Communicating exam details to your students

Setting clear expectations with your students about your assessment plans will help set your students up for success. This guide provides advice on what to tell students about their upcoming exam and provides you with example text to edit for your situation.

As most subjects will be delivered on-campus across our undergraduate and postgraduate programs in 2023, most students will also have on-campus in-person exams. This is a big shift for the University, and especially for students who have become accustomed to taking their exams online.

If your exam will be taken in an exam venue, it’s critical that your students understand that they are expected to be in Melbourne during the exams period. Students should not plan to return home during this time and no special arrangements will be made (except for approved offshore completers).

We strongly recommend you share with students as soon as possible whether the exam will be taken in-person in an exam venue, or an online exam taken remotely.

  • Exam location:
    • University exam venue in Melbourne
    • Online (students complete exam on a computer at their preferred location).
  • Exam weighting
  • Duration of the exam
  • The exam format:
    • On-campus: LMS quiz with lock down browser, Cadmus exam, printed exam paper.
    • Online: LMS Quiz, LMS Assignment, Gradescope Assignment, Cadmus Assignment.
  • The exam type:
    • On-campus written exam
    • On-campus digital exam
    • Online unsupervised open-book exam.
  • Clear expectations regarding academic integrity and how it applies to your type of exam
  • What students need to prepare or know before commencing the exam task
  • 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.

On-campus exams

  • Clear expectation that students must be located in Melbourne during the exam period to take the exam in-person
  • Whether the exam will be on-campus written exams or on-campus digital exams
  • Confirm exam invigilators will be present during the exam session
  • Outline expectations in relation to authorised materials within the exam venue
  • For on-campus digital exams - provide a practice exam using a Canvas Quiz or Cadmus
  • For on-campus digital exams with a LMS Quiz – have students download Respondus lock-down browser software and self-enrol in the LMS Respondus Lockdown Browser testing community and take a practice quiz

Online unsupervised open book exams

  • If the exam is an online unsupervised open book exam, explanations of the best ways to prepare for an open-book exam and what is allowed during your exam (eg internet searching, use of resources, effective use of notes and outlining, toilet breaks).
  • Advise students to log on to the LMS 15 minutes prior to commencement of exam time.

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:

Example communication to students for an online unsupervised open book exam

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 online unsupervised open book exam. 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.

Exam format

Provide students with a brief summary of the exams format.

  • eg This exam is a LMS Quiz with X multiple choice questions
  • This exam will be completed using Gradescope/Cadmus

Exam type

eg Online unsupervised open book exam

Your task

Add details about the time of tasks they will be asked to complete during the exam. Let students know expectations, the type of questions (eg multiple choice, short answer questions, exam style assignment) and the type of content it will cover, etc.

Exam conditions

This is an online unsupervised 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.

Exam preparation

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.

Additional materials

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.

Reading time

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.

Time management

Plan and track your time carefully to ensure you submit your exam on time as there are no end of exam warning announcements. (For LMS Quizzes there may be 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.

This guide was last updated 26 Sep 2023.
Please report any errors or omissions in this guide.