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Exam Scan Service

Exam Scan Team, the 2017 President's Staff Innovation Award Winner


Return hand-written problem-based exams electronically as scanned PDFs of graded exams to students MBox.

Solve a variety of logistical and administrative problems for large enrollment courses with handwritten problem-based paper exams:

·       Return exams to students faster

·       Ensure academic integrity during the assessment process

·       Manage the sheer volume of paper exams

·       ExamScan can help! 

Contact for more information

The Exam Scan Process

1.      Download an ExamScan Class Registration Spreadsheet.  You will need to do this each semester.

2.      Complete and submit the spreadsheet to  

You will receive a roster of enrolled student from ITS and confirmation about enrolling in the services

3.      Contact LSA Instructional Support Services ( for barcodes.

4.      LSA Instruction Support Services prints barcodes associated with the students' UMID, which are put on the top of their exams (either before or after students take the exam) 

5.      GSIs and faculty grade the exam and record (but don't release) the grades.

6.      Secure couriers pick up the exams and delivers them to ITS Business Information systems.

7.      ITS Business Information group scans the exams on high speed scanners. (This group also scan tax records, financial aid information, and other high security documents -- so security is a top )

8.      ITS runs a script to distribute barcoded scan in MBox folders for each section and into separate MBox folders for each individual student. [Faculty may choose the time when grades are released to the students.]


Faculty may choose whether they want the original paper exams shredded by the secure shredding service or whether they want the original paper exams returned by courier.

ITS Business Information Scanning guarantees 3 business days turn-around. (It was regularly much faster!)

More detailed information:  ITS ExamScan Overview

§  Registration and Setup

§  Formatting exams

§  Using U-M Box (instructors)

§  Frequently asked questions

§  Getting help

Exam Scan Results

·       Save Time:  Instructors have found ExamScan saves them an average of 2.0 hours of effort per exam per instructor for an aggregate savings of 500-1000 hours per term.

        o   Administrative and logistical: No more booking and staffing rooms for students to queue up to receive their returned exams.

        o   Grading: In order to ensure academic integrity, faculty had adopted a variety of techniques to ensure no exam is altered after grading, such as marking over student answers with highlighters or colored pencil.

·       Prevent Cheating: Faculty who regularly dealt with numerous grievances and academic integrity issues were most pleased because, with ExamScan Service, they have experienced zero cases of cheating through altered answers.

·       Students prefer ExamScan 3:1 over paper return, due to speed of return and increased access to exams.

·       Enhanced Learning Opportunities

        o   Faculty and GSIs can easily review exams in office hours by calling up the electronic copy; previously that discussion happened if the student had the physical exam itself.

        o   ExamScan lowers the logistical barriers to problem-based exams (rather than multiple choice).

·       Easy retention of students’ exams for future research. With paper exams returned to students, faculty lost the ability to review the exams at some point in the future to evaluate teaching methods or identify patterns and draw conclusions about student performance, which could improve future teaching.


Contact LSA Instructional Support Services ( ) for more information!

Quotes from Faculty

I absolutely LOVE every aspect and implication of this system!!!!

--John Montgomery, Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor in Medicinal or Synthetic Chemistry


This is quicker and makes re-grades easier. There’s no distrust from professors that the exam may have been altered since it all scanned.

--Student in WN16 class using ExamScan.


It is amazing!!!!!! SO much easier to grade & re-grade & return exams.

--Anne McNeil, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science.


Exam Scan is an amazing service…Instructors have the ability to see any of [our] 2000+ exams, …[and] have good conversations with students as they review their exams and have questions about how to better understand a concept/questions.

--Brenda K. Gunderson, Senior Lecturer in Statistics


Our ability to give high level, literature-based, data-driven examinations in these large, introductory classes is a hallmark, signature pedagogy for organic chemistry at U-M that is widely recognized. As we remind the future physicians when we rail against multiple choice exams: your patients will not come to you with the 4 choices of which ailment they have, you will be required to actually think and ponder.

Thanks to the responsiveness of our IT group, we have been piloting [ExamScan]. . . The system has worked at 100.00% perfection. . . . I wish that giving real examinations was not such a niche activity at the large, introductory level, but it is at least possible that by adding this form of security, others who default to multiple choice might be willing to consider more generative, open-ended, constructed answers for their assessments.

--Brian P. Coppola, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Chair of Chemistry