Online exams: Frequently asked questions for staff

Student support

How do students get help if they have a problem?
  • Students should contact Canvas Support for all Canvas related issues. Support is available 24 hours, 7 days a week via freephone or live chat Canvas related support for students.
  • Students should contact the University of Auckland Contact Centre via email or phone for all other issues arising before or during their exam including potential errors or technical difficulties.

The student support information should be added in the instructions for every exam.

The Contact Centre will be open 8am–9.45pm Monday to Friday and 8am–5.45pm Saturday, throughout the Exam period.

If you wish to raise concerns during the Online Exam, please call Auckland: 09 373 7513, New Zealand: 0800 61 62 63, or International: +64 9 373 7513. 

If you have an issue with Canvas, live chat is available 24/7 with Canvas Support, via the Help button within your Canvas left-hand side bar. If you are in New Zealand, you can also call the Canvas Support Hotline on 0800 005 205.

It is your responsibility to ensure your assessment is successfully submitted on time. Please don’t leave it to the last minute to submit your assessment.

If any corrections to the Online Exam are made you will be notified by a Canvas Announcement. Please ensure your notifications are turned on during this period.

The Contact Centre will be directing queries through to the Examinations Office as appropriate (e.g., potential content errors) and will liaise with the examiner/nominated course staff.

What support is available for offshore students?

Canvas Help, the Student Contact Centre and the Examinations Office will be available during the time offshore students are sitting exams. Examiners also need to be available in case a correction is required for an exam – the Examinations Office will call you on the number you have provided.

If students have questions about their timetable, or how to contact student support, please refer them to the Exams for students studying remotely web page.

What should a lecturer's response be if students go directly to them with any queries during the exam period?

If any student does contact their lecturer with any query, the student should be directed to contact the Contact Centre by email or call Auckland: 09 373 7513, New Zealand: 0800 61 62 63, or International: +64 9 373 7513 with their question.

Canvas Quiz and/or Assignment

Where do I find the Canvas shell course?

The shell course will be called: COURSE 101 – ONLINE EXAM.
SIS ID will be OE – COURSE 101-S2 (contact Canvas support if unable to locate it)

If my exam has different question types, can I use both the Quiz and the Assignments tool?

We recommend that you create one Quiz or Assignment. Multiple assessment types will create significant additional work for teams who are scheduling your exams for students.

If I am using the Quiz tool, can I enable the option to show each question one time only?

No, this is not recommended, as it would mean students were unable to check over their work before submission. Examiners should allow students to revisit their answers, as much as they would be able to in a normal examination setting.

Can I create a Turnitin Assignment (since I use the markup and rubric tool in Turnitin) or a Canvas Assignment with Turnitin academic integrity checking enabled (using SpeedGrader)

Yes. Due to some potential issues with the Turnitin API (the external tool), it is recommended that examiners who wish to use Turnitin for plagiarism detection, need to activate the Plagiarism Review Framework, available directly within Canvas Assignment.

We have also developed a workaround that may require some technical expertise to download text-based submissions in a Canvas Quiz so they can be submitted to Turnitin.

What do I need to include in the exam?

You need to include the Academic Honesty Declaration, the Student Support Statement (available for copy and paste in the course shell syllabus), and the Examination Instructions for students.

Process for teachers

Who should we contact if the assessments have not been migrated correctly on the morning of the exam?

The Examinations Office will import assessments and associated files one (1) day before the exam and will inform the examiner/nominated contact once this has been done. If there are any issues please email

What is the allocated time for the exam?

In Canvas, set the availability of the exam for the New Zealand on-campus exam and the CANVAS exam paper checkers will update it for offshore students as required.

How do I assign exams to offshore students?

The Examinations Office will allocate online exams to offshore students after they transfer the online exam from the shell course to the actual course.

How do I make a change to an on-campus exam paper I have already submitted?

Please email and they will provide access to re-upload the corrected paper. Please DO NOT email corrected papers – this poses a security risk. All corrected papers must be re-uploaded to Sharepoint as this is a secure site.

Please note: once an exam paper has been sent to the printer it is not possible to make corrections and a correction notice will instead be issued to students at the beginning of the exam.

How do I get access for a GSA or Examiner to Sharepoint?

Please email This issue may arise from incomplete course nominations

Out of time requests, late submissions and aegrotat

What are we doing about requests for out of time assessments?

The standard process for students to apply for an alternative time or location us being followed this semester.

What about students returning from overseas prior to examinations?

The University’s Examination Regulations state:

  • A candidate may not be examined in any course or part of a course at any time other than that set down for them in the timetable, except when, with the approval of Senate, a different time may be approved because of special circumstances.
  • All students have to sit their examinations at the University of Auckland except when, with the approval of Senate, a different examination centre may be established because of special circumstances.

In Semester Two 2020, international students in New Zealand who need to return home prior to their scheduled examination due to circumstances beyond their control may apply through the ‘higher risk’ process for permission to sit an online examination via the Semester Two COVID-19 Form. Strict criteria will apply and evidence is required.

Applications will be considered if received by ‘close of business’, Tuesday 27 October. After that time aegrotat provisions will apply.

As per the process set out for higher risk students in the Semester Two 2020 Teaching Delivery, Tests and Examination Policy Statement, faculties will be notified if students are approved to sit an online examination. Student and Academic Services Managers must then advise the Examinations Office of the list of approved students ( no later than ‘close of business’, 2 November 2020.

What will be the process for students who need to apply for an aegrotat?

The same process for aegrotat will be applied as normal examinations.

Marking and scripts

What about the must-pass components and the semester 2 grade rounding policy?

To acknowledge the additional stresses our students have been placed under by COVID-19, Semester Two marks will be rounded up to 50 (pass) if students achieve a result of 47, 48 or 49.

The rounding of final grades (47 percent or more) will be handled automatically by the final grade tool. Where there is a compulsory pass requirement for a component or components of the course, Course Directors must set the pass mark for the component/s to 47 percent in the Final Grades Tool. This must be communicated to students. See how to set up the Final Grade Submission Tool.

What will be the process for students who want to request a recount?

Same process as normal examinations.

How do we ensure that our multiple assessors’ comments and scoring are retained in an Assignment with multiple markers?

We recommend that markers are assigned specific questions or specific students to mark. Unfortunately there is a limitation with Canvas that it will retain the most recent mark or comment. There is no simple technological fix for this so we recommend ensuring that this is organised with, and between, markers to avoid such issues.

See also this FAQ on multiple markers using SpeedGrader.

Can we use a Canvas rubric even though the rubric and feedback won’t be released to students?

Yes. However, this rubric will be visible to students once the exam is published. To get around this, you may add your rubric after the students have completed the exam but before the first incidence of marking occurs.

Do we distribute marked scripts back to students?

Yes, scripts will need to be made available (unmuted) to students on Canvas once final grades are confirmed. This is the same process that is followed for making Canvas assignments visible. Contact the Canvas team for advice around this.

What is the process for suspected misconducts identified in online exams?
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