Below you find a short version of the advice on examination at a distance when teaching online given by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences You find the full guide on the SLU webbpages

General advice

  • Give clear instructions on what is expected to be handed in prior to the examination.
  • Take advantage of the possibility in Zoom to record meetings and teaching.
  • Regardless of the type of examination, instructions on assessment (grading matrices, assessment templates, etc.) need to be clarified and communicated to the students before the examination.
  • Discuss with the students how the learning objectives are to be achieved and what is meant by formulations such as “describe”, “explain”, “report” etc.
  • Inform the student when they will receive feedback, when assessment is to be made, when the grade is reported, if and when completion is possible.
  • If there are students with special needs (dyslexia etc) inform them in good time about opportunities for extended submission and other practical aspects of the examination.
  • Feel free to ask students about how they think the exam has worked before, during and after the exam by adding a question about this to the course evaluation.


Turn exams into written home exam in Athena or Exia

  • Keep in mind that fact-checking questions may need to be reformulated into more comprehensive and explanatory reasoning questions, as the student has access to course literature at the time of examination.
  • Adjust the time. The time can range from a few hours up to a week.
  • Anonymous submissions are possible in Athena (however, this is not possible in Exia). You can strengthen and follow up the written assignment with an oral part of the examination via zoom (seminar, presentation, talk).
  • If the examination was conducted in Athena, send it for plagiarism check in Urkund.
  • It takes longer to provide feedback on home exams than sit-in exams. Please use a so-called Rubric . There are also tools such as Camtasia  that allow you to record your oral feedback in relation to what the student has written.


Turn into oral examination at a distance via Zoom

  • When doing an oral exam, you can record it directly in zoom. You also need to inform your students in advance.
  • Remind the student to test the technique and to be in good time in zoom, for example 15 minutes before the set time.
  • Create PDFs with instructions for the exam to upload in Athena.
  • If the students are unaccustomed to oral examinations and via link, please ask some simple warm-up questions initially to create a safe examination environment.
  • Print Instructions, minutes, attendance lists and other documents you need during the actual examination.
  • Speak clearly when the examination is completed. Report what happens next and when the student will receive their grades.
  • When the examination is completed, if you have recorded the examination, you can calmly listen through it something was unclear.
  • It is important to feedback your overall assessment of the oral examination to the student. You can give students access to explanations and clarifications regarding assessment either in writing via Athena or orally via Zoom.


Convert oral examination to written home exam at Athena

  • It is recommended to ask questions related to the student’s own experiences. This prevents plagiarism as it limits the possibility of copying somebody else’s text.
  • Use questions that require comprehensive and explanatory reasoning as the student has access to course literature at the time of the examination.
  • Adjust the time for the examination in relation to the scope. The time can range from one working day up to one week depending on the scope.
  • We are recommended to strive for anonymous examinations by the university. However, you can strengthen and follow up the written assignment with an oral part of the examination (seminar, presentation, talk).
  • Feel free to ask questions from students during the exam by mail or phone.


Examine practical knowledge remotely

  • Practical examinations at a distance means the requirement of extra flexibility on the part of everyone involved. Try to adapt parts or the whole examination to a distance mode or postpone parts or the whole examination.
  • Investigate if parts of the examination can take place in a home environment and are recorded via a mobile phone or similar. For example, can some instruments that the student should be able to handle be replaced by something else? Can they record how they do?
  • Can the student use his / her local outdoor environment to show the practical knowledge required?
  • Are there simulations to use? Feel free to search the web, or ask in your disciplinary network.
  • How can the student document practical knowledge for the examiner,
  • Consider the ethical positions you need to make in connection with the examination if it is recorded.
  • Try the technique before the exam.
  • If the student is recording his examination or if the examination is shown directly via zoom, it is important that the practical part is clearly shown in the picture. Be sure to notify the student in advance.
  • It is also important that the student knows in advance how the documentation is saved and how the submission is processed.
  • It is important that recorded material is handled responsibly. For ethical aspects regarding documentation and submission of materials, you can contact your study director.
  • You can give students access to explanations and clarifications regarding the assessment of practical knowledge either in writing via Athena or orally via Zoom.