Online Assessments

What are Online (open-book) assessments? Where can I find more information about online assessments?

An Online (open-book) assessment is an assessment that allows you to access materials such as summaries, notes and textbooks. This type of assessment does not just test your ability to recall information. Instead, you’ll be expected to engage in a critical and analytical manner, to demonstrate how you have understood your topic and that you can apply relevant knowledge to the question. More information on online open-book assessments can be found on the Skills@Library pages.  A helpful video to guide you through what is expected of you and the resources available for open-book assessments has also been created.


Taking an assessment online is different to sitting a closed book exam in an on-campus venue, but that does not mean that the regulations around sitting assessments are any different.  The University of Leeds takes cheating very seriously.  Cheating in University assessments is an absolute offence. Visit the Cheating and Plagiarism web page to familiarise yourself with the rules before your assessments.


Make sure you take a look at the Online Open Book Assessment Guidance on the Library pages to prepare yourself for your assessments.   

Online assessments may be scheduled for a 48-hour period, however that does not mean you are expected to spend 48-hours completing the assessment, ensure you thoroughly read the instructions of the assessment before your start.  The instructions (rubric) will inform you of the actual time you are expected to spend completing the assessment, it may also inform you of any word count restrictions that apply.  The 48-hour time period is generally to allow for technical issues, time zone differences and disability adjustments.   

All assessment question papers have a rubric.  The rubric is a set of instructions or an informative list to aid the completion of the assessment.


The front page of the assessment question paper will show:

  • The module code (this should show on every page)
  • The module title
  • The school responsible for the assessment
  • The time you are allowed to complete the assessment


Information specifically about the assessment such as:

  • If the assessment is made up of more than one section
  • What marks each section is worth
  • If there are more questions on the assessment question paper than you need to answer
  • If you need to answer a certain amount of questions from one section


Read carefully the front of the assessment question paper.



During teaching, you may have been asked to collaborate with others on tasks.  However, in an Online Open Book Assessment, you must not collude with others, the work you submit must be your own.  You must avoid any practices which could mean that you cannot honestly claim that the work submitted is your own.  See Working with Others for further guidance on working collaboratively. 


Further information on the different systems available for online assessments visit the Systems for online assessments web page.