Recommendations for exams and assessments
Determine the time needed for completion
Test your assessments to determine the time needed to complete them. As a rule of thumb, students need at least twice the time it takes a course TA to complete an assessment and at least three times your time. Adding 10 to 15 minutes as a buffer for technical glitches is appropriate for any exam tool. Uploading scanned documents (such as a handwritten math test that needs to be converted to PDF) may take an additional 20+ minutes. Also consider variation in student reading speeds.
Provide clear instructions and do a dry run
Your students will benefit from feeling prepared, with instructions on how to use the assessment tool, and a dry run before the test/exam. Check the Assessing Student Work tab in the Tools and Technology table for tools that are supported by Waterloo.
Have a plan for technical issues
Give your students clear and easy-to-access instructions for what to do in the event of technical issues during an assessment and their recourse if issues prevent completion or compromise their writing of the assessment. You should outline the steps to take, such as emailing you, a TA, CEL, LEARN Help, or other and what information to include such as an explanation of the issue, time of the issue, the actions they took, what was completed and not, etc.
Plan for missed assessments
Identify a process for when students miss an assessment due to technical issues or other extenuating circumstances, and develop at least one alternative assessment when creating your tests/exams so you are ready to provide a make-up opportunity. If you included a grade re-weighting scheme in your course outline, this strategy provides an alternative approach. You can review the University's policies on missed assignments and tests on the Undergraduate Studies Calendar.
If a student is registered with AccessAbility Services (AAS) and requires accommodations, please work with AAS as early as possible.
When to hold the exam
If possible schedule the exam to include a wide window during regular University hours so that a range of specialized support staff is available.
Application specific information
- Visit the Waterloo Akindi site to:
- Access the Akindi Knowledge Base.
- Book a session with Akindi on how to set up exams.
- Contact Akindi outside of regular Waterloo business hours.
- Visit Waterloo’s Crowdmark site to:
- See how Crowdmark works and instructions for using it.
- Review Crowdmark’s vendor help articles (students/instructional team).
- Access IST’s Crowdmark Knowledge Base.
- Crowdmark Request Help form - Help is generally available Monday - Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm ET.
- IST Service desk can help with authentication issues.
- Visit the Instructor section on Waterloo's Möbius Help site.
- Visit IST's KB Guide for Instructors creating an Exam in Mobius.
- Möbius Request help form.
- How to use quizzes.
- Use the Question Library to Randomize Question Pools.
- How to enforce quiz time limits.
- Email email@example.com for help.
- ProctorU is an online proctoring service to monitor and record exam writing. It does not provide functions to create exam questions.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help with programs or applications to create the exam (LEARN, Akindi, Möbius, etc.).
- Instructors wishing to use ProctorU must have approval from their Faculty’s Associate Dean before the start of term and must also consult with CEL. Instructor support for setting up the exam within ProctorU is provided by CEL.
- ProctorU provides instructors with live chat technical support 24/7.
Help for students
If your students need technical help with assessments, exams or software, please direct them to the assessment and exam resource hub on the Student IT Services website.