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Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 21 January 2021)

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Examination

(Updated: 11 January 2021 11:05) The Vice-Chancellor has decided that until 7 June 2021, examinations should preferably take place through online adaptations, provided that legal certainty can be maintained and that reasonable demands on quality can be satisfied.

Study-related questions due to COVID-19
Study-related questions due to COVID-19

Questions and answers related to studies and study administration due to COVID-19.

Examination should be adapted as far as possible

Examination should take place online or through other adapted formats that do not involve person-to-person meetings or visits to university premises, under the condition that legal certainty can be maintained and that reasonable demands on quality can be satisfied. Each dean has the authority to decide on the formats for and implementations of public defences of doctoral theses.

In cases where teaching and examination must be carried out on campus to maintain legal certainty and satisfy reasonable quality requirements, the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s guidelines must be adhered to. Teaching and examination can be scheduled to evenings if required to prevent the risk of spreading disease, but only with consideration for the ability of students and teaching staff to participate.

Also read the pages Education and Study-related questions and answers

Read the decision on COVID-19 measures for spring semester 2021 and the remaining part of autumn semester 2020

Deviations from a course syllabus

Deviations from a course syllabus regarding forms for teaching and assessment may be made to the extent necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Only the person who normally makes decisions on course syllabi and examinations is allowed to make decisions on necessary deviations and must ensure that the decision is well-documented and archived.

In those cases where an examination requires access to a computer or internet connection, students must be offered such aids that allow them to participate from a technical perspective.

Template and guidance can be found on the page Templates with logo under the headline COVID-related templates – Education (Aurora)

Learn more on Aurora

Read the decision regarding deviations from course syllabi

Rescheduling a course, course module or examination, and deviations from a programme syllabus

Decisions can be made to reschedule a course, course module or examination, or make a deviation from a programme syllabus to reduce the risk of infection if no other solution is possible. Such a rescheduling can take place within the 2021 spring semester or be postponed to another semester, primarily to the 2021 autumn semester. Such decisions can be made in a revised order to the one described in the Vice-Chancellor’s delegation of authority.

Prior to making the decision to reschedule a course, course module or examination, a student representative must be consulted if possible.

The Vice-Chancellor is hereby delegating to deans and the director of the Umeå School of Education to reach such decisions. This delegation of authority may be further delegated. Such further delegation of authority must be documented, archived and notified to the relevant student union and the students concerned. Decisions must also be reported to the Faculty Board or to the board of the Umeå School of Education at their next assembly, at which point it must be noted in the minutes.

Decisions to reschedule a course, course module or examination, and make deviations from a programme syllabus must be documented according to a set template. Particular consideration must be taken regarding international students.

Template and guidance can be found on the page Template with logo under the headline COVID-related templates – Education (Aurora)

Read the decision on rescheduling a course, course module or examination, or making a deviation from a programme syllabus

Rescheduling course, part of course or examination to the summer

A course, course module or examination can be rescheduled outside of regular term time to the semester that follows immediately next, summer 2021, that is. Deans and the director of the Umeå School of Education have the authority to reach such decisions. This authority may not be further delegated. Prior to such a decision, and to the extent possible, a student representative must be consulted.

The person who makes decisions to reschedule a course, course module or examination is responsible for ensuring that the decision is documented and archived, and that the relevant student union and all students concerned are informed.

For students who cannot partake in a course or course component scheduled outside of the regular term time, another opportunity must be offered within the regular term time, in autumn semester 2021, that is. Before rescheduling, potential entry requirements for courses that are part of a study programme must be considered. Particular consideration must be taken regarding international students.

Read the decision to allow courses, parts of courses or examinations to be moved to the summer

Students who cannot take part

If a student cannot participate in teaching due to local guidelines or equivalent, the department should investigate if adaptations can be made to enable the student to participate, for instance by using virtual tools for a compulsory course component. If no such adjustments can be made, the student must be offered participation at the next available instance.

Examination in evenings

Teaching and examination that would normally be held in daytime can be scheduled to evenings if required to prevent the risk of spreading disease, but only with consideration for the ability of students and teaching staff to participate. For example, students and teachers with small children may find it difficult to participate in evenings.

Adapting examinations

According to a decision approved by the Vice-Chancellor, examination should take place online, under the condition that legal certainty can be maintained and that reasonable demands on quality can be satisfied. Hence, please consider if your planned written hall examination can be converted into another format. Use the updated recommendations for adapting examinations as guidance. These also include an advice against using video-monitored written examinations.

If the course syllabus states that a course must be assessed through a written hall examination or other form of examination that cannot be conducted under these new circumstances, the Vice-Chancellor has decided that deviations from the examination format stated in the syllabus can be made to reduce the risk of further spreading COVID-19. Please note that such decisions must be documented and archived.

Recommendations for adapting examinations

Read the decision to make deviations from course syllabus

Advising against video-monitored written examinations

Umeå University advises against the use of remote video-monitoring using online video conferencing tools for examination purposes. Online tools such as Zoom, Teams, Skype and equivalent cannot be equated with a written hall examination monitored by an invigilator. These online tools have neither been developed nor adapted for monitoring of written assessment of knowledge. For this reason, the security flaws are many, and they mean that students who intend to cheat can easily do so without neither the invigilator nor the examiner being able to detect this.

Video-monitoring through online video-conferencing tools is not to be equated with legal certainty, and reasonable requirements regarding quality can hence not be satisfied. This must be understood in relation to the Vice-Chancellor’s decision regarding the 2021 spring semester on examination (FS 1.1-2617-20) that clarifies that online examinations must be implemented ensuring that “legal certainty can be maintained and that reasonable demands on quality can be satisfied”. Video-monitoring using online video conferencing tools gives a false sense of security.

If necessary, the University may record an examination or an obligatory course component if the purpose of the recording is to form basis for assessment, such as for instance in oral examinations.

Personal data processing in Zoom

Video-monitoring through Zoom is not a violation against the General Data Protection Regulation, see page three of Umeå universitets skrift om GDPR (in Swedish only). Despite this, the university advises against remote video-monitoring of examinations through all online video-conferencing tools. However, it is good to know what applies regarding personal data processing in Zoom for other purposes.

The university has legal support for personal data processing when using Zoom for educational purposes. The personal data processed in Zoom are Umu-id, name, role and email address. There is an existing data processor agreement with Sunet for Zoom.

What you need to consider when using Zoom is to not process sensitive personal data or confidential information (for instance in the chat). The General Data Protection Regulation, however, is no hindrance for using Zoom, but students ought to be informed about the processing of personal data. When it comes to recording students (in their homes or other non-campus locations) via Zoom, this goes against the General Data Protection Regulation and is not allowed. An exception is for oral examinations in which recordings are allowed to enable potential reassessments.

Notification of examination results

If an examiner, due to circumstances caused by COVID-19, does not have the opportunity to notify students of their examination results within 15 working days of the examination date, notification of examination results can be made later. In that case, students must be informed of when their results will be communicated.

Read the decision regarding notifications of examination results

Measures regarding written hall examinations

The current spread of infection means that the number of people in each examination hall has been limited drastically. It is a challenge to offer written hall examination for all courses that request it.

Hence, the following applies to be able to carry out the written exams in halls that are absolutely necessary, and to follow the COVID-19 restrictions to reduce the spread of infection.

  • When necessary, in order to schedule examinations, the Examination Services at the Campus Services Office can demand that the duration of a written hall examination must be limited to a maximum of four (4) hours.
  • In cases when it is not possible to limit a written hall examination to a maximum of four (4) hours with regards to legal certainty and reasonable quality, the already scheduled examination may be moved to another time.
  • If a written hall examination is to be moved, the decision must be documented according to the instructions provided in the template (for rescheduling course, course module or examination) and be notified students as soon as possible.
  • The Examination Services have been instructed to schedule examinations to more days of the week than usual if deemed necessary to enable all examinations that cannot be adapted to other formats to be carried out.

Students who are in the need of extended hours for writing their exams are processed separately and consideration for these students will be taken. If you have questions regarding extended time for sitting exams, please contact the Examination Services.

Read the decision regarding measures for written hall examinations

 

New routines for written hall examinations

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 during written exams in examination halls, the University has introduced new routines during COVID-19.

Do not sit an exam if you have symptoms

A student who experiences symptoms of disease may not participate in a hall examination. The student is to notify the teacher of his or her absence and will be given the opportunity to participate during the next opportunity.

Disease prevention measures in examination halls

The number of participants in each hall has been reduced. For instance, the biggest hall in Östra Paviljongen, which normally seats 108 students now only allow for 29 seats. Smaller rooms hold fewer students.

A distance of 2 metres in all directions is maintained between students in all examination halls, according to recommendations from the county medical officer.

Tables and bathrooms are cleaned between each exam session.

A student who feels worried about taking part in a written hall examination can choose to not take part and will then be given the chance to sit the exam at the next opportunity.

The measures have been taken in dialogue with the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten.

Students must sign up

All students must be signed up for the exam and be listed on the registration list that the department submits to the examination services in order to take the exam. Students who have not signed up on time will not be allowed to take the exam.

Reduced contact with teachers during exams

To avoid several people using the same phone and taking unnecessary contact with the invigilator, students will not be able to phone their teacher if there are obscurities in the exam. Instead, students are asked to make a note of this in their exam. Teachers are not allowed to visit the examination hall during the ongoing exam either. If a situation should arise regarding questions of aids or missing questions in the exam, the invigilator may call the teacher.

More entrances in Östra Paviljongen

Instead of only using the main entrance, four entrances to Östra Paviljongen (the Eastern Pavilion Examination Halls) are to be used. Each examination hall has a specific entrance assigned.

Find out what entrance is to be used for each examination hall

Different starting times in Östra Paviljongen

To reduce unnecessary gatherings at Östra Paviljongen, the starting times of examinations are different for different halls. The starting times for four of the halls are be 8:00 and 16:00. The starting time for the other four halls is 9:00, 14:00 and 18:00. Some exceptions may be made.

Entering the examination hall

To reduce the risk of causing queues into the examination halls, the invigilator will not check students’ identification and registration at the door. Instead, the invigilator will do so once the exam has started. Lists of registered students will be posted outside each hall.

Handing in an exam

When handing in an exam, the student will approach the invigilator's table, show their identification and hand in the exam.

A new routine is the Plexiglas sheet distancing the invigilator from the students. Also, a maximum of one student may queue at any given time at a safe distance according to markings on the floor.

In addition, students will be urged to maintain physical distancing, avoid talking to the invigilator and each other to the extent possible.

Examination halls outside of the Eastern Pavilions

During busy examination periods, more halls will be used other than the Eastern Pavilions in order to follow the COVID restrictions. Other premises used are Iksu, Nolia, Ersboda Folkets Hus and campus. The same rules regarding distancing apply to those facilities.

Public defences of doctoral theses

Find out more about doctoral studies on the page Doctoral studies.