Change of assessment form due to coronavirus
The coronavirus situation makes it highly unclear whether it will be possible to conduct exams that require campus attendance in the spring semester of 2020.
Table of Contents [-]
- Authorization from the Board
- For exams written at the university
- Compulsory activities
- Individual adaptation for exams
- Procedure for changes in the form of assessment
- Deadline for grading
- Documentation of legitimate absence from exams
- FAQ - Frequently asked questions
- Will there be exams with physical attendance on campus in spring 2020?
- Re-sit exams – what rules apply?
- What is the deadline for changing the form of assessment?
- Grading scale
- If part of an assessment (component assessment) has not yet been given, can one change to Pass/No Pass?
- Consequences for further admissions
- Maximum number of courses that can have a Pass/No Pass grade?
- What percentage of the exam must be correct in order to get a Pass grade?
- Exam at home in another time zone
- How should we approach group work as an exam form?
- What happens if an exam is postponed – will it be conducted in August?
- Can the time that was originally set for an exam be changed?
- Can the form of assessment be changed back?
- Can Oral exams be held digitally?
- Support and help for oral exams using digital tools
- When traditional written exams are changed to digital oral exams
- Hand drawings and home exams
Norsk versjon: Endring av vurderingsform på grunn av koronavirus
Topic page about administration of exams (in Norwegian)
Authorization from the Board #
On 12 March 2020, the NTNU Board authorized faculties to decide on changed forms of assessment in courses. The reason for the decision is the extraordinary situation that has arisen because of the coronavirus. The opportunity to change the form of assessment could make it possible for students to take exams without having to enter the campus.
For exams written at the university #
The faculties will now consider whether courses with forms of assessment that require campus attendance (written and oral) can be changed so that students can take exams at home. This applies to all assessments scheduled for the spring of 2020, including re-sit exams in August.
The deadline for submitting a change in the form of assessment is 31 March 2020.
Evaluation of the issue must include the following aspects:
- The form of assessment must be academically sound based on the learning outcome description in the course.
- If an assessment form that requires attendance on campus is planned, it must be expected that the exam may be cancelled.
If the form of assessment is changed to a home examination, all exam support material will be allowed. NTNU cannot check the use of exam support material when the student takes the exam at home.
If the form of assessment is changed, the rules for re-sit exams for the new form of assessment will apply.
If the form of assessment is changed, the specified exam date will still apply. This means that if an exam to be written at the university is changed to a home exam, the home exam must take place at the same time and within the same period as the date specified for taking the exam at the university. It will not be possible to change this.
If the form of assessment cannot be changed, so that the student must enter the campus to take the examination, it must be expected that the exam may be cancelled. Cancellation of exams can take place at short notice, for example, following instructions from authorities or after an evaluation from NTNU. In such a situation, it cannot be assumed that it will be possible to change the form of assessment. There is uncertainty about when new assessment can be conducted for exams that have been cancelled. At this time, it is not possible say anything about this.
If the assessment form is changed to a home exam, it will not be possible to use scantron/hand drawings on physical sheets, as a supplement to the digital exam. NTNU is currently looking at technical solutions for students to submit hand drawings digitally on the home exam. Information on the solutions that can be recommended will come.
Assessments that are converted to home exams must be taken digitally in Inspera Assessment. Answer papers that are submitted in Inspera Assessment will automatically be checked for plagiarism.
Updated: If the form of assessment for a course is changed according to Section 1 of the temporary regulations approved by the Board of NTNU on 12 March 2020, the grading scale for the course can be changed from letter grades to pass/fail. A condition for this is that students have not already received letter grades for assessment of part of the course during the 2019/20 academic year.
To enable home assessment in courses with oral exams, the course must be changed to specify a written home exam. This is because there is too much uncertainty about whether we have technical solutions that are good enough to enable oral exams to be taken at home. A factor in this evaluation is that there may be greater pressure on capacity and user support for solutions such as Skype due to the extraordinary coronavirus situation.
Compulsory activities #
On 12 March 2020, the NTNU Board authorized faculties to allow students to undergo assessment in their courses even if compulsory activities have not been approved. The faculty may require students to get compulsory activities approved within a specified time limit in order for the assessment result to be valid. Information on the procedures that departments must follow for registering compulsory activities will be provided later.
Individual adaptation for exams #
Students who have been granted extended time for exams to be written on campus will receive the equivalent extension for home exams in courses where the assessment form has been changed. We are working on solutions to ensure that information about extended time that has been granted for exams to be written on campus is automatically updated for the home exam, so that this does not need manual follow-up.
Procedure for changes in the form of assessment #
To make the workflow for changing the form of assessment as simple and effective as possible, we have created a description of the procedure that must be followed. This will also ensure that the changes are updated in all systems and in the right sequence. This is also important to meet students’ needs for information. The checklist appears below:
Checklist for change to home examination
- Teaching staff for the course consider whether the form of assessment for the course can be changed to a home exam
- The faculty approves the change and sends an email to the Examinations Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The Examinations Office alerts the Common Student System (FS) group, which creates a new assessment unit in the FS system
- The department receives a reply from the Examinations Office when the assessment unit has been created
- The date for withdrawal and submission will be set in the FS system for the new assessment unit when it is created. If the department sees that information on the assessment unit is missing, it should notify the FS group via NTNU Help.
- The Department notifies the students who are registered for assessment in the course of the change via Blackboard and by email
- If the exam for a written university exam in Inspera Assessment has already been created, this must be deactivated and archived. Contact the Examinations Office (email@example.com) for help with this.
- The department creates a new exam after the old one has been deactivated
- If the teaching staff for the course need help in preparing sets of questions for home exams, see here.
- The field “Ekstra eksamenstid for spesialtilpasning” (“Extra exam time for special-needs adaptation”) on the assessment combination will be copied to a new assessment combination for the home exam. This means that the department does not need to enter this manually. We are working to find solutions so that this will function together with individual deadlines for submission in Inspera Assessment.
Deadline for grading #
The grading deadline is as usual 3 weeks after the assessment date, but at a meeting on 12 March 2020 the Board allowed faculties to extend the grading deadline if, because of conditions related to the coronavirus, it is not possible to provide the required number of qualified examiners necessary to complete grading by the ordinary deadline. Any extension of the grading deadline may not exceed two weeks beyond the ordinary grading deadline.
If an examiner becomes ill, NTNU’s practice is that the faculty can extend the grading deadline. The provision on the three-week deadline for grading states that grades must be made known within three weeks unless, for special reasons, more time is required. The illness of an examiner will be a special reason.
Documentation of legitimate absence from exams #
The Board has authorized this the Rector to allow self-certification for absence from assessment. More detailed information about whether it will become necessary to use the authorization and what the procedures around this will be will come later.
The situation around exam arrangements at the Eksamenshuset building in the coming weeks is currently unclear. Please follow updates on Innsida.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions #
Will there be exams with physical attendance on campus in spring 2020? #
No. Due to the extraordinary coronavirus situation, NTNU has decided that exams involving physical attendance on campus will not be held in the spring of 2020.
The reason for the decision is that NTNU wants to help reduce coronavirus transmission.
Re-sit exams – what rules apply? #
If the form of assessment is changed, the rules for re-sit exams for the new form of assessment will apply. This means that the same rules will apply to re-sit exams for all students taking home exams, whether a home exam was planned from the start or the exam has been changed to a home exam due to coronavirus.
For home exams, the rules for re-sit exams are different from the re-sit rules for traditional exams written on campus. Students who fail a home exam do not have the right to a re-sit exam. For legitimate absence, this right is also more limited.
This means that students who fail will not have the right to a re-sit exam in August. It is too early to say what kind of arrangements there will be for students with legitimate absence.
What is the deadline for changing the form of assessment? #
The deadline is 31 March 2020 at the latest for registration with the Academic Administrative Division. Faculties will have their own internal registration deadlines for the people responsible for each course.
Grading scale #
If the form of assessment for a course is changed according to Section 1 of the temporary regulations approved by the Board of NTNU on 12 March 2020, the grading scale for the course can be changed from letter grades to pass/fail. A condition for this is that students have not already received letter grades for assessment of part of the course during the 2019/20 academic year.
If part of an assessment (component assessment) has not yet been given, can one change to Pass/No Pass? #
Yes, the Rector’s decision on the change in grading rules states that if no grade has been given for any of the parts, you will be able to change the grading rules to Pass/No Pass.
Consequences for further admissions #
What will the consequences be for admission to master’s programmes if you change many courses in a bachelor’s degree to Pass/No Pass instead of letter grades?
In the calculation of the average grade, Pass/No Pass grades will not be included, and this will influence the average grade. We are looking at the rules for admission and the adjustments that should be made due to the corona crisis. It is too early to say anything about this at this stage.
Maximum number of courses that can have a Pass/No Pass grade? #
Are there guidelines on how many courses in a study programme can have a Pass/No Pass grade?
No, but the change to Pass/No Pass can have consequences for the score calculated in connection with admission. We are looking at the rules for admission and the adjustments that should be made due to the corona crisis. It is still too early to say anything about this.
What percentage of the exam must be correct in order to get a Pass grade? #
If you change to Pass/No Pass, what percentage of the exam must be correct in order for the student to get a Pass grade?
The requirements for passing an exam are an academic issue.The teaching staff must evaluate this when they prepare the exam question paper and the grading guidelines for examiners.
Exam at home in another time zone #
What will happen when students who are stuck in another country need to take exams at home – will we be able to set up an exam for a student in another time zone?
We will not be able to schedule exams based on other time zones, and the students that this applies to will need to take the exam, for example, at 02.00 at night.
How should we approach group work as an exam form? #
Assess the risk related to carrying out group work in relation to illness in the group. In the current situation, we would not recommend changing to group work.
What happens if an exam is postponed – will it be conducted in August? #
For exams that need to be postponed or cancelled, it is not yet clear when it will be possible to hold them.
Can the time that was originally set for an exam be changed? #
No. Here, you must follow the time that has already been announced to students. For example, if a written exam was originally set up with four hours, the home exam must also be completed within the same four hours. This answer applies to questions about extending the time as well as shortening it.
Can the form of assessment be changed back? #
If the form of assessment is changed to home exams, can we change back to exams written on campus if it turns out that the university can open before the exam period?
The form of assessment that the Faculty submits on 31 March 2020 is final and may not be reversed. This to ensure predictability both for students and for those who are making arrangements for holding exams.
Can Oral exams be held digitally? #
In courses that were originally planned with oral exams to be held in the spring of 2020, arrangements will be made for the exams to be held as digital orals.
It will still be possible for the Faculty to change courses from oral exams to written home exams, if digital orals are not preferred.
Support and help for oral exams using digital tools #
The University Administration is developing guides, courses, and training materials for the teaching staff with information on recommended tools. Training materials and information on recommended tools will be posted on Innsida as soon they have been prepared. Information for students will also be prepared. A user support service from the University Administration will be set up for the teaching staff and students, both before and during the exam, as needed. This is for the courses that were originally planned with oral exams and are changed to be held as digital orals
When traditional written exams are changed to digital oral exams #
Where exams were originally set up as traditional written exams, the Faculty can change the form of assessment to digital orals. If the Faculty approves a change from written to oral, the faculty must take responsibility for preparation and implementation of the oral digital exams. Unfortunately, the University Administration does not have capacity to provide support for planning, follow-up and technical implementation of these oral exams.
If there is a change from written to oral, the assessment date that was originally announced must be used for the oral assessment using digital tools. If the implemented oral exam will last longer than the time originally announced for the exam, the course teacher must ensure that changing the time suits the individual student. Training materials and information about recommended tools will be available on Innsida.
Hand drawings and home exams #
It will be possible to conduct home exams where students need to draw or do calculations by hand.
The solution requires students to digitalize sketches themselves, for example using the camera on their mobile phone, and submitting them digitally in Inspera. We recommend designing the exam paper to use the functionality in Inspera Assessment, but only asking students to upload one or a very limited number of PDF files with hand drawings / calculations. Information on various solutions and recommendations are being prepared and will be posted on Innsida as soon they are ready.