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Teaching Essentials

FAQ: Remote Exams


Pre-pandemic research showed that students in distance courses do not engage in academic misconduct more than face-to-face courses (Harris et al. 2019; Ison 2014; Kidwell and Kent 2008; Watson and Sottile 2010). The global pivot to online learning has been accompanied by increased stress levels and greater access to virtual information sharing than ever before. There is also a need to recognize the difference between online learning and emergency remote teaching.

Maintaining academic integrity during remote learning is important, but preventing misconduct should be balanced with providing an accessible and therefor productive learning environment for students.

The resources found here have been created to support instructors in maintaining academic integrity during remote learning at Red River College, and were developed in consultation with Library Services, The Centre for Learning and Program Excellence, LEARN Support, Exam Accommodations and Legal Counsel.

How can I ensure academic integrity in remote exams?

Since it is not possible to fully recreate a classroom testing environment in remote learning, you may need to adapt your methods or expectations of testing.

  • Where possible, adapting methods of testing should be the first consideration when approaching tests and exams during remote learning. Visit RRC’s Flexible Online Delivery Model for more support, or request a teaching and learning consultation.
  • Consider operating from the assumption that online tests and exams are open book. You cannot control the access to resources that students have during remote testing. As a result, traditional methods of testing may not be successful.
  • If creating an alternate assessment is not an option for you at this point, be aware that restrictions created by learning technologies can cause significant stress for students.
  • Attempting to create a proctored environment through Webex or Teams is not recommended. Read full details here.

Further Resources

Reading: Assessing with Integrity in Digital Delivery 
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

Webinar: The Academic Integrity Brain Trust

Survey Results: Academic Integrity in the Age of Online Learning: Survey Shows Sharp Rise in Instructor Perception of Cheating