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Online Assessment & Testing Recommendations

Explore our site for resources and guidance on conducting exams and alternative assessments.  These strategies, combined with the thorough curriculum design process, can be used to help measure the student learning experience.

While designing your online course, consider the following recommendations: 

  • Articulate your student learning objectives - The first step is to identify your student learning objectives, and ensure they align with your course activities and assessments. 
  • More quizzes, fewer exams - This encourages students to keep up on their classwork, and it reduces the incentive to cheat because the value of each quiz is lower than one comprehensive test. Consider dropping a lowest quiz grade and/or allowing multiple attempts. 
  • Vary your assessments - Tests are not the only option. If students are evaluated with various different methods, you have the best way of ensuring that there is real learning taking place. Consider breaking up papers, lab reports, and projects into multiple parts worth fewer points.
  • Articulate what kinds of collaboration are permissible in a given assignment.
  • Manage student reference use. Require references no more than 5 years old, require specific references, require annotated bibliographies and/or prospectuses.
  • Develop unique or narrow assignment topics - These are more difficult to plagiarize. 
  • Provide opportunities for peer review and comments - Students that use content that is not their own are usually unable to effectively answer questions about their plagiarized content.
  • Academic Integrity Policy integration - Create a quiz or question - Have students answer question(s) agreeing to the policy or comprehension of policy components.  Reminding students of their responsibility can be a powerful method to deter cheating.  Be sure to include the academic integrity policy in the course information page on Blackboard, on the syllabus, and on each test. Include a detailed description of plagiarism and the plagiarism policy. Consider making a new announcement reiterating SBU’s policy .

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