Online Time-Limited Assessments

What are Online Time-Limited Assessments? Where can I find more information about online assessments?

An Online Time-Limited Assessment (OTLA) with a duration of 48 hours or less is a formal University assessment which is timetabled centrally by the Assessment and Progress Team. These are held during the University assessment periods. The times, dates and locations are published online by the Assessment and Progress Team. You can also access this through your personal assessment timetable via Minerva. Details of when assessment periods will take place, as well as when timetables are published and Timetable FAQs are available on the Key Dates and Locations website.

An Online Time-Limited Assessment may take a number of forms, including remote proctored, monitored, MCQ or test format. They may be managed on a number of systems including Gradescope, Minerva Test or Top Hat. More details on these systems are found on the Systems for online assessments web page. 

Alternatively, some Online Time-Limited Assessments are similar to an open book assessment, which allows you to access materials such as summaries, notes and textbooks, and all resources in Minerva. 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.

An online open exams video to help guide you through what is expected of you and the resources available for open-book assessments has also been created.

Preparing and Taking Online Assessments

Make sure you read the Online Assessment Guidance on the Online Assessments page on the Skills@Library webpages to prepare yourself for your assessments.   

Online Time-Limited Assessments are typically open for 48 hours.   This is to enable students in different time zones to start the assessment at a time suitable for them, to account for any technical issues and to enable students with Assessment Access Arrangements (reasonable adjustments) to take the time they require in addition to the standard recommended duration stated on the rubric. 

What is a recommend duration?

For a pre-prepared student (one that has revised in advance) the recommended duration is the anticipated time spent completing this assessment

What is the difference between the recommended duration and the time available to complete the assessment? 

Most Online Time-Limited Assessments are open for a duration of 48 hours. This is to ensure that students in different time zones, and those with assessment access arrangements have access to the assessment. 

This duration also enables you as a student to plan your workload in the assessment period, as you will be given an expected duration. 

You should not need to use the full allocated Online Time-Limited Assessment time to complete the assessment. Spending longer on the assessment will not improve your performance and may lead to increased stress and anxiety which could impede your performance. We strongly recommend that you plan to use the recommended duration (provided on your timetable and the assessment rubric) as a maximum, with the appropriate extra time if you have this as an adjustment. 

What is a rubric? 

A rubric is normally the front cover of an examination or Online Time-Limited Assessment. In some cases, depending on the format of the assessment, this may be supplied to you in your Minerva module area rather than as a front cover i.e., for Top Hat or Grade Scope assessments. 

The Rubric tells you how long you are recommended to take on the assessment, what tools you can use to support the assessment (if any i.e., open book), and any other information deemed important for you to know about that assessment. 

You must read the rubric before starting your assessment.

Academic Integrity

The University takes instances of cheating, plagiarism, malpractice and fraudulent or fabricated coursework very seriously. Make sure you understand the definitions and find out how to avoid plagiarism through proper referencing. For further guidance read the Academic Integrity web pages. 

Working with Others

During teaching, you may have been asked to collaborate with others on tasks.  However, in an Online Time-Limited Assessment, you must not collude with others, this means you should not discuss or compare answers or ask others for advice. 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. Collusion is a form of academic malpractice.  

Technical Issues During Online Assessments

You will have been provided with details of how to contact your school for support during your Online Time-Limited Assessment, via the rubric or Minerva area. If you experience technical difficulties during an Online Time-Limited Assessment, you should contact your school as soon as possible to make them aware of this. Please note that IT issues are not normally accepted as Mitigating Circumstances, guidance can be found on the Mitigating Circumstances web page.