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The following webpage provides guidance and resources for instructors and professors planning how to assess students remotely. The webpage includes the following:

Proctored Exams

Traditional timed, proctored exams are possible using the tools available in Blackboard, Canvas, and Sakai. Before planning an exam with these tools, instructors should consider whether a proctored exam is the best option given the current circumstances.

Proctored remote exams have several drawbacks, including the following:

  • Remotely proctored exams may be more stressful than in-person proctored exams, which can negatively impact student performance.
  • They require substantial planning and setup on the part of the instructor and the student.
  • Proctoring systems can generate “false positive” flags that must be reviewed by an instructor after the exam.
  • Not all students have access to the appropriate technology (computer, high-speed internet and a webcam) to use proctoring services; instructors will have to make accommodations for such students. Please keep in mind that Chromebooks are not currently supported for remotely proctored exams.
  • The technical infrastructure of proctoring services has not been utilized at this scale until now. Planning must include what to do if the proctoring service experiences an outage during the exam.

For these reasons, we recommend using alternatives to timed, proctored exams wherever possible. Large courses reliant on in-person exams should consider open-book exams or frequent low-stakes assessments as alternative assessment strategies that are relatively easy to grade.

Alternatives to Proctored Exams

Your learning goals are an excellent place to start when considering alternative assessments. What do you hope students will be able to do by the end of your course, and in what ways can they demonstrate what they know?

The following options are drawn from this presentation about alternatives to proctored exams:

Quizzes offer a low-stakes opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery of material and give you ongoing information about student understanding. Frequent quizzing has also been shown to reinforce student understanding. Learning management systems can randomize questions in quizzes, making cheating more difficult.


Writing quiz questions both builds and demonstrates students’ understanding of the material. This assignment can be structured as a collaborative group activity.


Many disciplines already have a tradition of take-home exams, typically involving more conceptual or applied questions that students cannot quickly look up in a textbook.


Students can create audiovisual presentations using a variety of media, such as PowerPoint, Prezi, and other tools.


This project gives students choice in selecting works while assessing their higher-order abilities to evaluate sources, compare multiple perspectives, and provide rationales for their choices.


Students create a one-page fact sheet on a topic. Students must select relevant facts and explain them clearly and concisely.


These allow for personal reflection on learning and peer-to-peer instruction, both of which reinforce and deepen understanding. Students do need instruction in the task of providing constructive feedback. Targeted rubrics laying out expectations for student work are very helpful.


A student-selected portfolio of work from the semester. Students compile their best or representative work from the semester, writing a critical introduction to the portfolio and a brief introduction to each piece.


Creative assignments work best when they have some “real-world” relevance and offer students some choice in delivery format.


Group projects require students to demonstrate mastery of subject matter and develop their ability to communicate and work collaboratively. It is crucial to make your assessment criteria and grading scheme clear, and to ensure that there are clear, explicit expectations for each team member.


STEM and other quantitative courses face a particular challenge in creating effective online exams. Review this special advice for open-book assessment in quantitative courses.


Getting Help

Are you looking for assistance with online proctoring tools or other instructional technologies? View Rutgers resources for assistance with instructional technologies.

Online Proctoring and Assessment Tools

When using an online proctoring tool, students will be required to have access to a computer, high-speed internet, and a webcam with a microphone. Students should follow the University guidance concerning web conferencing. Prior to recording, students should notify anyone that may appear in the recording (including any residents where the recording is taking place) that the student is recording a video, in order to ensure that any recordings do not violate others’ privacy.

The following tools are available for these learning management systems:

  • Proctortrack is remote proctoring software that uses webcams to track student activity during test-taking and flag any suspicious activity for instructor attention. Using Proctortrack in Canvas.
  • ProctorU is remote proctoring software that uses live proctors to monitor students during an online exam. ProctorU Account Registration.
  • Quizzes: The quiz tool within Canvas is used to create and administer online quizzes and surveys. Quizzes can also be used to conduct and moderate exams and assessments, both graded and ungraded. Canvas Guide on Quizzing.
  • Respondus 4.0: A powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be published directly to Canvas and Blackboard. Respondus Documentation.

  • Proctortrack is remote proctoring software that uses webcams to track student activity during test-taking and flag any suspicious activity for instructor attention. Using Proctortrack in Sakai.
  • ProctorU is remote proctoring software that uses live proctors to monitor students during an online exam. ProctorU Account Registration.
  • The Tests & Quizzes tool within Sakai allows instructors to create online assessments (i.e., tests, exams, quizzes, and surveys) for delivery via a web interface to students or other groups. Sakai Documentation on Tests & Quizzes.

  • Respondus Monitor uses a student’s webcam and video analytics to increase academic integrity during online exams. Respondus Resources.
  • Respondus 4.0 is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be published directly to Canvas and Blackboard. Respondus Resources.
  • Blackboard Tests provides online testing with numerous question types and options to assess student knowledge. Documentation for Blackboard Tests and Surveys.