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Delivering Online Assessments - Creating and Proctoring Quizzes and Exams

BeachBoard hosts a number of features in support of academic integrity when it comes to creating and proctoring an online assessment, including the ability to:

  • Disable Right Click 
  • Turn off BeachBoard notifications while in an exam.
  • Time your exam.
  • Use BeachBoard to automatically shut down exams when time is over.
  • Randomize answers choices between students.
  • Randomize test questions between students.
  • Use BeachBoard’s Question Library to randomly select assessment questions for each student.

See the detailed guide on online assessment (PDF) from Academic Technology Services (ATS) on how to use BeachBoard assessment tools, best practices for monitoring students with Zoom and how to create and draw from a question library. 

High stake assessments are tests that determine whether individual students have reached a specific level of proficiency andthat are intended to be used to determine whether the student is qualified to advance to another level or has met minimum standards.

Why Consider Alternatives to Exams

High Stakes Assessments:

  • Are often more stressful for students than in- person proctored exams, which can impact a student’s performance.
  • Require planning and setup on the part of the instructor and student.
  • Not all students have access to appropriate technology to use for proctored exams;instructors will have to make accommodations for such students.
  • Planning of what to do if the proctoring services (Respondus) crashes during an exam must be in place.
  • Students may have privacy concerns about third-party recorded remote proctoring;instructors will need to make accommodations for these students.

BeachBoard Academic Integrity Features

  • Disable right click
  • Time your exam
  • Use BeachBoard to automatically shut down when time is over
  • Randomize answer choices
  • Randomize test questions
  • Use BeachBoard question library pool
  • Display questions one at a time
  • Use Turnitin anti-plagiarism feature
  • Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor
  • Use the News feed or content feature in your class to provide students

How to Reduce Online Cheating

  1. Purposefully select assessment methods - use online testing particularly objective test that include assessment questions like multiple choice, multiple answer, true/false etc.
  2. Mix objective and subjective questions - mix objective test with short answer or essay questions.
  3. Use question pools - A pool will generate an assessment that can randomized your questions and ensure that all students are not receiving the same set of questions.
  4. Randomize questions - Students are not likely to get the same questions in the same sequence when taking a test. Which eliminates sharing answers if students are taking the test at the same time.
  5. Limit feedback - Limit what type of feedback is displayed to student upon completion of a test. This is relevant if you allow for students to repeat tests because students may be able to determine the correct answer for each question through the process of elimination and the feedback you provide.
  6. Time the assessment - By setting a timer with an expected completion time, unprepared students could have the most to lose as they spend time going over material, and risk not having sufficient time to respond to all the test questions.
  7. Display questions one at a time - It is easy for students to take screen shots to capture the questions being displayed and share with others. While students can still capture pages with single questions, it is more time consuming and cumbersome.

Examples of Alternative Assessments

  • Reflective paper: ask students to write a reflective paper/critique of their experience.
  • Student proposed project: students complete a project with specific conditions that they would like to take on.
  • Series of quizzes: conduct a series of short quizzes that relates to previous modules and content.
  • Student developed quiz questions: Allow students to develop quiz questions. Divide the class into groups and assign each group a topic on which they are each to write a question and answer for the next test.
  • Open-book assessments: Create a take home exam that involves conceptual or applied questions that are not easy to look up. Encouraged for large courses.
  • Professional presentation: Students can submit a variety of ways to deliver a presentation (i.e. video,audio, PowerPoint).
  • Fact sheet: A one-page fact sheet on a topic that has students explain facts clearly and concisely.
  • Peer-and self-review activity: Providing students with a rubric, a peer and self- review activity allows for personal reflection.
  • E-Portfolio: A student portfolio displaying their best work from the semester.
  • Non-traditional paper or project: offer students to write a paper on “real-world” relevance.
  • Group project: Make your assessment criteria include team member expectations and a clear grading scheme, offer students opportunities to work in groups.
  • One-minute paper: In the last few minutes of class,ask students to write for a minute “the most important thing they learned and what they understood least”.
  • Muddiest point: Similar to one-minute paper,students are asked to describe what they didn’t understand

Adapted from the ATS' Remote Alternative Assessment Guide:

Traditional timed, proctored exams will be made accessible through BeachBoard and Respondus Monitor. While there are high stakes tests that do require this structured framework, it is important to be aware that proctored remote exams have known drawbacks:

  1. Proctored remote high stakes exams can be more stressful for students than in-person proctored exams, which can negatively impact student performance.
  2. Proctored remote exams require substantial planning and setup on the part of the instructor and the student, and proctoring software can generate many “false positive” flags that must be reviewed by an instructor after the exam.
  3. Not all students have access to the appropriate technology to use services; instructors will have to make accommodations for such students.
  4. Students may have privacy concerns about third-party recorded remote proctoring. Unlike when students agree to the use of such systems when they register for online courses, students did not agree to remote instruction when they registered for spring 2020 and instructors will need to make accommodations for these students.

In light of these considerations, during this time alternatives to timed, proctored exams are recommended wherever possible. Large courses reliant on in-person exams may consider open-book exams or frequent low-stakes assessments as alternative assessment strategies that can be relatively easy to grade.

Read more from the Remote Alternative Assessment Guide (PDF)