Students taking online courses can be anywhere in the world, may be on a co-op term, may be studying part-time, and may be taking multiple courses across faculties, which can make exam invigilation complicated. 

Depending where they live, students can write on-campus, with Accessibility Services, at an external exam centre, or with an individual proctor.

Currently, most examinations are paper-based, and the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) has a well established process to get exams for CEL supported courses to students wherever they may be, and have them returned to you for marking in a timely manner. We take academic integrity very seriously and have measures in place to adhere to all of Waterloo's policies.

Your responsibilities:

Develop the examination(s) 

  • Create the exam(s). If you need assistance, your project team would be happy to help.
  • Early in the term, our Examinations Specialist will ask you to upload your exam masters, preferably two versions to Odyssey. Different versions help with academic integrity as not all of your students will write their exams at the same time or day. Exam masters are due by Week 6. This allows time for printing, sorting and shipping to the various locations around the world.  
  • Proof-read the exams thoroughly, including instructions, numbering and formatting. We do not check your exams before printing.

The exam session and missed exams

  • Visit the Exam Dates and Locations page for exam dates, including those for exam centres and individually proctored exams. Individual students may have made alternate arrangements, depending on their circumstances, we will connect with you for approval of any irregularities. Students should be directed to Odyssey to see their personal exam details.
  • Please consider attending the on-campus exam session for your course. Once the exam schedule is released by the Registrar's Office we will let you know the date and location. You are welcome to collect the exams immediately following the exam session if you wish to start marking right away.
  • If a student misses a final exam for a valid reason, and is able to write in the exam period, we can work with you to schedule them into one of our makeup sessions listed on our Exam Dates and Locations page. This is a good use of an alternate exam. Students should follow the appropriate process of the faculty offering the course to notify you of missed exams.

Mark the exam(s)

  • If you cannot attend the exam session, you can pick the exams up at CEL. We will email you when they are available, usually within 5 business days. Exam returns can take several weeks depending where the exam was written. We have a convenient 30 minute free parking spot available at our Shipping/Receiving door.
  • Mark and upload the grades into Quest as happens with on-campus courses. If an exam is not written for whatever reason, you should make appropriate arrangements with the student, and upload the information into Quest.
  • If a student misses a final exam and requests an Incomplete (INC) grade, please make the appropriate arrangements and notify us if you need assistance coordinating a makeup exam in a future term. Details can be found in the Registrar's Resources page.

CEL's responsibilities

  • We coordinate the scheduling, printing, distribution, proctor verification and collection of exams for the majority of CEL supported online courses.
  • We create the exam schedule in conjunction with the on-campus exam schedule, and communicate with students to coordinate their exam locations.
  • We assist when students need relief from back to back exams, as per university policy. These exams are written in the Accessibility Services exam centre.
  • We collect and sort the exams as they are returned to us, and let you know when you can pick them up.
  • If you wish, we will also work with you to reschedule missed and deferred exams. We schedule two alternate exam sessions on campus to accommodate exams missed due to illness, students with conflicts, or exams that were not written due to other reasons. On occasion, exams must be postponed until the next term or the next offering of the course, and we are happy to facilitate that as well.  

Visit our Write exams page for details about student responsibilities, proctors and exam centres.

Physical Activities Centre before exam session

The PAC just before students enter for an exam session.