Administering examinations remotely come with great challenges for instructors looking uphold positive academic outcomes. In some instances, they are unable to give succinct instructions. In other times, students are unfairly able to access past examinations especially when the instructor repeats past examinations. There are a variety of steps that can be taken to improve the academic outcomes of students. Most of them involve tuning the syllabus with the expected outcomes. That way, students understand what is expected of them at the end of the course.

Emphasize the learning objectives and creating tests linked to them. 

The absence of physical classes can considerably reduce the student’s motivation and drive. When the teacher is not constantly reminding them of the objectives of the course, the students will more likely slack off. When the stakes are high, the students will be more likely to study with the goal of understanding the content. This is however not enough for the improvement of educational outcomes. 

Furnish the students with all the content they might need for a specific course. 

These would include books, journal articles, text books and videos that give a better explanation of the topic. The students will need these materials because of their inability to engage with the teacher directly and seek clarification on the content. As aforementioned, students are more likely to be serious when faced with an exam or assignment contributing to their final grade. For that reason, the instructor should consider giving open book examinations with directions of where to get the answers. 

student picking a book: Having enough resources improve academic outcomes
Students require sufficient resources like books to improve their academic outcomes

The nature of the answers required in exams should also be narrative. Students can recount the knowledge as opposed to memorizing the content when narrating in an examination. It is at this point that the instructor will be expected to assess the assignments. This is to ensure that students do not simply copy and paste the information in the assignment sheet. One can thus advise the students to use plagiarism checkers to go through their assignments before submitting them for grading. Replicating the information in their own wording will help the students to adopt a higher order of thinking. Finally, the students will also be able to engage with the reading material at a deeper level.

Final exams with various options

An alternative method would be making all the course assignments open book and setting the final examination with a variety of options. For instance, setting 8 questions while giving the students an option of four will inspire wider reading. While still aligned with the overarching objectives, the questions should be from the various materials available to the students. This strategy is counter-intuitive. It reduces the options of exam questions while prompting wider reading for students looking to increase their chances of passing the examination. A crucial aspect of the highlighted strategies is to use a reliable plagiarism checker to uphold academic integrity while assessing the level of understanding of the students.