This paper outlines the key issues of remotely invigilated online exams (RIOEs) and presents ways to avoid and resolve the issues for educators who are considering implementing them. The purpose of this paper is to share the lessons learned during the process of implementing and evaluating RIOEs and highlight the key considerations required to conduct RIOEs more seamlessly, whilst minimising students’ cognitive load. With the continued growth, and future importance of online tertiary education, this paper provides an important contribution to the understanding of the best methods and practices by which to conduct online examinations and provides a foundation for continued research and enhancement of effective RIOEs.

The paper follows an extensive Action Learning process to develop and present a case study that was conducted across nine fully online business courses in a start-up venture for the University of South Australia. Cognitive load theory underpins the case study, which enabled the researchers to gain profound understanding into the RIOE process, identify issues and offer resolutions. RIOEs require more systematic and effective design compared to traditional paper-based exams and should be supplemented by early and clear communication with students. Educators should enable and encourage students to rehearse the exam service access procedures prior to their exams and students should be provided with real-time responsive technical support for any ad hoc issues that may present during the exam. These factors play a critical role in ensuring the successful implementation of RIOEs.