Distance Learning Exams

Overview of distance learning exams processes and tools.

  • General guideline from campus:
    • For high-stake exams (exams with heavy weight): use Canvas quizzes, Atomic Assessments
    • For low-stake assignments: papers, presentations, group projects, case studies.
  • Quizzes in Canvas can have a time limit, and can be taken within a limited time interval. For example, you may open a quiz for 48 hours. When a student starts taking the quiz (within these 48 hours), the student would have to finish the quiz within the time limit that you set, say 60 minutes. Restricting time is one way to avoid cheating, because it might take too much time to find the answer by cheating.
  • You could send an assignment / exam on Canvas and make it due 1.5 hours later, say, even if it’s not a quiz. The students could upload their exam solution to Canvas as a file e.g. from an R markdown report, or as a picture of their handwritten paper (taken with their phone, say). Alternatively, you might ask them to write their exam on a google doc (1 per student) that you have access to from your wisc.edu google drive (not integrated in Canvas though). The issue, in this case, is that students who are back in their home country might have to wake up in the middle of the night to take the exam. Students caring for someone sick at home, or for a child, might have trouble as well.
  • You can cut your exam in 2 parts and combine the 2 options above: one part via a Canvas quiz for short questions, and another part as a paper to upload in response to a more open-ended exam problem.
  • Online tools to avoid cheating
    • We don’t have a good suite of tools yet. A committee is working on this: https://teachlearn.provost.wisc.edu/digitally-enhanced-testing/
    • What we do have is “turnitin” to check for plagiarism: between student exams themselves (like if they turn in R code), and between what students turn in and what’s out there on the web. This tool is integrated in Canvas.
    • Ask students to sign a statement of integrity. Below is an example.
      • By signing below, I hereby state that I will not communicate any information about this exam, in written, oral, electronic or any other form, to ANYONE during the duration of the exam, [fill in date and start/end time].
      • Said information includes the content, concepts, or possible solutions of the exam. I understand that violation of this statement may result in actions described in the academic misconduct policy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specifically, UWS Chapter 14 (https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/uws/14), which may result in a lower grade on the exam, a lower grade in the class, placement on academic probation, or expulsion from the university.
      • Print Name:
      • Signed:
      • Asking for a signed statement might be hardship on students who don’t have a printer at home.
      • It might be possible to have students sign this by the way of creating an ungraded quiz on canvas, have students answer “yes” to a question at the end, and change the first sentence of the statement to read “By answering ‘yes’ below…”