2. c) Plan for Assessment and Provision of Feedback

Building Your Remote Course

When developing your remote assessment plan, consider your essential course learning outcomes and identify different ways students can demonstrate to you what they know or can do with those outcomes.  Determining student achievement of essential outcomes can be done throughout the term and through a number of assessment methods including products, observations, and conversations.  Assessment in remote courses is not limited to the end of a course or to solely products such as online quizzes, papers, or essays.  Build assessment, feedback, and learning experiences into every learning module - this provides students with regular updates on their progress. 

Review the complete guide to Adapting Your Assessment Strategies for Remote Teaching.

Key Points

  • Check student understanding regularly - This can be done at the start of a course and throughout using brief assessments or through the active learning where learners practice activities or skills you wish them to learn (these could be for marks but do not need to be). These can be used to adapt your learning activities where there appears to be a broad lack of understanding or a consistent knowledge gap amongst learners in the course. This approach also allows you to point groups of learners having more difficulty toward additional resources or learning experiences focused on the topic of issue.
  • Provide quality, timely, and early feedback: This helps establish your presence and build trust.  Providing opportunities for peer feedback helps establish richer learning communities, engages learners in understanding assessment criteria and expectations, and reduces the time needed for instructor feedback.
  • Summative Assessments - Exams that have in-person monitoring and occur on campus at their specific times during the exam window continue to be problematic for Fall 2020 planned remote instruction. It will be necessary to adapt traditional exams to new formats. You’ll need to consider efficiency, academic integrity, accessibility/bandwidth limitations,  and evidence-informed assessment practice, including the technological tools needed to facilitate it.  See the final exam page for additional considerations.

Options for Assessments

You can replace or adapt your on-campus exam with a variety of open book options:

  • An assignment - typically due within term time (i.e. not within the final exam period).
  • Take home exam - would be provided to students with an extended window for completion (typically 2 days, up to a week).
  • The exam can be downloaded, completed offline in 3 hours (or less) and then uploaded back to the LMS (Canvas or Blackboard) to reduce bandwidth issues.
  • Open book exam completed via the LMS exam/quiz tool - once students start the exam, they have 3 hours (or less) to complete it. This option requires students to have uninterrupted internet access for the duration of the exam.


It is also possible to plan for closed book options, however, invigilation software will not be widely available given cost, effectiveness, and privacy issues. Please contact your College ICT Coordinator or school regarding invigilation. Exam options that assume students will be completing exams without consulting resources include:

  • The exam can be completed via the LMS exam/quiz tool, with use of browser lock down software.  You should make clear to students your expectation that no resources would be accessed in completion of the exam. With this option there is, however, no way to stop someone from using additional resources via additional devices like smartphones.
  • The exam can be completed via the LMS exam/quiz tool or an exam tool available through the college with computer lock down software and/or an exam invigilation service. This is available only in some colleges. Please contact your College ICT Coordinator about availability for your course.

What are some alternatives I could use to replace my exam?

How can I match my assessment type with my course outcomes?

Academic Integrity


How can I protect the integrity of my assessments in a remote environment?

Right now, many faculty are expressing concerns about how to retain academic integrity as students are learning remotely. Establishing a good tone right away will reassure students of a level playing field and fairness, and prompt your students to think about appropriate actions.

Recommended Advice Reason Why
Review and expand your description of the rules for your assessments with your students. Explicit revisiting will promote academic integrity because students will think more about their actions.
Do not send a message focused exclusively on penalties for academic misconduct. This does not deter academic misconduct, instead it contributes to feelings of mistrust.
Refer to remote teaching resources and advice from GMCTL including a personalized statement of a commitment to academic integrity. Personalizing the commitment by instructors and students makes a difference.




Assessment Tools & Activities - provides a variety of assessment options that may be suitable for measuring student learning in your remotely delivered course.

Peer Feedback - considerations and steps for integrating peer feedback in an online discussion board

How-to build your assignments and assessments:

Building Assignments Building Quizes Recording Grades



Blackboard - Question Pools & Tests and 
Building Your One-Off Quiz in BBLearn

Blackboard: Grade Centre


Canvas Assignments and Rubrics


 Canvas - SpeedGrader

Learn More

A collection of resources designed to give you more information.

Final Exams - Information for Instructors

Final Exams and Course Assessment a page dedicated to final exam and summative assessment questions.

USask Winter 2020 Student Feedback

Switching the final evaluation from an exam to an assignment was very helpful for me as it gave me a chance to adequately show my understanding of the material and also was less stressful than an at home exam would’ve been.

It was an easy transition as the course was already set up for the online section of the class. They even gave us a practice test to do and hand in to simulate the final exam so that answered any questions and took away anxiety concerning how the final would be done remotely.

The quizzes help foster learning throughout the entire semester and were particularly helpful during the pandemic.

The ability to [complete] weekly online quizzes and 3 remote assignments that were previously embedded into this course made me stay on track during the pandemic.

We had the chance to submit our projects to the class in order to receive feedback from our peers before submitting which was very beneficial in the quality of our work. The discussions were also created in a way to emphasize engagement which was very helpful in actually wanting to do them.