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There are two main assessment tools available on Brightspace to assess student learning online: Quizzes and Assignments.

Online Exams using Quizzes ⇩ | Online Exams using Assignments ⇩ | Alternative Assessments ⇩ | Remotely Proctored Exams ⇩ | Setting Up a Quiz for Students using Respondus or Zoom ⇩


Online Exams using Quizzes

You can create online exams using quizzes on Brightspace to evaluate student learning frequently (e.g. using short quizzes), or for MidTerm and Final exams. A variety of question types exist, Multiple Choice, Multi-Select, True or False, Written Response, Short Answer, Fill in the Blanks, Arithmetic, etc.

Designing quiz questions

Spend time designing your quiz questions carefully, by making sure that the questions are aligned with the learning objectives, and achievable in a timely manner.

You can use different types of questions, the most commonly used are Multiple-Choice, Multiple-Select and Short Answer, as they are automatically graded. These questions can be referred as “well-structured problems” (Cormier, 2021); they come with a clearly defined question, clear inputs and well-defined answers (e.g. Multiple-Choice, Multi-Select), and are automatically graded or come with a clear rubric. Other types of questions such as Written response could be considered, they require more time to answer, and the student answers will defer from one student to another. They are referred as “ill-structured problems”; they are questions that may be difficult to formulate, or that have different answers possible, and answers deferring from one student to another. They will need to be manually graded, but they can help deal with exam cheating. They can be associated to ‘real-life problems’.

Note: If you are planning having an equal distribution of multiple-choice and written answer questions in your online exam, you could consider creating two separate assessments. A quiz to grade the multiple-choice or multiple-select questions, and an assignment for the written responses that require more time to complete and that students can submit as a separate file (Word or pdf).

The following quiz features can help maintain exam integrity by reducing cheating:

  • Shuffle the order of questions at the quiz level. If your quiz contains sections, you can shuffle the sections, the questions within any section, or both.
  • Question pool to randomly select questions from a question library.
  • Section where you can shuffle the questions within a section (or group of questions).
Note: consider making small changes to the questions and/or answers from term to term, to avoid cheating issues, or have recourse to question libraries with random selection of questions.

Randomizing the quiz questions

Randomizing questions in a quiz ensures that each student will receive a unique set of questions, which is a strategy that can help reduce cheating. You can shuffle all the quiz questions, but you can also use a question pool to randomly select questions from a question library (# out of), or create a section to shuffle the questions only within that section.

How to proceed with Quizzes?

There are three main steps to follow when creating a quiz on Brightspace.

In the quiz Properties, you need to:
  • Enter the quiz name
  • Add/Edit questions (where you can create questions one by one of from a question pool)
  • Define the number of questions per page (with the option of preventing students from moving backwards through pages). Leave empty if you want to display all the questions on the same page, or if questions are linked to one another.
  • Shuffle the questions at the quiz level (or within sections or using question pools)
  • Add a description (shown before quiz availability) and/or an introduction (shown at quiz commencement).
  • Add a page header and/or footer.
In the Restrictions, you can:
  • set a start and end date (to make the quiz link available to students during a defined time period).
  • a due date (it can be before or at the same time as the end date).
  • Indicate the timing with Recommended time limit or Enforced Time Limit (you can add a grace period in case of technical issues, and prevent students from making further changes).
  • Add Special Access Students (students who need an extra attempt or more time to complete an online exam). Special Access can also be used for students taking an online exam through Zoom, when the rest of the class is taking the exam through Respondus Monitor. Make sure to uncheck both Required to take this quiz and Required to view quiz feedback and results.
In the Assessment tab, you will need to:
  • Add grade item to create a column in the Grades tool, and allow quiz results to be automatically linked to the Grades tool.
  • You can also decide to allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion so that students can see their score as soon as their submit their quiz), or export grades automatically upon completion (to send auto-graded attempt scores directly to the grade book). If your quiz is entirely composed of automatically graded questions such as multiple-choice, multiple-answer questions, True-False, Fill-in-the-blank).

Online Exams using Assignments

You can create online exams using the assignment on Brightspace. Students can submit their exam individually or in groups as a file (different formats are supported, pdf, Word, Excel, PNG, etc.) or as a text (they will type their answer directly on Brightspace using a text editor).

How to proceed with Assignment?

In the assignment Properties, you need to:
  • Enter a name
  • Score out of (click on “Score out of” and enter a score (in points).
  • An additional option appears, “In Grades” to add a grade item in Grades. Click on “In Grades”, and select the option Choose from Grades in the drop-down menu. Check the option Create and link to a new grade item if no grade item exists for this assignment. If a grade item already exists, check the option “Link to an existing grade item” and select the grade item in a drop-down menu.
  • Add instructions (e.g. type of file accepted, number of files to submit. You can reuse the info from your syllabus).
  • You can attach documents (e.g. a case study).
  • Indicate the due date (it can be before or at the same time as the end date).
On the right column, click on Availability Dates and Conditions. You can:
  • Define a start and end date (to make the assignment available to students at a specific time).
  • Click on Manage Special Access to add special access students who need extra time.
In the Submission and Completion tab, you can define:
  • The Assignment type (Individual Assignment or Group Assignment).
  • The Submission Type (File submission, Text submission, On paper submission or Observed in person). The last option allows you to use an assignment to evaluation participation in the course, there is no assignment required, but you can use a rubric to evaluate student participation.
  • Files Allowed Per Submission (Unlimited or One File).
  • Submissions (All submissions are kept, Only one submission allowed, Only the most recent submission is kept).
In the Evaluation and Feedback tab, you can add a rubric to assess assignments and make annotation tools available for assessment.

Alternative Assessments 

This section explores assessment strategies that can be converted in an online environment using different tools. It can also be used to help you rethink your current online assessment strategy that may not fully satisfy your objectives or expectations. Key considerations and useful tips are provided.

Note: When choosing an exam alternative, it is important to think about alignment and make sure that the assessment strategy aligns with the learning outcomes. In some cases, you may need to revise your learning outcomes.

Students are asked to submit an essay response. The exam is submitted individually or in group on paper.

Create an Assignment on Brightspace

Students can submit an assignment online (various formats of submissions exist).

  • Student submissions can be evaluated online, or downloaded as a zip file and uploaded back to Brightspace.
  • Grades and comments can be shared through the Class Progress tab.

Students are individually asked to recall, summarize, connect information, solve problems (e.g. mathematical equations).

Create a Quiz on Brightspace

Questions created individually, one by one or using question banks (for randomization of questions)

  • Auto-graded question types (Multiple-Choice, Multiple-Select, Short Answer, Numerical answer, etc.).
  • Manually-graded questions (Written Response, File upload).

Strategies to Maintain Quiz Integrity

Quiz design
Spend time designing your quiz carefully, by making sure that the questions are aligned with the learning objectives, and achievable in a timely manner. You can use different types of questions, but also use features that can help maintain exam integrity by reducing cheating.

  • Shuffle the order of questions at the quiz level. If your quiz contains sections, you can shuffle the sections, the questions within any section, or both.
  • Question pool to randomly select questions from a question library.
  • Section where you can shuffle the questions within a section (or group of questions).

Proctor an online exam (Quiz)
Respondus Monitor can be used to monitor students while taking a Quiz exam on Brightspace. Students are prevented from accessing other applications, websites, or browser tabs (exceptions can be made to allow students to access specific websites to replicate an open-book exam).

Example: An Equation-based exam can be conducted within Brightspace (using Numerical answers) and an online proctoring software (e.g. Respondus Monitor) to maintain Academic Integrity. Students complete their exam on a scrap paper and enter the numerical answers on Brightspace. Once they complete the quiz, they show the scrap paper they wrote at the end of the exam, and upload a photo of the scrap paper that they submit as an Assignment on Brightspace.

Students present in front of the class. After the presentation, the instructor and/or peers provide feedback.

During a Live Class

On MS Teams or Zoom, students can do their presentation during a live class. They will need to be made presenters on MS Teams to be able to share their screen. On Zoom, you can allow all participants to share screen (by clicking on the arrow next to the Share Screen option in the meeting controls) or make them Co-hosts.

Recording Presentations

Students can record their presentation using a recording tool (e.g. MS Teams/MS Stream) and upload it into Brightspace as an assignment.

Students are asked to solve a problem. Depending on the objectives, it may require a scientific demonstration, an economic model, etc.

Brightspace Assignment (individual or in group)

Students are exposed to the problem online where they have to read a document or watch a video (the content can be shared using Modules).

  • Students are then asked to provide their findings and submit them as an assignment.
  • Submission can be done individually or as a group.
  • Grading can be done online.

Note: This section is adapted from the “Other Assessment Strategies” developed by UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT), CC-BY-4.0, and was further modified to fit the Telfer School of Management context.

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Remotely Proctored Exams 

Online proctored exams involve having students record themselves taking the exam or using a web-conferencing to let you and other invigilators watch them take the exam.

When possible, we recommend that you carefully consider using alternative assessments to promote academic integrity before choosing a remote invigilation tool. However, in situations in which you cannot modify an assessment method in the online environment to ensure academic integrity, the Respondus system can be used. 

About the Remote Proctoring Tools 

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that prevents students from accessing external resources during a quiz within Brightspace. It is not recording students while taking an online exam. You will need to use Respondus Monitor.

Respondus Monitor is an online automated invigilation service integrated with Brightspace that offers remote proctoring so students can take Brightspace exams from anywhere. Each student’s exam session is monitored by recording video and audio, along with screen and keyboard activity, during the exam to try to ensure exam integrity. While writing an exam, students are prevented from accessing other applications, websites, or browser tabs. The Monitor software analyzes the recording and flags potential issues for instructor review, such that instructors have the final decision on whether the activity constitutes misconduct.

Zoom can also be set up for the purpose of invigilating online exams in real-time. There are specific settings that should be enabled/disabled for the Zoom meeting if it is used for exam invigilation, as opposed to an online live session.

Procedures for Using Respondus Monitor

  1. If you elect to use Respondus, please include information in your syllabus on the use of the tools and provide instructions to students on the software to be downloaded (you will find this information in the syllabus template here: https://sites.telfer.uottawa.ca/elearning/).
  2. Clearly communicate to students what Respondus Monitor does during the exam (no one is watching them, it is a video recording), and what that means for them during and after the exam. This can help reduce the stress associated with this tool. You may also want to indicate what a “flag” on the video means, and that any flags must be reviewed by the instructor (and/or TA) before any interpretation is made of the flagged behaviour. Flags indicate a suspicious activity, and is based on the enabled Respondus settings (e.g. unusual sound, movement, etc.). It doesn’t mean cheating. You can also explain the post-exam review activity when reviewing the video recordings.
  3. Please discuss Respondus during the review of your course outline with the students. TLSS has a wide range of information available to students and to professors on Respondus. https://uottawa.saea-tlss.ca/en/transition-to-remote-teaching/proctoring-software
  4. Make sure to allocate enough time for setup and possible technical issues during an exam with Respondus Monitor. You can let students know that you may add a grace period (the number of minutes students have after the time limit has expired to submit their quiz before it is flagged as late) to the “Enforced Time Limit” setting (the amount of time students will have to complete the exam once they start), and at least 30 minutes to the “Has Start Date/Has End Date” setting (the amount of time the exam will be open until it auto-submits).
  5. Schedule a practice test close to the exam date to allow students to familiarize themselves with the process and test their system to make sure they have the appropriate equipment and network capability. Make sure to set up the practice test with the exact same settings than the exam.
  6. Give students a chance to share any technical issues or concerns that may arise prior to the exam. You can do so by creating a discussion forum and thread for questions related to the use of Respondus Monitor for your online exams (e.g. if students do not have access to a private and well-lit location to take the exam).
  7. You may want to provide an alternative for taking the exam (e.g. Zoom) for students who cannot use a remote invigilation tool for various reasons (technical, geographical location, accessibility) .
  8. Although Respondus recommends that students should use their webcam to scan their room before starting the exam, we recommend that professors do not require students to do this. They should set up their webcam such that they are within the recording frame, then write the exam as required.
  9. The teaching team (instructor and teaching assistants) who is reviewing the videos from Respondus Monitor should be able to read through the flags and identify home situations (e.g., living with young children or near a street or construction site) or health considerations (e.g., needing to get up to use the washroom often).
  10. If students experience technical issues with the tool during the exam (connection issues, no webcam, etc.,), should communicate with the Live Chat Help for Respondus Monitor (webcam proctoring).

Procedures for Using Zoom

Web-conferencing invigilation can be used with exams that cannot be invigilated effectively any other way (open-book exams, essay questions, equation-based questions). Zoom can be used to invigilate an online exam, but it is not limited to a quiz on Brightspace. It can indeed be used for various types of assessments, such as assignments that students need to submit on Brightspace, case studies, simulations or individual/group presentations. Review

Note: You are not allowed to record students during the exam. Please refer to Policy 90 – Access to Information and Protection of Privacy for more information.

  1. Set up the Zoom meeting from the Zoom portal at https://uottawa-ca.zoom.us/.
  2. When you create the Zoom session, you can add the invigilators as alternative hosts. They will receive an email with the session link and will be able to start the session in your absence.
  3. Review the Zoom settings and disable the private chat option. If not disabled, students can send a message that is visible to everyone in the breakout room.
  4. Disable the virtual background to prevent participants from hiding what is in their background while taking the exam.
  5. Disable the remote control to prevent participants from controlling each other’s computer.

Teaching Team joins meeting

  • Start the meeting and enable chat to “Host only” so that students cannot use the private chat.
  • Make the teaching team co-host.
  • If the breakout rooms are used, confirm how they will be invigilated and by whom and what options to enable (e.g. allow participants to return to main session at any time, auto-close breakout rooms after 60 minutes).

Students Join Meeting

  • Students log in to Brightspace and join the Zoom session between 15 and 20 minutes before the online exam start.
  • Students enter their first name and last name (preferably).
  • If the waiting room is enabled, Host or Co-host(s) need to admit them.
  • Host or co-host(s) check the list of participants.
  • If the Breakout Rooms are used, the Host will place the students in the breakout rooms manually and check the options (e.g. allow participants to return to main session at any time, auto-close breakout rooms after 60 minutes).
  • You may want to allocate an additional 5 minutes for students to set up their exam on Zoom (e.g. access the exam on Brightspace, share screen, etc.).
  • Have a PowerPoint slides with instructions when students join the session (e.g. Webcam ON at all time, Microphone OFF at all time, clear desk, stay in front of the computer screen at all time, use chat if questions, come back to Zoom session once Quiz completed before leaving the session).

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Setting up a Quiz for Students using Respondus Monitor or Zoom

If one group of students chooses to take the online exam through Respondus Monitor and another group through Zoom, you do not need to create two separate quizzes on Brightspace. You can add the students who want to take the quiz through Zoom as Special access students in Brightspace.

  • Once you’ve identified the Special Access students, under Security Options, you will see the option Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • Make sure to uncheck both Required to take this quiz and Required to view quiz feedback and results.

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