Student experience

Helping students prepare for online tests and exams.

Student support

Assistance during examinations

Student support instructions:

Please note, as per the usual requirements for exams, you must not directly contact your instructor about your assessment.

Student Support

  • If you need help during your online exam, please call the Contact Centre for advice.
    • The Contact Centre will be open 8:00am – 10:00pm Monday to Friday and 12pm – 10:00pm Saturday, throughout the Exam period.
    • Phone: (Auckland) 09 373 7513, (New Zealand) 0800 61 62 63, or (International) +64 9 373 7513.
  • If you are unable to call, please email and provide exam details, contact details and a description of the issue.

Please note that emailed responses may not be able to be provided before your exam submission deadline so please call in the first instance.

Inspera Exams

An Inspera announcement will be made if there are any corrections or clarifications regarding your exam.

  • Online exams have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam duration to allow you time to submit all components of your exam including uploading any documents where required.
  • It is recommended that you start uploading any documents at least 10 minutes before the deadline. It takes several minutes for your submission to upload. After you have uploaded a document, you should check that the correct document has been uploaded.
  • You cannot submit a document in Inspera after the exam due time if the upload process has not started before the deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure your assessment is successfully submitted on time. You must contact the Student Contact Centre if you run into technical difficulties submitting your exam.

Before your exam, it is highly recommended you take a demo assessment ahead of your exams to ensure your device is compatible and you are familiarised with the platform. It’s quick and easy and is the best place to start when preparing for online exams this semester.

Please read the Inspera exam FAQ’s.

Canvas Exams

If you face a technical issue with Canvas, live chat is available 24/7 with Canvas Support, via the Help button within your Canvas left-hand sidebar.

If you are in New Zealand, you can also call the Canvas Support Hotline on 0800 005 205.

If any correction to the online exam is made, you will be notified via a Canvas Announcement. Please ensure your notifications are turned on during this period.

  • Online exams have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam duration to allow you time to submit your exam document.
  • It is recommended that you start submitting your work at least 10 minutes before the deadline. It takes several minutes for your submission to upload. After submission you should check that the correct document has been uploaded.
  • Once the submission deadline has passed, normal Canvas submission is not possible. It is your responsibility to ensure your assessment is successfully submitted on time.
  • If you are unable to submit before the deadline, you need to upload your exam submission document as a comment. You will also need to contact and provide an explanation and evidence as to why your submission was late (i.e., technical difficulties).
  • Late submissions added as a comment may receive a penalty. Submission documents that have been modified in any way after the deadline (document metadata) cannot be accepted for marking.

General examination advice and support for students

Loan laptops

Taking an online exam requires a desktop or laptop computer. If you need to borrow a device for your online exam, fill out the Student Technology Support form and the University will help get you set up.

If you need help in filling out the form, visit your faculty student centre.

Bookable spaces

If you prefer a desktop computer, don’t have access to Wi-Fi, or just want to guarantee you’ll quiet place to sit your exam, we have organised bookable spaces across the University’s campuses for you. Different types of spaces are available, depending on your needs.

Remember though, an on-campus bookable space is just one option, and through Inspera you can take your exam wherever it’s best for you. Spaces throughout campus, including the libraries and commons, will be available as usual on a first come, first served basis.

Clear expectations

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.).

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.

Academic integrity

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.


Restricted Book

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.

Open Book

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.

See also

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