Soc Sci Exams Planning

Bill Maurer
Wed Mar 11 13:21:39 PDT 2020
Dear faculty, lecturers, staff and grad students,

We understand the uncertainty and stress surrounding finals week. We’d 
like to offer the following suggestions to make it as smooth as possible 
for you and your students:

1.    Look at your existing final exam. Consider simplifying it a lot. 
Ask yourself if you already have enough material from your students from 
the quarter to provide an assessment and grade with a minimal final exam 
(even something as simple as a quiz). We recommend you consider making 
your final a take home exam understanding the current situation warrants 
a different way of thinking about exams. Please keep to the schedule on 
your syllabus. If you did not have plans to offer the final this week, 

2.    You have 2 options for exam administration:

a.    If your class is already set up in Canvas, create a quiz in Canvas 
to use as the exam. The quiz function in Canvas has options for multiple 
choice, short answer and essay. If you don’t know how to use Canvas, 
forget about it for finals week, you’ll learn later for spring quarter. 
If you decide to use Canvas to administer your final exam, use the 
announcements function in Canvas to tell your students.

b.    If you are not already a user of Canvas, create an electronic 
version of your exam and email it to all of your students using your eee 
class email list. Go to, log in, click on “Toolbox,” scroll 
to “eee Legacy Tools,” click on “Class Mail Manager,” and locate the 
email address for your class. Be sure to give the students a deadline 
for returning the exam and instructions on how to do so.

For exam return, the easiest, but logistically challenging option is to 
have them email it to you. You can accept exams at your UCI email 
address or the school can create for you a course email (for example: 
(econ28 at If you would like to request a course email, 
this should be done through (sscs at with course name, course number 
SUNDAY. The request must come from the instructor. Social sciences 
computing services will provide a password to instructors. Returned 
exams and projects over 25MB will need to be shared by the student via 
Google Drive to the course email address; the email system attachment 
size limit is 25MB.

3.    You may be worrying about cheating. Given the circumstances and 
the short amount of time we have to pivot toward remote exams, we 
encourage you to worry less. You can author a stern warning to your 
students about academic integrity and/or use Examity (the campus will be 
providing Examity to students free of charge – more to come on that as 
we get information), or in Canvas, use Respondus. An option to consider: 
Randomize your exam questions in Canvas or create three different 
versions of your exam with randomized question order if sending via 
email. If you have never used Canvas or Examity before, then we advise 
you simply to provide your students a reminder about academic integrity 
and trust them.

4.    Please stick as closely as possible to the syllabus that your 
students already have. If you feel it’s important to change the 
weighting of your final, please notify your students as soon as possible 
with an explanation.

Remember that you have the authority in your class to decide how to 
assess students and how to calculate final grades. Remember too that the 
great majority of our students are here to learn and engage and will 
appreciate all the efforts you make to ensure finals week, despite the 
disruption, is still part of their learning experience.

Bill Maurer, Dean
Evan Schofer, Chair, Executive Committee