Learning and teaching

Online Assessment

Guidance for switching from campus-based to online exams.

We recommend that you consider the following when switching your exams online:

Is it possible to make adaptations to the wording of any questions that mainly focus on testing recall, given that students will have access to course materials, the internet etc.? To make it more difficult for students to look up the answers, you may want to adjust questions so that the emphasis is on analysis, comparison, application, or evaluation and require students to demonstrate understanding. For example:

  1. Use scenarios e.g. give students a scenario, asking them to choose a course of action and to justify it.
  2. Ask students to analyse a diagram, graph or other source as part of their answer to a question.
  3. Contextualise the question by referring to a current issue or local context

Where adjustments are made to the wording of exam questions, the revised questions should be proof-read by a peer and sent to the external examiner for their information.

It is recommended that you direct students to the appropriate video on how to upload their exam answers and ask students to submit them as a single document.

For all exams, including those online, the fourteen-day late submission period does not apply. Students who are unable to submit their exam answers by the deadline can be referred to the extenuating circumstances policy.

Further reading

Making your exam work as a take-home assessment (Herriot Watt University) 

Take-home assessments (LSE)