Temporary final exam procedures of online/distance exams April 27, 2020
Based on the power vested in me by the University Council by way of Section 22 of the temporary measures approved by Decision 10 of April 2, 2020 of the University Council, in light of the emergency in effect due to the coronavirus epidemic, I, in execution of my duties as Deputy Rector for Education, hereby establish the following rules for holding final examinations without the physical presence of students:
Section 1 The scope of the present procedure extends to all Pázmány Péter Catholic University students taking a final examination, to the teachers participating in holding final examinations, and to the employees who organize final examinations and provide the necessary technical background. The term final examination shall be used to also refer to thesis defense.
Section 2 (1) Final examinations may be held only by electronic channels, in the form of online exams.
(2) As a general rule, final examinations are verbal examinations that are held by video calls involving the simultaneous transmission of a live video and audio (hereinafter: video exam).
(3) In exceptional cases and with the approval of the dean of the given faculty, the final examination may be held as a combined exam that includes a written electronic test in addition to the video exam, if the written electronic test is used prior to the video exam to determine the student’s minimum competence level. Contrary to the rule set out in Section 33 (7) of the Education and Exam Policy, the performance of an examinee who does not reach this minimum level may be given a failing grade without participating in the video exam. In this case, no video exam will be held. The board of examiners shall assess the performance of examinees who reach the expected minimum level of the written electronic test on the basis of their performance in the video exam, with the condition that a successful written test des not consequently guarantee a successful final examination.
(4) As a general rule, the video exam will be held with the Microsoft Teams application; as a general rule, combined exams may be held with the use of the “UniPoll Vizsga 2” type questionnaires.
(5) In especially justified cases and with the approval of the dean of the given faculty, the video exam may be held with other software suitable for the simultaneous transmission of both a live video feed and audio, and other software suitable for assessing the examinee’s expected minimum competence level may be used for combined exams, on condition that such alternative is available to examinees and is provided to members of the board of examiners and any employees participating in the organization of the final examination.
(6) In case of the combined exam referred to in paragraph (3), the education organizational unit (e.g. institution or department) organizing the final examination shall be obligated to provide students applying for the final examination with suitably detailed information at least five days in advance about the electronic availability of the test, the time and method of completing the test, the expected minimum level thereof, and the method for informing students of the results. If an alternative software solution is used as specified under paragraph (5), the competent institution or department shall be obligated to provide students applying for the final examination with suitably detailed information at least fifteen days in advance about the availability and the method for using the necessary application.
Section 3 (1) Students taking the final examination shall be obligated to be in possession of a device for the duration of the final examination that is suitable for recording video and audio, for its live transmission and acceptance, and for having the broadband internet connection therefor. Students taking the final examination shall be responsible for ensuring that the devices they use are compatible with the Microsoft Teams browser-based or stand-alone software solution. If an alternative application as referred to under Section 2 (5) is used, the student taking the final examination shall be obligated to provide the technical conditions necessary for the use thereof.
(2) The obligation under paragraph (1) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the members of the board of examiners.
Section 4 (1) No later than the fifth day prior to the date of the final examination, the student shall be obligated to check his/her phone number and email address registered in the Neptun system and update it as necessary.
(2) Prior to the final examination, the educational organizational unit (e.g. institution or department) organizing the final examination shall send to the members of the board of examiners the final examination results form, the forms used for the final examination minutes, and the email addresses and phone numbers (as registered in the Neptun system) of the students taking the final examination under the direction of the board of examiners.
Section 5 (1) The students taking the final examination at a given time at the board of examiners will be invited to the Microsoft Teams final examination group by the designated member of the board of examiners or the competent employee of the educational organizational unit organizing the final examination.
(2) The board of examiners may involve the University’s employees in organizing the examination who can provide assistance in the administrative and IT tasks related to the examination. The examinee shall be invited by the competent member of the board of examiners or the assisting employee. At the start of the time of the given final examination session, the board of examiners may initiate a group call with all examinees in the group in the interest of informing them of the order of the examination.
(3) The board of examiners may record the audio and video materials of video exams. This is possible if the examinee in the video call has granted his/her explicit consent before the start of the final examination. Such consent shall be recorded at the start of the recording. The recording shall be stopped in absence of such consent. Recordings made of final examinations shall be deleted within 30 days of the examination, unless legal remedy proceedings are under way in connection with the examination. In this case the recorded material shall be deleted after the legal remedy proceedings are closed with a final decision. Students shall not be entitled to record the examination or to store such recordings. Until the recorded material is deleted, the person who figures in the recording shall be provided the possibility of viewing the recording upon request.
(4) Before starting the video exam, the board of examiners shall verify the examinee’s identity. For this purpose, the examinee shall be required to hold up a valid photo ID to the camera that is suitable for identification purposes (e.g. personal identification card, student card, etc.). The student shall be obligated to ensure that the device he/she uses has a camera with a resolution suitable for such identification purposes. The final examination may not commence if the student’s identity is not established.
(5) No other persons may be present in the same room as the student during the term of the video exam. Students may not use earphones or headphones for the examination.
(6) During the examination, the board of examiners may request at any time that the student use the device’s camera to scan the student’s environment or to provide close-up shots of any objects in the student’s vicinity. The examinee shall be obligated to comply with the request without delay.
Section 6 (1) If during the video exam the board of examiners is unable to establish a connection with the invited student or if there are any technical connection issues (e.g. the audio or video transmission lags, communication becomes unintelligible, or the connection is broken), the board of examiners shall be required to make at least two attempts at establishing or re-establishing the connection. At least five minutes have to elapse between the individual attempts, but the attempts may also take place later, after the examinations of other examinees. The board of examiners shall be entitled to contact the examinee by phone or email to rectify the problem or to clarify the expected time of attempting to re-establish the connection. Any unsuccessful attempts at establishing or re-establishing the connection and attempts at redialing shall be recorded in the minutes of the final examination.
(2) The examinee shall be considered to not have shown up for the examination if
a) no video connection suitable for taking the final examination could be established,
b) after the connection was established, it became unsuitable or it was lost, the attempts to re-establish the connection were unsuccessful, and the examinee’s responses provided prior to losing the connection cannot be taken into consideration, or
c) although the examinee obtained the expected minimum results on the written electronic test specified in Section 2 (3), the circumstance specified in point a) or b) of the present paragraph (2) occurred during the video exam,
on condition that the connection between the members of the board of examiners was suitable.
(3) The video exam can be continued if the connection was only unsuitable or lost with one member of the board of examiners, on condition that it was possible to re-establish the connection or he/she was able to connect to the examination by phone.
(4) If any technical issues are incurred by the board of examiners during the video exam that cannot be remedied and the final examination of any student is unsuccessful as a result, this fact shall be entered in the minutes of the final examination and the student shall be provided a possibility to take the final examination on another day.
Section 7 If during the final examination the examinee uses any device not permitted by the board of examiners or any method prohibited by the board of examiners, or if the examinee displays any conduct that disrupts the examination or the integrity thereof (e.g. intentionally switches off his/her camera or microphone, or does not promptly scan his/her environment with the device’s camera or show close up shots of any objects when called upon to do so by the board of examiners), the board of examiners shall give the final examination a failing grade, unless the suspicion of a disciplinary offense has arisen. If suspicion of a disciplinary offense has arisen, thus especially a reasonable suspicion of using any prohibited technical devices, including any electronic devices not necessary for providing audio and video transmission and for communicating with the board of examiners, extra monitors, headphones, earphones, mini headsets, or unauthorized screen sharing, the board of examiners shall suspend the examination, record its decision in the minutes, and launch disciplinary proceedings [see Section 35 (2) of the Education and Exam Policy and Section 9 (4) g) of the Disciplinary and Compensation Policy].
Section 8 (1) The board of examiners shall announce the results of the video exam via a group call involving all examinees taking a final examination at the board of examiners at the given time. The student who has taken the final examination may, but shall not be obligated to, participate in the video conference held for the purpose. The absence of any examinee or examiner shall not affect the validity of the announcement of the results.
(2) Two members of the board of examiners shall sign the minutes of the final examination after they have been printed and completed. If the members of the board of examiners held the exam from different locations, two of them shall be required to provide a digital format of the printed and signed minutes of the final examination (e.g. by scanning or photographing it) and email it to the competent employee of the educational organizational unit (e.g. institution or faculty) organizing the final examination. The faculty’s competent organizational unit shall be required to retain the version of the digitized minutes and results sheets submitted by both examiners, attached to the emails they sent.
Section 9 (1) The rules set out in this policy shall apply mutatis mutandis to the alternative solutions listed under Section 2 (5).
(2) In addition to the above, the organizational unit organizing the final examination shall provide students applying to the final examination with suitably detailed information in due time regarding the organization of the final examination.
Section 10 (1) This policy shall enter into effect as of its promulgation.
(2) This policy shall lapse as of the end of the emergency announced due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Budapest, April 27, 2020
Dr. László Komáromi
Chief Adviser to the Rector