One ever-present challenge in assessment is maintaining academic integrity. This seems especially daunting in the remote/online environment, but your creativity will carry you through it. And there are some tried-and-true strategies that will help you ensure that the work students do is their own.
Let's focus on creativity first. Timed exams are standard and common assessments, but there are other ways to assess student learning, and some may be more closely aligned with your learning outcomes. As you design your assessments, consider:
Focusing on higher order skills of analysis, critical thinking, problem solving and communication of thought process and solutions, as opposed to factual recall.
Allowing (or requiring) students to consult many sources to answer questions, as we do in the real world.
Encouraging collaboration instead of competition.
Spreading assessment through the term, rather than relying on a small number of high-stakes exams.
When we think of assessment, we often think of high-stakes activities like final exams and theses, but there’s more to assessment than finals. Low-stakes assessments serve many purposes in good teaching. Breaking down large assignments into smaller chunks with embedded formative low-stakes assessment can:
help students to better assess their progress and manage their time;
help instructors to learn where and how supplemental help needs to be provided to ensure that all students are equitably prepared; and
help establish a learning environment through review and regular communications between students and the instructor.
Review the following examples of alternative assessments. They may not work for all courses, subjects, or sets of learning outcomes, but they will give you a sense of the possibilities of assessment. (You'll notice that all of these assessments also serve as learning activities.)