In Spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an abrupt shift to remote instruction. As a result, concerns arose about academic integrity during online assessments. To address these concerns in preparation for Fall 2020 instruction, the Provost’s Fall 2020 Academic Planning Task Force appointed an ad hoc committee to research best practices critical to effective assessment in online courses. The committee prepared a report with detailed guidelines and a summary of resources, tools, and strategies available to UIC faculty to support equitable, effective, and rigorous assessment in online learning environments.
The report includes a description of a multi-step assessment planning process that begins with revisiting and redesigning learning objectives to align with the mode of instruction, and a variety of assessment options are presented (see SECTION II).
The report also outlines approaches to discourage cheating during proctored, synchronous exams that focus on exam design, use of proctoring technology, and feedback/grading practices (see SECTION III).
Additional guidelines presented in the report include:
(1) Create a community of learners who agree to uphold academic integrity as part of a class honor code,
(2) Focus assessment planning on equity, recognizing that disadvantaged students face challenges outside of their control (e.g., lack of access to adequate Wi-Fi),
(3) Implement practices to ensure accessibility to all students, particularly those with disabilities,
(4) With an understanding that stress and pressure are key drivers of academic misconduct, implement lower-stakes, more frequent assessments in various formats (e.g., written, visual, audio).