Archiving & Inspera

Under GDPR, the University must ensure that it keeps data that is classified as personal “for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed”. For more information on our GDPR obligations please visit the University data privacy pages.

When archiving digital assessment, you will need to consider the assessment information that is held in Inspera and in your Sharepoint Examining Sites.

Candidate responses in Inspera

Candidate responses will be removed from the Oxford Inspera platform 3 full years from the date of submission. All other data will be retained, including the test, the settings applied and the associated question set. This timeframe has been agreed on the understanding that, in the majority of cases, this provides sufficient time for candidates to access their work, and for delayed assessments to take place without loss of information from the system. 

If a candidate response is required, as part of ongoing delayed assessment, for more than 3 years from the date of the test, this should be moved and stored in the appropriate Sharepoint Examining Site. (e.g. under appeals or suspensions).

What does the 'Archive' button in Inspera do?

The 'Archive' button (available to most users within Inspera) is separate to the action described above. 

Using the 'Archive' button, users can

  • Move a test to the archive, where it can be left or restored at any time. 

Using the 'Archive' button, users cannot:

  • Delete tests and their associated information
  • Remove the test from the students' dashboard*

*An activated test is visible to students. Archiving an activated test does not remove it from the students' dashboard or prevent them from accessing it. If you need to close an activated test, you will either need to de-activate it (this can be done if no students have started the test) or bring the end date for the test forward. Once the end date and time have passed, the test will move to the Archive area of the students' Inspera dashboard. 

If your list view of tests is becoming cluttered, we recommend that you use filters and saved views to ensure that you only see the items relevant to you. For example, this can be used to only show you tests relating to this academic year. 

Sharepoint Examining Sites

If exam responses and marking are being uploaded to these sites, rather than viewed in Inspera, then Administrators should also undertake to remove them at a suitable time, after marking is complete and grades have been issued.  

Note that there is no automated archiving from Sharepoint sites currently, so responsibility for adhering to GDPR requirements for student record retention lies with the administrator of the Sharepoint Examining site.  

Questions and question sets in Inspera

No archiving policy will apply to questions or question sets created within Inspera. If the volume of questions or question sets is making the Authoring workspace difficult to navigate, we recommend that you use filters and saved views to ensure that you only see relevant items. 

Where a question or question set is not required, and has not been used in an exam or coursework submission (for example, it was a draft or demo question set), you can use the 'Move to Trash' option. This will remove it from the view of all users who previously had access to it. From the Authoring workspaces, select the row which contains the relevant question or question set, and click the option 'Move to Trash'. 

This action does not permanently delete the question set and can be reversed. If you need to recover a trashed question or question set, select the 'Trashed Questions' or ‘Trashed Question Sets’ button, which you can find in the bottom left corner of the relevant Author workspaces. You should then select the row containing the relevant question or question set, and click the option 'Restore'. 


For a definition of question sets and tests in Inspera, please visit the Overview of Inspera webpage

More Inspera guidance



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