With the exam period fast approaching, here are some final quick reminders to assist you in preparation for your final exams. Here are what we consider the most important ways to uphold academic integrity during final assessments. Below, we provide general guidance that is further detailed according to the exam format (in-person or online).

Please note that:

  1. All final exams must be held in the same mode as course delivery (e.g. in-person courses must have in-person final exams unless prior approval has been given in writing by the ADA).
  2. Remote proctoring is not permitted without advance permission of the Associate Dean Academic.
  3. Artificial Intelligence (e.g. ChatGPT): according to York’s Senate Policy on Academic Honesty, using text-, image-, code- or video-generating AI-tools to complete academic work without the instructor’s knowledge or permission is a breach of academic honesty. More specifically, using text-generating tools (such as ChatGPT) is cheating (Senate Policy, section 2.1.1) and using image-generating tools (such as DALL-E) is plagiarism (Senate Policy, section 2.1.3). 
  4. Emergency/Evacuation procedures for in-person exams are detailed on the Examination Incident Report Form

Accommodation Requests
Students with formal accommodations related to tests and exams (for example, those who require additional time to complete an exam**) must have registered with Student Accessibility Services prior to the exam period. Please remind students seeking accommodation for exam writing to register or renew with SAS and to request an alternate exam to ensure they can write the exam with the proper supports. Arranging alternate exams or accommodations is ultimately the responsibility of students.

**Ensure that Canvas settings for adding extra time for students with accommodations are correct prior to the start of the exam review instructions here.

Deferred Exams
Students who need to defer their final exam due to illness are required to notify their instructor within 24 hours of the missed exam and complete the Deferred Standing Request form found in the Academic Forms Database within 48 hours of the missed exam. Until further notice, Attending Physician Statements will not be required. Schulich’s advising team will process these requests daily and, once the exam date has passed, will notify the professor and area coordinator of which students properly submitted the Deferred Standing Request form. Area coordinators will update the advising team on when the deferred exam will take place.

For In-person Exams

    • Masks are still recommended for all students and invigilators attending in-person exams.
    • Most importantly, please communicate clearly to your students your expectations of students writing the exam. 
    • In short, explain the exam procedure before the exam starts (i.e. post instructions to Canvas now and then repeat at the beginning of the actual exam). 
      • Things like “all phones must be deposited at the front desk with the professor”, “absolutely no materials are allowed on the desk”, “all bags must be left at the front”, etc. are best communicated in writing and ahead of time.  
    • Use question formats where copying is difficult (essay style, scramble order of answers, don’t use last year’s question, for example). 
    • We recommend that all materials should be stored in a closed backpack or other bags. I recommend having students leave it all in the front if possible.
    • Have students stand up and check themselves head to toe to ensure they have no unauthorized materials on them or on the desk. 
      • Many infraction reports and later grade appeals from the affected student originate at this juncture: instructor finds material (e.g., phone, calculator, paper, etc.) on the student, student claims no clear request was made to leave this particular item somewhere, instructor reports infraction, student claims material was unrelated to exam and a big investigation ensues. 
    • Consider asking students to sign an Academic Honesty Statement before taking the exam (e.g., on the exam’s cover sheet)? This act would remind students to be mindful about the proper exam taking process. 

For In-person Exams with a Laptop
When designing a computer-based assessment, it is important to plan for technical issues that may arise. The steps below highlight some of the ways to prepare for common issues, please review the linked guide for the complete set of recommendations.  

Communicate equipment expectations with students 

    • Remind students in advance that they need to bring their devices fully charged and/or with an additional battery pack, if available. Not all exam spaces are equipped to allow every student to plug in a device at the same time. To avoid a situation in which students cannot finish the exam or lose time due to battery deficiency, please remind them before the day of the exam to ensure that their device has adequate battery life for the duration of the exam. 
    • Ask students to connect to the AirYorkPlus network with their laptop a week in advance of the exam. The AirYorkPlus network provides the most reliable internet connection on campus and establishing a connection should reduce the number of connectivity related issues.  

Create a Plan B 

    • Create a mock quiz 
    • Communicate how the students should handle technical issues 
    • Print off a paper-based version of the assessment
    • Bring a USB stick on exam day
    • Request an assessment review from the CITE office
    • Consider how you will accommodate students who cannot complete the assessment in the original writing window

Recommendations for Troubleshooting Technical Issues During an Exam 
Review the linked guide for suggestions on what to do if students experience issues with internet connectivity, device failure, and exam submissions. 

Review of Exam Settings in Canvas   
Before exam day, we recommend conducting a detailed exam review utilizing the following guide. Additionally, you can also book 1-1 consultation on assessment design and setup review with a member of the CITE office. To book a session, please reach out to askit@yorku.ca 

Important: Be sure to review Adding Extra Time in Canvas for Accommodations – Classic Quizzes  

  • Description should include all exam instructions. See the T&L Post Ensuring a Smoother Remote Exam for a visual example. You may also download and edit from the Exam Instructions Template.
  • Verify that any files added to the assignment have been published. Note that images and files uploaded to an assignment or quiz will only display to students if you have indicated the copyright status for the file and published it. Check the ‘Files’ tab to make sure all necessary files are published.
  • For Canvas ‘Assignments’, Submission Type should be set to ‘Online’ and ‘File Upload’ if students are expected to upload a file.
    • Restrict Upload File Types to ensure that student submissions are compatible with your device, the Canvas Speedgrader, and Turnitin.
    • Turnitin plagiarism review should be enabled if you are using Turnitin for plagiarism detection.
  • Available From date should be the start of the exam window.
  • Due date should be the end of the exam writing window.
  • Until date should be the end of the exam upload window. This is typically 15 minutes after the due date to allow students time to upload their exam.
  • It is important to verify that any Canvas-based accommodations have been set up correctly. Contact itmedic if you need assistance.

Quiz-Specific Settings

This section only applies to exams using the ‘Canvas Quizzes’ Learning Tools. Note that all the above ‘exam settings’ checks are also necessary when using a quiz.

  • Include a mock exam prior to the scheduled exam. The mock exam should use the same settings and question types as the scheduled assessment. The mock exam mirrors elements of the actual exam, intended to ensure that students meet (or may troubleshoot) any technical requirements for access in advance of completing the actual assessment, and to promote a smooth experience. Ex: Requiring the latest browser / tool update, disabling firewalls, etc. during this testing phase.
  • Use the ‘preview’ feature to run through the exam and verify the Canvas Quiz displays as intended. Depending on how you have set up your Quiz, verifications may include correct / incorrect answer selections, optional feedback display, and accurate points awarded on submission, as well as intended display of questions if using a question bank.
  • Review all quiz settings for accuracy and to assist with academic honesty, including:
    • time limit,
    • answer shuffling,
    • whether or not students are allowed multiple attempts,
    • whether or not students can see their answers after the exam. Please note, by default New Quizzes release quiz results to students after submission. To restrict this, enable Restrict student result view in the quiz settings.

The CITE office has also created the following videos on how to conduct an exam review in each of Canvas’ assessment tools: 

If you’d like a member of the CITE team to complete a review of your exam, please open a ticket at itmedic.schulich.yorku.ca.

Getting Technical Help During Your Exam 
The Schulich Help Desk team will be available to assist with technical issues during the exam and will have a limited supply of loaner laptops available. However, neither the immediate availability of support staff, nor the availability of loaner laptops can be guaranteed. Therefore, it is important to take the proactive measures shared in the above guide to ensure your assessment runs as smoothly as possible.  

For urgent exam support,
please call the Help Desk at 416-736-5824 

Additional Resources for Remote Exams only  
In addition to reviewing the resources above on conducting an exam review and troubleshooting technical issues, there are a few additional considerations that go into preparing for a remote exam.

  • In the event of technical issues during a remote exam, students should email you their work immediately and complete the Technical Issues Form. See more details on this process on the T&L Technical Issues Procedure page. 
  • With remote exams it’s incredibly important to provide clear exam instructions. We recommend including the following information: 
    • Contact details during exam (if/when/how students can contact you during the exam period) 
    • Exam length (the time you expect students to be working on the exam) 
    • Exam-writing window (start and end time for accessing the exam) 
    • Authorized resources allowed or needed during the exam (e.g., calculators, software, textbooks). 
  • See the T&L Post Ensuring a Smoother Remote Exam for a visual example. You may also download and edit from the Exam Instructions Template. 

Academic Infractions 
Despite your very best efforts, some of you will have to deal with academic honesty infractions. What to do in such a situation may not always be entirely clear to all. Therefore, here is a summary of the key procedural steps. The link above offers more details. There are in essence two scenarios:  

“Something is happening here, but what it is isn’t exactly clear.”
What are your options? 

  • Say something to the entire class about maintaining silence or keeping their eyes on their own paper 
  • Speak to an individual or cluster, indicating that their behaviour appears improper and that they will be watched closely
  • Move one or more students to a different location in the room (‘up front’ often works)

You (or the invigilator) “can see [it] clearly now”, cheating is (very likely) occurring:

  • Importantly, students will be allowed to complete the examination even if a breach is suspected. 
  • Much now revolves around proper recording and evidence collection!! 
  • Any unauthorized materials (e.g., crib sheets) should be taken from the student[s] immediately. 
  • The students involved should be identified and asked to remain in their seats at the end of the examination, at which time their examination materials should be collected and identified by the instructor or invigilator. Notations should be made by the instructor and/or invigilator to assist in documenting what was observed. (If the offence involves more than one student, it may be appropriate to ask one student to move to another location in the room, to complete the examination.) If copying from a neighbour was observed, you may want to note the seating arrangement as well. 
  • If the matter is identified by an invigilator, the matter should be reported to the instructor at the earliest possible time. An Exam Incident Report Form should be submitted to the instructor soon thereafter (please see tab on Exam Procedures). 
  • The instructor shall assess the situation and if persuaded that cheating has taken place, the instructor should: 
    1. Notify the students that the matter is being turned over to the Associate Dean Academic and 
    2. Submit a written report and supporting documentation (exam materials, crib sheets, indications of copied sections if that was the case) to the Associate Dean. 
  • No examination grade should be entered until the matter has been heard by the Associate Dean and a resolution of the academic dishonesty charge has been concluded. 

As always, we are so grateful for your efforts to provide a smooth experience for our students. 

If you have any questions or concerns, the team at the CITE office are at your disposal to assist wherever they can.

For academic and policy questions, please contact ada@schulich.yorku.ca. 

On that note, good luck to all in ensuring smooth examinations. 

SSB Office of Curriculum Innovation & Teaching Excellence (CITE)