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How to create an electronic exam in MyCourses?

MyCourses has three activity types that are mainly used for electronic examination purposes. The activity types are Quiz, Turnitin Assignment and traditional Assignment.

Before creating an electronic exam, make sure that you have a workspace for your exam in MyCourses. If you do not have a workspace, you can request an exam workspace by filling and submitting the form: Request for a MyCourses exam workspace.


There are certain general instructions concerning different types of electronic exams held in Mycourses. Remember in advance to reserve a space for the exam on the course page, create a exam template by selecting an activity type, and hide the template from students.

Activity type: Quiz

You have chosen to use Quiz as an exam. Before you create Quiz, we recommend to create first Question bank with all questions. It makes adding questions to the quiz easier.

Question bank

Every course page in MyCourses has its own question bank. The question bank is useful for finding all the questions created to quizzes, for creating different question categories and also for making it easier to randomize questions.

You can find the question bank by clicking the settings iconon the course page and clicking "More" option. You will end up to a page seen below.

If you click the "Question bank", you will see a list of all questions that you have created to your quizzes in a particular course. If you have not created any questions yet, you can add new questions by clicking the button "Create a new question".

Editing questions

Quiz contains 18 different question types, including essay (longer text answers), numerical questions, short answer and Stack for mathematics. More information about question types at:

You can add different types of questions, such as STACK questions. In exams with calculation tasks, MyCourses provides three options: simple calculation, calculated multiple choice, and Stack.

When you have created a new question, click "Save changes" and continue to create new ones. 

To select randomly questions for each student in the exam, create different question categories. Click "Categories" and add a new category that you can later add questions to. When you have created the question categories, go back to the question list. Check the questions that you want to add to the same category, scroll to the bottom of the list and click "Move to" option and find the right question category.

Now you can edit the Quiz template.

  • Name and description
    Name the exam and write the exam instructions for students to the description. Inform students when the exam is held, how much time do they have to take the exam, and how do they submit their answers. Uncheck the "Display description on course page" option.

  • Timing
    Set the time when the students start and finish the exam. If the exam takes place on December 24, 2020 from 10 to 13 o’clock, open the exam on "24 December 2020 10:00" and close it "24 December 2020 13:00". If you want the students to see the countdown timer running during the exam, enable Time limit and set "3 hours". You can choose if the students must submit their answers before the time expires, or if their open attempts are submitted automatically after the time expires.

  • Grade
    Grade the exam according to the course grading scale.

  • Layout
    You can choose how many questions the students see on the same page.

  • Question behavior
    The question behavior allows you to shuffle within questions especially if you use multiple choice or matching questions.
    Select "deferred feedback" which means that students must enter an answer to each question and then submit the entire quiz, before anything is graded or they get any feedback. More information about questions behaviors at:

  • Review options
    The review options mean what type of information students can see and when. If you want to show to the students their overall feedback on the exam, or the right answers after the quiz is closed, leave all other boxes unchecked except "Whether correct" or "Overall feedback" in the "After the quiz is closed" section.

  • Appearance
    Select how many decimal places are in grades.

  • Common module settings
    When you create the exam template, select "hide from the students" in the availability option. You can select the option "show the exam on the course page", x days before the exam.

  • Activity completion
    If you want to track which students have completed the exam, select "show activity as complete when conditions are met" and "students must receive a grade to complete this activity" in the section below.

    Click Save and display.

    Now you can add questions to the quiz. You can add questions right after clicking "Save and display". You can have MyCourses randomly select questions to add to the quiz from the question bank. To select randomly questions for each student in the exam, select "add random questions" option. Decide how many random questions you would like to add to the quiz. Click the ‘Add random question’ button when you have set the options.

    Another option is to add the same questions to the quiz but mark the option "Shuffle questions". Shuffling questions will make questions to appear in a random order.

Important links

Please note!

  • If you need to grant time extension for some students or groups in Quiz, click the Quiz administration button and select group or user overrides. More information at:
  • If you use Essay question type and allow students to add images to a response text field, we recommend that you check that your essay questions supports the format HTLM editor with file picker. The response format of your current essay questions does not change automatically. Also, instruct students to upload the images by using the button "Insert or edit image".

Recommendations when using MyCourses quiz activity for large groups

Using tightly time framed  MyCourses Quiz activity for over 200 students simultaneously can occur quiz slowing down temporarily.  Slowing down may happen because hundreds of students opens and closes the same quiz at the same time.

For large groups with time framed quizzes we recommend teacher either

  1. add extra time for attemps, e.g 5-8 minutes. This gives students more time to finish even if the quiz is slowing down.
  2. avoid using multiple consecutive short quiz-activities in your exam: MyCourses can handle hundreds of same time users but hundreds of users opening and closing the same activity at the same time can occasionally slow down the whole system . Rather use one long quiz than multiple short ones.
  3. stagger quiz starting times e.g Group A starts at 9, group B starts at 9.05, group C starts at 9.10

Notice that there can be other reasons for student feeling temporary slowness of system/own computer/internet connection. MyCourses is used for multiple purposes all the time and there might be any number of activities in the system during the exam.

Student can have difficulties with their connections that has nothing to do with Aalto university or MyCourses so we recommend that during pandemic when working with large exams and restricting students answer times teachers should also count some extra time for solving possible technical and temporary slowness issues

Activity type: Turnitin Assignment

MyCourses offers to use Turnitin Assignment as a time-limited electronic exam. Turnitin Assignment can be used when students need to write essays in exams, or when students do an exam by hand on paper and submit photos or scanned versions of their exam answers.The benefits for using Turniting Assignment is that a teacher can use Turnitin Similarity Report to notice possible plagiarism in students' assignments, to annotate and leave voice comments to students' assignments (text/picture).

Please find instructions on how to create Turnitin Assignment as an exam.

Please visit Exam in Turnitin assignment activity for reading examples of different Turnitin Assignments as an exam output.

Please note!

  • If you need to grant time extension for some students or groups in Turnitin Assignment, open the assignment →  view all submissions → find the row for the student who needs the extension → edit →  grant extension.

Activity type: Traditional assignment

Assignment allows students to submit work to their teacher for grading. The work may be text typed online or uploaded files of any type the teacher’s device can read. Grading may be by simple percentages or custom scales, or more complex rubrics may be used. Students may submit as individuals or in groups.

Please note!

  • If you need to grant time extension for some students or groups in Turnitin Assignment, open the assignment →  View all submission → Find the row for the student who needs the extension → Edit →  Grant extension.

Other exam types: remotely proctored exams

Detailed guidance for remote proctoring: Etävalvottu tentti/Remote proctored exam

Other exam types: oral exams via Teams video call

You can use Teams video calls for oral exams in one-to-one sessions. Notice: when proctoring exam with Teams do not record the exam session. Exam recordings are confidential material and they need to be handled with exact protocol. Teacher can take own notes during the exam session.

Teacher should ask permissions for videoconnection in advance and ask if there is anyone who does not have laptop with microphone, webcamera and internet connection available during the exam. We suggest teachers to use Choice tool in MyCourses for asking permission and details, answers will be shown in MyCourses.

Do not record exam sessions, take own notes (=exam diary: when exam starts, when student can leave, when exam ends and notes for possible inappropriate behaviour).

Guidance for remote proctored exams: Etävalvottu tentti/Remote proctored exam.

Other resources

Ways to prevent students from cheating in an electronic exam in MyCourses?

  • If you are using Quiz, remember to mark separately the options Shuffle within questions and Shuffle questions so that questions and question options both appear in a randomized order.
  • Add many questions to the exam and do not tell the students in advance how many questions they have to answer to complete the exam.
  • Require the use of Safe exam browser in Quiz (not working in Linux)
  • Hide all the course material on the course page from the students during the exam.

Contact information

Contact MyCourses support team by email: or by booking your session with a specialist at MyCourses: 

Contact exam support team by email: