Skip to main content

Home Forums COVID-19 Remote Teaching Forum Remote Tests & Assessments

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 53 total)
  • Author
  • #668
    Paul Wolff

    Please post your questions here about assessing students and remote strategies to do so. I want to emphasize that University Leadership understands that this is a time of crisis and that we may need to lean heavily on the honor code. “Take Home” tests and tests built in the Sakai Learning Management System are perfectly appropriate in this environment. We have a variety of other approaches available ranging from the extremely simple (having students email you a filled-out exam) to the more complex (a test in Sakai with time limits). Let us help you find a strategy for how you’ll approach your assessment!

    Shveta Parekh

    I was wondering if there was a way to include a picture/figure for a question. I TA for a lab-based course and a lot of our questions are based upon Figures from various papers that we discuss. So ideally we would want to use the Tests&Quizzes tab in Sakai to upload a question with a figure/image.

    Paul Wolff

    Shveta – you can absolutely do that in Sakai’s Tests & Quizzes tool. When you’re creating a question of this type, you’ll want to go in and use the “rich text editor” feature. This will give you the option to embed video, images, etc. Feel free to schedule a consultation if you need some help!

    Shveta Parekh

    Hi Paul — thanks so much for that answer. Will I be able to upload the questions via a word document using markup text, and then go back in and add Figures/Images to the questions I want? Or would I have to make all the questions using assessment builder?
    Thanks so much!

    Paul Wolff

    You should be able to use markup text and then go back in to edit the questions to add images. That will save you a lot of time!

    Sudhanshu Handa

    For multiple choice type assessments, will sakai be able to grade the responses immediately?

    So far in the examples on sakai I have only seen multiple choice examples. Are long answer responses also an option through the sakai assessment builder?

    The reference to ‘markup text’–what does that mean for low tech people like me? Does that mean we are creating the questions in say WORD, then pasting them into the assessment builder? And I would just need to follow the formatting guidelines for multiple choice questions?


    Paul Wolff

    Hey Sudhanshu!

    These are all great questions.

    1. You can set the correct answer for multiple choice assessments and they can be graded automatically.
    2. You can use numerous types of question types and long answer responses is definitely an option!
    3. Markup-text is a way for you to create an assessment in a word document, using a specific way of formatting and it saves you a lot of time compared to using the assessment builder. When you go to create an assessment, you should see an option for either “assessment builder” or “markup text.” If you choose the latter, you’ll see some instructions on how to format your text for different question types. This way you can paste your entire assessment in at once instead of adding a question in one at a time.

    Tyler Ritter

    Tomorrow morning at 9 am EDT there will be a live Zoom session on Remote Tests & Assessments.
    The session will be facilitated by Phil Edwards, Instructional Designer, Center for Faculty Excellence; Paul Wolff, Instructional Design Manager, Office for Online Learning; and Kelly Hogan, Associate Dean, Instructional Innovation. If you have questions, ideas, or just want to explore this topic with fellow faculty, please join us.

    Zoom link:

    More Learning Community Chats are listed on the Training page of this site.

    Matt Osment

    Interested in Gradescope? Here is an informational video recording:

    We will be posting upcoming webinars for you to attend live.‚Äč

    Paul Wolff

    Thanks Matt! Also, if you’re either a current Gradescope user and would like to help other faculty navigate the platform, or a faculty member trying to learn more about using Gradescope, we’ve put together a Gradescope group in Microsoft Teams so we can all collaborate and share ideas.


    Hi Paul,

    Are you all recommending Sakai as the primary tool for assessment? Our department (health sciences) is in the UNC School of Medicine. Are there specific tools the SOM might use, and/or other recommendations to pass along? Thanks!

    Rob Lucas

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Yes, Sakai is the primary assessment tool. Some instructors are using the Sakai Test and Quizzes tool to build assessments, especially for formats that can be graded automatically, like multiple choice. That tool can also accommodate free-response and essay type questions, but since those can’t be auto-graded, some professors are choosing just to administer those types of assessments via the uploading of Word documents. There have been some trainings/chats this week about assessment, and I imagine there will be more to come:

    Are there specific issues or types of assessments that the SOM is dealing with? I can help brainstorm or schedule a consultation.

    Instructional Designer
    Carolina Office for Online Learning

    Paul Wolff

    Hi @Elizabeth Poindexter – We’re trying to point people to Sakai and Zoom when those tools are a good fit. Wherever we can simplify and make this process as consistent as possible for students, we’d really like to try. We’re also trying to make remote teaching/learning asynchronous wherever possible to be compassionate to our students’ home environment and new priorities in this crisis. We recognize though, that some disciplines, modes of instruction, or unique cases won’t fit this model. My guess is that there may be some use cases in the SoM that will work with just Sakai and Zoom and others that may need to think outside the box. If you have specific courses in mind or difficult/challenging situations that exist across courses, please let us know and we can approach each one on an individual basis. There are a ton of tools and resources we could point someone to depending on the situation and we’re happy to help, but if we can minimize the number of tools students and faculty need to learn in a short period of time, that’s ideal for everyone involved.


    I use PBL (Problem based learning or Problem based learning) for assessments. That is, students are assigned a problem and use the content from the specific topic to solve it. I usually have them submit through an LMS (Canvas?) With Project Based Learning I use a similar approach. The point is that with online learning I usually give students assignments that require application of knowledge and that it is hard to plagiarize. I would also use Turnitin. If your college-school does not have turnitin there is a feature if you use “Teams” in “Office” and ask your students to submit their assignment there it is reviewed by Turnitin.

    Troy Blackburn

    I received an email from a student indicating that she has limited internet connectivity, and a survey she was recently taking for another class took long periods of time to advance between pages. She’s concerned that she would have similar issues advancing between questions on assessments administered via Sakai such that she would effectively fail a timed assignment. I want to ensure the integrity of the assessments by making them timed to reduce the likelihood of students being ale to consult their course resources, but I don’t want to make the process more difficult or stressful for students. Are there other timed assessments methods that are not internet-based?


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 53 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.