Taking exams on the campus

Students will be allowed to come to the campus for a substantial part of the upcoming exams. TU/e doesn’t expect that tonight’s corona press conference will bring any different or new restrictions for higher education, which means that all on-campus exams will take place as planned. “That was done successfully and safely during Q1 as well,” says ESA director Patrick Groothuis.

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archive photo Bart van Overbeeke

TU/e will hold 387 centrally organized exams this exam period; 112 of these will take place on campus (29 percent) and 50 are hybrid (13 percent). Patrick Groothuis, director of Education & Student Affairs (ESA), explains how this is determined: “Last academic year, it was decided that, if possible, our preference lies with alternative exam methods, such as assignments or oral tests. However, that’s difficult to realize for many exams.”

Groothuis is relieved that the government gave universities permission, after extensive research, to once again hold physical exams on the campus this academic year. He expects that Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s press conference on Tuesday evening 12 January won’t change much. “It’s in line with the university that we are. And it reduces the number of proctored exams that don’t always make students happy,” he says. “Teachers are in charge of the decision-making process, and they made the final decision on the most suitable and feasible exam methods in consultation with their exam committees and program directors.”

With hybrid exams, students have a choice between taking an exam on the campus or at home with proctoring. The exams will be held in several TU/e buildings and in sports halls of the Student Sports Centre. “No more than 50 students will be present per location, and there is enough distance between students,” Groothuis assures.

Opt-out

A quarter of the exams will be held with proctoring. This exam period, 61 students decided to make use of an opt-out, which leads to extra work for ESA and the teachers involved. “An ESA staff member and several teachers are currently working fulltime to facilitate these opt-outs. It’s quite a logistical operation, more so than many people think.”

Break

Overall, ESA is satisfied with how things went during the previous exam period. A few points for improvement were brought up that have to do with communication and process optimization. “The most noticeable change concerns the hybrid exams where the student opts for the on-campus version,” Groothuis says. “Since the online proctored version has a break after ninety minutes and both versions need to be the same, students who opted for the on-campus version will, as of Q2, receive part 2 only after they’ve completed part 1. They won’t be required to take a break. This prevents restlessness and people moving about in the halls.”

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