Helping students prepare for online tests and exams.
Assistance during examinations
Student support instructions:
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.
General examination advice and support for students
- Communications to students have been sent to make sure they are aware of important changes to online examination information and rules at each Alert Level, and the support available.
- For online examinations the University will make devices and internet connectivity assistance available to students in need.
If students do not have access to a suitable computer, internet connection or quiet location, they are able to use one of the computer workstations or study spaces in the Kate Edger Information Commons, Tai Tonga and Epsom campuses, or one of libraries to sit their exam. See information on available study spaces.
It is important for students to know what knowledge they are expected to demonstrate in their online test/exam. Set clear expectations to help alleviate stress and anxiety and potentially decrease the likelihood of poor academic practice.
- Give plenty of warning when the assessment will be.
- Avoid introducing any new material during the assessment.
- Clearly set out your expectations for the assessment in the question instructions.
- Share the marking rubric with your students prior to them sitting the assessment.
Students are expected to complete the assessment under various conditions (environment, hardware, internet access etc.).
- Encourage students to sit the Inspera practice exam, to familiarise themselves with the platform.
- Give students a chance to review the academic honesty declaration statement prior to undertaking the assessment.
Availability times for Semester Two online examinations are based on scheduled Exam Timetable. Exams Office will adjust the correct start/end times as well as any provisions for Special Conditions, Offshore and Overloaded students when importing the online exam to the live course on behalf of teachers.
Giving students a context for their efforts in their studies and the goals they are working towards, developing a mutual high-trust relationship with students, and talking with them about the importance of academic integrity and its consequences can help prevent academic dishonesty.
We encourage teaching staff to include a statement relating to academic integrity in online assessments.
Read about Semester Two academic misconduct process for online examinations.
Concerns with students posting or sharing questions and answers on social media during online assessments
Where possible, online tests should be scheduled with a simultaneous start time to the on-campus test. Start times are recommended to be after 1pm to allow for differences with Asian time zones, where most remote students will be situated. Rolling start times may be required for remote students in other time zones. The following are some other ways to minimise and/or mitigate posting/sharing of questions and answers:
- Sharing should be actively discouraged. However, if any assessment questions have been shared, they should be easily detectable if you have designed your assessment questions by asking students to:
- Use reflective writing techniques to substantiate, support and/or personalise academic arguments.
- Use critical thinking skills to analyse ideas with reference to sources, explanations, evidence, examples and interpretations of these.
- Analyse, compare and contrast solutions to problems.
- Diagnose and/or explain the methodology used.
- You may wish to consider reminding your students of the University Code of Conduct for students, the Academic Integrity statement and potential consequences of academic misconduct/cheating.
- Turnitin will be used whenever possible. Turnitin can be used during marking to detect similarities between student work and/or answers. Consider whether using Turnitin in Canvas Assignments and Canvas Quizzes for essay type answers would be appropriate for your context and discipline.
The nature of the assessment question/task may require students to reference their sources. Consider what would be appropriate given the task, the discipline, and the level of your student cohort.
Referencing is a mechanism for students to demonstrate their critical thinking skills in being able to research, identify, and evaluate information in using appropriate scholarly resources for their assessment task. It is also an important way for students to demonstrate their understanding of academic integrity.
We recommend students are given clear instructions on the expectations for referencing in online assessments, including if referencing will be assessed and how.
It would be advisable to include clear marking guidelines for referencing in rubric(s), including assessing skills such as critical thinking and evaluation of information.
Under the Restricted Book designation, students must only refer to and cite from the resources listed and supplied, and must not refer to other resources.
Two types of citations you may wish for students to provide in their assessment:
- We suggest you require students to include in-text citations and provide instructions for them. A simple in-text citation you may wish to use is (author, year) and/or (author, year, p._) if a direct quote.
- For end-text citations (i.e., a reference list at the end of the document), you could:
- Provide students with the complete reference list.
- Ask students to complete a reference list as well. It is advisable that you provide instructions on how they could do this e.g., refer them to the referencing style guide in QuickCite.
- Not require students to include a reference list.
Under the Open Book designation, students may refer to any written/printed material, including online sources. Provide very clear guidelines to students of your expectations. We recommend you communicate to your students:
- Why they need to reference for their assessment.
- How you require students to reference (e.g., referencing style, in-text citation and end of text citations, expectations with paraphrasing and quoting, and so on).
- How referencing will be assessed (e.g., how many sources are expected, the quality of sources you expect, and so on).
If, as a lecturer, you are concerned about the possibility of students referring to inappropriate resources and/or inappropriately citing and referencing them and/or the potential for increased plagiarism, this option may be useful for open book assessments:
- Provide very clear instructions to students of your requirements, particularly to provide evidence of the reference.
- It would also make the task of marking easier if students are given clear instructions on what referencing style you would like them to follow. Refer to QuickCite for guides to referencing.
Practice assessments for students
For many examiners, the major change they will make will be in the ways questions are asked in online assessments vs previous on-campus tests. It may be worth discussing this with your students:
- You could put up an announcement explaining that due to the changes in the type of assessment, you will be asking more questions that require the application of information (for example) as compared to previous years that asked for more content recall.
- You may wish to give your students some examples of the ways that you will ask questions in the assessment.
- An Inspera practice exam has been created for students to familiarise themselves with the platform. However, it is worth reiterating that the practice exam does not account for any of their course grades and is completely voluntary.
Students with special conditions
The Examinations Office will identify students with disability-related support needs that are not met by additional time alone (e.g., a reader or writer).* The Examinations Office will then work with course coordinators to find alternative solutions, including alternative times or locations, or different but equivalent assessment options in accordance with the University’s Inclusive Learning and Teaching of Students with Impairments Guidelines.
* Where a student is approved of a reader, but one is not available or appropriate, teaching staff should record an audio file of the question by following these guidelines for recording audio media. Setting the test duration to allow extra time for individual students is outlined on the Canvas Quiz availability settings and Assignment availability settings.
- At level 1 and 2 students with temporary or permanent disabilities or conditions that affect their ability to sit examinations under the prescribed onsite conditions may apply for special conditions through the Examinations Services Office.
- At Level 3 and 4 students with impairments or special requirements should be advised to contact the Examinations Services Office to discuss additional options for assistance in an online examination.
Advice for staff on assistance for students with approved special conditions sitting online examinations may be found on the Canvas Resources website.
See also guidelines for higher-risk students.