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Athabasca University

Frequently Asked Questions

I am very nervous about writing my exam online, what can I do?

To prepare for your online exam we encourage you to review the resources available to you on this website.

We also encourage you to review this FAQs section so that you know what to expect if you experience technical difficulties or an inexperienced invigilator.

Anxiety can prevent you from doing well in examinations. Many of our students have benefited from coping strategies offered by AU Counselling Services. AU also produces a brochure called Mastering Exam Anxiety, and provides online resources.

Before you request your examination, discuss your preparedness with your tutor or learning facilitator. If you are having difficulties preparing for your examination, please review Mastering Exam Anxiety website or email an AU counsellor.

Can I write my online exam at home?

Yes, Athabasca University has entered into an agreement with ProctorU, which allows students to write their online exams at home under the remore supervision of an AU approved invigilator.

What if I can’t log into myAU to access the online exam?

Every AU student has a myAU password. Test it out before you head to your exam.

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it at https://secure.athabascau.ca/pwmanager/change.cgi or contact:

AU Information Centre

Phone: 780-675-6100
Toll free: 1-800-788-9041 (Canada and U.S.)

The Information Centre is available to assist you from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm MST, Monday to Friday (closed statutory holidays)

If the myAU portal is unavailable due to technical problems or you can successfully log into myAU but cannot open your exam: please call the AU Examination Services during business hours:

AU Examination Services

Phone: 780-675-6579 (all other locations)
Toll free: 1-800-788-9041 ext 6579 (Canada and U.S.)

How will I know when my course has moved to online exams?

The course syllabus will be updated when the course’s exams go online. All current registrants will also receive a course announcement through Moodle. If your course is not in Moodle you will receive an email from your tutor or course coordinator.

The announcement/email will let you know the date on which online exam will begin to be scheduled.

What if the exam invigilator has problems setting up and delivering my online exam?

All AU invigilators have received a training package on how to administer online exams, including how to address the most common technical problems. If an invigilator cannot resolve an issue they can call the AU Examination Services for support during business hours. Outside of business hours the invigilator has instructions on how to generate a print copy of the exam.

The provision of invigilation is generally a paid service. If you are not satisfied with the invigilation service, we encourage you to let your invigilator know. This may prompt them to improve their service by accessing further training support.

Who reads the comment that I submitted at the end of my online exam?

Your exam marker, the AU Examination Services and the Online Exam Project Coordinator read the comments you submit at the end of your exam. You may not receive a reply to your comment unless you request action on a process or technical problem that affected your exam performance.

What happens if a student tries to access a different website while writing an online exam?

If the student leaves the exam browser during the exam, the exam automatically locks. If the invigilator accepts that the lockout was an accident, he can immediately provide the student with a new code so that the student can continue the exam. If the student gets locked out more than once and/or the invigilator suspects cheating, the invigilator is obliged to follow protocol to investigate and report the incident.

Can a student request to write their online exam on paper?

Students who require exams in paper format as a result of permanent or temporary disabling condition must register with AU’s Access to Students with Disabilities unit (ASD) in order to be eligible to request exams in paper format.

Students not registered with ASD should contact the AU Examination Services. The AU Examination Services will correspond with the student directly and make a decision. Barring exceptional circumstances, the AU Examination Services expects students to write in the format that the exam is offered as outline on the course syllabus.

Can students take blank (scrap) paper to an online exam?

Yes. Students may take blank paper to their exam. The invigilator must inspect the paper before the exam, and collect and destroy it following the exam. This information is provided to the student in their online Student Manual.

What if a student needs to bring other materials to an online exam?

If a student is allowed to bring specific materials, such as a dictionary or formula sheet, this information is provided to the student in their Course Information and to the invigilator in specific exam instructions.

Is AU moving all its exams into the new online system?

AU estimates that 80 per cent of its exams will eventually be moved into its new Online Exam System. The remaining 20 per cent of exams will have technical or physical limitations that rule out an online delivery format.

Will AU always have two online exam systems?

No. Lotus Notes is a second online exam platform at AU. Lotus Notes, which has been used at AU for 12 years, will gradually be phased out over the next four years as these exams are migrated into the AU’s new Online Exam System. If you are writing an online exam in Lotus Notes and require information or support, please contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre.

What if a student experiences technical problems during an online exam?

All AU invigilators have received a training package on how to administer online exams, including how to address the most common technical problems. If an invigilator cannot resolve an issue they can call the AU Examination Services for support during business hours. Outside of business hours the invigilator has instructions on how to generate a print copy of the exam.

If a technical problem occurs in the middle of the exam, the online exam system will autosave a student's written answers every 30 seconds. Multiple choice questions are saved once the student clicks the Save button under each question. If technical problems occur halfway through the exam, the student can write the unfinished portion of the exam on paper and be assured that the answers they have previously submitted online will be recovered.

What if a student cannot find an invigilator who can deliver an online exam?

Students should review the Invigilators section of the AU Undergraduate Calendar. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the invigilation centre has a computer with an Internet connection and an accepted web browser available for use. Also, Athabasca University has entered into an agreement with ProctorU, which allows students the opportunity to write online exams at home. If neither of these is possible, the student should contact the AU Examination Services. A staff member will help with possible solutions.

How do online exams affect students registered with AU’s Access to Students with Disabilities (ASD)?

If you are a student with a permanent or temporary disabling condition who requires exam accommodations and are registered with ASD, you will remain eligible to receive the assessed exam accommodations.

How and when will a student get their online exam grade?

Students will receive an automatic email from the MuchLearning Online Exam System when the marker has finished marking the exam. The email will provide them their grade in percent format as well as any general exam comments the markers entered in the system.

For further information on marks and grades please refer to the AU Undergraduate Calendar.

When will my other course’s exams become online exams?

Refer to the list of courses on this website to find out when if your course is scheduled to move to online exams soon.

Updated June 15 2015 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.