HoD News - 17 April 2020

2020.04.17 | Niels Haldrup

Dear colleagues,

As you know, due to the continued physical shutdown of the University, it has been decided to convert all on-site exams in the ordinary summer exam period to a digital format. Hence, all exams should be rescheduled to a format where the exam can be undertaken as a written take-home or as an oral online exam. Exams that are already scheduled as take-home exams will continue as such, of course.

The BSS Corona Task Force has set up a number of general principles in order to convert to digital exam formats. These are listed below. Based on these general principles, the directors of studies will contact the lecturers regarding the further process to determine the exam format for the individual courses. The deadline is going to be very short: On 22 April the departments and the directors of studies must submit the recommended exam format for all courses across all educations to the BSS Task Force for comments, and subsequently the proposals will be discussed and approved by the respective study boards on 30 April 2020 at the latest.

The general principles for rescheduling of exam formats are the following:

  • Take-home exams remain take-home exams
  • Written on-site exams are converted to take-home exams
  • Oral exams should be held online via Zoom
  • External examiners participate in exam assessments despite the rescheduling and according to the original schedule
  • Closed-book exams should be reconsidered by the individual lecturers and should, as a rule, be converted to open-book exams
  • The format for the re-exams should be decided jointly with the ordinary exam and, as a rule, should be the same as the ordinary exam
  • As a rule, written exams should be converted to online exams with the same time length.

It has also been decided that all oral defences of Bachelor’s and Master’s theses should take place online using Zoom.

CUL and Aarhus BSS IT will prepare an instruction manual for students and lecturers regarding the use of Zoom for online exams. Also, a webinar is being planned for lecturers in order to prepare and instruct lecturers /examiners about the digital exam format. All lecturers/examiners are encouraged to participate in the webinar prior to the exams. More information will follow.

There are still a lot of details and considerations to be made, e.g. about how to treat hand-written exams, how many students to examine per day in an oral digital format, and so on. The directors of studies will inform about these further details. Also, do not hesitate to contact the relevant director of studies with any questions that you may have and which potentially should be forwarded to the BSS Task Force.

Teaching and supervision
As you know, teaching and supervision for the rest of the semester will continue as distance learning. You have done a great job converting your courses to an online format; thank you for that. Now we need to continue this impressive work all the way to the finish line, so please do your best to stick to the announced schedules without delays in uploading screencasts and other teaching material and in general to continue to have a strong focus on teaching and supervision quality.

I wish you and your families a nice sunny weekend, and continue to stay safe.

Niels Haldrup

Framework and process for converting the 2020 summer exams into a digital format

HoD News