Scheduling Final Exams for Online Courses (Spring 2021)

The university has published updated final exam schedules for the spring 2021 semester. These schedules for mass exams and standard exams provide guidance on when final exams should be held and are based upon when the first class meeting for the class was held. View the university's final exam policy for additional information. 

When scheduling final exams for online classes:

  • If the online class had an initial synchronous online class meeting, the standard exam schedule should be followed.
  • If the online class is asynchronous and therefore had no initial class meeting, the faculty member has additional options for scheduling the final exam meeting:
    • Schedule a date and time for a synchronous online class meeting using Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft Teams when the exam or other final instructional activities will be conducted.
    • If scheduling a synchronous online class meeting, consider surveying your students in advance to see what date(s)/time(s) would fit around their other scheduled exams and inform students as soon as possible as to when the final exam/meeting is scheduled.
    • Consider alternatives to traditional exams that students could complete online within the final examination period but would not require meeting at a scheduled date and time. See options for delivering exams via virtual instruction and contact Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) for more ideas.
    • Utilize institutionally-provided technology to build and deliver online exams that students can complete within a flexible timeframe during the final exam week. Blackboard Tests can include a wide variety of question types, including objective and open-ended questions. Many question types are automatically-graded, such as multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, and matching. You can also include short answer and essay questions for open-ended questions. Blackboard Tests can include a timer, which can be extended for students with accommodation needs, and can be limited to a single attempt or allow multiple attempts. Contact CITL for assistance in setting-up tests in Blackboard.

As you consider your options for conducting exams while teaching virtually, remember to exhibit equity, kindness, generosity and patience with your students.