Examination during the covid-19 pandemic

Autumn semester 2020

Due to Covid-19, examinations during the autumn will be done remotely, with video monitoring. It will also be possible for the examiner to change the form of examination. 

According to a decision from the President, examiners are allowed to change the form of examinations, such that they do not necessarily follow the course plan, as long as they test for the same learning objectives. The purpose is to give the examiners a possibility to find the best and most legally secure solution as possible. This also means departing from certain regulations. The main form for written examinations during the autumn will be digital examinations conducted remotely. A few pilot studies will be conducted to find ways to carry out the examination on campus in an infection-proof way, for courses where having the examination on location is important. You will be informed about how your examinations shall be carried out via the course room on Canvas.

The decision C 2020-1364 about allowing modified examination forms and C 2020-1365 om departures from regulations in combination with examinations applies between 31 August and 17 January.

The following applies 31 August 2020 – 17 January 2021: 

    • ​Ability to proctor the exam remotely via camera 
    • All examinations must be grade-differentiated between levels U, 3, 4, 5 if specified in the syllabus and test all the learning objectives that would have been tested at regular exams.​
    • It is not possible to take a double examination 
    • Compulsory registration for the exam. See The academic year – dates and times for registration dates.  
    • The examiner can shorten the exam time 
    • It is not possible to "plus" (retaking an exam in a course you have already passed, to raise its grade).
    • Exams carried out remotely are not anonymous. In cases where exams are carried out on campus, the ordinary regulations apply, and students will be anonymous to the examiner.
    • All aids are allowed. However, it is not permitted to cooperate with or take help from another person. In cases where exams are carried out on campus, the ordinary regulations apply, and the examiner decides which aids may be used.
    • No other university’s examinations may be carried out at Chalmers    
    • Students who need support with remote examinations due to technical conditions should receive it. Contact the examiner for discussion 

    Students with examination adaptions 

    Students with a Nais certificate who are eligible for extended exam time have the opportunity to test with extended exam time or receive other adaptations to the examination. Usually, applications for adapted examinations are made to the examination administration, but during autumn 2020, you should approach your examiner instead. This is exams carried out both remotely and on campus.

    The student is responsible for reporting to the examiner which adjustments have been decided upon and recommended in Nais. This must be done at least 10 working days before the adapted examination. In digital form, the student presents his or her Nais message to the examiner, who makes an appropriate adaptation to the examination. The examiner then sends a list to the exam administration with the students who will write with extended time. 

    Proctoring remotely via video

    According to the decision, Chalmers will be able to proctor those taking the exam through video streaming. 

    • To carry out examinations remotely, and prevent different forms of cheating, Chalmers needs to handle your personal information. Through your webcam/mobile phone camera and Zoom, Chalmers will use video streaming (without recording) to watch you during the examination period, to check that it is you taking the examination, and that you are not collaborating with others. The video streaming will not be recorded, except in cases where suspected cheating is identified during the exam. Chalmers is, for the same reason, allowed to save a picture of your ID until the examination results are reported in Ladok. 
    • The ID control will be performed in a way so that no other students will see your ID. However, it will not be possible to avoid students seeing each other during the exam; otherwise, it would require one guard for each student. 
    • Possible chat history in Zoom will be managed during the examination period and deleted afterwards. 
    • Chalmers handles personal details on the basis of competing interests. Chalmers has made the judgement that this extraordinary situation is necessary, and that Chalmers’ interest in ensuring that the examinations are carried out in the permitted way outweighs your interest to not be watched using video during the examination. 
    • As a registered individual, you have the right to know how your personal details are handled. You have the right to have incorrect details corrected and redundant information deleted, to request limitations to the information, and to have the details transferred to another actor. You also have the right to leave complaints to the Swedish Data Protection Authority.

    If you have questions concerning Chalmers’ handling of your personal details, you can contact Chalmers’ data protection ombudsman at dataskydd@chalmers.se. You can also read more on how Chalmers handles personal information and your rights on Chalmers’ website​

    When doing remote exams with Zoom

    • Make sure you are in the Zoom lobby 30 minutes before the exam starts. The monitoring will be carried out in Zoom but the exam is submitted in Canvas (the link to Zoom will be made available in Canvas).
    • You must be logged in with your CID in Zoom via https://chalmers.zoom.us/. GU students who participate in Zoom-proctored exams run at Chalmers should log in with their GU Zoom account.
    • Make sure, well in advance, that you can log on to the system properly. When Zoom is used for ID check and exam supervision you need to have access to a camera. If there is no camera in your computer it is possible to use the camera in your cell phone. Make sure you download the Zoom app well in advance and check that you can log on properly. Also test how you should place your cell phone in order for you to be clearly visible. Information on which Zoom room you should connect to will be presented in your course room in Canvas. 
    • At the IT-office documentation web you can find information about using Zoom​.
    • When admitted to the Zoom-room, you’ll be moved to a so called Breakout-room, called Pre-ID. Please note that you might have to press “ Breakout-room” followed by “Join” to enter the room you have been assigned to. 
    • You must be alone in the room where you conduct the exam. If this is not possible due to quarantine or other circumstances, you must notify the examiner in advance which other people will be present. Remember that you may use campus facilities for doing your exam.
    • Have your ID next to you during the entire exam period. Before the ID-check, you’ll be admitted into a lobby where you must wait for the ID-check. All ID-check is done with one student at a time in breakout rooms (called ID room). After the ID-check you will be transferred to the exam hall. Approximately 25 students are present in the exam hall.
    • Please note, that you should start doing your exam as soon as it is available, no matter if the ID-check has been done or not. 
    • If you drop from the Zoom meeting you must rejoin as fast as possible, using the same link as before. The ID will be checked again.
    • Text answers on the exam should be written in a text document. Calculations etc. may be written on paper and subsequently be photographed or scanned. The examiner decides and lets the student know how and in which formats answers should be written and handed in for each question/problem. This will be stated on the exam or separately in Canvas.
    • It is prohibited to communicate orally or in writing with persons other than the examiner and the guard.
    • It is prohibited to use any kind of headphones or earphones. 
    • Students are prohibited from recording the examination themselves with their own equipment. 
    • Prepare everything you need as if it was an ordinary exam in an exam hall. I.e, make sure you have your coffee and other necessities ready and next to you at the start of the exam. Some exams are divided into sections with a break in the middle, some aren’t. 

    How the contact between students, proctor and examiner is arranged (There might be local changes, if so these are communicated in Canvas) 

    • Contact the proctor using the Zoom chat channel to “Everyone” (the only possible choice).
    • Bathroom break: write “Bathroom”.
    • On return: write “Bathroom return”.
    • Keep bathroom breaks as brief as possible! 
    • Question for examiner:  write ”Question for examiner”. The proctor will tag your name with ##EXAMINER## You will be moved to the examiner’s room where you may ask your question. This may take a while as the examiner may be already busy with another question.
    • Other: write “Contact”. The proctor will tag your name with “##CONTACT##”.  You will be moved to another room to explain further. This may take a while.
    • If you submit your solutions before time expires, write “Scanning solutions” when you start scanning. 
    • When you have submitted the solution in Canvas, write “Submitted in Canvas” (regardless of when you do this). 
    • When the proctor has checked you off the list and tagged your name with ##DONE##, you may leave the Zoom meeting by selecting “Leave breakout room” and then “Leave meeting”.  
    The monitoring takes place in Zoom, but the exam itself is done in Canvas. (The link to the Zoom room will be in Canvas). All exams have a proctor and ID checkers. The examiner will be available for questions during all or parts of the exam. 

    Questions about remote examination

    Will my exam look the same as a normal exam?

    No, probably not. The President has decided that the examiner for a course may change the form of the examination. The reason for this is to provide the possibility for the examiner to find the best and most reliable solution possible for the examination, in relation to the course's learning objectives and taking into account the number of students to be examined. For example, a remote written exam can be divided into several modules, such as a written and an oral part, to reduce the risk of collaboration between students.

    Will I have as much time as a regular exam?

    This is not certain. The examiners have been given the opportunity to use alternative forms of examination, and this may mean that the examination time is shortened to suit the new form.

    Is it possible to double-test?

    No, it is not possible to double-test (take two exams that are scheduled at the same time by delaying the time of one of the exams).

    Can I take an exam without being registered for it?

    No. It is not possible to take an exam without having registered for it. Only those who are registered can write the exam.

    Is it possible to ‘plus’?

    No. ‘Plussing’, that is, retaking an exam in a course you have already passed, to raise its grade, is not possible as we need to reduce the number of students who are taking exams for capacity reasons. Plussing will be allowed again when we have greater capacity for examinations.

    Will the examination be anonymous?
    Exams carried out remotely are not anonymous. In cases where exams are carried out on campus, the ordinary regulations apply, and students will be anonymous to the examiner.​

    What tools will I be able to use in the exam?
    • As the examination takes place remotely and it is not possible to check which aids students are using, all aids will be allowed. However, cooperation or help from other people is not permitted.
    • In cases where exams are carried out on campus, the ordinary regulations apply, and the examiner decides which aids may be used.​

    Are students with the right to an extended examination time also entitled to it now?

    Yes. Students with a Nais certificate who are eligible for extended exam time have the opportunity to test with extended exam time or receive other adaptations to the examination. Usually, applications for adapted examinations are made to the examination administration, but during autumn 2020, you should approach your examiner instead. This is exams carried out both remotely and on campus.​

    Will it be possible to get the highest grades (4 or 5)?

    Yes. For graded courses, it will be possible to get the highest grade in these examinations. There may, however, be other forms of examination required to reach the grade boundaries. 

    Will it be possible to take other universities’ exams at Chalmers? 

    No. We cannot offer any exams from other universities to be done at Chalmers campus since all Chalmers exams are done remotely.  

    I don’t have access to this year’s Canvas page because I took the course at an earlier time, what can I do?

    Contact the examiner for the course.

    I will take an exam in a course which has closed, what can I do?

    You will either be given access to a Canvas page on a course from autumn, or a special Canvas page will be created just for this exam. The examiner can answer questions about the exam. 

    How will Chalmers make sure no one is cheating when having remote exams?

    The assessment that Chalmers has made is that the best way to maintain a reliable examination is to monitor students with the help of video streaming and with ID controls. The examiner can also divide the exam into several modules, such as a written and an oral part, to reduce the risk of collaboration between the students.

    When and in what way will I receive information about my exam?

    The exams will be different from course to course. In some courses more oral components will be included for example. You will find information about your exam in the Canvas course room. If you don’t know what course room you belong to, please contact your examiner.

    In some cases, students from previous years haven’t yet been registered in the right course room, in those cases you may have to wait a little more before getting the information. Please contact your examiner if you have any questions. 

    Questions on remote exams and privacy

    Please note that there may be practical differences between exams, depending on the design and nature of the exam. Information on your specific exam is available from the examiner and in the Canvas room for the course.

    Why is Chalmers using these methods for remote exams?

    In a very short time, Chalmers has been forced to switch its ordinary on-site exams to remote exams. Owing to procurement and GDPR rules, we are unable to use any IT tools and systems other than those we already have. Consequently, Chalmers will use a combination of Zoom and Canvas. Chalmers has been working hard in order to find other ways of conducting remote examinations. Different options have been investigated but at this moment there is no better solution.​

    Chalmers’ Zoom installation is via SUNET (Swedish University computer Network) and is therefore separate from the public Zoom cloud. Read about Zoom security​.

    Following an assessment, Chalmers has decided that the best way to ensure that exams are in full compliance with the law is to monitor students by means of video streaming and ID checks. Chalmers takes an equally tough approach to cheating in these exams as in ordinary on-site exams. Although all aids may be used, students taking these exams are subject to the same requirements as for ordinary exams. Any suspicion of cheating is reported to the Disciplinary Committee via the usual channels. 

    In addition to monitoring and ID checks, the exams will be designed differently from on-site exams. It is up to each examiner to design their exams.

    Has any impact and risk analysis been carried out for student privacy in connection with video monitoring?
    Yes. The personal data involved in the monitoring and ID checks is processed based on Chalmers’ decision (C2020-0688) that the necessity of checking that the exam is being implemented in a permissible manner outweighs any potential infringement of student privacy. It is difficult to reach a balance between student privacy, management of personal data and the task of the higher education institution to hold exams in full compliance with the law and ensure that we know that the right student took the exam.

    What are the guidelines for what must be visible to the camera? 

    It is most important for the face to be visible, as the invigilator and the examiner must be able to see that the correct student is taking the exam. Nothing else is specified.

    Chalmers encourages its students to use a virtual background or blurring to avoid the need to display their homes to each other. Anyone who prefers not to display their home may take the exam in a group room at Chalmers, for example (please note, however, that only one person may be in the room when taking a remote exam).

    What are the requirements for sound during an exam?  

    You may have the volume turned down so that the sound from others does not bother you. However, it is unavoidable that students may hear sounds at another student’s home unless they turn the volume down. 

    The invigilator manages the mute/unmute function for student microphones. The invigilator switches on students’ microphones one by one at random intervals to check that there are no inappropriate sounds. If a student needs to ask the invigilator or examiner anything during the exam, they use the chat function. The invigilator can then move them to a separate breakout room where the examiner can answer questions. 

    What are the rules for toilet breaks? 

    The same applies as for an ordinary on-site exam. Toilet breaks are normally permitted, but you must notify the invigilator and make the break as short as possible. This will not be filmed, of course. If the exam is divided into sections, with submission of each section and a break between them, the examiner may specify that students may only visit the toilet in these breaks.

    I have neither a computer with a webcam nor a phone with a working camera. What should I do? 

    Equipment may be borrowed in certain cases, but these options are very limited. If you do not have your own equipment, you need to contact the examiner to discuss a solution.

    How and when should I hand in my exam?

    You may not leave the Zoom room until your exam has been handed in as specified by the examiner. Exams are handed in in Canvas, and when the ordinary time for the exam has finished, you need to hand it in immediately.  Each exam has a certain time for submission, approximately 30 minutes. The scanning and submission process itself must not be filmed. You should do a trial scan in advance. If you have any problems handing in your exam, you need to email your exam to the examiner.

    Contact the examiner directly if you have any problems.

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    Published: Mon 14 Sep 2020.