Inspera: June 2024 – New Features and Resources  

New Feature: Grading of Candidate Selected Questions (CSQs) 

If you are marking an Inspera exam where students have been given an option to answer certain questions from a range of question options (i.e. students answer one out of three possible questions), this is known as Candidate Selected Questions (CSQs). When in use, the grading per student function (where markers would move to the next student awaiting grading using the downward direction arrow), meant that markers were shown the next student in the list, even if they had answered an alternate option.  

Now, markers who move to the next student using the direction arrow next to the student information (as shown below), will find clicking the down arrow will take them to the next student who answered the same question option. This means that marking of a particular question can be achieved. 

More information about the candidate selected questions feature can be found on the Inspera Help Centre.   

New Feature: Deleting Multiple Questions 

It’s now possible to select more than one question and delete in bulk. Previously, the deletion was only possible per question. Deletions should only occur if you no longer wish to use the question, for example, if you found errors or will no longer use the question in future.  

Deleting questions can be done via the Author Tab.  

To delete multiple, select the tick boxes on the left hand side of the questions you wish to delete. 

Multiple questions can be deleted simultaneously by using ‘move to trash’ – a pop up which will appear on the bottom panel. 

New Resources

The Digital Exams Team have created some new resources for colleagues. We have a brand-new website dedicated to the use of Grading Committees in Inspera. This website provides users information about what these committees are, how to use them and Frequently Asked Questions area.  

We have also recently released information on our colleague facing Inspera webpages relating to Inspera Feedback Release, as well as an Inspera for Professional Services Colleagues area.  

Inspera Marking: Hints and Tips

As we enter the assessment marking period, the Digital Exams Team want to share some marking ‘hints and tips’ for Inspera Digital Exams. Check out some of our hints and tips listed below. 

Hints and Tips

  1. To attach yourself to an exam as a grader, make sure you click the link from the Inspera assignment point in Canvas. This takes you into the ‘Deliver’ area of the exam and you can click the ‘Open in Grade’ button to enter the ‘Grade area’. 
  1. If you need to search for a specific student, within the ‘Overview’ section of the Grader area, you can search for a student number to locate their submission. In the screenshot below, ‘stutestX’ is a placeholder for a student ID. In your exams you will see student numbers listed instead. 
  1. If you are in the Grade area and need to go back to the Deliver area (for example, to set the feedback settings), there is a shortcut available. Click the ‘Options’ button at the top of the screen and navigate to ‘Shortcuts’. Select ‘Deliver’ and click ‘Open test in Deliver’, 
  1. It is possible to download raw marks from Inspera as an Excel file. Click the ‘Options’ button at the top of the screen and navigate to ‘Downloads’. Select ‘Marks as Excel file’, 
  1. As standard the Digital Exams team will set up the Canvas assignment associated with your Inspera exam as 100 points. This means (once released) students will view their Canvas Gradebook mark as a proportion. If you’d like students to see raw marks, please edit the Canvas assignment points area to match that of your total Inspera marks.  
  1. For manually marked questions, Graders can add Annotations to student submissions. Within student submitted text, click the left mouse button and move the mouse across the text you want to annotate. Click Annotate:  
  1. Within the Grade ‘marking’ area there is a search icon for students now for all graders. When marking, use the bottom panel to navigate to specific students using their ID. For example: 

Further Support


The Digital Exams Team run two dedicated marking webinars which colleagues can book onto: 

These training webinars cover a range of marking workflows, including how to amend auto-marked questions and adding annotations to manually marked questions such as essays. 


There are a range of marking videos available on the Inspera L&T website which provide on-screen demonstrations of grading tasks. 

Feedback Release

If you would like to release feedback to your students on your auto or manually marked Inspera questions, check out our dedicated webpage on Inspera Feedback Release for further information.

Further questions?

If you have any questions about marking an Inspera exam, please contact the Digital Exams Team via  

If you have any hints or tips that you think we could add to the above list, please do share them with the Digital Exams Team. 

New Inspera training offered

Inspera Assessment (the university system for centrally supported digital exams) is supported by the Learning and Teaching Development Service with a range of training options open to all staff. We now have a new training session aimed at Professional Service colleagues due to run on March 9 from 3-4pm. You can sign up via Elements.

This session will introduce the digital exam platform Inspera, and how to support an Inspera digital exam.

  • Introduction to Inspera
  • Creating an account
  • Reviewing crated questions and question sets
  • Basic functionality including randomisation and question choice options
  • Allow listing and adding resources
  • Checking the student view
  • Entering or amending question marks
  • Inspera Scan sheets

Who should attend?

This webinar is suitable for any professional services colleague supporting an Inspera digital exam.

New functionality for Inspera digital exams: question choice and marking rubrics

Inspera assessment is the University’s system for centrally supported digital exams. Inspera can be used for automatically marked exam questions, for manually marked question types including essays, or for exams with a combination of both.

New functionality has recently been launched that enables colleagues to do more with digital written exams.

Question choice for students

Candidate selected questions is used to give students taking your exam a choice of which questions to answer from a list.

For example in an exam where students need to answer 2 essay questions from a list of 6 questions, you can set this up so that a student can choose a maximum of 2 questions to answer.

How does it work for a student?

If candidate selected questions is used in an Inspera exam the student sees information above each question that shows how many questions to select in total, and how many they have already selected. To choose a question to answer they change the ‘Answering this question?’ drop down box to yes.

Screenshot showing student view of Inspera, with the option to choose whether to answer a question. Below the question title is some text which reads 'Answering this question? 0 of 2 questions selected.' There is a drop down box at the right of the text with the options 'Yes', 'No', 'Undecided' available to select.
Screenshot showing student view of Inspera, with the option to choose whether to answer a question.

If a student starts answering a question without changing the ‘Answering this question?’ drop down box, Inspera automatically changes it to ‘Yes’.

When they have selected the maximum number of questions, the student cannot start answering any more questions. However, if they change their mind about which question(s) they want to answer, they can simply change the ‘Answering this question?’ drop down to no, and select a different question instead.

How does it work for a marker?

A marker only sees answers to the questions that a student has chosen to answer.

As students can only submit answers for the maximum number of questions they are allowed to choose, this means you can say goodbye to the dilemma of trying to work out which questions to mark when a student has misread the instructions and answered too many questions!

How can I use it in my exam?

The Candidate selected questions function is available when you are authoring a question set for an Inspera digital exam. Find out more in the Inspera guide for Candidate selected questions.

Rubrics for marking

You can now create a rubric to use for marking any manually marked question type in Inspera. Rubrics allow you to build the assessment criteria for an exam question into Inspera, and use them in your marking.

Choose whether you want to use a quantitative rubric to calculate the mark for a question, or a qualitative rubric as an evaluation and feedback tool, and then manually assign the mark.

How to introduce a rubric for your exam

  1. When you are creating the exam question in Inspera, set up the rubric you want to use for marking that question. The Inspera guide to rubrics for question authors explains how to create a rubric and add it to your exam question.
  2. After the exam has taken place, use the rubric to mark the students’ answers.
  3. If you’ve chosen to use one of the quantitative rubric types, as you complete it the student’s mark for the question will automatically be calculated. If you’ve chosen a qualitative rubric, once you’ve completed the rubric use it to evaluate the student’s answer and help you decide on their mark for the question.
  4. You can choose to add feedback to the candidate in the box below the level of performance you’ve selected for each criterion (you can see an example of this in the image below).
Screenshot of the Grader view of a sample points-range rubric in Inspera.
Screenshot of the Grader view of a sample points-range rubric in Inspera

Want to learn more about using Inspera for digital exams?

Come along to a webinar to learn about creating exam questions or marking in Inspera.

Enroll onto the Inspera Guidance course in Canvas to learn about Inspera functionality at your own pace.

Find out about the process to prepare an Inspera digital exam, and how the Digital Assessment Service can help on the Inspera webpage.

Contact if you have questions or would like to discuss how you could use Inspera for a digital exam on your module.

Inspera Assessment, Digital Exams Launch – Presentation Recording

Inspera joined us via zoom for a presentation about the new Inspera Assessment software.

The presentation was delivered by Graeme Redshaw-Boxwell and Susan Barfield from the Learning and Teaching Development Service, who were joined by Suzanne Keys and Harvey Tayman from Inspera. Graeme and Susan discussed the journey Newcastle has taken with Digital Exams, why we are excited about the new software and what it will allow future digital exams to do. Suzanne and Harvey went on to demonstrate the assessment software, from a student and academics perspective.

This is the link to the recording from the session.

The following questions and answers were discussed during the sessions

I want to introduce a digital exam using Inspera, what can I do next? 

Digital exams for semester 1 are only available for modules that have this listed in their 2021-22 MOFS. If you wish to run a digital exam for 2022-23, when you complete your 2022-23 MOF select “PC Examination” for  the Assessment Component.  

If you are interested in running a digital exam in future and would like to find out more, please see our Digital Exams webpages, or contact .  

We would like to pilot it on some modules, where do we start? 

Please see the  Digital Exams webpages for information on how to get started. I you have a semester 2 exam that you would like to turn into a digital exam, please email to discuss. 

What capacity is there for digital exams with large cohorts?  
We have previously supported exams with over 400 students and it possible to manage large cohorts, although this may be over several venues. 

Can external examiners access? 

All Canvas users have access to Inspera. If your external examiner has been set up with a Canvas account, they can access Inspera. 

Can you download a copy of the exam paper? 

It is possible to download a PDF version of the exam. 

Can I download feedback 

It is possible to download students’ submissions, feedback annotations and marks as two separate PDFs. 

Can you use Turnitin to check for similarity on typed essay questions? 

Turnitin has been integrated into Inspera, so it possible to check a student’s submission for similarity. The Turnitin marking tools are not available, so it is not possible to use QuickMarks. 

How do we ensure the academic integrity of digital exams? 

It is possible to use a lock down browser on cluster room PCs and students’ own devices exam for digital exams. Ahead of the exam, the students will be asked to install the Safe Exam Browser software on their own laptop if it is bring your own device exam. To start the exam, they must run Safe Exam Browser, which will lock their PC from being able to access anything else. When they submit their exam and close lockdown browser, they can use laptop as normal.

It is not possible for a student to access an exam that requires use of Safe Exam Browser without using Safe Exam Browser. There are warnings in the monitor module if a student had tried to exit the lockdown browser. 

The Inspera Assessment, Digital Exam Launch will continue with two more sessions taking place in person on the 9th and 10th November, click for further details and to book a place

Inspera Assessment – Digital Exams Launch Events: 12 October, 9 and 10 November 2021

Typing on laptop

Inspera Assessment is the University’s new system for centrally supported digital exams. Academic colleagues, Professional Services colleagues and Postgraduate Students who teach are invited to Inspera Launch Events for live demonstrations, the chance to meet with our Inspera colleagues and to find out more from the Digital Assessment Service here at Newcastle. The events will showcase:

  • The student experience of taking a digital exam, and the tools they have available.  
  • Different question types including automatically marked questions, for example Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank and Hot Spot questions. 
  • Essay questions- students can type their answers and incorporate drawings or written calculations into their online answers where needed.  
  • Setting up exams in Inspera and some of the key options available. 
  • Multiple ways to grade assessments so you can choose the best approach for your assessment.
  • How you can easily schedule an Inspera exam if you’d like to introduce this in your module. 

There will also be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Following feedback from colleagues we have moved the in-person sessions to the 9 and 10 November. The online session will still take place on the 12 October.

View all sessions and sign up here

“The introduction of Inspera Assessment for digital exams is a big step forward for education, assessment and feedback at Newcastle University. This new system enables us to ensure digital exams are accessible to all our students, increases the University’s digital exam capacity in the long term and will play an important role in supporting more authentic assessment.” 

Professor Tom Ward , Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education

If you’d like to find out more about Inspera visit the Digital Exams with Inspera Assessment webpages.  There is also an Inspera Guidance Canvas course, simply click the link to self-enrol.  

If you have any questions about the launch events or Inspera Assessment, please email