If this class hasn't taken an online exam before

• Consider offering a practice test.
• You can use realistic questions from an older exam or just make up silly questions that demonstrate each type of
   question you will use.
• This is especially important if you are using the "File Upload" question type or asking them to scan something.

Communications with Students before the Exam

Send an email to your class email list with the following information for students as soon as possible:

1. Ask students to read Penn’s Code of Academic Integrity.
2. Share a link to the exam in Canvas.
     • Be sure you haven't published the exam.
3. Ask students to make sure they are using Canvas-supported browser before they take the exam.
4. Ask students to make sure they have a stable internet connection.
     • Students should not use public wi-fi.
     • Students not living on campus should ask anyone who shares an internet connection with them (e.g., a roommate)
        not to use the internet while they are taking the exam.

5. Tell students that they must use a laptop or desktop to take the exam; mobile devices (tablets or phone) and netbooks
        (e.g., Chromebooks) are not recommended.

Accommodations 

• If a student has an approved accommodation for exams, please contact Student Disabilities Services for guidance.
• For information on how to use Canvas settings for approved accommodations or other scenarios, please consult 
  Canvas Helps Student Accommodations for Final Exams.