Remote Assessment Methods and Practices
Last Updated: November 28, 2023
Teaching and Learning with Technology is supporting NYU Brightspace: Respondus (Main Article) and the Remote Proctoring Tool available in NYU Brightspace, by request, to support you and your students. For more information on this tool, go to the LockDown Browser and Remote Proctoring Tool section below.
|I want to give...||I can use...|
|An exam with multiple question types||The NYU Survey Service (Qualtrics) to create a test with page breaks between questions to save students' work as they go|
|A pre-test or quiz untimed||
A Google Form to ask questions asynchronously
The NYU Survey Service (Qualtrics)
Gradescope (Video) (Article)
* Exams that require text and non-text responses e.g. math, formulas, equations, drawing, charts, graphs, etc.
|A take-home/open-book exam, not proctored||The Assignments tool in NYU Brightspace presents instructions and attachments. Submissions are uploaded via the Assignments tool.|
|A large scale, high-stakes exam with proctoring||An e-Proctoring Tool: Respondus LockDown Browser, Automated Proctoring Tool, See note*|
|A secured assessment||
A LockDown Browser and Remote Proctoring Tool is available across NYU and upon request after a brief consultation with your school instructional technologists.
Consider limiting your use of remote proctoring to only those situations where it is absolutely necessary, determined during your consultation.
*Please check with your school instructional technologists to confirm which services are recommended for testing and assessment. Several NYU schools have e-proctoring tools which are used for high-stakes, monitored exams. These services are digitally monitored or overseen by a person monitoring remotely or proctored at a testing center.
LockDown Browser and the Remote Proctoring Tool are available to faculty and students through NYU Brightspace. The Remote Proctoring Tool allows faculty, course site administrators, and TAs to create recorded proctoring or NYU Zoom-based proctoring sessions for NYU Brightspace quizzes. For more information about LockDown Browser and Remote Proctoring Tool, please refer to NYU ServiceLink, or schedule a consultation with the NYU Digital Studio.
Schedule a brief consultation with your school instructional technologist to determine if your exams require the use of LockDown Browser and/or Remote Proctoring.
- Faculty should inform students about the use of LockDown Browser and Remote Proctoring via the course syllabus or announcements to the class.
- Faculty should consult with school instructional technologists and/or the Moses Center for Student Accessibility to accommodate students with various needs.
- Review ServiceLink articles for the LockDown Browser and Remote Proctoring options.
It's important to prepare for remote exams and communicate with instructors before exam day. If your instructor has informed you that your exam will be using LockDown Browser or Remote Proctoring, refer to these resources. Learn it, test it, and ask questions.
- Review the information provided by the course instructor about LockDown Browser and Remote Proctoring.
- Participate in a practice exam session, if your instructor has not created a practice exam session be sure to ask your instructor to create one.
- Review the student articles in NYU ServiceLink about LockDown Browser.
We have collected some approaches being used across NYU to encourage ideas and support faculty in assessment decisions, especially under time-constraints and the new reality of remote instruction.
Tip: For the best experience, please view this table on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
|School||Remote Assessment Methods|
|College of Dentistry||All high stakes examinations at the College of Dentistry are delivered through ExamSoft in both modalities, in-person and remote. When remote, students must certify their identity using ExamID, an add-on app that scans their faces and a photo ID. At the beginning of all academic programs, students must sign the school’s honor code.|
|College of Global Public Health||
GPH conducts very limited high-stakes assessments. When needed, the options considered are:
take-home exams, delaying exams to a future date, or open-book exam with available faculty over an NYU Zoom call.
Narrative Assessments (Papers, presentations, etc..)
|Faculty of Arts and Sciences||
FAS divisions (including Liberal Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences) use a combination of honor-code based best practices and technology solutions to address the design of assessments during remote instruction. Decisions are made on the division and department level; consult your academic dean, DUS, or DGS for options.
Liberal Studies Remote Assessment Guidance
FAS Remote Assessment Resources
|Rory Meyers College of Nursing||
Nursing is using its own assessment delivery system.
NYU Meyers Support Site
Shanghai uses a combination of different assessment approaches base on different disciplines and scenarios. Approaches include but not limited to Brightspace Quizzes, Gradescope, Respondus lockdown browser, open-book assessments.
Resources: NYU Shanghai Online Teaching & Assessments Guide
|School of Law||
During remote instruction, all classes will conduct take-home exams, (except seminar papers, clinical courses, etc.) In a few cases where Proctor U, the online proctoring tool is used, it will be determined if all exams will also remain in the take-home format. Faculty may vote on a pass/fail option.
Resources: Take-Home Exams
|Silver School of Social Work||
Silver doesn’t conduct any high-stakes assessments. During remote instruction, take-home exams will be conducted at specific times with accommodations given as needed.
Narrative Assessments, Quizzes and Tests through Google forms or NYU Qualtrics
|Stern School of Business||
Stern uses a combination of these approaches:
take-home exams, delaying exams to a future date, or open-book exam with available faculty over an NYU Zoom call.
Learning Science Lab/Remote Teaching
|Tandon School of Engineering||
Tandon is focused on assessment design choices that minimize the need for proctoring tools while considering staff proctoring, take-home exams (with honor code), oral exams, and Gradescope.
Guidance for Tandon Faculty and Assessment Options for
Exams, Projects, and Research Papers
|Wagner Graduate School of Public Service||
Wagner uses a combination of approaches that minimize the need for proctoring that include alternative assessment methods and technology, timed written essay exams, and Pearson MyStatLab for statistics courses. For small groups, Wagner staff use NYU Zoom to proctor tests.
Faculty choices are at the center of remote instruction assessment, especially an unplanned one. Assessment validates the academic compact between instructors and learners. An abrupt shift to remote instruction gives us the opportunity to return to the fundamentals and reiterate our values and practices. This document synthesizes ideas from several sources into a set of actionable procedures that combine the three central components of remote assessment: faculty choices, student integrity and technology to guide assessment decisions for remote instruction. Please see Academic Integrity for Students at NYU.
The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) offers a set of standards for evaluating a wide range of skills developed in higher education coursework, including academic and practical, personal and social responsibility, and integrative and applied learning. These standards, the Value Rubrics, provide a solid foundation for helping instructors articulate the way they will give thorough and fair evaluation of alternative forms of assessment.
Here are a set of best practices for assessment design to think about:
- Promote student integrity by sharing the importance of integrity in their own educational process as well as the community to which they belong.
- Make scaffolded assessments: Before major assessments, give students practice quizzes or tests with automated feedback that directs them to sources for answers if they miss questions. Review the students’ performance for trends for which you can target interventions.
- Consider other forms of demonstration of achievement of mastery of course concepts such as take home exams, presentations, essays, or digital exhibits.
- Consider open book and/or pass/fail options for assessments where that may apply
- Work with your instructional support team for high-stakes or e-proctored exam choices
Students and Academic Integrity
Here are a set of reasonable expectations for students from the NYU Honor Code:
To uphold NYU’s Academic Integrity standards in a remote-instruction environment, both faculty and students agree to create a virtual learning community that encourages the free exchange of ideas and promotes scholarly excellence through active and creative thought. This includes a commitment from students to refrain from the following activities:
- recording video or audio
- taking or sharing screenshots
- capturing or sharing in any way or format texts or chats from a remote course without explicit consent from the instructor and fellow students; and
- capturing or sharing in any way or format course materials, such as presentations, quizzes, or exams without explicit consent from the instructor and fellow students
Here a set of reasonable faculty practices for assessment control used in tandem with the Technology Practices above:
- Consider take-home or open book exams (timed or not) to challenge students to quickly find relevant information and then to understand, analyse, apply knowledge and think critically. Use questions based on class materials, powerpoints and discussions, not just ‘google-able’ materials.
- Have students submit alternative forms of demonstration of achievement of mastery of course concepts such as recorded performances, narrated presentations, written essays, graphical analytical materials or digital exhibits.
- Offer the online exam only at one set time. A team of conspiring test takers will not be able to collaborate and then sequentially take the exam.
Online exam to be computer accessible (open) only for a very brief period of time, perhaps a 15 minute window.
- Exam questions are presented only one at a time. Students can only work on one question until it is completed.
- Design the online exam to occupy only the limited time allowed for the exam. The authors select test bank multiple-choice questions consisting of a mix of theory and problem type questions. After gaining Internet access to the exam, students have 90 minutes to complete 25 to 40 questions. The goal is for the “A” and “B” students to complete the exam with only a few minutes to spare. The “C” and “D” students may or may not complete the exam. Students taking an open book exam have a trade-off dilemma to resolve. The students can verify a tough definition or find a difficult formula by referring to permitted reference materials (open book exam). However, they do not have time to learn the theory or to learn how to solve numerical problems.
- Instructors should change at least one-third of multiple choice/objective questions on each exam every term. This rotation or modification of exam questions helps to reduce the value of “fraternity/sorority/library test files.”
In an ideal assessment environment, technology should provide boundaries and help the instructors and learners keep one another supported. As an example, the use of Turnitin for plagiarism detection provides a good model for the appropriate role of technology in assessment planning. Both faculty members and students are aware of its shortcomings and recognize that it cannot be used as the only means for combating plagiarism in essay assignments. Thus, deployment of Turnitin is commonly viewed as both a deterrent and a guide for faculty and students in helping to increase student originality in their written work.