CTL Blog

Open-Book Exam? Don't Show the Warning About Tracking in CoursePlus

November 01, 2021 | 1 Minute Read

Academic integrity is critical to the success of any course. CoursePlus has a number of tools which help ensure academic integrity when students take quizzes or exams. These tools — and student awareness of how CoursePlus is tracking their activity — are never more important than in closed-book exams. What if your exams are open-book, though?

In late May, 2021, CoursePlus started to display the following warning before students took any quiz or exam included in the student’s final grade in the class:

Important reminder: CoursePlus keeps a log of your activity during an online quiz or exam. Do NOT leave the exam site for any reason during a closed-book exam. (If you are unsure if this is a closed-book or an open-book exam, ASK the instructor BEFORE beginning the exam). Be sure to close all other applications and turn off notifications before beginning a closed-book quiz or exam. Clicking outside the quiz or exam site (even to dismiss a message or notification) will register as a departure from the site and may give rise to an allegation of a violation of academic ethics during a closed book exam.

While this warning is clear in its intent, it doesn’t apply to open-book exams. Some students get confused when seeing this warning before starting an open-book exam. To help reduce potential confusion, the CoursePlus team added a new option to the quiz/exam setup page:

Is this an open-book quiz/exam?

The default is “no.” If the option is changed to “yes,” however, the above warning is not displayed to students when they start to take the quiz or exam.

Faculty should still be explicit in their instructions as to whether the exam is open- or closed-book. If it is open-book, faculty should explicitly state what resources (notes, files, websites, etc) are allowed.

We hope that this change makes delivering open-book exams in CoursePlus a little more smooth. As always, if you have questions or concerns about this change, please contact CTL Help!