Canvas for Assessment (Semester 2 AY2021/22)
A wide range of assessments will be administered in AY2021/22. There may be times throughout the year when online assessments will need to replace physical examinations (unless accrediting bodies require in person assessments). There are two distinct groups of assessments which will be assessed under the standard Study Regulations:
- Examinations / Tests – remote examinations, timed take home assessments (THA), in-person examinations/practicals (where required), class tests etc.
- Continuous Assessment / Coursework – essays, projects, reports, portfolios etc.
The following guidance is intended to support continuous assessment/coursework and online examinations/tests during Semester 2 AY2021/22. The advice has been designed to help you consider what mode of submission is suitable for your students to suit the current situation and to point you towards appropriate guidance for the use of Canvas, depending on the mode of assessment.
Online examinations / tests – there may be times throughout the year, depending on the latest guidance from the NI Executive and the Public Health Agency, where online examinations / tests will need to be maintained as a replacement for physical examinations (unless accrediting bodies require in person assessments). In completing the assessment of modules, online examinations should be avoided if learning outcomes have already been satisfied through continuous assessment components, or if they can be satisfied by other means. Where final exams are necessary to satisfy the learning outcomes for a module, these will be arranged by the School.
⬜ Examples of online examinations which worked well during the 2021 examination period:
- A short scheduled online exam – (of duration equal to the original module exam, with additional time added to allow for online submission e.g. X+1hr)
- An online open book assessment – (of duration up to 24 hours)
- An assignment submitted online – (with slightly longer duration of up to 7 days)
For online examinations, the period for submission will vary based on the type of assessment, the material covered and also the requirements set by the programme’s accrediting body, if applicable. However, all online examinations will include additional time to allow for download and upload of the assessment and accessibility for those needing reasonable adjustments. It is proposed that the nature of the assessment could determine the upload/technical time allowed. A 3-hour exam would follow the X+1 model and could operate on a pro rata basis according to the nature of the assessment. Details of your assessments should be outlined in module handbooks.
Remember, a 24-hour open book or take home assessment does not mean that that students should work on it for 24 hours! The time is provided to accommodate different circumstances and offer more flexibility to complete the assessment. The important thing is that you explicitly detail your expectations for each question and share this with students in your assessment instructions. Also, consider creating a tighter word limit for each question in order to ensure that you promote quality over quantity. For guidance on word count, refer to the workload equivalence table on page 21 of the QUB Assessment Handbook 2021-22 . Also the following workload equivalence guide from Ulster University is helpful!
Continuous assessment /coursework refers to the regular assessment of the learning performance related to a module and is accompanied by regular feedback. It can replace the final examination (often used as an alternative) or it can be combined with the final examination to calculate a final grade. It often provides a more accurate and complete picture of the learner’s level and has a positive impact on learning.
⬜ Examples of continuous assessments /coursework include:
- Coursework-type assignments
- Student presentations/seminars
- Final year projects
- Practical skills tests
- Multiple choice questions
- Peer assessment
Assessment should be contextual and authentic. In other words it should be relevant to the developing skills of the student and what they will be expected to do as they progress and graduate. Such assessments are also more difficult to collude on.
In addition to the advice outlined above, the following are key considerations to bear in mind, regardless of the mode of assessment in use. When considering how students should submit any pieces of assessment online in the current semester, it is recommended that the method employing the least amount of technology should be preferred over more technology reliant alternatives. In the current context, the less complex the assessment is, the better able students will be to submit without incident, and the less likely you will have any problems once it is submitted.
- Keep it Simple – From instructions to submissions, simplify the process.
- Stick with Low-Tech – Don’t over rely on complex technology. Do not expect the tech to run as if there wasn’t an ongoing global emergency.
- Devices – Students may not have the hardware required. Consider how students will access and summit their assignments. A mobile phone may be the only device they have access to.
- Accessibility – Assessment approaches must allow all students to have the opportunity to engage fully and perform on an equal basis with their peers and designing for accessibility is important when creating online assessments. Students have been advised to contact their Disability Officer, once they receive details of the assessment, if they think they may require a reasonable adjustment. The Disability Services team can be contacted at: email@example.com
Further Advice, Support and Documentation
The Examinations Office can be contacted with exam related queries at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre for Educational Development
The Centre for Educational Development (CED) continues to provide support for assessment and can be contacted at: eLearning@qub.ac.uk
Quality Assurance and Regulations
The Quality Assurance and Regulations (QAR) Team in Academic Affairs continues to provide regulatory support and can be contacted at: email@example.com
Canvas Tier1 Support
Canvas Tier 1 are available 24x7x365 via the HELP menu in Canvas for technical queries and advice on ‘how do I…’ type questions. They can also be reached outside of Canvas by email: firstname.lastname@example.org