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This page covers the timescale and process of implementing a Computer Based Examination.


You can also access further resources using the useful links panel on the right side of this page. 

Your Learning Technologies Adviser (LTA) can support you each step of the way, and it is advised you involve them throughout the process to offer guidance and support. 


 Useful Resources


 Implementation of Computer Based Examinations


Implementation of Computer Based Examinations

No online test tool is fail proof and therefore we would recommend the following when implementing Computer Based Examinations:
  • Make sure your students know how to use the test environment/tool (do a ‘trial run’ or mock exam).
  • Ensure your students use the navigation buttons provided in the test NOT the browser buttons (such as the browser's BACK button)
  • Ensure your students are using Firefox as a web browser, and do not open multiple tabs.
  • Summative tests should always take place in a controlled environment on campus, with appropriate invigilation.
  • Discuss with Information Services the requirements of the examination - for example, whether students need access to external websites, personal drives or applications.
  • Always provide students with an offline alternative just in case there are technical issues. If the questions are complex, provide the students with a paper version of the test on which they can do their working-out before entering answers on the online version – this paper copy should be handed in to the invigilators before the student leaves the room.
  • If your exam involves the use of specific software, check that the computers in the room being used work with the test you’ve created – do a trial run.
  • Ensure you have accounted for students with Learning Support Plans (LSP's). They may require additional time/seperate rooms/additional technology.


With studentcentral tests:

  • Password-protect the tests and only give the password out when all students have arrived to take the test. For more about the settings required for a studentcentral test, click here
  • Avoid tests with many questions (> 40 questions). For large exams consider splitting the questions across multiple tests.
  • Only allow one attempt at the test and limit access to the test to the duration allowed. Students who require extra time can be given so when setting up the test options. For more about the settings required for a studentcentral test, click here
  • Make sure you know how to ‘clear an attempt‘ as well as resolve other issues from the GradeCentre as this may be the only way to let a student retake the test if they get locked out for some reason.
  • Ensure students with LSP's have arrangements for additional time, if required. Students who require additional time can be added into the 'test availability exceptions' setting within the studentcentral test options.  


If you have any concerns prior to your students taking the test, speak to your Learning Technologies Adviser.


 Suggested Timeline for a Computer Based Examination


Step 1


Planning the assessment

Consider how many questions would be appropriate to the learning objectives and the weighting of the assessment, and how long would be needed for students to take the assessment.

When making the room booking allow time to set up and for students to leave, for example half an hour before and after

If you need to have 2 sittings consider how this will be organised – e.g. by booking an adjacent room to keep the 2 sittings separate

Consider how students with LSPs who need variations on assessments will be assessed

Liaison with the relevant external examiners 


Step 2


Confirming the questions and operational requirements

Develop the draft assessment questions and feedback if you are giving any. Write marking criteria for any free answer questions.

Obtain internal moderation of the draft questions, and the view of the external examiner on the internally agreed drafts (see: University guidelines for the moderation of summative assessments[1])

In consultation with your LTA decide on the best platform for your type of eAssessment and enter your questions

Ask a colleague to check the technology, the content of the questions and the automated feedback, especially for multiple choice (MCQs). Advice on developing MCQs will be available soon

Decide when and how you are going to release marks and feedback to students

Inform students about the eAssessment, and work through any assessment criteria with them.


Step 3

1 month in advance


Deadline to inform IS (IT Service Desk about a summative eAssessment

Respond to any queries from IS and give students a formative assessment in the platform so they are familiar with it 


Step 4

1 week in advance


Create a disaster plan (e.g. technical failure, fire alarm) in conjunction with IS and any invigilators. Share this information with students.

You and any invigilators will be briefed by IS on the potential for academic misconduct during the eAssessment.

Prepare materials for worst case scenarios e.g. paper copies of the eAssessment

Step 5

On the day


Depending on the level of support being given by your LTA, you may need a mobile phone and their mobile number to contact them.

 Ensure you have a copy of the invigilation guidance for Computer Based Examinations

Step 6

After the eAssessment


If appropriate, arrange for any marking to take place

Approve marks and release these and feedback to students

If marks do not automatically enter the GradeCentre, add them to the GradeCentre


Page owner: Craig Wakefield