Evaluating Students Online

Update: April 1, 9:15 a.m. - Please see additional information in the Assessment of Remote Learning Exceptional Circumstances for Winter 2020 section.


In eClass, the Quiz tool can be used as a course exam. 

Pedagogical Recommendations:

  • Quizzes can consist of automatically graded questions or essay questions (which require instructor grading). We recommend the use of both types of questions on an exam. 
  • Give students explicit instructions on exams as they may not be able to ask any questions during the exam (particularly if proctoring tool or browser security is used). 

Preventing Academic Misconduct:

One of the biggest concerns many instructors have when using online exams is that students may be able to easily cheat. While no type of exam is completely misconduct proof, there are ways to design online exams to minimize these opportunities. Some examples include:

  • adding an honesty check to your exam.
  • limiting access to quizzes by adding a password and giving specific time windows for completion. 
  • consider giving open-book, take home exams. 
    • Unlike some closed-book exams, open-book, take-home exams typically do not use memorize or recall type questions (since students have these answers in front of them) but, instead, tend to rely on questions that ask students to apply their knowledge or synthesize what they have learned to answer complex questions.
    • This document from Ryerson University provides some excellent advice and considerations when moving to an open-book, take-home exam.  
    • If you would like assistance (or advice) regarding converting your closed-book exams to open-book exams, please contact ctl@ualberta.ca to book a consultation (which may occur remotely). 

Instructions on how to execute many of the non-linked options above can be found on ISTs help pages (Knowledgebase).


In eClass, instructors can add Assignment spaces to which students can submit any written assignments for grading. We suggest having students submit work as Word or PDF documents since these are easiest to grade in eClass

Pedagogical Recommendations: 

  • If your assignments require students to (or if it is easier to) handwrite their responses, they can either (1) write their response and scan a copy for uploading to eClass, or (2) use a writing application if they have access to a touchscreen or tablet. 
    • For these written assignments, eClass has “Crowdmark” available. This software allows students to submit homework by either scanning or taking photos of their work. 
    • If students choose to scan their work, encourage them to ensure their writing is dark enough that it can be read. Very light writing becomes even more difficult to read when scanned.
    • If they use a touchscreen or tablet, 
      • there are free note-taking apps of which they can take advantage. One example (that is not officially endorsed by the U of A) is Notebook by Zoho (available for iOS or Android). 
      • encourage students to use a stylus and work slowly to produce readable work. 
  • eClass offers a rubric tool within their grading that makes grading with simple rubrics quite efficient. Unfortunately, using this tool can be problematic for those instructors who use ranges on their rubric or have multiple statements within each block. If this is your scenario, consider having students embed this rubric into their assignment (e.g. as the final page). This way, graders can comment right onto the rubric. 
  • You can have students submit assignments in groups or individuals. See this Knowledge Base page for more information on group submissions. 

Student Presentations

Pedagogical Recommendations: 

    • If students are sharing their presentations asynchronously
      • Ask students to record themselves at their screen, using a web camera, the built-in microphone on their computer, and screen sharing software combined to capture both their faces/persons as well as the slides on the screen. 
        • Screencast-o-matic (free) or Loom (free if using your @ualberta.ca account) can be used for audio/video recording in this capacity, as can Quicktime (on Mac only). 
        • Voiceover narration in slidedeck creation software can also be used via Keynote (Mac), PowerPoint (Mac or PC), or Quicktime (Mac).
        • Students can save their final recording file and upload it to (1) eClass via Assignments or Forums or (2) Google Drive.
          • In eClass, If students submit the recording via Assignments, the file will only be visible to the instructor. If students submit the recording via Forum, the file will be visible to the full class community. 
  • If students submit the recording via Google Drive, you can either have students submit to a shared folder you have created OR submit a link to their video through eClass. 
  • If students are submitting to make sure the appropriate share settings have been enabled for students to upload their own files to a folder that you have created
  • If students are submitting a link to either an assignment or discussion on eClass (or via email), be clear on the sharing settings you require for them to share the link with you. 
        • In both cases, advise students to upload videos that are a maximum of 10 - 15 minute as uploading large videos can take quite a long time and even crash web browsers.
      • If students do not have access to a laptop computer or webcam, they can also use the voice memo feature on a phone to record audio, save audio files, and upload the audio files to either eClass or Google Drive. Invite students to share any slides and audio/video files separately if necessary.
  • If students are sharing their presentations synchronously: 
Ask students to use Google Meet to give a live presentation for their peers. See Advice for using video chat for Synchronous Class Sessions for suggestions.