Communicating digital exam details to your students
Giving detailed exam information to your students is important for students to successfully undertake exams. This guide provides advice on what to tell students about their upcoming exam and provides you with example text to edit for your situation.
Student feedback from the Semester 1, 2020 exams included the request for greater consistency in examination instructions and information. It is highly recommended that staff plan early for online examinations and associated technology use in order to develop a consistent set of procedures plus conduct a practice exam so that no students sits a digital exam with unfamiliar technology. At the appropriate times, staff may then provide clear, plain-language instructions to students about their exam that includes:
- Exam weighting
- Duration of the exam
- The exam format (LMS Quiz, LMS Assignment, Gradescope Assignment Cadmus Assignment, Video)
- The exam type (Standard online exam, ID-verified exam, Zoom supervised exam, Synchronous video assessment)
- What students need to prepare or know before commencing the exam task
- Explanations of the best ways to prepare for an open-book exam and what is allowed during an open book exam (e.g. internet searching, use of resources, effective use of notes and outlining, toilet breaks).
- Clear expectations regarding academic integrity and how it applies to an online, open-book exam
- Advice to log on to the LMS 15 minutes prior to commencement of exam time
- Explanation about communication protocols during the exam
- Links to exam resources for students (see below) which includes exam support service details and information about well-being during the exam period, special consideration, special and supplementary exams and alternative exam arrangements.
It is also recommended to consider at what points in the semester you want to introduce different sets of instructions. Students may, for example appreciate receiving early instructions on exam weighting and format.
Exam support resources for students
The following exam resources are available to students to help them prepare for end of semester online exams:
- Online exams - general information
- Exam formats
- Technical support on the day
- Academic Skills have created exam preparation resources to support students with their exams, including tips on online exams and open book exams
- Student information on academic integrity.
Example communication to students
Please check with your local area if there is an exam information template they wish you to use. Below is an example of the communications you could provide to students about exams. This information needs to be provided somewhere in your subject other than the exam shell as the students will not see the instructions in the exam shell until the actual exam time starts.
Exam date and time:
Add date and time of exam AEST .
* please ensure you log onto the LMS 15 minutes prior to exam at XXX
Add weighting %
Add duration minutes.
Provide students with a brief summary of the exams format.
- e.g. This exam is a Quiz with X multiple choice questions
- This exam will be completed using Gradescope/Cadmus
e.g. Standard online exam
Add details about the time of tasks they will be asked to complete during the exam. Let students know expectations, the type of questions (e.g. multiple choice, short answer questions, exam style assignment) and the type of content it will cover, etc.
This is an open book exam, which means that you will not be prevented from using notes or texts during the exam. However, interaction with other students is not permitted, and is a breach of the University’s academic integrity policy. Any evidence of collusion will be investigated as potential academic misconduct. Read the academic integrity policy.
To prepare for this exam we suggest you review…
Recommended use of authorised materials:
Whilst this exam is open book, you will not have enough time to complete the exam if you research all the questions during the exam time. We recommend you study for this exam like you would any other and aim for a good understanding of the key areas of focus, so you can focus on crafting the best answer you can during the exam time.
If your students require blank paper to write/draw on, or another material which will be scanned and submitted as part of their exam, we suggest you mention this here.
Your exam duration contains (15/30) minutes reading time. We encourage you to use this time to carefully review the exam and plan your approach and time management plan, before you start. There are no reading time announcements, so you may commence the exam when you are ready.
Plan and track your time carefully to ensure you submit your exam on time as there are no end of exam warning announcements. (For Quizzes there is a timer and for Cadmus assignments, the subject coordinator can choose to have a timer).
Subject coordinator availability:
Choose the option that best suits your exam
Your subject coordinator will be available online for the first 45 minutes to answer any content related questions and issues via the exam support chat tool. This chat tool is to be used to ask questions directly to me if you have any confusion about the exam content.
For questions after this time please contact Stop1:
- Inside Australia: 13 6352 (once you call, select option 1 in the first menu for current students and then select option 1 again in the second menu for exam enquiries)
- Outside Australia: +61 3 9035 5511 (once you call, select option 1 in the first menu for current students and then select option 1 again in the second menu for exam enquiries)
Subject coordinators – please note : If you choose not to use exam support tool, you must make it clear to your students in an LMS Announcement how you can be contacted for the first 45 minutes of the exam for content related exam queries.
For Zoom supervised exams and ID verified exams a Zoom supervisor will be in the Zoom room. Please ask any content related exam questions to this person via a private Zoom chat. The Zoom supervisor will then contact your subject coordinator for a response.
Add submission guidelines (e.g. this is a timed online exam. Once you start, a timer will commence. You may complete the exam earlier, but it will be automatically submitted for grading. (Details on submission steps for your relevant exam type.)
Post-exam submission window:
- There is a 30-minute submission window built into the end of every LMS Assignment exam, to assist students who may experience minor technical issues. It is intended to reduce instances of exam re-sits being necessary due to technical issues.
- No late submission window applies for an LMS quiz. If your LMS Quiz has a file upload requirement, the time required for this will need to be built into the duration of the quiz itself. Every LMS assignment exam submitted during the 30-minute submission window after the official exam end time will be marked as late by the LMS but will not be penalised.
- It is expected that during the submission window you will scan (if needed) and upload papers to the system, so your submission won’t be considered late.
Exam support resources:
- Technical support on the day
- More about completing an LMS Quiz/LMS Assignment/Gradescope Assignment/Cadmus Assignment as an exam.
- Online exams - read more about general exam information including well-being during the exam period, special consideration, and alternative exam arrangements.
- Academic Skills have created exam preparation resources to support students with exams, including tips on online exams and open-book exams.
If you experience any issues during this online exam, please call Stop1 on: