Home exam in Inspera Assessment spring 2020 - guidance for employees

Because of the coronavirus situation, the form of assessment for many courses has been changed from a written on-campus exam to a home exam in the spring of 2020 and/or for the re-sit examinations in August. This page for employees lists important things to keep in mind when they prepare exam question papers and set up exams in Inspera Assessment (IA). The guide is for both academic and administrative staff.

Can’t find an answer to your question? Please send feedback and questions to digitaleksamen@sa.ntnu.no.

Norsk versjon - Hjemmeeksamen i Inspera Assessment våren 2020 - veiledning for ansatte

Topic page about administration of exams (in Norwegian) | Topic page about course planning | Pages labeled with exam | Change of assessment form in spring 2020

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General information about home exams  #

Hand drawings or calculations  #

Home exams with hand drawings or calculations can be offered. Students must then digitize their answers themselves. Students get 15 minutes of extra exam time to do this. Course coordinator can ask for additional extra time. Here you can find information and a user guide for students (in Norwegian).

NB! Remember that the question set must have at least one Upload Assignment for the students to be able to upload their hand drawings.

Requests for the use of hand drawings or calculations must be registered here.

Third-party software  #

If the teaching staff want students to use software during the exam, this must be arranged with the IT Division/Examinations Office well in advance of the exam. This is to ensure the students access to the service/software, and to provide support. This also applies to software available to students on their own private computers. Each case will have to be evaulated individually this spring. The teaching staff is responsible for providing sufficient information for their students regarding software and preparations. The students are expected to test and verify the software in advance of their exam, and to notify IT-Support if they encounter problems.

NB! Remember that the question set must have at least one Upload Assignment for the students to be able to upload files.

NB! The deadline for requesting third-party software was Tuesday, April 14. If you still wish to use third-party software, send an email to digitaleksamen@sa.ntnu.no. We might not be able to accommodate your wishes. 

External digital resources and websites #

In the home exam, students will have free access to all sources, including all available online resources. Please note that an external online resource may become unavailable during an exam, content may be changed, or content may be subject to licensing and have restricted access. Linking to external resources should therefore not take place indiscriminately. For content that is essential for implementing home exams, we recommend uploading the content in Inspera Assessment as part of the exam question paper. IT/the Examinations Office cannot guarantee the availability of external digital resources. If you need advice, please contact digitaleksamen@sa.ntnu.no.  

Lovdata Pro #

Lovdata [Norwegian website providing online legal resources] wants an overview of the extent to which the service is used during the exam period. If you plan to use Lovdata, you have to register it.

Register use of Lovdata here.

Teaching staff #

All students should be able to expect assessment of their performance in terms of the learning outcome specified in the course description. When assessment in many courses will now have a form different from the one originally planned, it is important that you as a course teacher think carefully through how you can best

  1. Test students’ learning outcomes in the new exam situation
  2. Provide robust and reliable exam arrangements so that students  are able to answer the exam question paper in the allotted time and are tested in the subject, not in technical IT skills.
  3. Provide good implementation of grading for examiners
  4. Prevent cheating

The page Create question set in Inspera Assessment provides a general, supplementary user guide on how to create an exam question paper in IA. The Examinations Office recommends designing the exam question paper based on one of the options outlined below.

Here you can find a recording of a webinar on creating question sets in Inspera Assessment.

Recommended design of exam question papers for home exams #

  • All home exams must have a front page based on a given template.
  • Hand drawings and calculations should be submitted in PDF format. This is easy for students and provides a good user experience for the examiner. Image file formats can be considered if high image quality is extremely important. Zip files can be considered if students also need to submit files other than hand drawings and calculations.
  • If an exam question is to be answered with hand drawings or calculations, the entire answer should be submitted in PDF format. This provides a better user experience for the examiner than if students write part of the answer in Inspera and submit hand drawings or calculations as a file attachment.
  • If there is a large number of exam questions that students must answer using hand drawings or calculations, consider whether the entire answer should be submitted as one PDF file. This is to avoid a situation in which students need to use a lot of their exam time creating many PDF files and/or risk errors in uploading the files.
  • The exam question paper should be prepared as individual questions in Inspera because this provides the best user experience for students and for examiners. This is especially important if the exam will be answered without hand drawings and/or calculations. If the entire answer will be written by hand and submitted as 1 PDF file, the exam question paper can also be prepared as 1 PDF file, as described under “Uploading files” on this page.

The following types of individual exam are examples of how exam question papers can be prepared. Other variants are possible:

An exam where all the questions can be answered in full with exam types in Inspera Assessment, without uploading files.

All exam types in Inspera can be used, except for file uploads - both automatically graded  and manually graded  questions can be used.

Link to an example with recommendations.
Highly suitable for home exams without hand drawings and/or calculations. The drawing tool and insertion of formulas in IA can be used.

Good user experience for students and examiners. It is easy for students and examiners to navigate between the exam questions. The examiner can grade exam questions one by one for all students and assign points for each question in IA.
No possibility for hand drawings and calculations beyond what you can achieve using the editor/drawing tool in IA
IA exam with a few individual questions requiring file uploads (PDF).

All exam question types in IA can be used. Both automatically graded and manually graded  exam questions. The number of questions that require hand drawings or calculations should be limited.

Link to an example with recommendations.
Good user experience for students and examiners, as above.

Hand drawings and calculations are possible.
Not suitable for many exam questions involving hand drawings and calculations.
The exam question paper is 1 attached PDF file and the answers are submitted as 1 PDF file.

Link to an example with recommendations.
Suitable for answer papers with a large number of calculations and/or hand drawings.

Easy design of exam question papers for teaching staff who are not familiar with IA.
Poor user experience for students and examiners in the use of IA. Neither students nor examiners can use tools in IA. Assessment must take place through downloading of the answer paper

Worth knowing #

  • In Inspera Assessment, you cannot set a time limit per question/section in the exam question paper. It is thus not possible to rely on, for example, one section with multiple-choice questions with a time limit that is separate from the rest of the exam question paper.
  • Because candidates are not in the Safe Exam Browser (SEB), it is not possible/practical to use the functionality for disabling the back button so that candidates can only navigate forward through the exam question paper. By closing the browser and opening the question again, candidates will still be able to start from the beginning again and thus get access to all the questions again.
  • If the exam question paper is designed to be answered directly in Inspera, it is possible to give students a specified number of questions (random extract) within one section of the exam question paper. A prerequisite for this is that all the questions in the section have the same maximum score. This can reduce the effect of potential collaboration between candidates, but at the same time it will be more demanding for you to compose the questions, because you need to prepare far more questions than if all candidates get the same choice.
  • The maximum file size profile upload is 35 GB.
  • The candidate cannot upload files after the time allotted for the exam has expired.
  • Plagiarism checking is enabled for all home exams in IA.

Academic/pedagogical aspects - where can I get advice?  #

With all exam support material available and the potential for communication between candidates, you need to take a different perspective on the design of questions than you would for an on-campus exam.How can you design the questions in such a way that candidates will not be able to take advantage of external resources and communication with each other? Or the opposite – how you can challenge candidates to use external resources to answer the question?

For an overview of available training resources in the spring of 2020, see Exam and assessment - courses and training for employees.

Team for exchange of experience in digital examinations #

A Team has been created in O365 as an open collaboration platform for teaching staff, where you can air thoughts, ideas and experiences. Join the Team for exchange of experience in digital exams. NB! The team is open to the entire NTNU, so do not share exam-sensitive information.

How should we inform students - and about what?  #

Before the main exam period, the Examinations Office will provide general information about home exams to all students. However, the Department/course coordinator must still be sure to provide candidates with all relevant information that is specific to an individual exam. This must take place well in advance of the exam, at least one week before the exam date. All information must be provided both in Blackboard and by email, to ensure that it reaches everyone, including external candidates who do not have access to Blackboard. The information should include the following points: 

  • Reference to or repetition of the general information provided by the Examinations Office, preferably emphasizing that students are encouraged to try a demo exam at inspera.ntnu.no and the information about plagiarism/cheating. 
  • Inform candidates about the requirements for citing sources.
  • Give students an indication of the type of question paper being planned (see the alternatives outlined above).
    • If the exam includes one or more questions to be answered using file uploads, students should familiarize themselves with how they remove author information from a file before they submit it.
    • If the candidates must submit several files in .zip format, information about this should be provided in advance so that they can become familiar with how to do this.
    • If the use of hand drawings is planned, information about this should be provided well in advance so that students can make sure they have the necessary equipment and competence. See the information and user guide for students (in Norwegian).

Error in the exam paper - what should I do?  #

  • If you discover an error in your exam question paper after you have shared it with the person with the main responsibility for the exam (administrative resource), but before the exam has started:
    1. Correct the error in the exam question paper.
    2. Contact the person with the main responsibility for the exam /administrative contact person at your department and ask them to update the exam question paper to the latest version in the exam.
  • It is not possible to make changes in an exam question paper linked with an exam in progress. If you discover an error in your exam question paper after the exam is in progress, the following procedure applies:
    1. Contact the IT Division/Examinations Office (Telephone: (+47) 73 59 66 01) as quickly as possible. Write down the wording of the information you want to convey to the candidates.
    2. The IT Division/Examinations Office will assist you by sending a message to the candidates in IA. To ensure that all candidates are notified, an SMS will also be sent to all the candidates informing them that they have received an alert in Inspera.
    3. In consultation with the Examinations Office, the course teacher must assess whether it is necessary/practical to give the candidates additional time.

Ensure good quality assurance of the exam question paper in advance, so that we avoid such cases.

Main responsibility/administrative resource  #

Your role as the person with main responsibility for Inspera exams in courses where the assessment form has been changed to a home exam will largely be the same as for the ordinary procedures. However, there are some small differences to be aware of.

Checklist for people with main responsibility #

  • Create the exam in the normal way, as described on the page Create tests in Inspera Assessment (in Norwegian). Use one of the templates for "Hjemmeeksamen (endret vurd.form)" described on Templates in Inspera Assessment (in Norwegian).
  • Check the exam settings 
    • Plagiarism reports must be enabled (this is the default in the template) 
    • SEB must not be enabled (default)
    • Automatic submission (standard) must be enabled for all home exams, including the ones without file uploads
  • Link the correct exam question paper to the individual exam and check that it meets the specified requirements and recommendations
    • Has a cover/info page been created in accordance with the recommended template
    • Must candidates answer the questions directly in Inspera, or must the candidates upload one or more files? For file uploads, has a  file upload question been created, so that candidates have a location for submitting files? 
    • If hand drawings will be included in the exam answers, has adequate information about the procedure been provided to candidates.
  • Set the correct grading scale. Note that this may differ from the “normal” scale when the form of assessment has been changed. 
  • The Examinations Office does not usually activate  home exams, but in cases where the home exam has been converted from an on-campus exam, it must be activated by the Examinations Office. This applies to all home exams with the code VURDKOMBCODE XHV20.
  • The deadline for preparation of the exam questions is 5 working days before the exam date

Procedures for how to handle late submissions #

Candidates who for some reason cannot upload all their files before the exam expires and the exam in Inspera closes, should contact Orakel Support Services, not the department. Orakel Support Services has been given instructions on how to handle such cases. For reasons of equal treatment, the departments should not open for new submissions for the candidates.

Contact #

Email: digitaleksamen@sa.ntnu.no 

Telephone: (+47) 73 59 66 00 

Immediate help in an ongoing exam: (+47) 73 59 66 01

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