Students might be able to suggest other ways that they can show you that they have met the course outcomes. These suggestions might take advantage of new technologies or use existing technologies in new ways. However you construct your assessments, be sure to include three clear parts: purpose (why?), task (what you want them to do) and criteria (what you will evaluate to determine whether the student passed or earned a specific letter grade). Consider this information from Inside Higher Ed.
To adjust your exam for students who have tested COVID-positive and need to isolate:
If the student is well enough to take the exam, you might offer it online at the same time as the in-person exam using Blackboard and its timing function. That way the time is limited and you don’t have the risk of exam items being communicated out because the exams are administered at the same time.
If the student is too ill to take the exam simultaneously with your in-person students, you might need to consider an alternative open book (and perhaps time limited) test where at least a few of the items demand the kind of critical thinking contextualized to the course, using questions that aren't easily searched online.
Consider giving all students an open-book, open-note exam in which you increase the difficulty to the questions so that students need to be able to recall and use information, and where time to look up information if they haven't prepared is insufficient.
Below are some possible ideas for assignments to replace a traditional exam:
- A single slide, formatted like an academic poster, that summarizes the information from the unit/module/section of the course.
- A brief video in which students explain the course concepts in each unit.
- A brief video in which students use the course concepts/learning to suggest a solution to a contemporary problem.
- A concept map showing how the course content from the week/unit/module/semester connects.
- A problem to solve that requires the use of knowledge and skills included in your course outcomes.
- An infographic presenting the most essential course concepts/learning.
Some additional ways to make cheating difficult are as follows.:
- Switch up 30% of exam questions.
- Focus on learning, not performance.
- Use random blocks in setting up exams in Blackboard.
- Rework test-bank questions by reversing them. Start with the correct answer from the multiple choices, then use the question stem to create the answer(s).
- Set the exam to show only one question at a time.
- Set a 15-minute window during which students can sign in. If students don't sign-in during that time period, have them email you to explain why. This technique provides you an opportunity to provide an equivalent, but different exam.
- Limit exam length time so that students will not be able to look up outside sources to find answers.
- Design questions to encourage persistence and resilience.