Invigilated (RPNow) Online Exams

This book is maintained by SAS (Exams team) and the TIU. Any associated resources are nested below

2. Before the exam

2.1. Exam Administration

Online exams schedule: 

  • Check the Academic calendar for exam period for UniSA Online and UniSA.
  • Essential dates for the administration of all online Exams are found in the Invigilated (RPNow) Online Schedule of Activities on the Examinations SharePoint page
    • Study period specific tasks and their due dates for both UniSA Online and UniSA.
    • In line with this document SAS Exams and Results team send various communications throughout each study period to manage the administration of exams. 

A checklist for Course Coordinatiors and Online Course Facilitators of the online exam process from initial exam considerations to result entry is available for download.  

A general timeline for SP 1, 3, 4 and 6 for download. 

Reading time

The Assessment Policy and Procedure Manual (section 6.7.9) states that 'Reading time will need to be incorporated into the total time for the examinations' for online exams. The intent of this clause in the Policy is that the reading time (if any) is to be included in the 'approved' total duration for the course exam. 

Exam duration

Duration of the online exam must be the same as the 'approved' exam duration on the course outline.
  • Total approved duration must always be inclusive of 15 minutes extra time per hour to accommodate any student that needs extra time to reasonably complete their exam.
  • Exam duration longer than 2 hours where the student is not to leave the room in that time (eg for a toilet break), 
    • It is a requirement to split the exam into two sittings 
    • Two hours is considered a reasonable length of time for a student to remain in the room and not require a bathroom break.

Exam times

Exam scheduling will allocate exams at the following times:
  • 10:00 am or 4:00 pm (for exams conducted in one sitting)
  • 10:00 am and 12:00 pm or 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm (for exams conducted in 2 sittings with a 1/2 hour break)
  • Exams and results team is unavailable after hours and this should be considered if requesting an after hours exam

Materials permitted

When requesting an exam please be specific with the materials students are permitted to access or bring to the exam.
  • Regardless of the type of exam (open, closed or part open book), unless it is permitted in the course outline or an approved variation, a student must not have acess to any items/materials that could provide an advantage to themselves, including electronic devices (other than those used to take the exam). 

  • Materials permitted are not displayed on the student exam timetable so it is imperative that the allowed materials entered into the Exam Portal: Online Exam Request (OER) is conveyed to students.

Consider that for a moment that you allow students to access their textbook. You will need to provide explicit and clear instructions to students about exactly what and how they can access it. This would ideally be communicated upfront in the course outline, particularly if it has implications on what they choose to purchase.

      • If an e-Textbook is required as a permitted material, a specific link to the e-Textbook will need to be provided. However, if the library does not sufficient e-book access, students will be required to purchase their own copy.

      • If students are required to purchase an e-Textbook, the link to the preferred supplier will need to be provided. For example:

E-copies of the course text book (James, N 2017, Business law, Fourth edition., John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd., Milton, Queensland) are permitted from the following locations ONLY:

      • You may wish to instead provide students with a pdf extract of relevant sections of the e-textbook

      • Alternatively you may decide to allow students to use a hard copy textbook in place of an e-textbook

Permitted materials/applications should be listed on the lead in page in Moodle for students to easily access.

Exam Portal: Online Exam Request (OER)

When requesting an online exam via the Exam Portal: Online Exam Request (OER), the following fields are completed and will determine the list of 'permitted' items/materials that are provided to the RPnow invigilators in their review of the exams:
Materials Permitted (per student): 
  • A list of permitted materials are available to select in the OER but some may need further clarification in the 'Other Permitted Materials' text box.
  • If an 'open book exam' is selected all materials will be permitted by default.
Further detail: ​
  • When materials selected here are 'written' reference materials e.g. PDF items, the exam should be flagged as 'part open book' and the specific details recorded in the 'Other Permitted Materials' text box.
  • Scrap paper reminder: if '1 x blank sheet of scrap paper permitted' is selected students must slowly show both sides during the room scan.
  • Calculations in Excel:
    • If students are only permitted to use excel for calculations, please add the following text to the 'Other Permitted Materials' box...'No calculators are allowed, including computer default calculators. Excel must be used for all calculations.'
Other Permitted Materials:
  • Items not on the Materials Permitted list and/or further clarification of specific text book, document or website.
    • e.g. url for Google translator (see 'Set up of urls in Moodle' below), specific Microsoft Excel spreadsheet 'Maths 1 formulas.xls', specific Microsoft Word document 'Scenario 1.doc'. 
    • If access is given to Excel, access should also be given to 'Sheets' for Mac users.
  • When materials are listed here that are 'written' reference materials, the exam should be flagged as 'part open book'.
Open/Part Open/Closed Book
  • Select as required e.g. Part Open.

It’s important that passwords can’t be easily guessed (or cracked) by students. In the context of supervised online exams, fortunately, you aren’t limited to the creation of memorable or easily communicated passwords as they are stored digitally (e.g. in Moodle) and are readily accessible by relevant staff.

We recommend the use of a network drive, SharePoint or OneDrive (with access granted to relevant staff) when sharing passwords as opposed to email, as email communications aren't secure.

Regarding the creation of passwords, we strongly recommend the following:

    • Use passwords that are at least 12 characters in length
    • Use a combination of mixed case letters and numbers
    • Do not use special characters/symbols such as #<>:,\/?*|&
    • Do not use a templated/replicated format e.g. coursenamestudyperiodyear
    • Do not use passwords that contain words associated with the teaching team, the course or the institution
    • Do not reuse a previously used password

To streamline the process of creating a password with suitable complexity, we suggest that you utilise a password generator. Here are two from (reputable companies):

These sites allow the selection of character length; the inclusion of upper and lower case letters; the inclusion of numbers and the exclusion of symbols/punctuation.

The randomly generated password can then be copied and pasted into the Moodle Quiz password field and/or the relevant cloud accessible document/drive.


Closed book exams:
  • No written, printed or electronic reference materials are permitted.
  • No other aids are allowed (dictionaries, reference notes, calculators, online reference materials etc) unless specified in materials permitted e.g. calculators.
Part open book exams:
  • Only written or electronic reference materials specified are allowed and must be presented during the online exam for inspection.
  • The instruction to present items for inspection must be included in the online exam.
  • Consider utilising online reference materials in lieu of hardcopy materials as hard copy items cannot be verified or checked thoroughly for notes.
Open book exams:
  • Any written or electronic reference materials are allowed.

Materials / applications that are permitted in every exam that do not need to be listed are:

PRNow UniSA Online Exam Rules 20180629

Devices for online exam e.g. computer (one monitor only), keyboard, camera, phone.
  • Students may have a mobile phone on hand for technical support only but the phone must be placed face down on the desk in view of the camera and not accessed for any other reason.
    • If the student makes a call to PRNow/UniSA IT support the phone must be on speaker so the conversation can be recorded.
    • The student must remain in full view of the camera and speak into the computer microphone.

Blacklisted applications

Some applications are 'blacklisted'.
  • These are mainly applications that have chat or record/photograph or share the screen e.g. WhatsApp, Snagit, Skype & Skype for Business, Viber.
  • These should be closed by the student before starting the exam, if not, a pop-up will appear for students prior to the exam listing the 'blacklisted' applications that are running and advising that they are being closed.
  • If a student opens a blacklisted application during the exam it will be closed immediately and a pop-up will appear advising that it is being closed.

Access to other functions within Moodle (learning materials, solutions, messages, studiosity etc.)

Students will be able to access other functions in Moodle.
  • Include in 'permitted materials' to provide details of which functions (if any) students have permission to access during the exam.
  • If a Moodle function is accessed that is not on this list it will be flagged by RPnow invigilators as a 'rules violation'.
    • Students should be advised NOT to use chat within Moodle. This is considered a breach of examination rules and will be flagged as a breach.

Set up of urls in Moodle

Urls should be set up in Moodle to open in a new window to allow the student to view their exam and the website at the same time.
  • The url will open in their default browser i.e. Internet Explorer, next to their exam in Moodle that sits within the RPNow window.
    • The student can then easily close the extra browser window when they are finished.
    • If the url has been set to open within the RPNow window (which has no 'back' button), the student can use the 'Backspace' key on their keyboard like a 'back button' to get back to the exam then copy and paste the url into a newly opened window of their preferred browser.
    • Moodle may automatically hyperlink a url but this will be set to open in the same window as the exam, not in a new window.