Online Teaching - Assessments

Teaching Online, 101: A Guide for History Department Instructors 
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Overview Basic Communications Lectures Discussions Assessments

This guide covers the most common scenarios for papers, quizzes & other short in-class assignments, and exams.

The basics


Pedagogical tips

  • Think about moving to exam formats that are less time-constrained and less reliant on 'closed book' restrictions
  • Consider laying additional emphasis, from the very beginning of your course, on the UW Code of Student Conduct (, and its expectations regarding academic integrity

Stories from the trenches

  • "[Students] are in the privacy of their homes, sometimes with children who will interrupt them. It may be impossible for them to take a test without interruption. Circumvent the need for proctoring by making every exam open-notes, open-book, and open-internet."
    - Rebecca Barrett-Fox, "Please do a bad job of putting your courses online"
  • "Decide what you’re going to do about any high-stakes assessments, particularly exams. There are no easy answers here, especially if you planned to have a good chunk of a student’s grade hinge on what would
    have been a proctored, in-person test.... You could take another route to summative assessment for the course, such as replacing a big supervised test with some type of project that is easier to personalize and less dependent on proctoring."
    - Michelle D. Miller, "Going online in a hurry: What to do and where to start," The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • "It is very important to be responsive and provide timely feedback. Students are often submitting discussions and assignments into an online campus management system, which can seem impersonal and create a sense of anxiety for some. Our faculty responsiveness – and I try to get a response out within 24 hours – can alleviate some of that tension and truly make our learners feel supported"
    - Jacqueline Kelleher, "Take My Advice," Inside Higher Ed 
  • "[P]edagogy first; technology second. In our field bells and whistles dominated in the early years. We understand now, better than before, that indeed technologies are tools to be applied mindfully and appropriately."
    - Dianne Conrad, "Q&A: Toward Better Assessments in Online Courses," Inside Higher Ed

Created by the Department of History Ad-hoc Tech Support Team: Eric Johnson, Kristin Roberts, Alexandra Colley DuSablon, Josh Apfel