Invigilated (RPNow) Online Exams

2. Before the exam

2.5. Exam Design

Note: This section is still under development.

Please refer to an Academic Developer and/or Online Educational Designer for support.



  • The structure should convey meaning with questions grouped into sections and related questions immediately identifiable

Question Comprehension

  • Establish a structure and format and be consistent in how they are applied
  • Separate question context from question directive
  • Break down question directives into key deliverables akin to a bulleted list
  • Be explicit with marking allocation for each key deliverable
  • Implicitly communicate breadth and depth of student response by the size of text field provided
  • Limit how many items you draw student attention to, use one formatting option only; bold being the preferred


  • Present multipart questions as one large question to preserve context
  • Ensure question information is viewable on one screen with no scroll
  • Limit simultaneous interaction with software applications and/or content to two applications and/or instances e.g. question text and spreadsheet software
    • If simultaneous interaction is required design content such that it presents on one screen even at half screen width


  • Exploit affordances of online format by incorporating more authentic assessment
    • Consider digitisation of permitted materials e.g. swap out handheld calculator for spreadsheet software
    • Consider providing access to online information that is readily accessible outside of the education context

Response Input

  • Consistently use the same response input method to limit confusion 
    • Use only one file to minimise file management issues and support the seamless edit of past responses e.g. all responses submitted via a single spreadsheet
      • Ensure no duplication of question context and/or directive in answer sheet
      • Ensure that presents on one screen even at half screen width
  • Prepare question context, data and appendices such that information can be readily copied into the student's calculation/response


  • Check functionality of the entire exam e.g. login, passwords and hyperlinks