We are recommending that you reconsider whether your exams need to be proctored. In these uncertain times, proctoring services such as Proctor U or Examity may not be able to handle a sudden influx of requests for proctored tests.

You might consider alternate ways of assessing your student rather than a proctored exam. For example, you can convert your exam to a take-home exam or use an alternative assessment.

Alternatively, exams can be delivered online without proctoring by applying features of exam settings in Canvas. Below are Canvas exam (quiz) settings you can use to facilitate giving an exam without using proctoring. You can use one or any combination of these settings when you create your exam.

Shuffle question answers

All students receive the same answers choice; however, Canvas will randomly place the answer choices in random order. When creating the exam, you indicate which answer is correct and Canvas remembers where it places the correct answer.

Upside: Everyone has the same exact exam


  • You may need to change the wording of some of your answers. 
    • "All of the above" or "None of the above" answer choices need to be changed to "All of these" or "None of these."  This way the response makes sense regardless of their position in the answer list.
    • If you have an answer like "Both A and B," you will need to repeat the verbiage for A and B in your answer. For example:
      • A. Peanut butter
      • B. Jelly
      • C. Salsa
      • D. Both A and B
    • The "Both A and B" answer choice would have to be written "Both Peanut butter and Jelly."  Written this way, it does not matter in what position the answer choice is in.

Use question banks

Questions banks pull a specified number of questions from a pool of questions to randomize your questions.  There are two ways to use question banks.  

  1. You want to create a 50-question exam.  You would create a bank of your questions for the exam.  You then have Canvas pull 50 of the 50 questions for the student. 
    Upside: This ensures that all students have the exact same exam.
  2. You want to create a 50-question exam.  You would create a bank of 60 exam questions for the exam.  You then have Canvas pull 50 of the 60 questions for the student.
    Downside: Some questions may be more difficult than others so some students may have a slightly harder exam than others.  

Show one question at a time

You can show one question at a time and lock questions after answering.

Upside:  Prevents students from previewing all exam questions and can prevent students from returning to previously answered questions.  


  • Forces students to alter the time-management and confidence-boosting test taking strategy of answering questions they know first and then re-visiting questions they have trouble with. This can cause additional stress for some students; instructors may need to make accommodations or adjustments for situations involving heightened stress.
  • If faculty require students to use LockDown Browser and set the quiz to show one question at a time, it can cause LockDown Browser to freeze, which adds to students’ stress when taking an exam.

Place a time limit on the exam

You can choose to set a time limit by entering the number of minutes students have to complete the entire quiz. Timed quizzes begin once a student begins the exam and does not pause if the student navigates away from the quiz. If no time limit is set, students will have unlimited time to complete the quiz.

You should consider setting a time limit on the exam that corresponds to the time the students have in a face-to-face class. Another good rule of thumb is to allow a minute a question.  

Use a passcode

While this doesn’t necessarily protect against cheating, it does allow you to know that the student intentionally started the assessment.

We understand that sometimes proctoring is the best option and want to thank you for your patience as we work swiftly to finalize plans for proctored exams.  For further support, please email keeplearning@umsystem.edu.

Workshops & seminars

Faculty/instructors are invited to register for a workshop or seminar that is designed to help deliver quality learning experiences.

Register now

Alternative assessments

Faculty/instructors are encouraged to consider alternative assessments, such as projects and portfolios, without requiring proctored exams.

Learn more