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Written online exam

Written online exams can be conducted within a certain period of time and are not bound to a specific location.

Students work on one or more examination tasks simultaneously on their computer or laptop

Areas of application

Written online exams are particularly suitable for large-scale exams and exams with comparable challenges, e.g.,

  • if at the exam date students from several parallel couses participate (LVP) or
  • for exams with a big number of participants per exam date (interim and final exams of VUE)

In addition, written online exams are also suitable for exams

  • in which factual knowledge is queried (remembering/understanding)
  • with few customizable solutions
  • in which a synchronous / time-limited implementation should minimize the exchange of solutions
  • with different types of questions and assignments (e.g. writing of answers in text fields, elaboration of working sheets, processing case questions)


The exam will be held from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. The students have two hours to solve various multiple-choice, single-choice and open-ended questions.

Example of a single choice question:

Did you achieve the goal?

  • Yes
  • No

Example of an open question:

How did you get there?


With written online exams, a large number of students can take part at the same time. The automatic correction of closed question reduces the correction effort.


At WU, you can use two applications for creating written online exams:

  • Digital exams
  • Learning activities

You can find both applications on MyLEARN. There are various types of questions available to you, as well as several learning modules in the learning activities.

You will find step-by-step instructions in the MyLEARN Guide for the "Digital Exams" and "Learning activities" applications.

In the training course, try out different possible exam format from a participant's perspective.

Creating exams

You can create different exam formats:

For online exams with closed and/or open questions, you can use the Digital Exams application in MyLEARN. This gives you the following options:

  • You can combine open and closed questions.
  • You have access to correction aids for open questions.
  • You can send notifications to (individual) students.

You can find further options and information on this in the MyLEARN Guide.

If you want to continue using learning activities, the following options are available:

  • Sample exam: If you want to create an online exam with closed questions only, you can use the learning activity "Sample exam". You can add the following question types:
    • Single-choice questions
    • Multiple-choice questions
    • Cloze questions with text input box or drop-down box
  • Open assignment: For online exams with only open questions, you can use the learning activity "Assignment". Here you can determine whether the students' submission should be done by entering text in a text entry box or via file upload.
  • Study modules: If your online examination should consist of open and closed questions, use the different study modules on MyLEARN. We recommend the study module "strict sequencing".

You can also use Office programmes or different file formats to design the exam. You can determine whether students receive the exam information in a document in which they can enter their answers or provide a document with the exam information that cannot be edited. Students have to enter their answers in another document.

You can make the files available to the students via the learning activity "Assignment". Here, students can upload the completed document after the exam and you have the option to do a plagiarism check of the students' submissions.

Examination specification as Excel document

Excel is particularly suitable for mathematical tasks and the use of macros. Macros can be used to fill variables with different numbers and to carry out automated assessment, e.g. on a page that can only be viewed by teachers.

Examination specification as a PowerPoint document

PowerPoint is particularly suitable for integrating videos, pictures, self-designed graphics and audio annotations. You can create assignments as slides and specify, for example, the maximum number of slides that students can add in response to each question, or you can prepare the answer slides yourself.

  • Students work out a calculation with an external program and document their calculation path with a dubbed screen recording, which they embed in the presentation.
  • Students take a picture of their handwritten calculations and embed the picture in the presentations. They then add an audio commentary where they briefly explain their procedure.
  • Students design graphics with PowerPoint and include them.

Here, too, it is important that students know which format to use for the presentation. It is recommended not to choose a video format, but rather the simple presentation format (pptx or ppts).

Examination specifications as a Word document

With the integrated formula editor in Word, students can enter symbols and expressions. If you prepare a Word document as a form, you can also create mathematical formulas using field instructions and make them available to students as quick modules.

Inform students in advance which version of Windows is required or whether they need to install certain add-ins, such as Microsoft Math-Add. Since macros can contain viruses, running macros on local computers is often prevented. In the security and privacy settings of e.g. Word, the execution of macros can be activated.

Note that content controls and Active-X controls often cannot be displayed by Mac/iOS devices.

In exams where students mainly have to solve calculations, you can use the application "Digital Exams". For the open text question, you can set conditions if necessary so that the calculation result can be corrected automatically.

You can also still use learning activities for this. See "Learning activities" in the MyLEARN Guide for step-by-step instructions and more information.

Student submissions & assessment

Once you have created and administered your online exam in MyLEARN, you will find instructions on how to view student submissions and how to assess them in the MyLEARN Guide.

As usual, the overall assessment of the exam or course will take place in BACH.

Information to students

Make the following information available to your students in good time (approx. 1 week) before the start of an exam and explicitly point this out to your students:

  • Structure and procedure of the examination
  • Permitted tools
  • Technical requirements
  • Assessment & exam review

Please inform your students in good time if they have to work with formula editors or use external calculation and drawing software. In additioin, you can provide your students with information on how to write formulas and/or calculations. For example, indicate the required number of decimal places of the result.

When a file download is required, inform the students about the file format and the program required. It is also advisable to offer appropriate sample examinations in advance.

Information for students regarding a written online exam can be found on the WU website.