Student Guidelines for Taking Online Exams in One’s Own (Home) Environment or On Campus

The instructions for students relate for all synchronous online exams, including exams taken from one’s own (home) environment and from computer exams on campus.

The instructions below relate to all synchronous online examinations, i.e. all examinations via PC, both oral and written, in which you as a student answer the questions in real time.

It is very important that you read and apply these guidelines very thoroughly. By taking the exam, you confirm that you have done so and that you will not engage in any form of behaviour that could be considered an exam fraud.

Preparation of the online evaluation

Hardware Online Assessment Taken At Home

  • You definitely need a computer, mobile phone and internet. In case you have already activated MFA (multifactor authentication), please make sure to read the information provided by the ICT Department.
  • Make sure your PC/laptop gets enough power or is sufficiently charged. Put your power cable within reach. Switch off sleep mode in the settings.
  • If you have oral online exams or a written online exam with online supervision, you will also need a built-in camera or webcam. If you don't have one, we ask you to purchase a webcam. This will then be considered study material. A cheap model of 15 to 20 euros will do.
  • In case of technical problems during the exam, the exam can be continued via a smartphone. A smartphone can be a handy backup tool, but you are not obliged to buy one. In case of technical failures, a new exam moment can also be scheduled. (cfr. Infra)
  • If you would have financial problems to purchase a computer and/or internet, please contact socialedienst@UGent.be

Hardware for On-Campus Computer Exams

  •  In case you have already activated MFA (multifactor authentication), you will need a cell or smartphone in addition to the Ghent University computer that is present in the computer classroom. You will need your cell or smartphone to identify yourself, to log on to the on-campus computer and the exam itself. After signing in, you switch off your phone and put it screen down on the corner of the table. As you use the same internet browser throughout the entire exam, you will not need your phone as second authenticator. 
  • In case the computer exam takes place in a classroom equipped with laptop docking stations, you will have to bring your own laptop. Lecturers will clearly communicate this beforehand. BE sure to bring your cell or smartphone in case you have already activated MFA. 

Platform

  • The instructors will inform you at which digital tools the online exam will be taken and how you can prepare technically. Ghent University supports the following digital tools: MS Teams, Bongo VC, Curios, and Ufora. In some cases, other specific software is also required (e.g., Dodona, Indianio, SubGit, GitHub@UGent, etc.) or other applications in Athena. Make sure you have the necessary digital tools, i.e. those announced by the teacher, available and tested well in advance.
  • Teachers can conduct a trial evaluation. The purpose of a trial evaluation is to familiarize you with the course of the exam, the digital tools used and the type of exam questions you can expect. Such a trial evaluation can be integrated in the initiatives taken by the teacher prior to or during the week of intensive exam preparation and booster sessions, namely the week of 18 May. When evaluating via Bongo VC, a trial session is even necessary to make the system work.

 

Examiner

  • The online exams can be taken by the responsible teacher and/or by other staff members who were involved in the education.
  • The instructors and other staff members will make good agreements in advance about the evaluation criteria, instructions, answer keys, etc. and ensure that improvements are made in a uniform manner. They will also check together in advance whether there are any ambiguities in the question. Of course, the lecturer remains ultimately responsible for determining and motivating your final score.
  • The examiner will always be available  by phone at each online assessments in one’s own (home) environment evaluation in case there are problems with the internet connection or technical breakdowns. The telephone number will be communicated to the students in advance.
  • Computer classrooms or classrooms with laptop docking stations will always have sufficient invigilators in case there are difficulties signing in or other technical issues.  

 

Quiet environment and fraud prevention in Case of Online Exams in One’s Own (Home) Environment

  • The instructors will make good arrangements with you about what can or cannot be done (= fraud) during the online exam and will point out your responsibility and the consequences of attempted fraud. For example, if you forget to set up the camera for surveillance or deliberately refuse to do so, this may lead to the quotation 'absent' on the exam because the teacher cannot judge whether the exam was actually taken by you. Ditto with all the other supervisory arrangements that you, consciously or not, would not follow. This is in accordance with article 53§5 of the OER.
    Please note that a teacher can ask to effectively sign a sworn declaration. This will either be done digitally in Ufora via a tickbox in which you check that you agree to this statement or the lecturer will ask you to email a signed form signed
  • The instructors can do an identity check by asking you to visualize your student card (or passport in case of a lost student card) and will keep a record of your presence during an online exam.
  • The lecturers will make a recording of (1) online oral exam, (2) online supervision of the preparation for an oral assessment and (3) online supervision to a written exam. This is in accordance with the article 53 of the Education and Examination Code. The recording can be used to deal with unexpected problems during the examination (internet breakdowns or other technical malfunctions), to assess the examination, to give feedback on the examination, to demonstrate a (suspected) irregularity in accordance with Article 78 of the Education and Examination Code (OER) or to use in case of disputes cf. Article 53§5 of the OER. The recording(s) will be destroyed one year after the academic year in question. Please note: under no circumstances may students record, download or distribute the exam.
  • Plagiarism software has been implemented in Ufora that allows the lecturer to check if there has been collaboration during online evaluations.
  • Lecturers can use digital tools to monitor students' click behaviour to make sure they only work within the permitted digital programmes during the exam. If other things suddenly appear on the screen outside the student's control, the student will honestly report this to the lecturer after the exam.
  • As a student, you are also responsible for ensuring that the exam runs smoothly by, for example, checking in which room you can take the exam in a calm manner, making arrangements with the people living with you about this and clearly indicating the time period in which the exam will take place (e.g. through a note on the door). Your desk is clean. Only allowed material may be within reach. Don't be too worried: examiners also understand during this period that unexpected events can disturb the peace and quiet in a room beyond the student's control. If it is absolutely impossible to take an online exam at home in a quiet environment, apply for a special status Exceptional Social or Personal Circumstances.
  • As a student, you have to be alone in the room for the entire duration of the exam. Make sure there are no learning materials within reach that could give rise to (suspicion of) fraud.
  • Make sure that you are dressed appropriately, as this is an evaluation/examination.
  • Be prepared for the fact that the lecturer can ask at any time for a 360° view of the exam room or to share your screen as part of the prevention or control of fraud. For oral online exam this will be asked by default. Don't worry about this: the room in which the exam takes place does not play a role in the assessment. In the course of the next few weeks instruction videos will be distributed via Ufora on how to best deal with this.
  • When an exam is taken online and remotely with online proctoring, the lecturer communicates this well in advance via Ufora. Online proctoring ensures that students can participate in an online exam without being at a physical test location at Ghent University. Online monitoring is carried out using software that identifies the student and remotely collects data about the activities of the student while taking the exam via recording of images, sound, and computer activity, after which this data can be analysed by the lecturer for risky behaviour. Make sure that you follow all instructions on this correctly, because not following the instructions or not following them correctly may lead to an examination disciplinary procedure in accordance with Article 78 of the OER. The pricacy statement can be found here.

 

Student with a special status

  • If you have a special status because of a disability and you expect that there is a possible effect of your disability on the online evaluation form (e.g. auditory problems, autism spectrum disorder...), please contact the lecturer if necessary to see if an alternative way of examining is necessary and possible. The Contact Point for Students and Disability can give you advice and, if necessary, offer a tailor-made solution.
  • If you have the Special status for Exceptional Social or Personal Circumstances (whether or not based on the corona crisis) and would like to use this status in the context of the online evaluation, please contact the responsible lecturer of the course by e-mail to discuss possible facilities.

Online examinations in the picture

In Case of Online Exams in One’s Own (Home) Environment (or online written exams with online supervision), make sure that the camera is set up in such a way that you are clearly visible and the sound functions optimally.

Check out the demonstrations:

Flowchart students online exams

 

A. Upon entering

B. Sideways position

C. Paper exams

D. Paper exam submission

E. Digital exams

During the online evaluation

Start of the online evaluation

  • Make sure you are ready for the computer at least 10 minutes before the scheduled exam time and that all programs needed to take the exam are operational. Make sure you have a good and stable network.
  • Go to the toilet beforehand so that you do not lose any time during the exam.
  • Make sure that no other programs are open on the computer than those allowed to do the evaluation.

 

What to do in case of problems during the online evaluation

  • Technical fault/problem with internet, platform, computer, MFA (multi-factor authentication)
    • Step 1: Try to reconnect to the platform to continue the exam.
    • Step 2: If this does not work or takes too long, you call the examiner on the telephone number provided in advance. Keep that at hand. You immediately report the technical malfunction. If necessary, the exam can be continued by telephone, preferably via a smartphone where you can be seen (e.g. Whatsapp) and/or on which the necessary digital tools or programs are installed.
    • Step 3: If the previous steps were unsuccessful or if you do not have a smartphone, an online catch-up moment will be provided once, at which the test will either be continued or a new test will be offered. The lecturer quickly provides clear information about this to the student.
    • In exceptional cases, it is possible to choose to hold the exam on campus from June 1st.

End of the online evaluation

  • When submitting the online written evaluation, take a print screen or a photo of your screen. This will serve as proof of participation in the exam and in case of any dispute you may be asked to forward it to the lecturer.
  • The lecturer has a suspicion of fraud during the exam.
    • If a lecturer suspects an irregularity (such as the use of forbidden tools, student talking to someone, the suspicion that someone out of the picture is helping the student, the suspicion of online interaction with others, ...), the lecturer can ask for a 360° scan of the exam room or to share the screen. If there is a clear suspicion or certainty about an irregularity, the lecturer must immediately terminate the ongoing evaluation. In that case, the procedure laid down in Article 78 of the Education and Examination Code (“OER”) comes into effect.
    • If a clear suspicion or certainty about an irregularity comes to light after the completion of the online examination, the instructor can have the procedure regarding fraud as laid down in article 78 of the Education and Examination Code (“OER”) come into effect.