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Education Online Teaching for staff Exams

FAQ online exams

Please find below the most frequently asked questions. For more support:

  • digitaaltoetsen rug.nl for all questions of teachers concerning help with putting their exams online
  • exams rug.nl for all questions concerning policies and regulations about exams

Important information before you start

Always check with the Board of Examiners before making any changes to your exams and how they are administered!

Keep in mind that making changes to an exam can throw off your course’s alignment. Make sure that a new online exam tests the same cognitive levels (e.g. knowledge and insight, application or analysis, see Bloom’s taxonomy).

We also strongly recommend you consult with your colleagues, department, and faculty before finalizing any changes to your assessment structure, and make sure you meet the guidelines set by the exam committee.

I have an exam which is mostly reproductive. What can I do?

In general we recommend oral online exams. Online written exams are in general not suitable for reproductive questions.

Could you provide me with the possible online exam solutions University of Groningen offers?

Here is some more information about oral and written exams. We are looking for other possibilities as well, but this might take some time.

What are the possibilities for large groups (100+)?

We understand that large groups of students are a major concern considering exams. At this stage there is not a simple solution. Every reliable solution (like dividing in smaller groups, asking students to write a paper etc.) will require more time of teachers for marking. At this stage large exams are mostly postponed by faculties.

To what extent can I still change my learning outcomes?

Keep in mind that making changes to an exam can throw off your course’s alignment. Make sure that a new online exam tests the same cognitive levels (e.g. knowledge and insight, application, or analysis, see Bloom’s taxonomy). Always check with the Board of Examiners before making any changes to your exams and how they are administered. We also strongly recommend you consult with your colleagues, department, and faculty before finalizing any changes to your assessment structure, and make sure you meet the guidelines set by the Board of Examiners.

My exam is very soon and I cannot change it rapidly and also do not see possibilities for the near future. What can I do?

At this stage postponing your exam is the only possibility. Please check within your faculty.

I have students with special needs. What can I do?

We recognize two different accommodations: extra time for an exam (for example because of dyslexia) and other needs. In case of extra time, in an online written exam you can give the specific student(s) extra time. For oral exams, please check at your faculty. Students with other special needs can contact their study advisor. Individual support might be necessary.

If students expect delays of their study, where can they go?

Student delay is a general problem, the Ministry has to decide whether we can compensate students. Students should contact their study advisor in case of a delay of 5 ECTS or more, as usual. A study delay of 15 ECTS or more should be reported to the student counsellors at the Student Service Centre.

What is the policy for communication to students about exams?

Students are expected to follow the communication and policy of their faculty in this.

How can we best prepare students on the change of exam formats?

First, design the exams to fit with the learning outcomes and make sure the design fits the way the students are trained. In addition, inform the students about the details of the change they will be confronted with. Be explicit about the resources they can use. Address the concerns of students with special needs. Consider which specifications might help students to adapt to the new situation. Finally, write a summary of the specifics of the alternative exam and include this information in the exam instructions available to the students while taking the exam.

Can I use proctoring (video surveillance) for online exams?

No. We have received many questions and requests for proctoring, but reliable proctoring solutions are not yet possible and can not be supported at this stage. Instead of focusing on surveillance, we rather recommend to focus on other solutions like assuring your essay questions require creativity from students, checking afterwards if some students have exceptional results and tell students there will be random additional oral exams for checking.

How can I collect evidence for (identity) fraud?

Checking identity and cheating during an online exam is difficult or even impossible. One solution is to develop online written exams that requires more from the students’ creativity. When using the online Nestor-tools, we can help afterwards with investigating. That is not possible if you use different procedures. It might be useful to do random online oral exams as well to check students’ knowledge and skills.

How can I do online exams with equations or drawings?

Students might write down the answers on a piece of paper, make a picture with their mobile and upload that in the Nestor Exam Course. Identity of the student is not guaranteed. For exams with mathematical or chemical formulas, drawings or other non-standard input the exam needs to be designed in such a way that students cannot cheat easily. Random additional oral exams might be useful.

As part of their digital exam, students are required to make drawings and it to Nestor as a scan/photo. Should students keep their handwritten answers for archiving purposes?

Scans or photos on distance have chances on fraude. Please contact your Board of examiners on this. If the design of the exam is approved, students need to keep their handwritten sketch till they get their grade.

Which IT facilities are available for online exams?

Click here for the solutions we offer. Proctoring (video surveillance during the exam) is not possible at this stage.

My students need specific software during their exam (i.e. SPSS, Excel etc.). What can I do?

In case of general software which most students probably have (like Excel) students can do their exam at home using Excel on their laptop/pc. In other cases please contact digitaaltoetsen rug.nl

Not all students will have the technical equipment or internet network capabilities to do online exams. What support can the UG offer these students from a technical perspective?

Students are expected to have access to a computer. In general the UG needs to provide customisation as much as possible to avoid study delay. Please stay in contact with your faculty for this policy.

In my faculty we are working with wet-signatures on paper exam notes. What can I do?

We are working on this and will communicate when possible.

How to deal with registrations for resits?

We are working on this and will communicate as soon as possible.

What to do with practicals?

Practicals on site can not be conducted as long as the buildings are closed. For internships: please discuss the possibilities with the employer.

What happens when Nestor is unavailable?

When Nestor is unavailable the exam has to be cancelled for that moment. Work that is saved before Nestor becomes unavailable might be saved.

Is a separate Nestor exam course also needed for take home exams (e.g. exams where we give an assignment and the students have to send in their file before a defined time)?

We strongly recommend using the separate Nestor Exam Course for monitoring and security or fraud detection (option for plagiarism scan),easy access for exam committees, accreditation and archiving. Using the Exam Course provides you with full support which might not be possible when using other options.

How strict do we have to interpret 'MC is not suitable' for online testing?

In general, MC questions for online exams have a higher risk for fraud.

Last modified:03 April 2020 3.15 p.m.