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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Assessment, Exams, and Integrity

As you consider student assessment and exams, academic integrity concerns may be front of mind. Andreas Broscheid and Emily O. Gravett of CFI have provided outstanding pedagogical guidance on these issues. We encourage you to read their Teaching Toolbox on the subject and consider these important perspectives as you develop your online teaching student assessment processes.


For more information, visit the Assessment for Online Learning resources we co-developed through our experience hosting a discussion on assessment as part of the "Collaborative Office Hours" series with our colleagues in CFI. 


On This Page


Follow the links below for detailed descriptions, guides, and screenshots about additional pedagogical considerations and instructional technology for student assessment and academic integrity:




Request a consultation


If you are considering a redesign of a learning assessment, we offer our expertise through personal consultations. You may also want to consult with our colleagues at CFI

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Considerations when assessing student work online

Alternative formats: When assessing student work in an online environment, you will need to provide more detailed instructions to ensure that expectations are clear. Alternative formats for assessment, with a focus on core goals, will ameliorate the barriers caused by the lack of face-to-face assessment environments and interaction with students. These alternative summative (graded) methods can include assessment of online discussion, assessment of student summative, synthetic, and reflective presentations (Sambell & McDowell, 1998), peer assessment of student group work (Freeman, 1995), and constructed responses assessment (Stanger-Hall, 2012). 

Student guides: To help your students navigate new ways of learning, we have created student guides for group work, presentations, and professional and personal development for online learning.

Accessibility: There are many low-tech and asynchronous assessments options to consider. For instance, students can complete assignments using the following options:

  • email
  • Canvas Discussions
  • Canvas Chat
  • asynchronous group work in Canvas
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google Voice 

Rubrics: Consider using rubrics to help students understand how they will be assessed. A complete sample rubric can be found at this Canvas course we've created for JMU instructors (join by signing in with JMU e-ID and password).

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Synchronous and asynchronous tests

An asynchronous test is a quiz, exam, or graded item set in Canvas that can be completed within a range of time instead of at a specific time.

A synchronous test is one that requires the teacher and students to log in to the system at the same time. An example would be using Canvas Quizzes. Once a quiz is published in Canvas Quizzes, an instructor can moderate the quiz. If technology permits, an instructor can also use WebEx to proctor the exam. Jump down to the section (lower on this page) about using WebEx to proctor exams to learn more.

When you're deciding whether to use synchronous or asynchronous exams, you may want to consider these key factors:

  • the technology capabilities for the teacher and students (does the technology make simultaneous connection and moderation possible?)
  • the nature of the quiz (are credentials required? Is it related to aural and/or video input?)
  • how the quiz relates to the course learning objectives
  • test anxiety and how monitoring may increase anxiety and thus negatively impact student performance 

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Tests and Quizzes in Canvas


Learn more about how to structure quizzes and exams in Canvas by referring to the "What Options Can I Set in a Quiz?" support guide to get started using the Quizzes feature in Canvas.


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Create question banks

Question banks can enable randomized question selection for students and can ensure students don’t all have the same set of questions. This is one way to help increase test security and academic integrity. Visit this LinkedIIn Learning video with your JMU e-ID to learn about how-tos


Note: For JMU LinkedIn Learning, please log in with JMU e-ID and DUO authentication:

JMU LinkedIn Learn


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Set appropriate time and access to quiz responses

Please consider carefully the need for any test time limitations before putting them in place. Students with limited connection speed or slower technology may require more time for pages to load thus effectively reducing their test time. 

Providing adequate response time for test or quiz questions can help replicate face to face testing. Note, the ticking clock built into timed assessments may increase student test anxiety. The average time for multiple-choice types of questions is one minute or so per question, according to this Chronicle of Higher Education discussion forum

To limit answer sharing and provide you with the opportunity to discuss an assessment with students, check “Let Students See The Correct Answers” by selecting a specific date after the quiz or exam has been completed by everyone in the class.  We recommend having a dialogue with your students after the quiz or exam.


Canvas Quiz time and response settings


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Use generating alternative solutions with formula questions to build sufficient variation versions so that students can practice as learning.


Formula Question in Canvas


Generate Alternative Solutions with Formula Questions in Canvas


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Use Turnitin Review to scan for plagiarism

Below is a screenshot showing how to turn on Turnitin Review in Canvas Assignments using the "upload files" submission type. Visit this Turnitin Review Guide for more information.


Canvas TurnItIn Settings


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View statistics for quizzes that have been published and have at least one submission. You can also download comma separate value (CSV) files to view Student Analysis or Item Analysis for each quiz question. More details can be found in the quiz statistics guide within Canvas Community.


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View student participation and progress

In your Canvas course on the Moderate Quiz page, you can view the progress of student submissions and the quiz attempts. You can also grant students extra attempts, grant extra time for timed quizzes (of particular importance for students with accommodations), and manually unlock quiz attempts. Here is a detailed guide on using the Moderate Quiz page from the Canvas Community. Using these features can help provide testing accommodations to students who receive accommodations through ODS or students who experience technical problems.

Use course access analytics in Canvas to inform online learning assessment. In the "People" menu, the three vertical dots associated with an individual student name provides a summary of student access to the course content. 


Student Access Participation and Progress


Use Student Tab within Course statistics in Course settings to understand whether an individual student has visited in general, NOT a specific course, to keep connected.

Student Canvas general acess

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Use Respondus Lockdown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser™ is a secure browser for taking exams in Canvas. It prevents students from printing, copying, going to another URL, or accessing other applications during an assessment. If a Canvas exam requires that Respondus LockDown Browser be used, students will not be able to take the test with a standard web browser.

Respondus LockDown Browser should only be used for Canvas tests. It should not be used in other areas of Canvas.

We highly recommend you create a practice exam for students to they can practice using Lockdown Browser before taking the actual exam. This will help minimize technical problems and confusion during an exam.

Note: Respondus Lockdown Browser does not work with Chromebooks.

How to create an exam with Respondus LockDown Browser in Canvas

  1. Log in to the online course using an instructor account.
  2. Make the LockDown Browser visible in the course menu from Settings and then the navigation tab.
  3. Authorize Respondus LockDown Browser for your class.
  4. Create and publish the quiz that you will use for the exam.
  5. Locate LockDown Browser in the Course Menu and the Settings of the quiz that you plan to use LockDown Browser.
  6. Select “Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam” and if you know students are using iPads, Select “Allowing Students with an iPad” option.

Click here for screenshots for each step

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Experiment with proctoring online

Please weigh important ethical and privacy concerns associated with online proctoring.  Some of these include data privacy, surveillance, test anxiety, and discomfort with being monitored.

WebEx can be used for online proctoring (free to students). A WebEx meeting session through Canvas can display up to 25 videos at Grid view and record the screens of the exam time. Follow the tutorials below for more details:

Note: for online self-proctoring with WebEx, the students will need to have a webcam that can allow an instructor's preview of the surroundings. This will need advanced setup time before the exam. 

For recordings and video conferencing involving observing clinical sessions, telemedicine activities, discussing patient information, etc., please refer to subject-specific HIPAA guidelines

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