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Meaningful assessment and constructive feedback help learners. Faculty can use these tools and resources to develop assessments that support learning and document student learning outcome mastery in their courses.
Please visit our Assessment page for information and resources on creating effective assessments that focus on learning.
- Multiple, scaffolded low-stakes assessments can demonstrate student achievement equally as well as a few high-stakes assessments. Low-stakes assessments are proven to be less stressful and they allow students to demonstrate improvement over time
- Provide students with a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning
- Prepare your students for assessments. Give them advance notice of how and when they will be assessed, clear and specific instructions, examples, and clear information (e.g., a rubric) of how you will grade it
- Give students the opportunity to practice a skill and get feedback before it counts towards their grade
- Keep the instructions and test/assignment format simple, so that students can focus
on the content or skills they need to demonstrate. The hard part should be what they’re
learning and showing, not figuring out how do to complete the assessment
If you are converting a course to online, we recommend reconsidering the assessments
to decide what’s essential for measuring learning outcomes and what could or should
be modified for the new environment. Because many UAA students have inconsistent access
to the tools or connectivity for remote proctoring, we encourage you to consider creating
open-book exams or offering a choice of assessments, including a low-tech option.
To help rethink your assessments, review the Alternate Assessment Resource Guide and Alternate Assessment recorded webinar (video, 38:10) to explore alternate ways to assess students.
Tell students what academic integrity looks like in your discipline and set clear expectations about when and how they should collaborate, what resources they should use, and when they should complete work independently.
Consider assigning the relevant sections of the UAA Academic Integrity Tutorial. To access the tutorial, log in to Blackboard, go to UAA Academic Integrity Tutorial, then click Enroll. You can also direct students to the UAA/APU Consortium Library academic integrity guide.
If you are interested in creating non-proctored assessments, focus on methods that encourage academic integrity. When designing open-book exams and quizzes, try these approaches:
- Ask questions that apply knowledge (explain, describe, analyze, justify, evaluate, compare…) rather than testing recall. Encourage students to cite course resources. You could also ask scenario-based questions and require short and concrete answers
- Ask students to create and upload a set of their notes for the exam
- Focus on process and problem-solving. When students narrate their thought process or show their work, it gives instructors the opportunity to provide targeted feedback and makes it harder to copy-and-paste an answer. Students can write out their explanation or record audio/video of them working through a question
- Ask students to complete an honor pledge if it’s closed-book
- Allow multiple attempts. These help students learn content, reduce stress levels,
and accommodate for internet connectivity issues
Promote academic integrity. Discuss how and why you have changed the assessment. Make sure your students know what is expected of them. Consider including a statement or question on the UAA Academic Integrity Policy in your exam.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
For assistance providing testing-related accommodations for students with disabilities, please reach out to the Disability Support Services (DSS) office. Due to the technical requirements for accessibility software, it may not always be possible for students with disabilities to use remote proctoring or the Testing Center.
Please do not provide accommodations (e.g., extended time) for students with disabilities without official notice from DSS. See the Blackboard Tests tab for information about deploying DSS-authorized accommodations in that tool.
Blackboard Tests, Surveys and Pools provide a way for instructors to gauge progress, deliver helpful feedback, assess and accommodate learning. Blackboard offers extensive help resources on its Instructor Help page: Tests, Surveys & Pools.
Watch our Blackboard Testing playlist (3 videos, 14:10 total) to get started:
- Importing Test Questions
Importing Existing Test Questions
- If you have downloaded a ZIP folder from a textbook publisher, use the software provided by the publisher to import the questions into Blackboard pools, then use the "reuse question" option when creating your Blackboard test (e.g., Pearson TestGen example)
- If you have test questions in a document, you have three choices:
- Follow this tutorial, Converting Paper Tests to Blackboard (video, 9:21), to use a test generator to upload questions to Blackboard
- Manually create questions by copying and pasting them into the Blackboard test one by one. Be sure to remove any formatting clues by using the remove formatting tool (looks like an eraser) in the text editing box
- Follow these instructions from Blackboard Help to write questions offline in a text file and upload it into tests, surveys, and
- Accommodating Individual Students
Accommodating Individual Students
- Blackboard makes it easy to accommodate individual students by extending limits for timed assessments, changing due dates, or allowing retakes for students with connectivity issues. To do this, add students or a group in the test availability exceptions
- If you have questions about how best to accommodate students, contact the Disability Support Services staff at 907-786-4530 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The eLearning office can support you and your course through proctored exams. If you'd like to utilize
proctored exams for your course, please fill out the Faculty Information Form:
This form starts the process to arrange proctored exams for students, no matter how or where they will be taking the exam. Additional exam materials (paper exams, handouts, etc.) can be forwarded to uaa_eLearning@alaska.edu.
If you want to use proctored exams in your course (all UAA campuses), RPNow is the default service. If you are unfamiliar with this service, the eLearning office can help support you and answer any questions you may have.
If an Anchorage-area student does not have an RPNow-capable setup, please direct them to the Consortium Library, where they can check out a laptop and use one of the quiet areas/study rooms for testing. Please see the Library Services: COVID-19 page for more information.
The Testing Center will be available for students who are unable to use RPNow, but please go through the eLearning Faculty Information Form to coordinate the exam, rather than contacting the Testing Center directly. Students taking online courses who are unable to use virtual proctoring can schedule an appointment with the UAA Testing Center to take their exam in a face to face setting.
- On Campus Courses
On Campus Courses
If you are teaching a course that meets on campus, you are expected to proctor any exams during that course meeting time and its designated Final Examination period. If you are not using the final exam time for an exam, please plan to use that time for a regular class meeting, in order to meet credit-hour requirements. For COVID-19-related questions, please refer to the Academic Continuity page.
- Remote Proctor Now (RPNow)
Remote Proctor Now (RPNow)
If you'd like to use proctored exams in your course, please fill out the Faculty Information Form.
Remote Proctor Now (RPNow) by Software Secure is an online remote proctoring service. RPNow offers students a way to take their online, proctored exams at home and on their own time. With internet access, a webcam, and a microphone, students can complete their proctored exams without having to travel to, schedule, or pay another physical test center. UAA eLearning has secured a contract with RPNow so there will be no additional cost to students in a UAA eLearning/online course.
Learn more: RPNow Faculty Policies & Guidelines.
- Technical Support 24/7/365 and searchable PSI Knowledge Base
- Live chat service
- Exams reviewed by certified proctors
- Identity Verification
- On-demand proctoring
- LMS integration
Students must have the following equipment for each exam:
- Secluded Room/Area
- System Requirements: Please note that smartphones, iPad, and Chromebooks are not supported
- Reliable Internet Connection (300kb/s upload speed or greater)
- Webcam & Microphone
- Photo ID
How Do I Set Up RPNow?
Once you complete the Faculty Information Form, we will contact you to familiarize you with the service. With this initial consultation, we can show you RPNow, answer questions, and modify specifics to your course. After meeting with you, we will stay in contact with you and your students throughout the semester. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact eLearning or schedule a help session.
UAA Testing Center
The UAA Testing Center is available for online students who are unable to take their proctored exams virtually. All testing is by appointment only and can be made by using the Register Blast scheduler. There is no additional cost to students for use of this service.
Students with questions about proctored tests should contact the UAA Testing Center at (907) 786-4525 or by email at email@example.com.
Faculty Development & Instructional Support
Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, Academic Innovations & eLearning, and Center for Community Engaged Learning
Library 213 • (907) 786-4496 • firstname.lastname@example.org • Mon – Fri, 8a – 5p