Learning Assessment Centre

Assessment for Fall 2020

A major challenge for instructors for the Fall 2020 semester is choosing the best method for assessing your students in an online environment. To assist in planning your assessments for remote delivery, we have created a guide on assessment best practices, found here.

Additionally, IST has released their recommended options for hosting secure remote assessments for the upcoming semester. Here is a summary of their recommended options for secure exams:

Option 1: Smart Exam Monitor (SEM)

  • Monitoring: SEM provides identity validation, monitoring of the student’s physical environment, and some monitoring of the computers onscreen activity. Does not provide question security or full monitoring of the student’s computer activity.
  • Method: Instructors use eClass or another exam delivery method and use SEM to monitor the exam session.
  • Fees: Free.
  • Support: available through Tech in Ed at edexams@ualberta.ca.

Option 2: eClass exam combined with Examlock

  • Monitoring: Examlock is a quiz integrity tool that provides some identity validation through CCID access and reports on the student’s online and computer activities. It also provides some question security (although students could take pictures on their phones or screen recording programs) and the physical environment is not monitored.
  • Method: Instructors use eClass and Examlock to deliver their exam.
  • Fees: Free.
  • Support: available through Tech in Ed at edexams@ualberta.ca.

Option 3: eClass exam taken through Examlock and Smart Exam Monitor

  • Monitoring: Provides identity validation, monitors and reports on the student’s computer activities, monitors the student’s physical environment, and provides some question security with the exception of screen recording programs.
  • Method: Instructors use eClass and Examlock to deliver their exam and combine it with Smart Exam Monitor to monitor the session.
  • Fees: Free
  • Support: available through Tech in Ed at edexams@ualberta.ca.

Please note, If you are planning on using Smart Exam Monitor (SEM) for your Fall 2020 assessments, you will need to fill out the IST request form by the August 24, 2020 deadline for each individual exam (e.g. one for your midterm and again for your final). Click here to access IST's form.

For additional questions about assessment options or available services, please contact edexams@ualberta.ca.

Please note that the Learning Assessment Centre is closed for in-person testing until further notice.

If you are looking for alternative assessment options, Tech in Ed can work with you to help find the best solution for your course. Please contact edexams@ualberta.ca to set up a consultation

If you require your exam to be held on eClass, send your exam to edexams@ualberta.ca AT LEAST 10 business days before your exam date.

The Learning Assessment Centre (LAC) is located in 3-106, Education North and is now managed by IST. Funding for exams provided in the LAC is available through the Dean’s office, but must be accessed through a pre-approval process. See details here.

Some courses may qualify for a quick approval, particularly if they are:

  • required courses,
  • use flexible delivery (see below), and
  • more than 25 students.

Please use the Education LAC Request form to submit your request that your exam be written in the LAC.

Spring 2020: The deadline for requesting LAC exams for the SPRING 2020 term is April 13, 2020.

Note that, as of Spring 2020, “block” exams will only be funded by the Dean’s office in exceptional circumstances. Also, LAC’s “Full Service” is not available through Dean’s office funding -- if you require support in preparing your exam, please contact Technologies in Education at edexams@ualberta.ca.

Flexible vs. Block

The LAC currently supports two types of delivery modes for exams: flexible and block. The “flexible” delivery mode allows a student to book their exam at any time during a pre-set range of times and dates. This can be a great benefit to the student, as it allows them to space out their exams so that they have adequate time to prepare for each. This mode can also require fewer resources (such as computer workstations), as exams with large class sizes can be spread across a longer timeframe. This is the desired delivery mode in the LAC, but it requires some extra preparation by the instructor to ensure that the exam remains secure.

The “block” delivery mode is the more traditional mode of exam delivery. The instructor sets a time and date for the exam and all students in the class are required to write at that time. As of Fall 2020, the LAC will no longer be supporting this delivery mode.

My exam is not suitable for “flex” delivery mode... what are my options?

  • Update your exam to work with a “Flexible” delivery mode. Tech in Ed can help you to do that. 
  • Run your own “block” mode exam. Tech in Ed can help you set this up. 

For general Faculty of Education exam inquiries, please contact us at edexams@ualberta.ca.

For more information about the LAC's services, please visit the LAC's website.

Switching to “Flex”

As of Fall 2020, the LAC will only be supporting exams run in “flex” delivery mode.

  • Flex means that students can take an exam over a range of times, with no significant compromise to exam security.
  • Each student gets slightly different exam, of equivalent difficulty.
    • Requires extra questions in the question bank.
    • Requires some configuration changes to randomly assign questions.

Running your own “block” mode exam

As of Fall 2020, the Learning Assessment Centre (LAC) will no longer be supporting exams run in “block” delivery mode. “Block” mode is the traditional mode of exam delivery where all students in the class are required to write at the same time. If you want to run a block mode exam, you can run the exam in your classroom or you can book a computer lab. Things to consider when running your exam:

  • exam integrity
  • class size
  • workstation
  • student verification

Exam Integrity

  • Exam integrity can be compromised by students cheating during the exam, or communicating exam contents to other students.
  • Integrity can be retained by:
    • proctoring your own exam (suitable for smaller classes).
    • using student (TA) proctors.
    • using ExamLock (see eClass documentation) - for use on Windows or Mac (not iPads, Android, etc). This app will prevent students from accessing course notes, etc. while writing their exam on

Class size

  • Do you have a space that will accommodate all students at the same time?
  • Do you have enough computers (or tablets) for all students to access the exam?
  • Labs can be booked, if extra space is needed. Students can use lab computers. ExamLock is installed on most lab computers.
  • Computers can be borrowed from Tech in Ed.


  • If you are using a lab, ExamLock is available on most lab computers.
  • If using a classroom, need to use BYOD (i.e. students must bring in their own devices).
  • Use ExamLock for exam integrity - works on Mac or Windows laptops, not on tablets (e.g. iPad or Android).
  • Some computers can be borrowed from Tech in Ed, but supply is limited.

Verifying students

  • May be an issue in a large class -- do you know all of your students?
  • OneCard can be used to confirm student identity. 
  • OneCard scanner can be used to track which students attended the exam and ensure that only registered students write the exam.