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Notes and checklists for students and examiners

In the video you can see the view of the supervisor (left side) and the view of three students (right side). The supervisor is seen from behind and a shot of the screen. Form students you see only the screen capture of the smartphones (recommended in the setting for the video session). From time to time, an alarm sounds and the info box at the bottom explains the problem currently under consideration.

For students

Digital examinations are a new form of examination for many. This form of examination is sometimes associated with some concerns, especially with regard to technical feasibility. However, it is relatively unlikely that technical problems will occur if a few things are taken into account.

With the listing of numerous questions and answers as well as the naming of contact persons on the topic, we want to inform you about the implementation of digital examinations.

You can find information on data protection on the page of the data protection officer .

  • Computer/notebook with camera, microphone and loudspeaker
  • Stable internet connection (min. 300 kBit/s upload and download) when proctoring with a supervisor. You can test your network connection directly to the university with the speed test of the University Computer Centre .
  • Student ID
  • Browser, preferably Mozilla Firefox or Chrome
  • If necessary, scanner/device for taking pictures (camera, mobile phone, etc.) for carrying out digital examinations on paper

Note: Laptops with camera, microphone and speakers as well as pre-installed software (Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice) are available for loan. Information on borrowing technology can be found on the page of URZ. Laptop lending for exams

The points listed here are recommendations. The examiner may, under certain circumstances, give other instructions on the procedure of his or her examination. Please always refer to the information on the individual examinations.

  • Sit alone in an enclosed space (no communal kitchen, canteen, balcony, etc.).
  • Any communication with other persons is a violation of the examination regulations and can be punished accordingly (unless it is a group work).
  • Provide a quiet and undisturbed working environment.
  • Your workplace should be empty or tidy (without any documents other than permitted aids).
  • Read the conditions when enrolling for the exam, enrol if you really agree with the conditions.
  • Make sure that all devices are charged or that the charging cable is plugged in.
  • Have blank paper, writing material and, if permitted, other aids such as a calculator ready if necessary.
  • The student ID card serves as identification.

Students can get to know the procedure and try out different question types in a demo exam on the TUCexam examination platform

The exact procedure of the examination depends on the lecturer, the examination regulations and the examination format. If you have any questions or uncertainties, do not hesitate to contact the lecturer in advance of the examination.

  1. You will receive detailed information on the procedure and conditions of your examination from the examiners in advance of the examination. In this you will also find all the necessary links.
  2. Most of the exams take place on the TUCexam exam platform. Register in advance and get familiar with the platform. We have created a sample exam (without assessment) to demonstrate the possible question types for your exam. You can work on this to get a feeling for using the platform.
  3. On the day of the exam, you start your exam together with all other students. To do this, you call up the examination course on the examination platform and start the examination. You must then wait for the examiner or the exam proctor to activate the exam. Leave the window open, the view will update automatically.
  4. As a rule, the lecturers provide an emergency contact in the event of technical faults. In case of problems, please contact the lecturers/the examination proctor first.
  • Be there on time (about 30 minutes before the exam starts) in order to fix technical problems in time.
  • Make sure that all devices are charged or that the charging cable is plugged in.
  • Have your student ID card ready for identification as well as blank paper, writing material and, if permitted, other aids such as a calculator.
  • Set up your camera and workstation so that examination proctoring can be implemented as prescribed (See: "How to implement examination proctoring“)

Examination proctoring can be carried out through web conferencing services, in most cases through the University Computer Centre's internal video conferencing service BigBlueButton.

Follow these tips to prepare optimally for the exam with proctoring:

  • Test the connection to the conference system in advance.
    • You can create your own web conference for testing at any time. To do this, visit the BigBlueButton system of the TU Chemnitz .
    • Test your network connection directly to the university with the URZ speed test. .
  • If you have to keep your webcam activated during the exam, sit in a way that your hands and the door are visible.
    • If necessary, you will be asked by the proctor to do a camera panning of the room.
    • Only the proctor can see the image of your webcam, the other students do not see your image.
      Zeichnung Kamerasicht auf Prüfling und Tür
      Zeichnung Kameraposition und Sichtradius
  • Only the examination proctor is displayed in the list of participants. You can ask questions in the form of a private chat message.
  • Mute your sound, otherwise background noise such as typing on the keyboard will also be transmitted into the conference, disturbing the other participants.
  • If possible, use a different laptop/PC for proctoring than for the exam in the exam browser. If load problems during the web conference should occur, you can at least continue working on the exam this way.

In case of problems, contact the examination proctor or the examiner immediately using the contact details provided to you. A disconnection (also through no fault of your own) can lead to the termination of the examination.

For the presentation of diagrams, solution paths with formulae or reaction equations, the tools that OPAL and ONYX offer for setting and processing tasks are not sufficient. Nevertheless, there are extensive possibilities to enable a digital implementation.

One possibility is to perform complete exams on paper.

  • You will be given a task which you must complete by hand within a specified time using the approved aids.
  • Afterwards, the results must be scanned or photographed by you and transmitted to the examiner. Please pay particular attention to the prescribed file size in order to minimise problems during uploading (see: "Tips for data transfer “).
  • If necessary, the created original must also be subsequently sent to the examiner.
  • The exact procedure of the submission is prescribed by the lecturers and the examination format. It is possible, for example, to upload the digitised recordings to a submission folder in OPAL or to use the Upload Task module within ONYX/TUCexam.

Another possibility is to conduct a hybrid examination, in which only individual tasks that cannot be depicted by the examination platform have to be solved on paper. The submission takes place analogously.

Please note that the exam cannot be opened in parallel on several devices, i.e., it is not possible to start the exam on the PC and to call up the exam again on the mobile phone during an upload task. If the exam is processed via PC, a transfer of the digital recordings to the PC is mandatory.

Examination proctoring is possible via webcam through web conferencing (See: „How can examination proctoring be implemented?“).

The digitisation of the handwritten elaborations can be done by means of a scanner, a mobile phone or a camera.

You can transfer photos from your mobile phone or camera to your PC, for example, via Bluetooth or by connecting the appropriate cable in order to transmit them to the examiner as prescribed. In addition, transmission is possible by using the TUCcloud.

Please note the size of the files to be uploaded. Photos in particular can require a storage space of 5 to 10 MB, so that the prescribed upload space can quickly be exceeded or uploading takes a lot of time. Compression may therefore be necessary.

We recommend using the freely available software GIMP, which is supported by the operating systems MacOS, Linux and Windows.

By right-clicking on the image opened in the program, a series of commands will be will be displayed. By clicking on the "Resize" command, a new window appears: you can choose between three image sizes (S, M or L) and a user-defined selection. It is recommended to choose the image size M (or S). In the last step, the storage location and the name of the resized image file must be specified.

Please open the reduced image again and check the quality before sending it to the lecturer.

Image compaction can be done by using the freely available Software GIMP, which is supported by macOS, Linux and Windows operating systems.

Image compression can be done through the following steps:

  1. Open the photo in GIMP: To do this, click on the "File" tab in the menu bar and on the "Open" command. Select the image to be edited. Alternatively, the command can be called up using the key combination Ctrl+E.
  2. Open the "File" tab in the menu bar again and select the "Export" command. Alternatively, the command can be called up using the key combination Ctrl+E.
  3. A window opens in which the folder location and the file name can be specified. Click on the "+" under file type: This opens a list showing the different export options. Select here the saving as "JPEG" picture.
  4. Click on the button "Export": Another window opens in which the quality of the image and thus the file size can be set. Place a check mark under "Show preview in image window" to allow the file size to be displayed. The quality can be changed by varying it with the help of the scroll bar.
  5. Click on "Export" again to complete the process and save the compressed image in the specified location.

It is recommended that you test your chosen image compression or image image reduction before the test to become more confident in the process and to get a feeling for the to get a feeling for the approximate time required and the resulting image quality.

Checklists for examiners

If you decide to use a digital exam, the next question is how to implement it technically. First of all, it should be mentioned: many students do not have any experience with digital exams yet. Here it is important to take away fear and inform them exactly on how the exam will work. The experience from summer semester 2020 shows: technical malfunctions occur relatively rarely, and as a rule the exam runs without any problems.

The TU Chemnitz has several options for conducting exams. You can embed take-home exams and homework via OPAL task module. The examination platform TUCexam is suitable for written examinations. The checklist listed here is intended as a guide for you. Not all steps are necessary for all types of examinations. If you have any questions or need advice, the staff of the e-learning teams will be happy to help you.

Information on data protection can be found on the website of the data protection officer .

Please note Here https://tucexam.tu-chemnitz.de you can find an overview page of the servers of the exam platform. We currently have two server systems in use.

Server exam.tu-chemnitz.de:

  • Fakultät für Human- und Sozialwissenschaften
  • Fakultät für Maschinenbau
  • Fakultät für Mathematik
  • Fakultät für Naturwissenschaften
  • Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

Server maxexam.tu-chemnitz.de:

  • Fakultät für Informatik
  • Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
  • Philosophischen Fakultät
  • Zentrum für Lehrerbildung
  • Zentrum für Fremdsprachen

You must already create the check on the correct server.

What steps are necessary before the examination?

For an online exam in TUCexam you need a course with the course elements " Registration" and "Test", which are configured accordingly. For this purpose, we have created a template in the learning platform OPAL. You can read how to use the template and create an exam in the description of the examination platform TUCexam.

Important notes on the conduct of the examination

Even if a digital exam seems to require few staff to proctor it, it is advisable to bring in another person, especially for larger cohorts, to supervise the technical process, for example. Furthermore, you should have an emergency number ready in case students should have technical problems. Be sure to plan enough time to check student IDs via BigBlueButton, if you are writing a closed-book exam. Furthermore, it is a good idea to test the execution of the exam in advance.

Create Checklist Exam - Learning Platform OPAL

    • Students register on the examination platform
    • Students get familiar with the structure of the exam questions
    • General demo exam on exam platform
Supplementary notes:

Publish examination checklist - Examination platform TUCexam

Create Checklist Exam Proctoring –BigBlueButton

    • Generate access code (cube symbol)
    • Mute participant when entering ON
    • Approval by moderator before the room can be entered ON
    • Any participant can start the meeting OFF
    • All users participate as moderator OFF
    • Enable recording OFF
    • Entering the room requires authentication ON

Always plan enough time before the exam (up to 45 minutes) to be able to clarify any technical problems that may occur in advance.

Checklist Examination Proctor BigBlueButton - Preparation (approx. 45 minutes before)

    • Share Webcam Unlocked
    • Visibility of the webcam (settings, named differently in different browsers)
      • Only moderators see webcams (Firefox, MacBook Chrome) Locked
      • See webcams of all participants (Windows Chrome) Locked
    • Enable microphone Locked
    • Send public chat messages Locked
    • Send private chat messages Unlocked
    • Edit shared notes Locked
    • See other participants in the participant list Locked

All settings are reset when the conference is closed!

Checklist Examination Proctor BigBlueButton - Admitting participants (approx. 30 minutes beforehand)

  • Zeichnung zeigt Kamerasicht auf Prüfling vorm Rechner mit Tür im Hintergrund
    Zeichnung von Kameraposition und Sichtradius

Checklist Examination Proctor BigBlueButton - During the Examination

Checklist Examination Platform

Notes:
  • Students start the test and wait for approval to start the exam
  • Closing the examination window (ONYX view) leads to the interruption of the examination (even before the start of the examination)
  • Allowing additional time after proceeding is optional and individual
  • Date, time, duration of the examination
  • Type of examination
  • A second contact option during the exam (e-mail, telephone number) for communication on possible technical problems
  • List of all aids
  • Rules for toilet breaks
  • Regulations in the event of disconnections (interruption of proctoring, interruption of examination platform)

What still needs to be done after the exam?

The University Computer Centre (URZ) can provide access to the online software Docoloc for checking plagiarism. An academic chair license must be purchased in advance. Register your need in good time; additional licenses may have to be purchased.

In the assessment tool of the TUCexam examination platform, you can carry out the evaluation for all tasks (user-independent). Automatic evaluations from ONYX can also be adjusted subsequently.

Even before the exam is carried out, you can determine which assessment information is to be displayed to the exam participants - this can also be time-controlled. You can find details on this in our blog article.

After the check has been carried out, first check in the assessment tool whether, for example, a graduation key is to be created or a mass assessment is to be carried out; Example graduation key: According to course structure → right: collective functions → create graduation key

Now you carry out manual re-evaluations, for example necessary for free-text tasks. These are marked with a blue M in all result views. Warnings appear if evaluations are still open.

To do this, activate the “Evaluate” link in the respective results view. You can also enter comments for participants and evaluators or only for evaluators. The latter, however, are not archived. Finally do “Save”.

Under export lists (right) → participant results, you can generate a list of the test results including participant data. You can use this with a few additions to the form that you have to send to the ZPA after the end of the examination.

After completing the assessment, you can activate the visibility of the results in the examination course.

Before the start of the next examination phase, it is planned to empty the TUCexam examination platform and to delete all examinations and results. Via data archiving (Examination course on examination platform → Functional areas (top centre) → Arrow down → Data archiving), you have the possibility to export the results and assessments of all participants after the completion of your examination. Save the data securely on network drives at the university.

Didactical hints

General information on selecting an appropriate form of examination

In general, the type of examination is closely related to the teaching and learning objectives of your course. Possible examination formats are usually specified in the examination regulations and module descriptions. The selection of a suitable format should be based on the learning objectives set at the beginning as well as on the learning activities. It is important to determine a suitable examination format at the beginning of the semester while planning the course in order to focus any learning activities on it. Examinations should encourage students to use the competences that have been defined as learning objectives and give teachers the opportunity to observe the achievement of the competences in order to give the students appropriate feedback.

When developing learning goal-oriented examination tasks, you can use the taxonomy of cognitive learning goals described in the handout as a guide. Examinations in the higher education context should ideally be located at taxonomy levels (>2), this is also specified by the Higher Education Development Framework.

(Fig.1: own illustration based on Bloom, 1956)

Accordingly, examinations do not reproduce subject knowledge, but are designed to be action-oriented: acquired knowledge is applied. The repetition of definitions, the explanation of technical terms or the query of formulas are at the lower levels of competence and should not be part of a university examination. Rather, this knowledge should be applied. This can happen, for example, in the application of formulas or the interpretation of definitions using suitable examples. Even more complex is the analysis or evaluation of case studies on the basis of theoretical knowledge. If, for example in the context of a Master's thesis, new knowledge is produced on the basis of generating and evaluating scientific data, this is at the highest level of competence. Certainly, the design and the choice of the examination form is also oriented towards the teacher's capacity to assess the results. For large cohorts, for example, it can be difficult to offer competence-oriented examinations in higher taxonomy levels, as the assessment effort is automatically higher. Depending on the subject area and examination regulations, it may make sense at this point to split the examination, for example, and require a written multiple-choice part and a written paper, which can then be shorter. Furthermore, group work or intermediate tests during the semester as well as continuous submissions can reduce the assessment effort in the end.

Diversity and accessibility

Equality of opportunity is a quality criterion for digital examinations. This means that it is a central requirement for digital examinations. In (digital) examinations, the general principle of equality applies (Article 3 (1) of the Constitution): This means that identical examination conditions should be available for all persons to be examined. AEven while ensuring the quality criterion of "equal opportunities" in digital examinations, care should be taken in the planning and design of digital examinations in order to see what connection might be between various diversity dimensions and the conduct of the examination. Two examples should be explained in more detail here:

Diversity dimension "Disability and Chronic Illness”

Digital testing must also be designed to be barrier-free from the beginning – since the Barrier-Free Information Technology Ordinance (BITV) (BITV) applies here as well.

This mainly concerns:

  • Tools and learning management systems used for digital exams
  • Documents and materials used in digital examinations
  • Assessment tools
  • certain types of tasks that may contain barriers for students with visual impairments, among others (e.g. drag & drop tasks).

Should students with disabilities and chronic illnesses not be able to participate in the digital examination in the usual manner, it is possible to apply for a so-called disadvantage compensation. Information on this can be found here: Information and Counselling Centre for Studies and Disability . WFurther information on the topic of accessibility can also be found in the module "Inclusion and Accessibility in Digital Teaching".

Diversity dimension Gender

There are gender differences in the process of digital transformation in higher education (unequal access to digitalization, differences in usage behaviour and participation in digital trends). You should take this into account when planning exams and, if necessary, offer the opportunity (for all students) to test digital tools.

What can you consider?

  • Is it necessary to indicate the gender in combination with the name registered at the university?

    → Risk of discrimination for trans* students

  • Which task type is chosen?

    → Task types sometimes have a gender component. Free-form texts are mostly preferred by people who classify themselves as female gender.

  • Ensure gender-sensitive/diversity-sensitive addressing in exams.

Frequently asked questions when performing exams

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