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Exam Handling on Moodle


Exams scheduling and proctoring is not easy once we have students taking the course from all corners of the world. Here are various options:

  1. Assignment Activity
    • You can run the exam as an Assignment in Moodle (through the Add an Activity or Resource link on the Moodle course section where you want to place the exam)
    • If you are lucky and manage to find a time/date that all students are available, then schedule the assignment to be visible to students at the time when the exam is to start, and set the due date to the finish time of the exam.
      • 2 hours is a time window many of us find appropriate to allow for technical difficulties but not give much room for cheating
      • Some students will invariably have trouble uploading. The system allows them to upload late (the submission time will be recorded).
      • Students can submit their answers via email if they are having a tough time uploading.
    • We need to offer flexibility given the circumstances. Having high expectations, but placing high trust on students may be the best option we have.
      • One alternative is to make the exam available for a longer period (say 48hrs) but tell students that once downloaded they need to submit within the allowed exam time (say 2hrs)
      • Moodle keeps track of the times each student first accesses the exam and submits it, so you can ensure they complied.  To get the access/submission time information for each student, click on the Course Management icon on the top (looks like gears) and then under Reports click on Logs.  Filter it for the particular activity, e.g. the name of the exam, and click Get these logs. You get both the access and submission times separately, and can then cross check the length of time they had access to the exam. 
    • It is good practice to ask students to sign on their exam that they have followed the Academic Honesty guidelines of the University. You could add the following to the top of your test:

Academic Integrity Statement

I, (student name), hereby declare that the work submitted below represents my individual effort. I have neither given nor received any help during this exam and have not consulted any online resources.


Example of student guidelines given on the exam that have worked well in the past (we thank Matt Lackner for these):

Timing and Submission

  • The exam will be uploaded to Moodle and made available at 8 am on Thursday, May 2nd.
  • Once you click on the exam to download, your clock has started, and you have 5 hours to finish.
  • To submit the exam, scan it or take pictures, and upload the images to Moodle. Then put a paper copy in the envelope outside my office.
  • You can complete the exam in any 5 hour window you like, before midnight on May 3rd, i.e. all submissions must occur before midnight on May 3rd.
  • Don't accidentally download the file!

Other notes and guidelines

  • No discussion of the problems during the exam is permitted, nor is discussion with students who have not yet taken the exam.
  • You may use the book, notes, homeworks, and a calculator, but no use of a computer is permitted.
  • Please sign the exam somewhere stating that you have followed the required academic honesty guidelines.


  1. Quiz Activity
    • The quiz activity allows you to have the quiz open for a flexible time window (say 48 hrs) but then require the student to submit within the time you allow for the quiz (say 2 hrs) after they access it.
    • Create a Quiz in Moodle (through the Add an Activity or Resource link)
    • An overview of creating and using quizzes on Moodle can be found here
    • Information about creating on-line quizzes in Moodle can be found here
    • Information on adding questions to an on-line quiz can be found here
    • You can type the questions directly or add each question of the quiz as a picture (for some reason it does not allow for attaching a file). Another option is to provide a link there to a Google drive where you have placed the exam questions.
    • If you are worried about cheating because of the flexible time schedule, you can create a pool of different questions for each quiz question and students will get a random question for each quiz question.
    • Students can provide the answers to the quiz as a file attachment (you can select the option for file attachment within Response Options)
    • You can also have multiple choice questions there that can be graded automatically.
    • The Navigation option can be set to be either sequential so students will need to answer the different quiz questions in the order you placed them, or free so students can answer in any order.

Proctoring options: Honorlog (a pilot for UMass is going on now, requires a per-student license per exam) will limit students to one browser window and tracks what else is being accessed on the Internet during the exam.

Next: Creating and Grading Assignments »