On this page, you will find all of the most up to date guidelines from the Faculty of Engineering in the context of the pandemic.

Faculty of Engineering guidelines during the pandemic (2021-2022 academic year)

Faculty of Engineering Position on Remote Exam Monitoring

The University of Ottawa has officially sanctioned Respondus as a remote monitoring tool for online examinations conducted through the Brightspace LMS. However, following a detailed consideration of the software, the Engineering Faculty Executive does not support the use of Respondus or other remote monitoring solutions in examinations. Professors are at liberty to employ Respondus if they so wish.  However, professors have an obligation to provide a fair and effective alternative assessment approach for students who opt out of remote monitoring for any reason. Furthermore, professors who do intend to use remote monitoring must make this clear in their syllabus, and must mention in the syllabus that students have the right to opt out and that an alternative evaluation will be provided for such students.

Please note that this position statement was shared with the Faculty of Engineering professors. Courses offered by other faculties (e.g. MAT, CHM, PHY, HIS, and PHI) may be subject to other recommendations, which apply to the Engineering and Computer Science students taking them.

Since the position statement issued above, please note that the University has authorized the use of Zoom without recording for live remote proctoring of exams. This does not require student approval.

Get more information on Respondus.

Teaching and assessment guidelines

  1. Our key priority is health and mental health of our students.
  2. Professors must recognize that students may be taking their courses from around the world in different time zones. Also, students may be quarantined at any time. Some will have poor internet access, and some have no camera. These situations need to be taken into consideration when delivering courses.
  3. Professors must hold at least some live, synchronous classes with students, and are strongly encouraged to also record these and post the videos to Brightspace. This is needed to accommodate students in different time zones and students who have poor Internet access.
  4. Professors are encouraged to show flexibility regarding attendance and submission of work.
  5. Students who will miss tests or deadlines for valid reasons, whether on medical grounds or due to exceptional personal circumstances, should follow the instructions in University Regulation I-9.5.
  6. Professors should hold assessments that cover all the material of the course and cover the learning objectives while reducing opportunities for cheating. If such assessments are structured such that there will be no final exams, this should be cleared with the chair and associate chair.
  7. If a final exam is scheduled, it will take place online only (not in person), at the time indicated in the exam schedule posted in uoZone (for students) and uoCampus (for professors).
  8. When administering tests and exams online, professors are encouraged to use processes, software and hardware tools with which the students have gained familiarity throughout the course. For example, if downloading paper forms and uploading scans or photos will be needed during exams, students should have gained familiarity with these procedures within the context of that course. Ample time for uploading and downloading should be allowed during exams, and accommodation should be granted to students who have technical difficulties with such tasks.
  9. Professors need to ensure extra time during exams is given to students who have been granted such time by Access Services.
  10. Professors should arrange for students to submit integrity statements along with their exams. The suggested integrity statement is below.
  11. A 24-hour take-home exam should not take more than 3 hours to complete and should be due at the ending time of the Faculty-scheduled period for the exam in that course.
  12. Professors must not penalize students who are not able to use a video camera.
  13. Where multiple professors are teaching separate sections of a given course, they must arrange to use the same methods of evaluation. English and French sections of the same course should use the same methods where possible.
  14. Professors should ensure their syllabus covers the approach to online education.
  15. Students will be given a regular alphanumeric final grade.
  16. Professors are encouraged to adopt approaches that minimize the risk of cheating, taking into account the accommodations mentioned above, and not making exams significantly more stressful than they normally would be.

Suggested integrity statement

I understand the importance of professional integrity in my education and future career in engineering or computer science. I hereby certify that I have done and will do all work on this examination entirely by myself, without outside assistance or the use of unauthorized information sources. Furthermore, I will not provide assistance to others.

Frequently asked questions for final assessments (FAQ)


Question 1: What if a student cannot print an exam that is designed to be filled out with spaces for answers such as drawings or calculations?

The problem may be that the student does not possess a printer, or it runs out of ink, or fails. The problem could happen during the exam, but even if anticipated, many stores are not open, or the student may be in a remote location without access to such a store.

Students should be permitted to submit answers written on blank paper (with the student’s name, student number and signature), even if the preferred format is to write/draw on the printed exam paper. Typed answers should be allowed too, except where diagrams or similar answers are required. Photos of such answers will be acceptable.

Question 2: What if a student starts an online exam and then does not submit it for various reasons (e.g. Internet failure)? Will they be failed or be able to get a deferral?

Since there are many technical problems that can cause a student to not be able to upload exam answers, the professors can accommodate students that meet technical difficulties during an exam. In the case of a similar situation, the professor must ask the student to contact the technical assistance by filing the online form or by dialling 1-866-811-3201. Once this is done, they need to inform the Engineering Undergraduate Studies Office (bacinfo@engineering.uOttawa.ca). Requests without unreasonable cause will be accommodated by the Undergraduate Studies Office. We live in extraordinary times and therefore we try to find flexible solutions that accommodate our students.

Question 3: What if a student has no scanner to submit an exam or question that has to be done on paper?

Although it might be easier to read and mark a scanned exam, a good set of photographs of each page will be acceptable too, as should typed answers for the vast majority of question types. Note that many professors will be creating exams where students can type answers, so this question only applies where handwritten answers (including drawings or calculations are needed)

Question 4: How will students with academic accommodations be accommodated?

Professors will be required to provide extra time and other accommodations for such students. Brightspace has a mechanism to allow different deadlines for specific students.

Question 5: Will all final exams be '24 hour take home exams'; these are mentioned in the guidelines?

No; it is up to professors, and they must get approval for their final evaluation approach and inform you. Some or many exams will be the normal length (e.g. 3h or shorter). In some cases, professors will have replaced the final exam with a different kind of final assessment.

Question 6: Can the exam schedule be delayed a little, or specific exams have their dates changed, to give students more time to prepare and because many professors are extending the due dates of end-of-semester reports as the guidelines suggest they should do?

University policy is to make no change to the final exam schedule. Otherwise, a change in one course may interfere with other courses. However, professors may decide to alter their syllabus to alter how much the final exam is worth, reduce the material covered by the exam, or even replace the final exam with a different kind of final assessment.

Changing an individual exam’s time might only be allowable if:

  1. all students and the professor agree to a new time
  2. students who might have been afraid to speak up are given the chance to object privately to the professor
  3. no student would as a result have a conflict with other exams, and;
  4. the Chair and Associate Chair agree.  

Question 7: Can students have the option to obtain a final exam exemption?

Although some other faculties may be allowing students to exempt themselves from exams in certain circumstances, the Faculty of Engineering is a professional faculty, and we have to ensure that students enter professional practice, in both engineering and computer science, with the required knowledge. This is also required by the agencies that accredit us.

In most courses, professors have only been able to gather information about a subset of the course learning objectives through midterms and assignments that were completed prior to the crisis. Some professors are able to find alternative methods (i.e. not exams) to make final assessments of the remaining material, but most will need to use some form of exam, adapted to the present situation.

If a student is truly unable to perform due to technical issues, sickness or excess stress, the student may be able to request a deferral.

Students will be able to request that their final grade be marked as Satisfactory or Non-satisfactory, which will have no impact on the student’s GPA.

Question 8: Where can I find my exam schedule?

  • All fall 2021 final exams will be conducted online. We invite you to consult your personalized exam schedule via uoZone, or consult the Exams schedule webpage.
  • For all questions or guidelines regarding your final exam, we invite you to contact your professor by email.

Question 9: I have not yet received information by the professor on the procedures of my final exam. What should I do?

If a professor has not provided information on the procedure of your final exam, send an email directly to the Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies of your academic unit.

Question 10: What are the criteria for the Dean’s Honour List for the fall 2021 term?

In order to obtain the Dean’s Honours List mention for the fall 2021 term, full-time students will have to obtain a minimum of nine (9) units with an alphanumerical grade for the fall 2021 term, and also satisfy the other requirements, such as a Term Grade Point Average (TGPA) of 8.5, at the end of the fall 2021 term.

For information about the Merit Scholarship, we invite you to contact the Financial Aid and Awards office.

Question 11: Deferred exams generally take place during the "deferred exam period", but if an exam is deferred again, it usually takes place at the same time as the final exam in the following year. What conditions will apply to deferred exams for fall 2021?

The exams will be online. Students will be able to consult the website of the Undergraduate Studies Office to find out the deferred exam schedule and the section of the course where they belong. They will receive a confirmation email with the course section. A professor who teaches the course this year will receive the names of the students who will take the deferred exam, and will add them to the class list in Brightspace.

For all updates on the COVID-19 situation we invite you to consult the University’s COVID-19 webpage regularly, which also has a Frequently Asked Questions section.

Back to top