Examinations

University Policy

School of Public Health Policy

Students who have three exams scheduled on any one exam day may have that exam which falls in between the other two rescheduled to another exam day. This arrangement for rescheduling should be coordinated between the instructor and the student. Feel free to contact the registrar (617-638-4963) or the director of student services (617-638-5059) if you have any questions about this policy.

Evaluation and Exam Administration Guidelines for Instructors and Proctors

To ensure the integrity of any student evaluation process, which includes in-class exams, take-home exams, papers, exercises, projects, and presentations, students and faculty must follow the implicit and explicit policies and procedures for the evaluation process. Instructors must make policies explicit to students, must enforce policies consistently, and must report academic misconduct. Incidents that may seem minor may be part of a pattern of behavior of which the instructor or proctor is not aware.  To this end, instructors are strongly encouraged to use the following approaches to minimize academic misconduct.

1. Examination Affirmation

Instructors are encouraged to use the following notice on their exams so students are absolutely clear on the exam rules and conditions. Many professors have students sign a statement on the first page of any examination, project, or take-home assignment where collaboration is not allowed. Following is an example of such a statement:

You are on your honor to answer the exam questions on your own and with no assistance of any kind. You are subject to the School’s academic misconduct policies and procedures. Ignorance of these policies is no excuse for misconduct.

On my honor, I have neither given nor received aid on this examination.

_____________________________________________
(Student’s signature)

If the instructor allows certain aids to be used in the exam, that can be incorporated into the statement. For example, a professor may stipulate, “During the course of the examination students are permitted to refer to the course textbook and their own notes, but may not use any other materials.” Or, “Students are permitted to use calculators but may not have any other electronic device in their possession.”

How to do this

In circumstances in which students return completed question sheets, this statement can be inserted on the first page. Where students use a blue book, the statement can be placed on the first sheet of questions and students can be required to return the entire exam, or the statement can be placed on its own sheet of paper with students signing it and inserting it into their blue books before returning them to the instructor.

Paper Affirmation

Instructors can also require students to type and sign this statement on the front page of papers they submit, affirming that the papers are their own work.

2. Exam Administration Practices

In-Class Examinations
  1. When space permits, students should be separated from one another by an empty seat.
  2. The rules of the exam—e.g., the exam is closed-book, open-book, student notes may be used, or a one-page note sheet may be used—should be stated aloud clearly before the start of the exam and written on the exam.
  3. Determine in advance whether you will allow international students to use a dictionary, whether electronic or hard copy. Tell the student that you will examine the dictionary before the examination.
  4. For closed-book exams, all textbooks, readers, and notes should be placed under the seat in such a way that they are not visible to any student.
  5. All electronic devices, including cell phones, PDAs, iPods, and laptop computers must be turned off (not just silenced). If a student taking an exam must be available to receive emergency calls, the proctor should take control of the telephone for the purpose of receiving such calls and notifying the student of the call.
  6. If students require calculators to take an exam, the faculty member must include this in the course syllabus and remind the students of this the week prior to the exam. Students may not use the calculators on their PDAs, cell phones, or other prohibited devices.
  7. The instructor or proctor should monitor students during the examination, keeping track of questionable behavior. Trips to the restroom should be limited unless otherwise necessary. Trips to the restroom should be allowed for one student at a time.
  8. The instructor or proctor should announce that any violation of the rules of the exam can be considered academic misconduct, which could lead to disciplinary action.
Take-Home Examinations and Projects

Expectations regarding obtaining and returning the examination must be stated clearly. The policy for loss of grade for a late submission of an exam must be clearly stated in advance.

  1. It must be clear whether students are expected to work independently or with others.
  2. Instructors are encouraged to explore plagiarism detection licensed software such as Turnitin as a means of tracking paper submission and monitoring paper content. Please see the Boston University Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching for information on the software. (Please note: Rob Schadt will be providing more details on the software on the Teaching, Learning & Technology website.)