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Exam Session

January 2021 exam session

The January 2021 exam session will take place remotely. There will be a few individual exceptions, for example in medicine or sports. The rectorate took this decision in consultation with several partner universities, on the basis of the following reasons:

1. Protecting the health of our students and staff. During the June 2020 session, nearly 11,000 exams were organized. If this hadn't been done remotely, it would have involved a daily on-campus presence of up to 1,000 students. The January session is even bigger. It is traditionally the busiest one of the year, and it would generate too many social contacts.

2. Planning security and equal treatment. Regardless of how the health situation develops, we can guarantee that the session will allow everyone to take their exams under the same conditions, including those who should be in quarantine or in isolation at the time of the exams. Measures will be taken to support students who have problems with their computer equipment (see below).

3. Competent use of IT tools and quality assurance. Since the start of the academic year, the generalization of hybrid and then distance education via Webex has enabled members of the university community to acquire a level of competence in the use of digital tools that is much more advanced than it was in June. In addition, given that there is still sufficient time between the announcement made today and the start of the session, students and teachers have the opportunity for careful preparations. A practical guide with pedagogical advice will be published. The level of quality of the evaluations can thus be ensured.

Under what conditions will the exam session take place?

The session will count as a normal session. The usual arrangements will apply for registering results, withdrawals after registration, or sanctions in the event of fraud, in accordance with the study and examination regulations of each faculty. The rectorate will analyze whether specific provisions need to be the subject of an ad hoc directive.

The January exam session will differ from the June session in two aspects.

First, the written exams will take place in a secured version of Moodle: this will not change the environment that the students are used to, however, during the exam time, the system will not allow access to other applications on the computer.

Second, the students have to connect via Webex, with the webcam turned on during the exam. This measure is meant to improve communication between the student and the examiner via the chat if anything is unclear (this is a simplification compared to the hotline system set up last June, which turned out to be unsatisfactory), as well as to allow surveillance that is similar to a classroom situation.

The rectorate has decided against introducing a process that would have identified students by biometric means, considering that current systems are unsatisfactory with regard to data protection. Instead, webcam surveillance will be carried out by UniNE staff, i.e. by the same people who would be responsible for supervising a classroom exam. The exam sessions will not be recorded, nor will any images be saved.

Technical support

Students who do not have the appropriate equipment or environment to take their exams from their homes will be authorized to come to the university premises to take the exam from a computer provided by UniNE. This practice has been piloted successfully last June.

If a student is in quarantine at the scheduled time of an exam and does not have suitable computer equipment, it will be possible to call the SITEL for loaner equipment, which will be provided at short notice. Loaner equipment will also be available for students who have been diagnosed as ill and who are in isolation, but who feel well enough to decide to take the exam. As always, in the event of an illness, a medical certificate can be presented to justify an absence.

Assessment methods and registration deadlines

Teachers are requested to design the exams in such a way that they are as close as possible to what has been announced on the study plans. Any change has to be validated. If the modality of the exam is adapted with a minor change (example: an oral exam with preparation becomes an oral exam without preparation), that change must be validated by the dean of the respective faculty. If there is a substantial change (example: a written exam is replaced by an oral exam), that change must be validated by the rectorate. The deans have the possibility of enacting standards to harmonize the exam modalities within their faculties.

The deadline for exam registrations is extended until Sunday, November 29, so that any changes can be communicated by the faculties before that deadline. In accordance with the new registration deadline, the faculties are authorized to postpone the publication of exam timetables for a few days.

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Deadline

The deadline for exam registrations is extended until 

Sunday, November 29
 

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