Exam strategic plan: notes (last updated 2020-03-30)

My default as with other onlinisings will be lowest common denominator: just as test 2 will be was open for at least 24 hours (through Monday), the final exam will, however we do it, be available for any student to do at a civilised hour in their temporal location. We won’t be able to have everyone do it at the same time. Several options will therefore not be possible.

THE PLAN, AS AT 2020-03-28

Take-home remote exam, with honour code, as a Canvas Assignment. Students with connectivity and access issues: exam sent to them in PDF by email, and students email back their completed exam.

  • Q: if working via email, from their instructor or centralise, via coordinator?

The exam must be available on the scheduled exam day, at the scheduled time, and should take 2.5 hours maximum, so that students will be able—if they wish— to take the exam at the appointed time in their exam schedule (in case their other exams are doing this too, and so as not to create extra conflicts and hardships for them).

It will be a take-home that should take *less* time than usual, and be a reduced version of the 18W2 FREN 102 and 19W1 FREN 101 exams. (See also, some old exams here.)

The exam will be available for five exam-period days (Mon-Sat inclusive) around the scheduled exam date and time, closing around 48 hours (in regular work time) after its scheduled end, so as to allow instructors time to mark.

I’m preparing a message (which we can change if you have ideas on other things to include or exclude) to send to students in both video and text format, along with the exam instructions and honour code (further down this present post):

  • Q: *how* open book?
    • textbook + workbook
    • textbook + workbook + online dictionaries (with warnings and list of recommended dictionaries—on here and Canvas anyway—and students to add references)
    • anything you like (but individual independent work: so not using other humans, friends, family, tutors, online tutoring help, online services, etc.)
  • Q: how strict a time limit and other conditions? (see UBC-O image above)
    • loose time + stop and start (inc. to ask instructor/coordinator questions) + honour code: given the circumstances, #AcademicKindness is more important than policing and more likely to encourage honesty through mutual trust (yes, some people will cheat, some always do, that’s life: we’re not here for the psychopaths and sociopaths but for the good)
    • strict: can set up as a timed Canvas Quiz, where students start at different times
      (NB as students could work together, pass on answers, etc. this would technically be set up as an Honour Code take-home)
    • Canvas Quiz + Proctorio
      (if and only if students all taking exam at same time, which will not be the case)
    • Canvas Quiz + Proctorio + LockdownBrowser
  • Q: But what about cheating?
    • NB: those who really want to cheat can, will, and indeed have already got around these mechanisms; surveillance and distrust naturally breed distrust in return, and depersonalising authority thereby making disobedience a virtue; for more, see Proudhon, Foucault, etc.
    • NBB: the more work *you* put into policing mechanisms, the more upset you will be when—inevitably—someone cheats. It will feel personal. It is worse: the cheat has depersonalised you. This would hurt, at the best of times; we are not currently living in the best of times, so it will hurt more.
    • NBBB: More rigid =/= stronger but more brittle. Please be wary of anything that might contribute to you cracking, as a matter of mental health and wellbeing. You are more important than the **** who cheats.


  • I. listening comprehension
    (5 multiple-choice + 5 fill in blanks / micro-dictée)
    audio = from textbook or workbook
    = 10 points
  • II. open-ended opinion question associated with topic in I
    free form (no grammar etc. requirements), with image-prompt
    (which might, if you’re lucky, be amusing and/or a medieval manuscript illumination with option for instructor to change that to an image of their own free choice)
    = 10 points

    • vocab references (at least 5 from textbook with page numbers + at least 5 from dictionaries + source cited)
      = 5 points
  • III. reading comprehension
    (5 multiple-choice + 5 T/F, correct the info)
    unseen text
    = 10 pts
  • IV. open-ended opinion question associated with topic in III
    with required elements (see example in 101 exam skeleton draft)
    = 20 points

    • vocab references
      (at least 5 from textbook with page numbers + at least 5 from dictionaries + source cited)
      = 5 points
  • V. grammar transformations, based on text in III
    (20 questions: see 101 draft skeleton; in 102, transforming verb tenses, pronouns, partitive)
    = 20 points
  • VI. write about your favourite savoir-vivre item
    (+ some specifications inc. a JÓB random element)
    = 20 points
  • total = 100 points (weighted at 40% of final grade)




  • no changes to the syllabus
  • the final exam is compulsory


  • students can choose to do one of TWO things
    • the same choice must be offered to all students in all sections of the course
    • students can make their decision up to the time when the final exam closes (after which their instructor is marking and composing final grades)
    • students communicate their choice to their instructor (if they don’t, instructor assumes they took the no-exam route)
  • choice 1: no change + final exam
  • choice 2: the “reweighting” described in the Faculty of Arts 2020-03-27 information
    • students submit all coursework (see next question), by whatever date; for mine, all due dates moved to the day of the exam, 22 April
    • no final exam
    • instructor marks work
    • and converts what was 60% of the mark into 100% (= x 10/6; JÓB can help with maths, if in doubt please ask as that is easier than sorting out changes of grade afterwards)
    • and submits that, as a final grade, along with all final grades for all students, on the FSC


  • projet stage 3 (or equivalent, depending on section, but finish project)? OPEN QUESTION
    • consult instructors
    • consult students
    • a reduced version?
    • optional too?
  • savoir-vivre: YES, as this is term-long work
    • student to indicate that they only did this up to, say, this week
    • instructor to mark generously (at least 70% if the work has been more or less regular and frequent)
  • cahier up to end? YES, SORT OF
    • at least half of current dossier (D4 for 101, D8 for 102: for this, pick random pages for students to photograph and send/submit, as with test 2) and at least half the bilans (so, 2/4 for each course; student to send photos)
    • or ??? just give students the points, it’s only 2%: those who opt to take the final exam can always discuss cahier questions in office hours in the exam period


  • Q: what happens with Credit/D/Fail?
    • (please read Arts information further down)
    • this is the UBC version of “pass/fail”
    • a student would make this decision once they have their final grade, so not until after the final exam and its marking
    • they do so by completing a form and sending it to Arts Advising
    • a decision for the student to make for every course, separately (for more, or if they want to do this for the whole lot, they should talk to Arts Advising)
  • Q: what about a student who just wants to stop working now?
    • (see Arts stuff further down re. not offering different options to different individuals)
    • suggest taking the Credit/D/Fail option
  • Q: exam to include listening comprehension + audio file (as done previously with Accessibility tests)?
  • Q: add a “treasure-hunt” element that is based on students having and using their textbook? Ex. identify the audio track for the listening comprehension (I’ll use audio from the textbook or workbook), find the page where we met a certain word in the reading comprehension, have initial letters of answers that form an acrostic that’s a vocab word to use in the final writing section …

an image-prompt for open-ended writing (for a short question or a longer one; this was one of three choices in a take-home midterm in 16S2); for more, see O’Brien, for example “Some Medieval Eschargotology


  • FREN 102 Weds 22 April 19:00-21:30
    • Mon 30-Tues 31 March: team consultation on exam practicalities
    • Thurs 2 April (not the 1st as people might think it’s an April Fool): JÓB writes and videos message for students, emails her own section and those of TAs, and sends message to faculty instructors for them to send to their own section
    • Mon 13-Tues 14 April: JÓB prepares exam
    • Weds 15 April: JÓB sends PDF exam to instructors
    • Fri 17 April: JÓB puts exam up on Canvas course site for her own section and on sites of TAs using Canvas for their exam
    • Mon 20 April 08:00 to Friday 24 April 22:00: exam available to students
    • students with issues, hardships, etc. to email JÓB
    • Mon 27 April: JÓB emails corrigé approximatif to colleagues after exam closes
    • Mon 27-Thurs 30 April: instructors mark their section’s exams and prepare final grades
    • Mon 4 May: instructors’ final grades due on FSC (JÓB to double-check with SG / Arts Advising, I think this deadline gives us a couple of days’ leeway)
  • FREN 101 Fri 24 April 19:00-21:30
    • Mon 30-Tues 31 March: team consultation on exam practicalities
    • Thurs 2 April (not the 1st as people might think it’s an April Fool): JÓB writes and videos message for students, emails her own section and those of TAs, and sends message to faculty instructors for them to send to their own section
    • Weds 15-Thurs 16 April: JÓB prepares exam
    • Fri 17 April: JÓB sends PDF exam to instructors
    • (Mon 20 April: JÓB works on Canvas course site for P., if she’s running her section’s exam on Canvas)
    • Weds 22 April 08:00 to Monday 27 April 22:00: exam available to students
    • students with issues, hardships, etc. to email JÓB
    • Tues 28 April: JÓB emails corrigé approximatif to colleagues after exam closes
    • Tues 28-Thurs 30 April: instructors mark their final exams and prepare final grades (and Sat 2 May; Fri 1st May is May Day and I do not expect ANY of us to be working then)
    • Mon 4 May: instructors’ final grades due on FSC (JÓB to double-check with SG / Arts Advising, I think this deadline gives us a couple of days’ leeway)


= will be on the front page of the exam (if emailed PDF); or the first item, to be copied and pasted into a student’s own exam (if Canvas Assignment); or the first question (if Canvas Quiz)


This is an honour-code take-home examination.

You MAY use:

  • our course materials: Cosmopolite 1 textbook and workbook (including the pamphlets at the end) and shared course materials on Canvas;
  • your own notes from this class; and
  • a dictionary (or dictionaries, plural, you may use more than one: see further down for a list of dictionaries: all are online and free).

Before you start, please read this page of information and, especially, the formal statement at the end and sign your name (writing it is fine) and write the date.

Time: two and a half hours. The exam stays open for several days. It is designed to take around two hours, comfortably, with time for thinking and for looking things up. You may stop and start as need be: we will trust you to keep an eye on time. If you’re slightly over time, that’s OK. We’d like you to NOT worry about things like that, and instead focus your energies and excellent minds on the exam itself.

As this exam is independent individual work, you are honour-bound NOT to communicate with anyone until you have finished and submitted the exam: that means no communication of any sort and in any medium with anyone: classmates, other students, family, friends, neighbours, tutors, online services, etc.

EXCEPT: You might need to stop the exam and step away from it to deal with something at home: you might need to attend to a relative, help someone out, you might be interrupted by children. That’s FINE AND UNDERSTANDABLE. (Just don’t talk to them about any material content in the exam. Exercise common sense: if a child asks “what are you doing?” and you mention the word “exam” in your reply to them, that’s OK even though technically it’s talking about the exam to another person.)

AND EXCEPT: You may ask your instructor and/or the coordinator questions for clarification: the coordinator will respond to emails (juliet.obrien@ubc.ca) Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., your instructor will inform you separately of their availability. If you think that your question is the sort where you could find the answer by Googling, for example, which isn’t just looking up a word in a dictionary: this is the kind of question that you should ask your coordinator or instructor, so email to ask your question and we’ll help!

How to work on and submit your exam:

  • You can work directly on this document, or on a separate electronic document, or write by hand on paper and then scan or photograph it.
  • Then save your work as a PDF.
  • Your instructor will tell you how to hand it to them: this will probably be on Canvas. It might be by email. (Such things may vary from section to section in our course, and from student to student depending on all of our individual circumstances.)


The following approved dictionaries are free, online, and French into and from a number of languages. When looking up a word, read through the WHOLE dictionary entry for it, read contextualised examples of usage (Linguee is very good for this), and do a reverse look-up when you think that you have the right word, to check. Individual words rarely translate as exact 1:1 mappings. If in doubt, please include the original word that you were looking up—in any language—next to the word you found or above it or in a footnote. That will help your instructor  when they are reading your work.


As you all know, our new onlinised learning environment offers us an opportunity to think, learn, and engage with the course materials and with each other in new and innovative ways.  Throughout this process—including during exams—please remember that as members of this academic community, we should act according to the same code of honour, where we take responsibility for our personal behaviour, respect others, nurture independent thought, and abide by the standards of academic integrity embraced by UBC and as is expressed in our course syllabus in both in-person and online learning environments. For this specific assessment, we hope that you will respect the guidelines. We trust you.

A note for students who are worried about the possibility that other students might cheat on this exam:

  • In accordance with the UBC Respectful Environment Statement, I will treat you as moral agents and responsible adults, and hold you to the same standards as I do my faculty colleagues and indeed as I hold myself: we are all fellow Members of the University.
  • I will assume, and presume, that you are all persons of honour.
  • Once your instructor has marked your exams, they and/or the course coordinator will be selecting, at random, people who have done very well on this exam (= 80% / A- and above) and your instructor or the coordinator will have a short conversation with you (probably Canvas Collaborate, as it supports telephone calls) to go through certain parts of your exam with you. If you’ve done your exam honestly, this will just be a bonus one-on-one chat and some human contact and some extra French conversation practice!


I pledge my word as my bond and promise on my honour as a Member of our University that:

  • this is my own individual work;
  • I have done this work alone and independently: without contacting, communicating with, or assistance from other examination candidates, students, friends, family, neighbours, tutors, online services, or any other person; though I may ask my instructor or the coordinator questions for clarification;
  • I have not consulted or used any unauthorised materials: automated translation, translation engines, spell-checking and grammar-checking software; and
  • the only materials that I have accessed are those that are permitted: our course materials (Cosmopolite 1), course materials on our Canvas course site, my own course notes, and a dictionary.

Signed: ____________________________   Date: __________________

As per Joël’s last email, all options are open:

No final exam held, or the final exam is made optional
Alternate assessment given in place of final exam (or a choice for students between 1 & 2)
“Take home” exam (i.e., exam-style assessment, but done remotely with honor code)
Online exam (through Canvas, etc.)
Online proctored exam (as 4, but with invigilation – e.g. Proctorio)

More on this later to be decided in our meetings on Mon 30th & Tues 31st: I’ve left it open on the (2020-03-16) new syllabus deliberately. The university is working on this through this week (ex. Science drafted their version of an honour code today, Arts is working on it) and probably next. See Arts information from 2020-03-27 below. I’m planning a virtual meeting to talk exams on Monday 30th/Tuesday 31st. That gives us two weeks for the university to do some more work and for us to plan.


Arts Advising links:

Message sent to students 2020-03-27: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uu7s2ogg00f43wq/ARTS%20INFO%20cdfW%20detailed%20comms%20student%20_final.pdf?dl=0

FoA Covid-19 FAQs – Students / Grading
Query Response
Can I decide now to change my syllabus again to create the option of not holding a final exam/assignment? Yes, please make sure you give students clearly outlined options, and be sure to clarify if/how things have changed since the previous updated syllabus was provided to them.
Why is Pass/Fail not an option? P/F was the first option discussed. It was dismissed for the following two reasons:
1) Students who have completed courses or a significant amount of work want their grades. We were already 10 weeks into the term when this began and many students had been and still are committed to their course work and have advocated for this option.
2) Pass/Fail standings are determined when a course passes curriculum, and it is a difficult and lengthy process to change it in the system.
Why not make the whole term Cr/D/F? Many students want grades, and one of our critical principles is to allow them the choice between the options available with as much information to support their choices as we can provide. Some students may choose to make their entire term Cr/D/F. We are currently working with competitive entry programs (i.e., with GPA minimums) to determine how they will adjust admissions, etc.
Do I have to change my syllabus again after receiving new suggestions? No. As long as you provided students with options regarding completing the course when you first revised the syllabus, you are not required to change your syllabus again.
When will grades be due? Until we are notified otherwise, the submission is standard: 7 days after the scheduled exam or final assignment, unless you have an exam in the last week, then it is 5 days after your exam. However, we are asking instuctors to submit grades as soon as possible and to prioritize Year 4(+) students, who may have applied for graduation. Graduation, continuation and promotion are all more difficult remotely. If grades come late or all at the very last minute, we will struggle to meet graduation and registration deadlines.
Why is Cr/D/F opening for students after grades are released? Cr/D/F is a manual and labour-intensive process. We want students to make a firm decision, and we believe this will be easier for them to do once they have their grades. By releasing the form later, we will minimize changes. Withdrawals are available now, and students can access the online form on Friday, March 27th:
Can students apply for late Withdrawals now? Yes. We will be releasing a withdrawal form on Friday the 27th, which students can use to request a W (see link noted above).
Will I still need to do Change of Grades? How will I do it? For the students who keep their grades, there will still be Change of Grade forms for the usual small marking errors. There may also be students who complete SDs for Term 1. Right now, please submit them to the department electronically (if you can’t forward the FSC document, please email your department contact with the details). Enrolment Services is working out a new process to capture the signatures, and we will communicate that new process to Heads, Directors, and Administrators once it is ready.
May I move my final exam from the date scheduled during the exam period? No. If you are still planning on holding a final exam, please use the originally scheduled time. This will minimize scheduling conflicts for students. We recognize doing so may be difficult as many students are now in various time zones and with varied access to the internet and adequate technology. Again, we hope the Cr/D/F and late W options will allow both instructors and students to have choices about how to manage this exam period. It is not permitted to change the exam time to another 3-hour slot that was not assigned to your course. You may make your exam available longer to allow students in other time zones to access it more easily.
Am I allowed to enter a grade based on a student’s current standing in the course (without requiring them to submit any further work and without penalizing them for non-submission of that work, not writing the exam, etc.)? You can remove assignments and even the final, adjusting the course grade weighting accordingly. If you do that, it needs to be for the whole course, not individual students and should be communicated clearly to students on CANVAS/Syllabus. Ideally, this can be one option for students, but the instructor should, if at all possible, also allow students to choose to complete the course.
When may I submit my grades on the FSC? Instructors may submit grades on CANVAS for students to see at any time; as soon as assessments (based on whatever options you’ve provided) are complete, a tentative final mark can be circulated on CANVAS, but we would prefer if instructors hold off inputting marks on FSC until classes end next week. Instructors will be submitting percentage marks as usual.
Can instructors themselves give students options regarding grading, for example the option to take the grade they have now, or complete more assignments to raise their grade? That would create different standards for different students, but also a student-driven flexibility at the course level. This is the most common question we are seeing, because it does certainly challenge all of us on the idea of different standards. Yes, instructors can give grading options to students, but they should give them a choice as they do so. The formulation we’ve seen that seems to work is:

a) Re-weighting the course; or,
b) Completing an additional assignment/final exam, etc.

In these exceptional times, the key is that the student must have a choice as to which works best for them. And if neither works, that’s where Advising can come in to try a couple of other options.

With these new options for students (Cr/D/F and W), does the instructor have to reweigh the term for the whole class or can it be done on a student by student basis – as a student choice. For instance, see the dilemma posed below.

I have a small handful of students (maybe 2 or 3) who seem especially stressed out about the current situation – one who recently lost their job, another with family stuff. In light of this, I was thinking I might offer the students the option to take their current grade as their final grade, scrapping the final paper. I think a few them might take it, others will submit a final anyway.
We would generally suggest that the instructor (if possible) give the whole class the option.

A) Reweight, or
B) Write the final

Add as part of the messaging that you are trying to create options so that people can make the best choices they can in light of their individual circumstances. Hopefully that reminds students that every student has a different situation and minimizes unfairness.

The students can communicate their choice to the instructor.

One of our colleagues summarizes the situation this way: “So what is uniform is the offer of choices. What is individual is the choice.” And we think this captures the essence of what we’re aiming for.

Does this mean I should type a letter into the FSC box where normally an instructor would enter a % mark? No. You should still enter a numerical grade in the FSC, not a letter. If the student chooses Cr/D/F, the standing is layered over the percentage grade.
Should I give my students an option for counting or not counting grades on individual assignments and/or the final exam? No. We do not encourage grading on a case-by-case basisStudents should operate within the parameters instructors set out (reweighting, options, etc.) and then if they do not wish to accept the grade, decide whether they wish to withdraw or change to Cr/D/F.
Can I cancel my final exam altogether? Yes. If you decide to do without your final exam, you should adjust grade weighting accordingly and make the changes clear to your students. Please make sure to give them an additional option. If you have a student who was counting on the final examination, consider if there is a way they can complete an additional “final” assignment.
My folks have a question about whether there is a minimum percentage of coursework that needs to have been done before reweighting the course grade? Does 50% of the marks have to be in? Or entirely at instructor’s discretion? This is a tough one. We are relying on the expertise of instructors here to make this call. On the one hand, instructors are best placed to understand when the core learning outcomes have been met/assessed, so that students will be able to progress smoothly to the next course, etc. On the other hand, we recognize that it will be a challenge for most instructors and students to be working at full capacity during this time. In “normal” times, we would hope to see at least 75% of course work/outcomes achieved; however, if instructors work with their Heads/Undergraduate Chairs to ensure that within the structure of major progression (pre-reqs, etc.) enough has been covered to allow students who complete to move forward, then we defer to their judgement.
There was talk of Aegrotat standing (AEG). What is that? Can I assign it? No. Aegrotat standing is used when a student can’t complete a course for significant health or personal reasons, but they have done enough work to qualify for credit. It doesn’t work for a large group of students. However we may find individual cases where it could be useful. Generally students will approach Advising, and Advising then reaches out to instructors. If you have a student situation you wish to discuss, please contact advising at arts.advisor@ubc.ca.
Is an SD still an option for students? Yes. You may have a student who for reasons of health or personal circumstance is unable to write a final examination when they intended to do so. These students would be eligible for an SD. If you are willing to create a different option for a student when they have been assigned an SD, please contact Advising and the student to discuss.



Academic Integrity Statement

As a scholarly community, we share an understanding of the ethical ways that we use and produce knowledge. A core practice of this shared value of academic integrity is that we acknowledge the contributions of others to our own work, but it also means we produce our own contributions that add to the academic conversation: we don’t buy or copy academic work, nor present as ours a document that has been translated by someone else or a translation software. We also don’t falsify data or sources, or hand in the same work in more than one course.

Any instance of cheating or taking credit for someone else’s work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can and often will result in at minimum a grade of zero for the assignment, and these cases will be reported to the FHIS Department Head, and the Faculty of Arts Associate Dean, Academic.

See the UBC Calendar entries on Academic Honesty, Academic Misconduct, and Disciplinary Measures, and check out the Student Declaration and Responsibility. See Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism, from the Chapman Learning Commons.


Student declaration and responsibility:

Upon registering, a student has initiated a contract with the University and is bound by the following declaration:

“I hereby accept and submit myself to the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) of The University of British Columbia, and of the faculty or faculties in which I am registered, and to any amendments thereto which may be made while I am a student of the University, and I promise to observe the same.”

The student declaration is important. It imposes obligations on students and affects rights and privileges […] By agreeing to become a student, you make the declaration above and agree to be bound by it. […]

Students are required to inform themselves of the statutes, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws, codes, and policies) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. For policies and procedures issued by the Board of Governors, see the University of British Columbia Policy and Procedure Handbook or the Office of the University Counsel for the official text. For policies issued by the Vancouver Senate, see the Senate for up-to-date copies.

The University authorities do not assume responsibilities for others that naturally rest with adults themselves. This being so, the University relies on the good sense and on the home training of students for the preservation of good moral standards and for appropriate modes of behaviour and dress. […]

Academic honesty and standards: http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=3,286,0,0#15620

Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of the University of British Columbia as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

It is the student’s obligation to inform himself or herself of the applicable standards for academic honesty. Students must be aware that standards at the University of British Columbia may be different from those in secondary schools or at other institutions. If a student is in any doubt as to the standard of academic honesty in a particular course or assignment, then the student must consult with the instructor as soon as possible, and in no case should a student submit an assignment if the student is not clear on the relevant standard of academic honesty.

If an allegation is made against a student, the Registrar may place the student on academic hold until the President has made his or her final decision. When a student is placed on academic hold, the student is blocked from all activity in the Student Service Centre.

Academic misconduct: http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=3,54,111,959

Student conduct during examinations: http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=3%2C41%2C90%2C0

Respectful Environment Statement: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/respectful-environment/files/UBC-Statement-on-Respectful-Environment-2014.pdf


[2020-03-28 UPDATE

One idea I had was to have 4 sittings and a slightly different exam in each one: so, say, starts at the traditional UBC exam start times of PST 0830-1100, 1200-1430, 1530-1800, 1900-2130. I think that should mean that anyone anywhere in the world would be able to sit the exam at a time that’s morning, daytime, or evening (ex. 0830 = 5:30 p.m. in Tel Aviv, 8:30 p.m. in Delhi). We could if need be add a 5th sitting, 1030-0100.

A related idea: As students should be sitting their exam at the scheduled time in the exam schedule, one thing they could do would be to do their exam at that time (ex. 7 p.m.) in their time zone, and to move their whole exam schedule into their own time zone. So a 19:00 PST exam would start at 19:00 wherever they happened to be.

That could be set up on Canvas.

HOWEVER: this only works if that’s what all courses are doing. We can’t assume that all profs and all classes are being flexible and/or thinking of students and their practicalities. And we can’t reset scheduled exam times to times that conflict with other exams.]

Another idea, my own preference, is to go simple and do a take-home as a Canvas Assignment. (For students with access or connection issues: email their prof when ready to start.) When a student’s ready to sit the exam (during that approximate time-slot, one of the four above) they email prof, prof emails them the exam, and the clock starts. This is a fuzzy clock, as students can stop and start and might need to, given Life.

Another idea: could do this over email, but centralised so as to reduce burden on instructors (who can’t be expected to be online all day): set up invigilation teams, who run an email account (this will need to be set up with IT) for a time band, whose invigilatorial duties will be in email out an exam, making a note of the time. Negatives: set-up, security, and more complicated than Canvas.

Easiest solution, therefore: exam on Canvas (J to set it up in TA sections, guide on how to so this to sessional colleagues). Student start times and online presence is monitored, approximately, anyway for anyone who cares about that sort of thing.

When finished, a student uploads to Canvas (or emails back) any of the following in PDF:

  • Exam + answers typed directly there
  • Fresh doc
  • Exam printed out and written on by hand, then photo/scan
  • On paper, written by hand, then photo/scan


Exam created in Canvas as a Quiz (some multiple choice, most questions as text), and done with Protorio. Students write directly there.


Exam on Canvas as a full complex Quiz = upload extra questions, the exam gives a different selection of them to students in random order. (This depends on students all being able to do the exam on Canvas.)

If doing email method and 5 sittings, we could have 5 instructors each do a shift (rather than everyone being on all day); in lieu of in-person invigilation or students emailing their prof, and each of us being on email for 17 hours …


Following the regular 101+102 exam formats (see Révisions)


in the 2 open-ended writing sections, adding STORYCUBES dice : throw, say, 6 dice and ask students to use and identify and underline at least 2 —verbs, vocab—in each answer


in the last section, talk about your favourite savoir-vivre item, add other StoryCubes dice : the character to whom you are explaining this. Choice of 3 dice here, and I’ll recast to check they’re book vocab or cognates.

(I’ll do a practice run with Test 2, which is open-book, and/or exercises in classes next 3 weeks.)