March 2022

Resources for Transitioning to Online Assessments

Following up on the March 30th COVID-19 Update and the Provost and Associate Vice-President (Academic)’s message about in-person teaching, assessment, and examinations for the Winter semester, we have curated resources related to effective in-person and online assessments.

These best practice recommendations are intended to help you prepare in the case that you need to modify the timing or locations of your course’s assessment. Check with your Department Chair, Director, or Dean for specific policies and procedures related to student assessment and final examinations, and contact ORS Exams ( if you do switch an in-person final exam to an online format.

If you modify your course’s assessments, keep in mind the following information:

  • Check that any changes you make to the assessment format, location, or timing will continue to assess your course or program learning outcomes.

  • Communicate any changes to the assessment format, location, etc., as soon as you can. Communicate in multiple ways (e.g., email, Courselink announcement).

  • Given the possibility that some of your students may be ill during the time of your assessment, consider how you might incorporate flexibility for you and your students while maintaining appropriate boundaries for your own well-being.

  • For take-home and open-book exams, use questions that require students to apply, analyze, or evaluate information and provide clear guidelines about response length, format, etc.

For more information, check out the Assessing Student Learning Remotely (Online) section of the OTL website where we have created and curated several resources related to online assessments.

For more teaching resources or to chat with an Educational Developer, visit our website at or contact