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Arranging Invigilated Online Exams

19 February 2024

Guidelines for Conducting Invigilated Online Exams

Appendix 1 Chapter 4 Section 3.4 

3.4 Digital Assessment 


The Assessment Framework for Taught Programmes applies to the conduct of all forms of assessment. However, there are additional considerations and risks involved in managing digital assessments. These regulations should be read in conjunction with the remainder of this Chapter. 


Good Practice for Exam Design 


In line with the British Standard ISO/IEC 23988:2007, if a computer-based examination lasts longer than 90 minutes there should be provision, if not detrimental to the purpose or validity of the assessment, for candidates to take a break. 


Testing Summative Online Assessment Tasks 


The technology being used for all summative online assessment tasks should be tested before students undertake the assessment. 


If the assessment involves invigilators, then these invigilators must be familiar with the software and they must know what the candidates are expected to do during the assessment, so that they can spot any attempts to cheat.  


Skills and Access 


It must be ensured that all students have access to the required technology needed to carry out the assessment.  


For online assessments conducted remotely, the duration of the assessment should be set to include students with dyslexia and other disabilities who might need extra time as a Reasonable Adjustment, so that students do not need to apply for individual Examination Adjustments. 


Where a student needs another form of Reasonable Adjustment to complete a remote online assessment, they will need to apply for Examination Adjustments – see: Student regulations for Exams and Assessmeents


If any specific technical skills are required to undertake an assessment, students should have been given a training opportunity to acquire these skills in advance of the assessment.   


Further Guidance 


More detailed information on the operation of invigilated digital examinations is available in Annex 4.2: Guidelines for conducting invigilated Moodle Quiz Exams and Wiseflow Exams.  


Further advice and guidance is available from the Digital Education team. 


Appendix 2 Chapter 4 Annex 4.2 

UCL Academic Manual 2023-24

Chapter 4: Assessment Framework for Taught Programmes

Annex 4.2

Guidelines for Conducting invigilated Online Exams


These guidelines are in addition to UCL’s Examinations regulations and replace Annex 4.2.1 Guidelines for Conducting Moodle Quiz Exams which were used during the pandemic.

These guidelines apply to academics who are conducting Moodle Quiz Exams and WISEflow in-person invigilated Exams. PC rooms will need to be booked if you wish to conduct these exams in-person. If you are running a summative test or exam in Moodle or Wiseflow you must also refer to the Module Assessment guidance in the Academic Manual in addition to the guidance and checklists provided below to ensure you have set up the Quiz or Assignment properly and have considered what to do in case anything goes wrong with the technology. These guidelines will not cover what to do for BYOD (bring your own device) invigilated exams. Please contact the central assessment team via examinations@ucl.ac.uk for further information if you wish to run these.

Moodle Quiz Exam

Moodle Quiz Examinations at UCL are typically run using Moodle Quizzes formed of multiple choice or short answer questions, which contribute to students’ end of module marks (i.e. are summative). Some online exams may ask students to complete tasks on a computer and then upload one or more files to an assignment at the conclusion of the exam.

This guidance is supplemented by further technical information for running online examinations using Moodle: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/MhpiAQ. Forms and resources mentioned in these guidelines are available from this page and must be used in conjunction with this guidance.

Wiseflow Lockdown Browser Exam

A lockdown browser assessment provides enhanced security measures to support supervised closed-book assessments. The lockdown browser is an application within WISEflow that provides students with the necessary tools to complete an assessment while restricting their device from accessing unauthorised material within the test period.

A lockdown browser assessment can take two forms:

  1. FLOWlock: a written assessment conducted in the browser using a text-editor
  2. FLOWmulti (with lockdown browser): an MCQ-type assessment conducted in the lockdown browser

Lockdown browser assessments must be departmentally managed. This means that departments are responsible for all aspects of administering the assessment, including the flow set up on WISEflow, invigilation (online & in-person), marking, and student communication and support.

This guidance is supplemented by further technical information for running Wiseflow lockdown browser exams: https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/x/LxPBE. Key considerations, information for invigilators, checklists, forms and resources mentioned in these guidelines are available from this page and must be used in conjunction with this guidance.

Digital Education can be contacted via the Service Desk on 020 7679 5000 (x25000) or by emailing servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk.

1    Guidelines for the Computer Workroom Environment

PCs, chairs and the general assessment environment must conform to standard safe environmental guidelines (clear screen, adjustable screen, adjustable chair, good lighting, heating/air conditioning and ventilation). This is the responsibility of Information Systems for tests that are run in ISD computer workrooms, and of the Department / Division where other computer rooms are used.

2    Pre-Online Examination Planning

Staff should note that significant advance planning is required:

2.1     If the online examination task falls within the main exam period, staff must ensure that it is timetabled by the Examinations Office as part of the official exam timetable. This is important to ensure that no student will have two examinations at the same time and may require liaison between the Department / Division and the Examination Office.

2.2     If an online examination task occurs outside the main exam periods, Departments / Divisions must also ensure that it is appropriately timed to avoid timetable conflicts for students.

2.3     Determine what size of computer workroom is required – It is recommended that you book a room with 10% more computers than you need, this will ensure that there will be spare computers in the room in case of a computer failure.

2.4           The room(s) required should be booked via UCL Room Bookings as early as possible. If you use a non-centrally bookable room, please familiarise yourself with the login requirements/facilities in the room BEFORE the assessment takes place. If not using a PC cluster room, you will need to make arrangements to ensure devices are available to students (i.e. bring your own device or department-provided) and an appropriate room is secured.

2.5     Computer workrooms should be booked for 30 minutes before an online examination task is scheduled to take place and at least 30 minutes after it is scheduled to be finished. Note that bookings of ISD Computer workrooms normally must be made in June for the following academic year and if this is done, priority will be given to bookings for online examinations. UCL Room Bookings will also accept bookings during the year but may not be able to prioritise exams at this stage.

2.6     An ‘Online exam notification form’ should be completed at least four weeks before the assessment, including a URL to the assessment. This form is available from the UCL Moodle Help menu and wiki guidance. This is an essential requirement so that the Digital Education team can ensure:

  • The network and server systems in use have been load tested at levels equal to or greater than those expected during the exam.
  • That no system outages or updates are planned for the time of the exam.
  • That the relevant teams have been notified, so they can check that sufficient PCs in the computer workroom are in working order.

2.7     Academic staff should ensure students complete practice exams accordingly:

  • Moodle Exam: a practice quiz on Moodle has been run for the same student group, with the same quiz settings. The quiz need not cover the same academic content. A sample quiz for students is available on Moodle.
  • Wiseflow Exam: It is recommended that departments schedule a practice session where students can complete the practice exam and complete the demo assessment available on the platform. Students should complete the FLOWlock practice exam on Wiseflow to allow them to try out the full functionality before they take their main exam on the device they will be using on the day. We recommend students complete the practice exam over the demo flow. Departments can utilise or adapt the following student guidance on completing a lockdown browser; FLOWlock FLOWlock) or FLOWmulti FLOWmulti).

2.8     Complete checks, activate quizzes/flow, peer review and External Examiner review, a minimum of three weeks before the assessment date. A checklist for Moodle exams and Wiseflow exams is available.

2.9     Ensure Digital Education are notified of any changes to rooms or timings.

3    Invigilation

Invigilators must be familiar with UCL’s invigilation procedures.

General invigilator guidelines are available from UCL Examinations. In accordance with those procedures, an academic should be present at the start. Additionally, online examinations require the following special invigilation procedures.

3.1    Invigilators should be provided with guidance for invigilating online exams in advance of the exam.

3.2    Invigilators must be familiar with the online testing software and should know what the candidates are expected to do during the test, so that they can spot any attempts to cheat.

3.3    Active invigilation is required to prevent students accessing anything other than the test. Invigilators should make unannounced movements throughout the computer workroom to check screens and general candidate behaviour, being aware of possible paper material, mobile phones, etc., (as is the case in any exam).

3.4     If using a Moodle quiz, invigilators must ensure that students have submitted their responses before they leave the room - otherwise

(a) they may be able to re-open and complete the exam from another location; and

(b) they will not receive a mark for the test.

The Moodle Quiz Results page will show who has not yet submitted their responses - those who have not submitted will have a '-' for the quiz instead of a mark.

  • If the entire group remain in the room until the end of the exam, then it will be easy to spot any 'in progress' tests from the grader report, as they will be the ones without a score.
  • Students who ask to leave early should have their individual record checked to ensure they have submitted.

If using Wiseflow, Managers will have access to full assessment and student details to conduct online invigilation via WISEflow. Additional staff can be provided with Basic Invigilator roles to monitor candidate progress while maintaining student anonymity. More information can be found on section, online invigilator access for non-Managers.

3.5     If it is discovered that a student has left without submitting their answers on a Moodle Quiz, Digital Education should be contacted immediately for advice.

3.6     Late arrivals should be dealt with according to standard examination procedures and will have to go to the Department/Division to sit the test; therefore, a computer must be available in the Department/Division for the candidate to use and someone must be available to invigilate.

4    Provision for Students with Special Needs                            

Special assessment arrangements may be possible for students with dyslexia or other disabilities. Students who require special arrangements should notify the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) at least six weeks in advance.

5    Arrangements for Multiple Sittings                             

Identical online invigilated exams may be run in sequence to make best use of facilities and staff availability. However, the following steps must be undertaken:

5.1     Candidates in the first session must not be permitted to leave the examination room until everyone has finished.

5.2     The next group must be moved into the room while the initial group(s) leave(s). Ideally this should be achieved through different entrances.

5.3     In the event of illness where a candidate must leave the room, someone must stay with that candidate until the second group of students has been moved into the room.

6    Disaster Avoidance and Management

6.1     Digital Education should be contacted immediately if there are any technical problems with either the operating system or the digital examination software. Call 020 7679 5000 / x25000 and be ready to provide as much detail as possible.

6.2     Students are not permitted to troubleshoot themselves and invigilators should ask them to cease all data entry.

6.3     If the testing session must be abandoned for any reason (e.g. fire or other emergency), Digital Education should be notified.

Contact details for further information: examinations@ucl.ac.uk