The following material serves as an extension to the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Transforming Teaching Toolkit. You are encouraged to examine those resources as well.

Introduction: Assessments are an essential part of any course design. Through assessments, students are able to demonstrate what they have learned and you as an instructor can determine if students are able to meet the learning outcomes you have set for the course. As you prepare your course for online or blended delivery, review your current assessments to determine if they need to be modified or if there is a potential to consider an alternative assessment strategy for your online or blended course.

Recommended Assessment Strategies
Recommended Action Why How Examples
Align assessments with the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) and Graduate Attribute Indicators. It’s important to show that the assessments measure the achievement of the stated learning outcomes and how the assessments and the CLOs are linked. The CLOs are already linked to the Indicators, and these are linked to the graduate attributes. This alignment shows how students are performing in the assessments.

Determine the goals for each assessment and align it with the CLO(s). 

Watch this short video on the Continuous Course Improvement Cycle and setting up your Gradebook in onQ.

For more information or support, please reach out to the ETLT at

Check out this screenshot, which is an example of a grade book with the CLOs correctly linked to each grade item.

A list of Smith Engineering Graduate Attribute Indicators can be found here.

Consider including an ungraded practice quiz. Providing an ungraded quiz provides the students the opportunity to practice taking a quiz before they take the graded quizzes/exams. Doing this will also provide you with the chance to brainstorm solutions to any technical/logistical issues that students might run into before the actual graded exam is released. Using the onQ quiz tool, build an ungraded practice quiz that uses the different question types that are present in the graded quiz/exam. It’s helpful to make the answers available to students so they can correct their work and learn from any mistakes they might have made. A practice quiz could be a syllabus-based quiz where students answer simple questions about the syllabus. Use questions from previous exams and quizzes so that students can get used to the question style used in the course.
Use formative and summative assessments strategies. Having a sequenced and varied assessment scheme that incorporates both formative and summative options provides students with multiple ways to demonstrate their learning.

Authentic formative assessments provide the instructor with constant feedback and insight on how students are performing in the course. This feedback can be used to create scaffolding and guidance that meet different students’ needs which allows for better performance in the summative assessments.
Formative assessments are learning diagnostic tools. In your face to face class, you are able to carry out formative assessments through class discussions and Q&A sessions.

Summative assessments are used to evaluate students’ learning at the end of an instructional period.
Examples of formative assessments include low-stake onQ quizzes, discussion forums, and other short assignments.

Examples of summative assessments include midterms, final exams, and final projects.  
Provide options for hands-on learning Laboratory learning experiences are designed to help students master specific skills and tasks; however, it’s not always possible to run in-person labs and/or offering activities virtually can augment the in-person learning experiences Identify the learning outcome you wish to develop and consider offering some virtual options such as: at-home lab kits/experiments, textbook publisher virtual lab tools, video recorded demonstrations of certain lab components, simulations. Lab kits: In this approach some labs may be adapted to be sent as kits to the students. Pre-lab material and lab manuals will be updated accordingly.

Students’ lab reports must include a demonstration of the required output as part of the lab deliverables.

Virtual Labs: Different platforms that provide virtual lab experiences are commercially available.

Demonstrations: This approach includes either commercially available demonstrations such as PhET, or in-house demonstrations prepared by the course instructors and implemented by TAs with the support of the ETLT. This is an example of that.

Simulations: This approach includes commercially available simulations such as PhET Interactive Simulation, or simulations provided by textbooks.

Provide options for completing assessments. Almost all of the assessments you use in your face-to-face course can be adapted for online or blended delivery. Low stakes quizzes: can be delivered via the onQ quiz tool.

High stake exams: such as the midterm and final can be administered through virtual remote proctoring

Written assignments: use electronic assignment submission via the onQ Assignment Submission Folders.


Asynchronous option: Students may record their presentation and upload it to the discussion forum for Q/A with their peers or share it directly with the instructor via the onQ submission folder.

Synchronous option: for smaller courses, synchronous presentations are possible via Zoom or MS Teams.
If your exam questions require students to show answers with elements such as mathematical problems or graphs, consider using the assignment onQ tool where students can write their answers, take a picture of their answer, then upload it to an Assignment Submission Folder in onQ. Instructions that can be provided to students for how to use OneDrive for file submission are found here.

Alternatively, students can submit supporting files directly to questions in an onQ quiz. This method is best if grading will not require a download of every file submission, as there is no ability to bulk download files and they must be downloaded one at a time.

Consider using interactivity tools in programs such as Camtasia or H5P to deliver formative or summative quizzes to students on topics covered in video lectures. Watch this video for a side-by-side comparison of the interactivity tools in Camtasia versus H5P.

Here is a list of document scanning free and paid mobile apps that students can use to scan their answers.
Include clear assessment criteria and instructions. It is important to provide students with specific directions and clear communication about their assessments so they know what exactly is expected from them. Communicate clear expectations for all assessment types.

Use the onQ rubric feature to provide students with clear expectations for the assignments and discussions.
Discussion Rubric Example
Project Rubric Example
Use strategies to ensure Academic Integrity in your course. The online environment poses challenges in terms of academic integrity. Most of these challenges can be overcome by taking appropriate steps to make sure that all students understand the importance of academic integrity. Communicate with your students the importance of academic integrity by setting up clear expectations and guidelines, like how to cite references properly.

When building your exams/quizzes in onQ, always create question pools that provides randomized question sets for each student
Ask open ended questions that require critical thinking and problem solving skills. You can also opt for timed exams or quizzes.

Require your students to complete an Academic Integrity Statement for Online Exam Delivery. 
APA Citation Style
IEEE Citation Style

Students can download Zotero (desktop software, also has Chrome extension) so they can keep track of their references as they find them. 
Enable Turnitin for written response type assignments. Note that this does not work as well for programming courses.
Survey students to determine time zones. Being aware of students’ timezones will assist in planning and delivering the assessments such as online quizzes, tests, and other group-based assessments (if any). If you want to survey your students to determine which timezone they are in then you can find a sample Timezone Survey under Assessments > Surveys, on the "Instructor Resources" course on onQ. If you like this survey and want to use it in your onQ course, then ask the Engineering Teaching and Learning Team to copy it into your course, or you can do it yourself by using the import/export/copy components tool in onQ.  
Provide appropriate feedback in a timely manner. Learning is more effective if students are provided with sufficient feedback in a timely manner. This helps students understand the content better and gives them guidance on how to improve their learning. Set up expectations by communicating feedback on turnaround time.

Provide built-in and immediate feedback for your onQ quiz and exam questions.

Provide your students with the opportunity to submit a draft for an instructor and/or peer feedback.

Provide examples (good and bad) and model assignments for students to review.
The immediate built-in feedback could be a reference to an element in a specific chapter or module. For example, please review the equation derivation found in module 4 of the course content.

Immediate feedback can be provided for students in many ways. For example:
  • Assignments can be annotated (marked up) by graders and provided to students for detailed feedback on grading.
  • Feedback or hints can be added to quiz questions to provide students with immediate information to help inform them how to answer the question.
  • Submission views can be set up for quizzes to provide students with information on correct and incorrect answers.
  • Multiple choice, multi-select, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank type quiz questions can be auto-graded.
There are resources available for TAs to learn more about providing effective feedback. See the Centre for Teaching and Learning and the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Feedback Fruits is a tool that can be used in onQ to do a peer review of products and a peer review of group members. These types of activities allow students to receive feedback on their work ethic, writing, and more.

Discussion forums are another place where students can provide immediate support for their classmates. A Q&A forum can be posted to provide a safe space for students to ask questions visible to the whole class.
Set up the Grade tool early, and ensure it is clear. Having an organized and well-established grade book can help lower students’ anxieties about their grades. Set up your grades tool in onQ and provide students with information about how to access the grades tool. Ensure it is consistent with the grade distribution set in the syllabus. Opt for a weighted-based grade scheme instead of a points-based grade scheme whenever possible.
Use educational technology to have students provide feedback on working with a group, and to have students peer review products. With the results of assessments like these instructors can take stock of how groups are functioning and whether any changes should be made. Using these types of activities as summative assessments can also contribute to a student's participation grade or group assignment grade. Peer review/group review activities can also help keep students accountable to each other, and learn how to provide effective feedback. Find various tools from Feedback Fruits in your onQ course. There are two tools for this type of assessment - Group Member Evaluation (review of peers) and Peer Review (review of product). A Feedback Fruits video series has been prepared to inform you on why you might like to use Feedback Fruits activities, an overview of the Group Member Evaluation and Peer Review activities, student views in the activities, and other helpful links. See links for the 5-video series below:

Video 1 – Introduction
Video 2, Part 1 – Group Member Evaluation
Video 2, Part 2 – Group Member Evaluation
Video 3, Part 1 – Peer Review
Video 3, Part 2 – Peer Review
Video 4 – Student Views 
Video 5 – Helpful Links

At any time, you can reach the Engineering Teaching and Learning Team at We are here to help.