1. Early Feedback
  2. Tests and Examinations
    1. I. Proctoring
    2. II. Scheduling
    3. III. In-Person Exam Administration for Online/HyFlex Courses and Distance Exams
    4. IV. Fall and Winter Breaks
    5. V. In-class Examinations (tests, quizzes)
    6. VI. Take-home Examinations 
    7. VII. Scantron Examinations
  3. Deferrals
    1. VIII. Deferred Term Work
    2. IX. Deferred Final Examinations
  4. Student Access to Term Assignments and Examination Papers

Early Feedback

Instructors should be aware of the Early Feedback Guideline (undergraduate regulations Article 5.3 and graduate regulations Article 24).

At the undergraduate level, especially in first and second year courses, instructors are strongly urged to include academic work that is assigned, evaluated and returned prior to the 25th teaching day of each term. At the graduate level, feedback prior to the 25th day may be more informal. However, in all cases instructors are urged to include academic work that is assigned, evaluated and returned prior to the 40th teaching day of each term.

For summer term courses instructors are urged to include academic work that is assigned, evaluated, and returned at least two days prior to the last day to withdraw from the course in the Early, Late, or Full Summer term.

In addition, course outlines should indicate approximately when the first graded piece of work will be returned to students. In cases where a course does not lend itself to early feedback, this should be clearly noted on the course outline.

Tests and Examinations

I. Proctoring

Scheduling and Examination Services (SES) usually sends out an email with instructions and information regarding final exams in advance of the exam period. Here are some important details to keep in mind:

  • Instructors are responsible for invigilating their own exams.
  • Additional invigilators are required for each additional group of 50 students. For classes over 50 students with a teaching assistant, please include proctoring the final examination as one of the teaching assistant duties and account for the hours when signing off on the TA Assignment of Duties.
  • If you have difficulty providing this level of invigilation support, please consult with your Department / Unit head.
  • It is important to note that if you are unable to invigilate, it is your responsibility to make arrangements for alternate supervision and to inform your Chair or Director of these arrangements.
  • Exam Services requires instructors to arrive at the exam site a half hour before the exam start time.
  • E-proctoring for remotely-delivered examinations must be approved by the Dean following a request to SES by using the e-Proctoring application form. Requests must be made by September 20 for Fall courses. Course Instructors considering using e-Proctoring must include a note regarding e-Proctoring in their course outlines. Further detail on e-Proctoring at Carleton can be found on the SES e-Proctoring overview page.

II. Scheduling

All tests and examinations (excepting laboratory examinations, oral and slide tests) are subject to the following scheduling rules, as set out in Article 4.1 of the undergraduate regulations and Article 9 of the graduate regulations:

  • Tests and examinations given in class must not exceed the time allotted for the class.
  • The schedule for any term tests or examinations held outside of class time must be communicated in the course outline. Students who are unable to write during this scheduled time must be accommodated before the last day of class.
  • If there is a final or end-of-term examination in a multi-term course, this examination will be held in the official examination period. This applies to FYSMs as well as to lecture courses. If there is a final examination in the summer term, it will be held during the official examination period.
  • No summative tests or final exams may be held during the last two weeks of the term, or during the last week of each half of summer term. Practical exams, where the material cannot be tested during formal examination period, are exempt from this rule provided (i) students are made aware of the practical exam requirement at the start of the term via the course outline, and (ii) the examination contributes to no more than 15% of the final grade. If provision (i) above is met but the examination comprises more than 15% of the final grade, Dean approval is required prior to informing students via the course outline.
  • Formative tests may be held during the last two weeks of classes of fall or winter, or during the last week of each half of the summer term, provided they do not total more than 15% of the final grade. Note that formative assessments are those carried out during the course that act to provide feedback and guidance to the student in addition to assessing the student’s performance. Summative assessments, by contrast, are those carried out at the end of a course or the end of specific components of a course whose sole purpose is to constitute a judgement on a student’s performance in the course or a specific component of the course.
  • Take-home examinations in any term are normally assigned on or before the last day of classes and are due on the last day of the official examination period. Final take-home examinations not set according to this normal practice must be formally scheduled by Scheduling and Examination Services and are subject to overload rules.  In all cases instructors must clearly communicate the rules for take-home examinations to students.

III. In-Person Exam Administration for Online/HyFlex Courses and Distance Exams

Scheduling and Examination Services is offering in-person exam administration for in-term tests/midterms for those courses designated as online or HyFlex. SES will provide scheduling (i.e., conflict-free date and time), space booking, and proctoring to assist with your assessment.

If your online course will require an in-person assessment, it must be stated clearly in the course outline, specifying that it will take place outside of class time (which can include Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday). If you are interested in this service, you must notify SES by submitting a request via the in-term exam data collection form before August 30. SES will reach out to you with finalized exam scheduling information by September 14.

Note that this process pertains only to in-term tests/midterms. If you require an in-person final exam (or December midterm for full year courses) for your online course, you should communicate this information to your departmental administrator.

Students who are taking an online or HyFlex class and who are living/studying outside of the Ottawa area can apply to write at a distance before September 22More information on Distance Exam services can be found on the Distance Exams overview page. If you have further questions, please reach out to onlineexams@carleton.ca.

IV. Fall and Winter Breaks

Normally, instructors cannot require students to be on campus, or to submit coursework, during the Fall and Winter break weeks and during the weekends immediately prior to and immediately following the break weeks. If exceptional circumstances necessitate holding a test during these periods, such a test can only be scheduled for the Saturday prior to the break and must be announced on the course outline distributed at the beginning of the term. Online examinations may continue to be scheduled on the Saturday prior to the break week as required.

V. In-class Examinations (tests, quizzes)

In-class tests are not normally written under full examination conditions (official proctors, etc). However, the same rules apply to tests as to examinations and take-home examinations. Please inform students before tests and quizzes of the rules.

  • If a student has unauthorized material, take it away and allow the student to continue writing.
  • If a student appears to be copying from another student, please separate them by asking one of the students to move.
  • Write a report of the incident including date, time, circumstances and any confiscated material, attach a memo alleging a violation of examination rules and submit the dossier to your chair/director for action.
  • Important reminder: In all cases of suspected academic offences, the student(s) must be allowed to complete the test, quiz, and examination.

VI. Take-home Examinations 

If you plan to give a take-home examination in your course, note the scheduling rules above.

  • You need to specify clearly whether or not it is open-book and how you want sources to be cited.
  • If you intend that all written work on the take-home be that of the individual student, include a specific directive stating this.
  • If group preparation is acceptable, but all answers must be written by the individual acting alone, then you need to state this very clearly in your course outline and, preferably, in the assignment guidelines/instructions.

Academic offences can be minimized by clear communication of your expectations.

VII. Scantron Examinations

Instructors are to pick up their scantron examinations from TLS after the grades have been processed.


VIII. Deferred Term Work

Rules and procedures governing deferred term work are specified in Article 4.4 of the undergraduate regulations and Article 9.3 of the graduate regulations. Instructors should be aware of the following:

  • Deferral of term work and final term work is the responsibility of the instructor; the Registrar cannot defer term work.
  • Students who claim illness, injury or other extraordinary circumstances beyond their control as a reason for missed term work are responsible for informing you as soon as possible and for making alternate arrangements to complete the missed work. In all cases this must occur no later than three (3) working days after the term work was due. The alternate arrangement must be made before the last day of classes in the term as published in the academic schedule. Please note:
    • Instructors may, at their discretion, require documentation to support requests for accommodation for missed course work including exams and assignments. In those cases, the Self-Declaration for Academic Considerations, shall serve as sufficient documentation. . Instructors must not request, nor are students required to provide  a doctor’s note or medical certificate.
  • In all cases, formative evaluations providing feedback to the student should be replaced with formative evaluations.
  • Normally, any deferred term work should be completed by the last day of term.
  • In the event the altered due date must extend beyond the last day of classes in the term, or if students have not submitted assignments in time for you to meet the grade submission deadline, you must submit an interim earned grade by assigning a grade of F or 0 (zero) for the deferred workand calculating the final grade accordingly. When students submit the missing assignment(s), you may change their final grade using the Submit Change of Final Grade function in the E-Grades system. Please note:
    • DO NOT use GNA or IP instead of a letter grade; these notations are only to be used in special circumstance as noted in Grades and Grading.
    • Instructors may enter grade changes in E-Grades for up to six months following the end of examination period. After that time, requests for grade changes must be sent with explanation directly to the instructor’s Chair/Director to be forwarded for approval to the appropriate Associate Dean.
  • In cases where a student is unable to complete term work due to illness or injury for a significant period of time/or long term, the instructor and/or student may elect to consult with the Registrar’s Office (undergraduate courses) or Graduate Registrar (graduate courses) to determine appropriate action.
  • Note that if a mutually agreeable accommodation to complete course requirements prior to the course grade submission deadline cannot be achieved, the Chair/Director or Associate Dean may intervene.
  • If academic accommodation is granted, but the student is unable to complete the accommodation according to the terms set out by the instructor as a result of further illness, injury or extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, the student must submit a petition to the Registrar’s Office (undergraduate courses)/Graduate Registrar (graduate courses).

IX. Deferred Final Examinations

In cases of serious illness/emergency or other circumstances that will cause students to miss the final exam, students may petition the Registrar’s Office or Graduate Registrar to write a deferred exam. In specific cases when it is not possible to offer a deferred examination, and with the approval of the Dean, an alternate accommodation may be made. The rules and procedures governing deferred final examinations are specified in Article 4.3 of the undergraduate regulations and Article 9.3 of the graduate regulations. Instructors should be aware of the following:

  • Students must apply for a deferral to the Registrar’s Office no later than three (3) working days after the original final examination or the due date of the take-home examination.
  • Instructors must submit an interim earned grade for the course for such students, calculated by assigning a grade of F or of 0 (zero) for the final examination or take-home examination, and then calculate a grade that reflects work submitted up to that point. If the student’s petition for deferral is approved, the Registrar will replace the interim earned grade with a grade of DEF. After the deferred exam, instructors will update the final grade using the Deferred Grades function in the E-Grades system.
  • Deferred final examinations are scheduled in the time period approved by Senate. Please refer to the calendar for deferred examination dates.
  • Instructors are responsible for invigilation of deferred exams, or for making arrangements for alternative supervision, with the approval of your unit chair/director.

Student Access to Term Assignments and Examination Papers

Students are to be given access to their examination papers and term assignments, governed by the following rules:

  • Final examinations (including take-homes) and unclaimed marked assignments must be retained by the instructor/department for at least one calendar year.
  • Students are allowed to peruse but not to remove, correct or otherwise change marked Final examination papers.
  • Mid-term and other examination papers may be retained or returned, at the discretion of the instructor, provided that the papers can be perused, that all students receive the same treatment and that papers are returned as suggested below.
  • Term papers and other assignments are normally to be returned to students. Since these are the property of the student, they must be protected and returned in such a way as to maximize the chances of safe delivery. Making them freely available in unsupervised public spaces (in a box in front of your office) is unacceptable, as it fosters loss, creates the potential for privacy violations, and facilitates violations of our Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Instructors are encouraged to make assignment and examination grades available to students through Brightspace. In cases of suspected Academic Offence, the course work in question is not returned until the allegation is settled.

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