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Finals Exams and Complex Assessments 

Part 3: Ensuring Integrity in the Exam

November 18, 2020

How to Use this Series

This Deeper Dive article series is broken up into 3 parts to help  guide you in the development of your final exam:

  1. Planning the Exam
  2. Building the Exam
  3. Ensuring Integrity in the Exam

If you would like to work with an instructional designer or educational specialist to strategize for your specific course, you are welcome to join us for open office hours or request an individual consultation.

Academic Integrity Affirmation

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Students are less likely to cheat if the assessment has meaning, that is, it is individualized, interesting, unique, and engaging; it is not easily copied from a solutions manual or from the internet. -Academic Integrity Office

One of the most effective strategies to address academic integrity issues is to create a culture of learning in your course. It’s never too late to express support for integrity, and invite students to join the larger community of researchers / learners through attribution and recognition of original work.

When it comes to an exam, you can incorporate an academic integrity affirmation, which invites students to agree to submit their own work. Here is some sample text that can be used within a question in a Canvas quiz:

Excel with Integrity Pledge

I will complete this exam in a fair, honest, respectful, responsible and trustworthy manner. This means that I will complete the exam as if the professor was watching my every action. I will act according to the professor’s instructions, and I will neither give nor receive any aid or assistance other than what is authorized. I know that the integrity of this exam and this class is up to me, and I pledge to not take any action that would break the trust of my classmates or professor, or undermine the fairness of this class.

Practically speaking, you can include this language as the prompt for one of two types of questions:

  • Fill in Multiple Blanks, where the first blank is their name (typed) and the second blank is the date
  • Multiple choice, with two options: I agree, or I would like to talk further with you about this

To Proctor or Not to Proctor?

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When deciding whether or not to proctor an exam, you are balancing three key considerations:
  • Academic Integrity: Ensuring submissions represent students’ original thought, and are made by individuals who are who they say they are
  • Privacy: Protecting the students’ digital footprint, so their likeness, environment and mannerisms are not digitally distributed
  • Equity: Facilitating access to the course for students who might not have a clean testing environment, strong internet access, camera, or, in some cases, administrative access to their device


From a practical perspective, the following configurations must be in place for all proctored exams: 

  • Exam Window: Exam must be open for at least 48 hours
  • Digitization: Exam must be transitioned to a Canvas Quiz
  • Instructor Training: Instructors must complete proctor-provided training prior to setting up their proctored final exam
  • Tech Check: Students should have sufficient time to check their computing setup well in advance of the exam
If you’re not sure if proctoring is right for you or not, please reach out to the Digital Learning Hub ( We can talk with you about the options, and assist with technical configuration.

Proctoring Options at UC San Diego

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If you have decided that proctoring is appropriate for your exam, you will need to select one of the following three mechanisms:





Live proctoring includes a live human proctor who remotely authenticates the test-taker, monitors the entire exam session, and flags/intervenes suspicious behavior

The LockDown browser prevents students from opening additional tabs, accessing other applications on their computer, and taking specific actions while on the quiz (e.g. taking screenshots, copying, printing).

Instructor, IAs and TAs host Zoom meetings in which students are monitored taking the exam using one of two methods: 

  • Live Group Proctoring
  • Self-Recorded Individual Exams

Do students need to install anything?

Yes, Web Add-On

  Yes, Software

  Yes, Zoom Software

Are there any tech limitations?

Yes, Chromebooks, Linux, tablets and cellphones are not supported

Yes, Chromebooks, Linux, tablets and cellphones are not supported

Most operating systems, including Google OS (Chromebooks), are supported 

What training do instructors need?

ProctorU provided

 Respondus provided

 Read documentation

Are instructors involved real-time?




Is there a cost for students?

Costs for students are covered by UC San Diego

Costs for students are covered by UC San Diego


How do I set this up for my class?

ProctorU Live Proctoring Setup

Respondus Tools for Online Exams

Zoom Proctoring Guide

To read more details about these proctoring options and how to implement them in your course, visit the Digital Learning Hub's Proctoring Options for Assessments page.

If you’re not sure which proctoring option is right for you, please reach out to the Digital Learning Hub ( ). We can talk with you about the options, and assist with technical configuration.