Academic Integrity Inter-Institutional Meeting

Looking to attend this free event on academic integrity at post secondary institutions?  These event is being held on May 29 at Booth University College.  There will be faculty and teachers from all post secondary institutions in Manitoba, with an opportunity to network and discuss issues and solutions, along with taking in presentations from different perspectives.

Tickets are still available by registering here:


Exam Reviews

A contentious topic between instructors, students, and PACE administration is exam reviews.  How much is too much?  How explicit should they be?   It can be a difficult topic to deal with as students put pressure on instructors for help as they focus on grades and passing a course.

As a general guideline, PACE does not expect instructors to provide explicit questions and answers to students.  That’s a pretty easy starting point. A good method to use in answering these questions is to give students a breakdown by topic or chapter by building your exam with a blueprint.

Using a blueprint is a method to check the distribution of your content, and type of questions that you are asking.  I build mine by textbook chapter, recall questions (like remembering a definition; what is …? Or why did …?), applying the material (a thinking question;  how would you compare…?  How would you classify…?), or creating (going to a higher level of problem solving with the question; what facts support …?  What is the relationship between…? How would you improve…?):

Chapter M/C Short Answer Recall Apply Create Marks
1 1   1     1
1   1 1     1
2   1   1   2
2   1     1 4
Totals 1 3 2 1 1 8


As I create a draft of my exam, I can see how many questions I have from each chapter to ensure I’m covering all the course topics.  I can tell how many marks I’ve allocated for each area, and how many of those marks are from recalling information versus applying it.  When I’m finished, I can remove or add questions to ensure enough weight is given to the important areas, and to ensure there is an appropriate mix of question types.

In giving students a ‘heads up’ on the exam, I can tell them what chapters are covered and what percentage of the exam is from what area.  Using the above blue print:

The exam will cover chapters 1 and 2.  There is 1 multiple choice question, and 3 short answer.  50% of the questions are on chapter 1; 505 of the questions are on chapter 2.

Or I could tell the students by marks:

The exam covers chapters 1 and 2.  There is 1 multiple choice question and 3 short answer questions.  25% of the marks are on materials in Chapter 1; 75% of the marks are on the material in chapter 2.

As a student, you know that you should be putting an emphasis for studying on Chapter 2.

Here’s an actual example of one I recently posted for a course:

The exam is worth 25% of the final grade and consists of 12 multiple choice questions (worth 1 mark each) and 27 short answer questions (worth marks as indicated) for a total of 100 marks. 

The exam questions are distributed across the materials we covered as follows:

Chapter Number of Questions
1  6
2  8
3  4
4  2
5  4
6  5
7  5
8  5

Of the questions, 55% are just demonstrating your ability to recall material; 38% of them are displaying that you can apply the material given a set of facts; 5% of the questions are asking you to do something with the information supplied. 

I hope this gives an idea of how to answer students’ questions, without giving away the exact answers and questions.

Nexus Tip of the Month

Did you know that you can adjust the instructor view to show you how material looks from the student’s perspective?

In the top right hand corner, click on the icon for your name / profile.  Select STUDENT VIEW.

Nexus will return you to the home page for the course / program that you are viewing, and from there you can see the student’s view of all the materials.

To return to the instructor view, again click on the icon and hit the X beside student view.

Some miscellaneous items

A few random pieces that PACE instructors should know:

Dividers are available for quizzes

When doing in class quizzes, instructors should follow exam protocols.  Having students clear their desktops, close their notes, put their phones away, etc. help to reduce issues related to cheating.  Exam dividers can also be used, just ask Instructor Support to book them for your quiz.

Nexus Communication Portal

The PACE Nexus Communication Portal has been undergoing a review since the fall.  It’s almost completed.  Be sure to check it out and raise any ‘misses’ so that the content meets your needs.

In the Communication Portal you will find information on designing your course, your exams, best practices for delivery, and templates for invoices and exams.

Reporting Classroom Problems

We do our best to keep our building, classrooms, and related equipment in top working condition, but things do wear out or break.  If you notice an issue, be sure to let Instructor Support know so we can take care of it.