Online exams can be created in cuLearn using the Quiz activity or the Assignment activity. With the Quiz activity, you can create a timed exam using multiple choice questions, or multiple question types, such as matching, short answer, true/false, and more. With the Assignment activity, you can create an exam submission dropbox where students can upload electronic text or media files within a specified time window. Below you’ll find instructions and tips for creating online exams, as well as information about student support for online exams and PMC online exam accommodations

Quiz Exams

Assignment Exams

Creating a Quiz Exam in cuLearn

When setting up a quiz exam in cuLearn, the best practice is to use a question bank category to organize and manage your exam questions.

See the step-by-step instructions below:

 STEP 1: Set up a question category in your question bank

Create a “Final Exam” category in your Question Bank.  

STEP 2: Add or import your exam questions to your question bank category

Create your exam questions within your question category, or import your Aiken-formatted multiple choice questions.

→Find out more about the different question types available in cuLearn

STEP 3: Add the quiz activity to your course

 STEP 4: Add the exam questions from your question bank category to your quiz


  • Preview your quiz to see how students will view your exam.
  • Create a practice test to help students prepare for the exam. Providing your students with a realistic practice test (complete with questions from previous exams/tests) can alleviate part of students’ anxiety and help familiarize them with the online exam format. To set up a practice test, create a zero point quiz (so it will not count toward their mark in the gradebook) and allow students an unlimited number of attempts so they can review and practice as many times as they wish.

Reviewing and Grading Quiz Exams in cuLearn

Tips to Improve Security and Reduce Cheating

Whenever students are evaluated, instructors need to find ways to prevent students from sharing their answers. This can be especially challenging when administering online assessments/evaluations. Most online quizzes are completed outside the classroom environment (though that need not be the case necessarily), so there need to be security features in place to make cheating more challenging.  For some tips and suggestions on how to prevent cheating, please review the strategies listed below:

Shuffle the order of the questions presented to students

Randomize the order of the responses to each question 

    •  To randomize the responses, enable “Shuffle the choices?” in the Question Behaviour section of your quiz settings when creating questions

Give students different questions by randomly selecting from a larger Question Bank                      

Set a time limit for taking the quiz once started   

    • The time limit can be set in the Timing section of your Quiz settings. Setting a time limit allows a countdown timer to be displayed in the quiz navigation block                                                              

Limit the availability period of an exam                                                                           

    • The availability period can be set in the Timing section of your Quiz settings by enabling the “open the quiz” and “close the quiz” date/time. Students will not be able to access the exam before the specified open time or after the close time                    

Control which aspects of the quiz may be reviewed upon completion by adjusting the Review Options in your quiz settings

    • Review Purposes:  If you are using a cuLearn Quiz for review purposes, you may want to limit Quiz feedback to:  The attempt (what students selected for their answer) and General feedback (verbal feedback given to all students regardless of their response to the question).
    • Test/Exam Purposes:  If you are using a cuLearn Quiz for assessment/testing purposes, students should only see their attempt until the Quiz is closed (no further attempts may be made by anyone in the class-including PMC students).  When the Quiz is closed, students should be able to see their attempt, whether it was correct, their mark and any relevant feedback.

Use the Calculated question type to allow the use of wild cards to randomize the values in the question

✓ Require students to agree to an honour statement                                                        

    • You can add an honour code statement in your quiz description when setting up your quiz. The description should state that by attempting the quiz, you accept and agree to all statements made within the honour code. Another way to reinforce academic integrity is to have students sign a contract emphasizing the University’s academic integrity policy and outlining consequences for violations. 

Make students aware of Moodle’s tracking and logging abilities                                  

    • If students understand that their actions within cuLearn are recorded in log files, they will be less likely to attempt to circumvent technology. Student tracking data can be found in the Logs. If you would like some help pulling out specific data contact the EDC at 613-520-2600 x4433 or

Add extra restrictions on exam attempts

    • Require password:  Students must enter a password in order to attempt the quiz. This is especially useful for a proctored quiz where you want to ensure that only students in a specific location are able to access the quiz.
    • Require network address: Like the require password setting, this is useful when you want to limit quiz access to specified computer lab on campus, or just campus in general for example).
    • Browser Security:  If this option is selected, the quiz will appear in a full screen pop-up (students’ computers must allow pop-ups) that covers all other windows and has no navigation controls.  Students will be prevented from using copy and paste features

Use Higher-order thinking Questions                                                                               

    • Write questions that address higher-order thinking skills (such as case studies) to force students to evaluate a situation or a problem, engaging them in critical thinking

Display only one exam question at a time   


Quiz FAQ

Creating an Assignment Exam in cuLearn

cuLearn’s assignments activity allows you to create a submission drop-box where students can upload their text or media exam files.

Assignment FAQ

Student Support for Online Exams

Exam help line message

If you have an urgent issue during your exam, Carleton’s Joint Online Exams Team is maintaining a toll-free emergency line (1-877-557-2930). Support for cuLearn, Information Technology Services, Scheduling and Examination Services and the Paul Menton Centre will be available.

Scheduling and Examination Services

Online Exam Accommodations

For formally scheduled exams PMC accommodations will be applied by Scheduling & Examination Services. For exams that are not formally scheduled, you can apply a quiz override in cuLearn or contact the PMC for more information about the Accommodation Process.

PMC Online Exam Accommodation FAQ

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