Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning at LMU-CVM occurs throughout the curriculum in a variety of ways. Course Directors have the freedom to create their own means of assessment, using any of these or other methods or any combination of them. Each course syllabus outlines exactly how a student will be graded in each course and explains the type of assessment that will be used.

Assessments may include but are not limited to written (computer-based) exams, which consist of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or short answer questions, Canvas quizzes, Turning Point (clickers) questions, projects, posters, papers, or group activities, practical exams or OSCEs.

CVM Examination Services

The LMU-CVM has a dedicated staff for administering block examinations, Examination Services (ES). The examination process is overseen by the Director of Pre-Clinical Outcomes Assessment and is directly supervised by the Exam Service Specialists (ESS). The ESS coordinate with faculty to develop examinations in ExamSoft, support students during examinations, schedule and administer examination accommodations, and proctor examinations. For didactic courses, examinations are administered in a computer-based block exam format where up to four subjects are tested in one examination. Examination schedules are available in the CVM Class Schedule Calendar but are subject to change.

Students MUST comply with device requirements as published by Exam Services no later than July 1 of the start of an academic year. The device requirements will be located in the CVM Student Services Canvas Organization Page. Students are responsible for bringing a compatible electronic device to every block exam. The Examplify© program should be downloaded onto any device the student expects to use for testing. An external mouse or Apple pencil is optional. All testing devices must have a privacy screen in place for the duration of the exam.

For any further information on exams or assessments, contact the CVM Director of Outcomes and Assessment. For issues with the Examplify© software, contact the ExamSoft© ESS or call ExamSoft directly at 866.429.8889 for 24-hr support. For computer or technical issues (including LMU internet access), contact the LMU IS department (Information Services) at 423.869.7411.


Block Examination Policy and Procedures

Administration of block exams is the responsibility of the Exam Services Specialists (ESS). The ESS will be in the room during the in-person exam, as will exam proctors. Exams are generally administered in CVM 100 and CVM101 on the Harrogate campus of LMU-CVM or SA 100 on the DVTC campus. However, online examinations may be administered in certain circumstances. The dress code for exams is relaxed casual, within the limits of professionalism. Students may not have a watch of any kind (including smart watches), cell phone, or other digital communication device, hats, hoodies, large coats, food, or any kind of papers during an exam.

All drinks must be in a clear or solid color, unlabeled container with a spill proof lid. Students may use foam, uncorded earplugs. Bluetooth headphones/ earbuds are not permitted. All personal belongings should be left in a car or locker or, in case of online testing, not located in the testing area.

Days Before the Exam

The exam files will be posted to Examplify© before the exam day, usually on the Friday prior to a Monday exam block. Students must download all exam files onto their approved testing device prior to 11:59 pm the day before the exam. It is recommended that students turn off and restart their testing device the evening prior an exam, to verify the approved testing device is updated and to prevent exam day issues.

Exam Day Prior to the Exam

or in-person exams, the exam prep time is scheduled for 15 minutes prior to the start time for the block exam. The doors for the exam will open at that time, and students should digitally log in to the exam room using their official LMU ID card. A seating chart will be posted in the room and students will find their assigned seat for each exam. All students must be in the exam room and logged in prior to 5 minutes before the exam begins. For example, if the exam is to begin at 8:15, students must be logged in by 8:10:00 am, or they will be considered late to the exam. The ESS needs the final five minutes prior to start time to complete the preparations for the exam, verify all students are in their places, and ensure all testing devices are working properly.

The following items are permitted in the testing area: approved testing device (required), privacy screen (required), power cord, pen/pencil, wireless mouse/stylus (Apple pencil, etc) (optional), earplugs (foam, no cords), and a drink in a clear or solid color, unlabeled container with a spill proof lid (no food). Bags, purses, backpacks, laptop cases, heavy coats, and other personal belongings, such as watches and cell phones, must be left in students' vehicles or lockers.

For online exams, the exam prep time is scheduled for 15 minutes prior to the start time for the block exam. The testing device must be turned on and connected to the internet at this time.

The exams must have been downloaded to the testing device prior to 11:59 pm the day before the exam, and students will use this time to make sure the testing area is free of any suspicious materials, such as books, notes, and other electronic devices. There should be no watches, cell phones, other electronic devices, or other people in the testing room. The desk or table where the exam is being taken should have one sheet of blank paper with only the password written on it. Students must take care of any personal needs prior to the exam start time.

During the Exam

For in-person, when it is time to begin, the password for each exam will be displayed on the screens at the front of the testing rooms and scratch paper will be passed out to every student. Upon receiving scratch paper, students should immediately write their name and seat number on the paper. Once the exams have begun, there is to be no talking or other distractions. If a student has an issue with the exam or a device (i.e., technical problems accessing the test or uploading answers) the student should raise their hand, and an ESS will come assist with the issue. Sometimes this may require contacting the software company to troubleshoot problems. In this case, the student may be asked to bring their computer to the back of the exam room so not to distract other students.

Students will not be excused from the exam room until all exams are complete. Restroom breaks will only be allowed for an emergency. After completing all exams in that block and uploading the exams, the student will bring the testing device to a proctor to verify the exam files have uploaded successfully and collect scratch paper. Students must then leave the exam room. Students must exit the building following examinations.

For online exams, when it is time to begin, passwords for each exam will be sent via email to the students' LMU email accounts. Upon receiving the password, students may write the password(s) on the scratch paper for reference. Once the exams have begun, the first question is a prompt to do a security sweep. The camera of the testing device must sweep the room 360° to show the area where the exam is being taken to include: the wall and ceiling above the testing area, the floor around the testing area, and the full desk or table where the testing is being done. After the sweep, the student must show the single piece of scratch paper for that exam, front and back, full sheet, showing no writing other than the password. Time has been added into the exam time to allow for this security sweep and not take away any testing time. When the security sweep is complete, the student will use the "Monitoring" button at the top of the screen to see the angle at which the camera is viewing the test taker. The full head and shoulders should be visible and well-lit during the exam. At the end of the exam, the final question is a prompt to show the scratch paper. This should be done prior to leaving the exam, showing the full page, front and back.

If a student has any technical issues when beginning the exam (i.e., trouble accessing the test), the student must contact Exam Services immediately via email to troubleshoot the issue. For any issues that arise during the test (i.e., power outage), the student should tell the camera what is happening so that the issue may be documented for the exam proctors.

When all exams for the block are complete, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that all answer files and video monitoring files are completely uploaded immediately after testing. The testing device should remain turned on and connected to the internet until the files have finished uploading.

After the Exam

When students complete each exam, they have the opportunity to review answers and see the questions missed in each exam. However, this score may not be final. After the exams are completed, statistics are performed on the individual questions in each exam. The ESS sends the reports to the faculty, who can review each question and how the question performed on the exam. If a question performed poorly, the faculty has the option to keep the question, change the answer for the question, or delete the question. Faculty hand-grade any responses to short answer or fill-in-the-blank questions (FITB) to accept any additional answers. Once the faculty has made any changes and completed any hand-grading, the scores are sent to the faculty for final approval. The approved scores are posted to Canvas. Most exams are posted within 48 hours, but if there are FITB or short answer questions, it could be up to 5 working days before the exam is graded and scores are approved. For essay questions, faculty will have up to 7 working days to submit exam scores.

Exam Penalties

There are multiple issues that could cause a lowering of scores in an exam block beyond answering questions incorrectly.

For in-person exams:

  1. A student is considered late to an exam if entering the room less than 5 minutes prior to the exam start time. For example, if an exam is scheduled to start at 8:15, the student must log in prior to 8:10:00. If the log shows the student came in late, the scores on all exams that day will be reduced by 2%. If a student arrives at an exam after any other student has already completed the block and exited, the late student will need to schedule and take make-up exams and is subject to the 2% reduction.
  2. Students are required to bring certain items to each exam. If a student does not have required items, the student will receive a warning the first time, then 2% off all exams that day the second time. If a student comes to an exam a third time without required items, the scores on all exams that day will be reduced by 2% and the student will be referred to the ADSAA. If a student fails to bring a privacy screen, the student will be moved to the last row of the testing room. The penalties listed will still apply.
  3. Students are always required to have official LMU ID card with them during exams, visible above the waist. The ID is scanned by the wall unit in CVM 100 and CVM 101 for attendance purposes or a phone scanner in other locations. If a student does not have their LMU ID, they should report to one of the ESS and sign-in on paper with his or her LMU ID number. A student may sign-in to an exam one time each semester without their LMU ID, using a driver's license or other official ID. If the student reports to an exam for a second time without a working ID, the scores on all exams that day will be reduced by 2%. If it happens a third time, the student will be referred to the ADSAA. Not logging in at all and not signing in with an ESS is considered an automatic infraction and scores will be reduced by 2%.
  4. Students are always to display honesty and integrity, as is fitting for professional veterinarians. Professional behavior and language are always expected. While not an exhaustive list, excessive looking around during an exam, looking at another student's screen, excessively looking in the student's lap, or moving hands in and out of pockets can be construed as suspicious behavior. Sharing information on an exam or other assessment to a student who has not yet taken it is considered dishonest. Any student suspected to have engaged in academic dishonesty or violating any exam requirement will be referred to the ADSAA. If the suspicion is warranted, the student may have consequences varying from a lowering of exam scores to completely discounting the exams as zeroes in that exam block to dismissal from the program.

For online exams:

  1. A student will have all exam scores reduced by 2% if they have not downloaded the exam prior to 11:59 pm the day before the exam, if they do not log in within 5 minutes of the exam start time, or if they start an exam more than 5 minutes past the posted start time. If there are technical difficulties, the student should immediately email the ESS for instructions to avoid the 2% penalty.
  2. A clean sheet of scratch paper must be shown in its entirety at the start and end of every exam, even if it is not used. If the paper is not shown, full page, front and back, the scores on the exam will be reduced by 2%.
  3. A room sweep must show a 360° room view, the ceiling, floor, and desk/table area. The sweep should be slow enough for the proctor to identify objects on walls and desks. An incomplete or missing room sweep will result in a 2% deduction in scores, as well as a flag for possible security breach.
  4. Monitoring visibility and sound are vital for exam security. If the full head and shoulders are not visible, if the student leaves the sight of the camera with no explanation, if there are unexplained noises such as talking during an exam, or any other suspicious activity occurs, the student's exam will be flagged for further investigation. Any suspicious behavior could lead to the student having to meet with the Director of Pre-Clinical Outcomes Assessment or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions and may result in and Ethics and Honor Code Violation.


Practical Examinations and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)

Select courses have practical examinations (Anatomy and Histology) or OSCEs (Clinical Skills and Professional Life Skills) that are administered separately from block examinations. These examinations are scheduled on the CVM Class Schedule for each semester. Please consult the class syllabus and Canvas for more details regarding the structure of these examinations.



During the third year of instruction, students will take the Veterinary Educational Assessment (VEA). This exam is designed for two purposes: 1) to give the school an overview of their curriculum and how well students are learning the five basic science areas tested (Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, and Pathology); and 2) to give students a snapshot of where they are strong in background knowledge and where they could use some further studies. The VEA scores do not impact a student's ranking or GPA but are used as part of a system to identify students weak in specific areas for which they may need additional academic assistance and to adjust the school's curriculum as needed to provide a strong base in these sciences.



During the fourth year, students will take the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE®). NAVLE® covers a variety of species, all bodily systems, and the professional behavior and expectations of a licensed veterinarian. Passing this exam is required in most states and provinces for a veterinarian to legally practice on live animals. It is an LMU-CVM goal that all students pass the NAVLE® prior to graduation. Students are required to take the examination during the fall window as part of CVM 776 NAVLE Block course. NAVLE preparation support includes the purchase by LMU-CVM of one of the commercially available NAVLE preparation programs (e.g., VetPrep or Zuku Review) for each student, graded progression through the chosen NAVLE preparation program in the NAVLE Block CVM 776 course, and access to various additional study materials in the NAVLE Block CVM 776 Canvas site.