Written digital examinations via distance

Here you will find information regarding what applies for written digital examinations in conjunction with Karolinska Institutet’s decision that all theoretical examinations will be administered digitally via distance.

Karolinska Institutet has decided that all theoretical examinations should be conducted digitally via distance due to covid-19.

Systems for written digital examinations 

Digital examinations via distance can be conducted as an Assignment in Canvas, as a Quiz in Canvas and in Inspera. The different systems offer alternative possibilities for anonymization, plagiarism review and different question types.

All of these systems have the possibility to limit the time that the examination is available to the students, and provide the possibility of extended writing time for students who have been granted that option.

Table: Comparison of systems

Assignment in Canvas Quiz in Canvas Inspera
Student Identification Login in Canvas via student account Login in Canvas via student account Individual login code
Anonymous Grading Yes Only self-marking tests are anonymous during grading Yes
Plagiarism Review Yes No Yes (Only essay questions)
Time limit for examination Yes Yes Yes
Question types Document upload, free text Document upload, free text, multiple choice, etc. Document upload, free text, multiple choice, etc.
Limit for access to questions (Time limit for each question, one question appears at a time) Yes (through different tasks for each question) Yes (time limit for each question, show one question at a time) Yes (show one question at a time, the student cannot go back to the previous question (Modified Essay Question))
Other functions For multiple choice questions, the alternatives may come in random order. Random order of questions and for multiple choice questions the alternatives may come in random order.

Using Inspera for examinations

The following process should be used if you wish to conduct a digital examination with Inspera:

  1. You must ensure that you and other colleagues involved in the examination have the training in Inspera:
    Online training "Nätbaserad grundutbildning i Inspera" (course avalaible in Swedish, use the form to contact us for more information).
  2. Booking of an examination occurs via the booking form (form in Swedish).
    After registration, you must wait for a confirmation that your examination has been booked. In the confirmation, you will receive additional information regarding the necessary preparations, your contact person for support, what you need to inform the students about, and more.
  3. You construct the examination questions yourself in the platform.
  4. At least three working days before the examination, please notify the contact person at the Unit for Teaching and Learning (UoL) to whom you have been assigned in the confirmation.
  5. During the actual examination, some support regarding IT issues and login will be available via a Zoom room that you will be assigned. However, you or one of your colleagues participating in the examination occasion (via the Zoom Room) is expected to provide support on issues related to Inspera itself. However, if it is your first opportunity in Inspera, there are opportunities to get support here as well.


Resources for Inspera (in Swedish)

Using Canvas for examinations

Canvas is not normally recommended for examinations, but in the current situation, it is still an option as most KI employees have already been trained in Canvas. To get started with Canvas:

  1. First, contact your institution's Canvas Champion to get started.
  2. If you are not already a Canvas user, sign up for any of the courses available.
  3. Manuals for assessments, quizzes and more can be found on Canvas guides for digital examinations. Please also check Designing assessments.
  4. If you need support before and/or at the time of examination, you must submit a request at least one week before the examination occasion. To request support, please contact us about digital examinations (form in Swedish).

Considerations during digital examinations

Student Identification

In Canvas, the student is identified by logging in to Canvas with a student account. In Inspera, the student is identified by individual login code that is created and sent to the student.  If another format is used for the distance examination, identification is done by the student showing a valid ID to the teacher via web cam. This must be performed in an individual digital room (e.g. breakout room in Zoom).

Monitoring during examinations

Monitoring of students during an examination is achieved as activities are recorded in the system (Inspera, Canvas). Monitoring by webcam or similar should not be used with respect to GDPR.

Digital examination via distance.

In the case of written digital examinations via distance, the circumstances are such that it should be assumed that students have access to all sources and aids (such as course literature, other literature, notes, websites, calculators).

It should be taken into account at this stage that complete certainty cannot be achieved regarding who is actually answering the questions or that there is no unauthorized cooperation and communication. This document "Written digital examinations via distance" (below) proposes measures that are deemed to prevent, as much as possible, attempts at fraud.

If the examination cannot be carried out remotely

If the examiner considers that it is not possible to adapt the examination for remote completion at the original examination occasion, this opportunity may be cancelled and the students will be referred to a new examination occasion as soon as possible; for example, a re-examination occasion.

Anonymous examination

According to KI's regulations for examinations (valid starting from August 31, 2020), written examinations shall be coded and remain anonymous during the grading so that the examining teacher/examiner does not know who the student is. Assignment in Canvas and Inspera have the possibility for anonymization. Self-marking tests in Quiz in Canvas can be viewed as anonymous, whereas other types of tests in Quiz in Canvas are not anonymous and shall not be used in examinations.

Plagiarism Review

According to KI's rules, take-home examinations must be checked to detect plagiarism using text recognition tools. This should be done as often as possible for distance-based examination forms designed to assess theoretical knowledge.

Assignment in Canvas and Inspera enables plagiarism review through Urkund, while Canvas Quiz does not have that function. Plagiarism review can be done separately by sending the exam responses to Urkund via e-mail through the teacher's Urkund account.

Along with information provided with an examination, students should be informed that they should formulate the answers independently and that plagiarism is not allowed. They should be reminded of the importance of correct references when the use of source material and aids is permitted.

Individual work

Normally, cooperation and communication with other students or other persons are not allowed during digital examinations via distance. This should be stated in the information provided with the examination.

The examiner may allow certain forms of cooperation or communication during the examination if it is pedagogically justified. This should be stated in the information provided with the examination.

Use of sources and aids

In the case of digital examinations via distance, it is normally not effective to prohibit students from using different sources and aids (such as course literature, other literature, notes, websites, calculators).

The information provided at the time of examination should be stated in the information provided with the examination that the use of sources and aids is permitted.

Time aspects

The time at which a student will be granted access to the examination and the time when the student must submit the answers should be determined and disclosed in the information provided with the examination. The time to answer each individual question may also be limited. Assignment in Canvas, Quiz in Canvas and Inspera have different options to limit the time for the examination and for individual questions.

All systems offer the possibility to provide extended writing time (for the entire exam) for students who have been granted the option.

When the time for answering individual questions is limited, and when the time interval for the examination is determined, the conditions for students with disabilities and students who do not have the language of the examination as their mother tongue should be taken into account when possible.

Started examinations

The student is considered to have started an examination when he/she has logged into the system or opened the first question.

If the student concludes the examination without answering the questions and for no obvious reason, the student will receive a failing grade and will have utilized an examination occasion.

Information for students

Before the examination begins, students shall be informed about the rules for the examination. Information for students for written digital examination via distance.


If you need guidance and support regarding the systems and digital examinations: contact us about digital examinations (form in Swedish).