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Online exams: malfunctions and fraud

03 November 2020

On the afternoon of Monday 2 November, students and lecturers were unfortunately faced with a malfunction on Nestor, the UG’s online learning environment, for the third time in a short period. The malfunction started a little before 3 p.m., during the start of an exam block. This affected 12 exams. Of those 12, 7 were cancelled and 5 were started once Nestor was working as it should again.

‘We are obviously very unhappy that this happened to the approximately 1,000 students affected, and their teachers. When you are prepared and awaiting the start of your exam and it is cancelled last-minute, this has a large impact on you,’ says Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga.

Preventing future malfunctions

While fixing the problems, several servers were restarted, but the load imposed on the system immediately increased again. Together with the supplier, a Nestor update was carried out Monday evening to increase the capacity. The exams on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, including an exam for 600 students at the Faculty of Law, took place without any issues. We are currently looking into the deeper causes of the problem together with the supplier, to prevent any further malfunctions in the current exam period and in the future.

Rescheduling exams and clear communication

In this exam period, a total of 344 exams will be taken. Of these, 211 have been completed so far; 7 of them have been canceled and ten have been delayed. It is not yet clear upon which dates the cancelled exams will be rescheduled. The faculties concerned will soon reschedule these and inform the students of this in good time. The Board of the University finds it very important that students being given the opportunity to take an extra exam or resit.

Fraud during online exams: don't do it!

The UG has also detected fraud during online exams lately. Naturally, combating fraud is highly important to the Board of the University. Although fraud has always been an issue, it used to only affect students who committed fraud in exams taken in person. But now, in the case of online exams, it affects all students. This is why we again want to emphasize to students that fraud is unacceptable: in doing so, you will not only impact yourself (and your own future) but also all your fellow students. Act with integrity and don’t do it!

Last modified:03 November 2020 2.19 p.m.
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