Alternative Assessment Strategies for Going Online

Converting a face-to-face course to online mode in an emergency can be challenging for faculty and students alike. Careful planning, continuous communication, and community support and collaboration are the keys to managing this situation. Clear and frequent communication between faculty and their students is essential. Flexibility with options and deadlines and providing support to students as needed can reduce students' anxiety and enable a successful transition. 

How to ensure continuity of course assessment during the period of online instruction? 

Regarding assessment, remember that what is important is to assess that students have achieved your learning outcome(s). How you do so can change as long as you have evidence that students have achieved the intended learning outcome(s) via online learning methods.

To help navigate the options, check this simple interactive presentation that gives examples of various types of assessments and the useful tools that can be used for each type. 

Different Types of Assessment During the Period of Online Instruction:

To replace proctored assessments with alternative assessment strategies, check the resources below

All material communicated to students should always include clear directions, descriptors.

Possible Alternative Assessment Strategies:

  • Convert to multiple smaller assignments

  • Convert to an oral exam. Small classes can do one-on-one oral exams for each student using live videoconferencing

  • Convert to a project, paper, presentation 

Possible Alternative Assessment Strategies:

  • Submit via the Blackboard assignment tool. Feedback and grading can also be managed on Blackboard

  • Submit on Turnitin. Feedback and grading can also be managed on Turnitin 

  • Submit via email, professor downloads and gives feedback via comments on a word document then emails back

Possible Alternative Assessment Strategies: 

  • Ask students to pre-record videos (e.g. Zoom), post links to these videos to an online discussion board on Blackboard, and respond to audience questions there

  • Meet using live video conferencing tools (e.g. Zoom) and students can share their screens while presenting. These sessions can also be recorded and shared on Blackboard later

Check the video production guidelines (guidelines specific to student group presentations are also included)

Possible Alternative Assessment Strategies: 

  • Create Blackboard groups and give students access to various tools for collaboration

  • Students can meet each other virtually

  • Students can work on Google Docs and Google Slides together

Possible Alternative Assessment Strategies: 

  • Create Blackboard online discussions and encourage students to lead discussions asynchronously over some time

  • Class meets on a video conferencing tool (Zoom)

Possible Alternative Assessment Strategies: 

  • Submit via the Blackboard assignment tool. Feedback and grading can also be managed on Blackboard

  • Submit on Turnitin. Feedback and grading can also be managed on Turnitin

  • Submit via email, professor downloads and gives feedback via comments on a word document then emails back

Missed labs will be covered through online/videotaped resources where applicable. Refer to your chair for department-specific directions.

This list will be updated regularly

Note: AUC has acquired, tested and deployed a tool for monitoring exams/quizzes online (Respondus Monitor). Individual instructors will need to decide on whether they require a monitored online assessment. If so, monitored assessments may only be conducted through respondus monitor. Proctoring via Zoom or any other method is not allowed. For support, email

Best practices for the use of respondus lockdown browser and monitor can be found here.