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Assessment in Remote Environments

Across the province, many courses rely on a final, in-person exam to assess learning. With the pivot to remote delivery, this form of assessment is no longer possible. This page provides strategies and options for remote assessment.

Unsure which option is best? Reach out to your campus teaching and learning center.

Should I move my exam online? 

There are many factors to consider when moving your final assessment from a paper-based-exam to a digital assessment.

“So… you need to move your exam online” by Giulia Forsythe is licensed CC BY 4.0


If you feel confident your students have successfully demonstrated the course learning outcomes through previous assessments, you may consider reweighting previous assessments and eliminating your final assessment.


  • Have students successfully demonstrated the course learning outcomes? 
  • Are many students at risk of failing without the opportunity to complete a final exam? 


If reweighting assignments is not an option, you may need to redesign your final exam. Redesigning allows you to create a new or revised assessment that focuses on outstanding learning outcomes. This assignment could take the form of an audio/video presentation, a cumulative written assignment, or a reflection assignment. You may also redesign your exam to be more suitable for a take-home, open-book format.  


  • Which course learning outcomes are outstanding? 
  • What format(s) are most accessible to your students? 

In some cases, a final exam may be necessary to demonstrate the completion of the course learning outcomes. Generally, this applies to large survey-courses, or to courses which prepare students for fields that require the completion of an external accreditation exam.  


  • Can some of your questions, such as those in short answer or essay format, be delivered as assignments outside of the exam environment? 
  • Is your digital exam accessible to all students? 

How can I accommodate students?

Shifting the format of your final assessment will impact each of your students. As you shift your exam format, be prepared to offer and provide individual accommodations for students. The following factors may impact your students’ ability to complete your exam in a new format.  

  • Accessibility: Your students may need new arrangements for accessibility accommodations in the new exam format. 
  • Bandwidth: Your students may not have a reliable home internet connection.  
  • Consent: Your students may not consent to having their personal data collected or recorded.  
  • Device: Your students may not have access to their own laptop or desktop computer. For example, they may use a tablet to complete their schoolwork, or have a shared computing device. 
  • Home environment: Your students may not have an environment which allows them to complete an uninterrupted assessment. For example, they may now be responsible for all-day child-care, or be sharing their workspace with a partner, roommate, or parent working from home. 

Should I consider remote proctoring?

Many high-stakes and externally accredited programs require an exam solution, for which remote proctoring may fill the gap.  

Remote proctoring is a digital solution to replicate the in-person, time-limited proctored exam environment. Remote proctoring tools provide identity verification and allow faculty to place limits on the digital environment of the test taker -- such as which applications can be used during test taking. The tools also capture video and audio of the test-taker's physical environment and flags any anomalies. Upon test completion, instructors can review all the data captured by the proctoring tool to determine the integrity of the exam.  

eCampusOntario has partnered with the provincial government to provide access to a proctoring tool on an as-needed basis. Find out more here.

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