Information Systems & Technology

Online Testing - Online and Hybrid Courses


This document addresses how online tests can be conducted in a way to ensure that the person enrolled in the course is the same person who is taking the test and that the test is being taken under the specified test conditions.

Validation of learner and the integrity of assessment are important in an online environment. Instructors are encouraged to match the proctoring level with the level of importance related to the assessment. For example, a low stakes, open book quiz may need no more than a time limit set within Canvas, while a high stakes final exam may need a much higher level of security, such as learner validation and live proctoring of the exam.

Guidelines for Online Tests in Online Courses

These guidelines are designed to help instructors set up online tests in the most secure and ethical manner. Harding wants to ensure that tests are taken with integrity and the results can be relied upon to be the work of the rightly enrolled person.

Types of Tests

Possible options include but are not limited to:

  1. Open book tests with time limits. Students can use books and notes, but time constraints are imposed that will not allow the student time to look up every question.
  2. Tests without constraints but results are mainly for the student’s own knowledge and learning. These could be non-graded or may be graded with the points having little to no influence on the overall grade.
  3. Proctored tests with varying options and levels of proctoring.
  4. Project-based assessments foregoing online testing.


Instructors should select the option that best matches their course assessment needs.

Best Practices for Online Testing

  1. Create a large bank of questions and have Canvas randomly choose a smaller portion of those questions for each student.
  2. Randomize questions.
  3. Randomize answer options.
  4. Use subjective question types such as essay/short answer and fill-in-the-blank.

For additional suggestions and information on formatting online tests, please contact the Testing Lab at

Proctoring Suggestions for Online Courses

When an online test demands that the instructor be certain that the enrolled student is the one taking the test and is taking the test online within the test’s criteria, one of the options is to have the test proctored. Harding recommends using Canvas and Honorlock or similar learning validation services.

Students Near Harding University Searcy Campus

Students living near the Harding University Searcy campus may use the Harding Testing Lab at no cost.

  • The Testing Lab (located in the Ezell Building, Room 211)
    • Online tests only (no paper tests)
    • The instructor must contact to make arrangements due to certain restrictions, and to have the test placed in the Scheduler and Lockdown Browser enabled.
      • In order to secure availability, the instructor must contact the Testing Lab 2 to 4 weeks prior to the testing date. Availability during Mid-term and Finals weeks fill up early so be sure to give plenty of notice during those times.
    • Students should schedule tests via


Other Online Testing Options

If a student cannot use a local proctoring service or the Harding Testing lab, please consider a 3rd party online proctoring service.

Information regarding 3rd Party Proctoring Services

Honorlock is the online proctoring service Harding recommends. For more information on Honorlock visit the Honorlock Website.

Additional online testing services are available including Examity and ProctorU.

Various levels of learning validation are available with corresponding costs. Depending on the program’s policies, proctoring fees may be covered by either the department or the student. If students are required to self-pay, this must be revealed to students up front.

Lockdown Browser

Respondus Lockdown Browser is used in the HU Testing Lab on campus and thus cannot be used on any other site on or off campus. This restriction is due to the way Respondus is installed;  using Respondus in other locations would compromise the integrity of the HU Testing Lab.

Other lockdown browsers may be used. Services such as WebAssign, which are available for purchase by students or departments.