This semester, instructors will be responsible for scheduling and proctoring their own exams. The following policies and guidance can help faculty determine whether to hold exams, whether to hold proctored exams, and the practicalities of exam administration. 

No matter how your exams are administered, please ask students to include the Honor Code affirmation (provided below) on all formal assessments throughout the term; faculty are welcome to edit the affirmation for their course as they determine is appropriate. Student Affirmation: “I affirm my awareness of the standards of the Harvard College Honor Code.”

Proctored/Closed-Book Exams


Accommodations such as extended time and stop-the-clock breaks will be provided by the faculty proctors. AEO will not provide proctors, physical spaces, or other supports for accommodated exams. Students who utilize any form of assistive technology will do so independently, after consultation with the AEO, and faculty are not expected to provide laptops or software for students. For more specific information or questions about final exam accommodations, please contact aeo@fas.harvard.edu.

Open-Book and Unproctored Exams

For exams where problem solving and critical thinking are more important than recall or understanding of facts or concepts, open-book exams may be a solution. If you will be giving an open book or unproctored exam, it is essential that your exam is written so that students working off of shared or similar class notes or problem set solutions will be highly unlikely to generate similar exam responses.

Exams can still be limited in time, although allowing a bit of a grace period can be useful in case of technical difficulties. These exams can be administered using Canvas Quizzes. Canvas Quizzes allow you to set a window in which students may take the exam and a length for the exam. The exams can use a range of different question types or can provide the students with a document or template that they complete and upload. 

Because there generally won't be live proctors of whom students can ask questions during the exam, you'll want to make sure that you have a plan for what to do if it's clear that students as a whole didn't interpret a question in the way you intended. Pre-running your exams is always important, but it's even more critical when students won't have the opportunity to ask for clarifications during the exam.