What to do if you have technical issues during online assessments

For many students sitting an assessment online will be a new experience. We want your online assessment experience to be as easy and stress-free as possible.

Technical difficulties during online assessments are rare and we understand that sometimes the unexpected does happen. 

Here are our recommendations on what you need to do if an unforeseen incident occurs during your assessment and you want to apply for special consideration:

  1. Get a screenshot of
  • the problem/error message
  • the current state of your assessment
  1. Contact Student IT Support, they are trained in technical issues and may be able to help you in real-time.  If you unable to contact Student IT support over the phone, please log a support request online.  Ensure that you write down the incident/reference number, you will need this to apply for special consideration
  2. Email a copy of the current state of your assessment to the subject coordinator along with a brief explanation of the problem you are experiencing so they have a reliable record of when the problem occurred. This will allow the subject coordinator to consider a fair outcome.
  3. If you lost time on your assessment and/or were unable to access your assessment, contact the help desk. They have ways of reviewing your assessment sessions to verify your problem and will work with you and your instructor to identify fair options, such as granting a second attempt or extra time to complete your assessment.
  4. If your internet connection drops out or your computer shuts down during an online assessment, you just need to log back in and reconnect.
  5. If something happens and you are not able to complete your assessment, you will be able to apply for Special Consideration. You can upload a personal declaration as your supporting document with a statement describing the issue, along with any supporting evidence such as screenshots or emails and you need to apply within 5 business day of the assessment.

If you experience serious technical issues that have impacted your ability to complete an online assessment you may be eligible for special consideration.

As with all special consideration applications, you must provide valid evidence that is both time-specific and directly related to the scheduled assessment.

Examples of evidence that may be considered include:

  • Correspondence from your internet service provider about a loss, reduction or interruption of your internet service whilst completing your assessment.
  • A clear screenshot or photo of the technical issue you are experiencing that includes the system date and time, as well as your assignment or LMS page and/or any relevant error messages, troubleshooting information or correspondence from LMS support, your software, device and service providers.

When applying for Special Consideration…

Please ensure that any evidence submitted clearly aligns with the time you were completing the assessment.

If the Subject Coordinator is present online during the assessment, make contact immediately and advise them of the issue. 

Where relevant, obtain documentation from your internet provider or La Trobe Student IT Support team confirming the internet or system outage/problem you experienced.

Submit a Special Consideration application immediately at the conclusion of your assessment and upload your screenshots and all other relevant supporting documentation/communications. Please provide as much information as possible on how the technical issue has affected your assessment in your application.

Your special consideration application will be assessed and you will be notified of the outcome (or if any further information is required).  

Note that applying for special consideration does not guarantee that it will be granted.

This is an amended version of an article published in June 2020.