How to Sign In
Computing Instructor Forum
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Assessment for Online Computing Courses


Hello!   We are interested in learning what strategies institutions are using for assessment in online courses to hinder cheating.   

  • We're looking to hear from you how your institution handles assessment in for MS Office and Concepts courses - including Online Proctored environments, or requirements that students come to a testing center.  
  • We're especially interested in hearing what strategies are used when a student can't get to campus or online proctoring is cost prohibitive.
  • What type/mix of assessment do you use?  Exams with Objective Style Questions, SAM Task Exams or Projects?  Other?



Valued Contributor

We use the training, exams with tasks and the projects for the applications. Concepts we use training and exams.  They are not required to come to campus or a proctored location. With projects, we can always look at the incidence report to determine if they did the work. However, we don't know  if they are actually doing the work. This has always bothered me.


We do not have either proctored exams or on campus exams for our online Office sections. We incorporate trainings, exams, and projects to assess. Trainings and objective exams do not make up the majority of the possible points in the course. This may help students realize that trying to coordinate with other students (cheat) may be worth more trouble than the difference they make in their grades. There are module/unit projects, for which we generally run incidence reports for any academic integrity issues. Capstones, which can be used as a type of skills exam, can be set to reject submissions for any integrity issues. Limited availability and setting the timing option can also deter students from collaborating.


Valued Contributor

The time limit can be a problem, many of our students do not have fast internet connections. We have to be aware of this and set the time limit accordingly. 


Like the others Who have responded here, we do a combination of trainings exams and projects. Setting dates and putting time limits on some of the assignments really helps deter cheating.  We also use proctorio in canvas for some of the major assignments (midterm/final) If students don’t come to campus. We check project incident reports weekly and have a talk with any student who appears on that report.  Many of us Have also incorporated a couple hand graded, unique integration assignments just to mix things up.


I use SAM exams that are performance based and a few multiple choice questions for my Final Exam which is the only Proctored exam in my courses. All online classes at our institution has to have at least one proctored exam. Our eLearning Department uses a third party product B-Virtual for virtual testing when a student cannot attend one of our campuses. The student has to pay a fee directly to B-Virtual for each exam not taken with one of our instructors or our Proctoring Center.

Frequent Commenter

The only 'assignment' that is required to be proctored is what is labelled as the "Final Exam Project" = Capstone Project. Students are able to come to campus or the various learning centers throughout the district. However, if a student resides outside the district, it is necessary for them to secure a proctoring site and outline a number of options. Below are the options/criteria provided to students.

  • Testing center at an area college
  • Certified proctor
  • College instructor or academic advisors
  • Educational officers of a military installation or correctional facility
  • County Extension offices

All proctors must have a verifiable professional email address, be able to provide a computer with internet access, and monitor the student during the exam.

The following proctors will not be approved:

  • blood relatives or peers
  • immediate supervisor or coworkers
  • businesses or individuals.


In my experience, there is great reciprocity among colleges to proctor exams. Prior to the transition to Cengage, the coordination was cumbersome since directions, instructions, files, and guidelines had to be sent and files emailed back to the instructor. Now, general guidelines and the student packet (directions and password) are sent to the proctor which has streamlined the process immensely for all parties.


The downside of using the Capstone Project as the 'Final' is there is a specified time allowance to complete which the student needs to track.  Granted the time remaining is viewable when the activity is open in MindTap but that MindTap session times out and with student's focusing on completing the project, they lose track of time.


I don't know if this is possible but ideally I would like to package the Capstone Project + tasks from various Modules under one activity as a means to fill in the gaps in assessing the overall learning outcomes for the courses.