An overview of assignment-based online exams

Assessment / Overview of assignment Exams

Over the 2020/21 exam period, instructors can choose to use an exam format that allow students to either submit work that is typed and edited in word-processing tool such as Word. Or handwritten and photographed or scanned. The tools used for this type of exam are the Assignment tools in Blackboard typically used for Coursework.

Turnitin Or Blackboard Tool?

If for your exam you expect students to submit a Word or PDF document you could use the Turnitin tools, particularly if;

  • You want to run the submissions through the Turnitin plagiarism detection software
  • You are very familiar with how to set up Turnitin Assignments

If for your exam you expect students to submit non-word based files (e.g. Excel, Matlab files) hand written files (Hand written, photographed and converted to PDF) or several files (mixture of files types) then the Blackboard assignment tool is a better option.


You must offer a practice test

In all cases students must be offered a practice of the test type for no marks prior to the examination being used. This will also help to iron out any bugs and technical glitches with downloading/uploading and submission processes.

Every test should be set by the unit coordinator and then tested out by an academic colleague to fault find and reduce errors. (this is a similar procedure to proof checking by a colleague).

Your practice test must ensure…

Students have familiarity of uploading and submitting to the Assignment tool – Inform students that as soon as they submit their exam file to either a Blackboard Assignment Tool or a Turnitin Submission Tool they will receive an email conformation of this submission. If students do NOT receive this file they should immediately check their submission in Blackboard (sometimes these emails go straight to JUNK folder so students should check these folders in the email client).

Students have access to any software required in the exam – Access to Matlab, Excel or any other software should be checked in the practice test

Students have access to hardware and apps needed to convert hand written docs to PDF. We recommend the Adobe Scan app which is available for android and apple. You can download this PDF to upload into your Blackboard which tells students how to download the app.

You may need to provide a moderated discussion board during the exam

Contact your department well in advance of date of your exam to find out what the specific requirements are for your particular exam.

How to’s…

Use Blackboard Assignments for handwritten exams
Use Turnitin Assignments for text-based exams
How to view the Submission Dates/Times across an entire cohort

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