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Didactics and examinations

Before deciding on online examination, please consider using alternative assessment and examination forms available to you.


Alternative examination forms

Exams that cannot be converted must be changed as much as possible to other forms of assessment. There are various solutions for this. At the exam level, options are:

  • An open-book exam.

  • More emphasis on open questions, (expanded and/or renewed). 

  • Item banks or parameterizing questions, or changing how questions are offered (e.g. by presenting them more briefly and/or in a random order). 

  • Changes can also be considered at the course unit level: for example, a single exam moment can be replaced by an assignment that can be worked on for a longer period of time. 

  • Other options are group work and authentic examination, more frequent formal examinations and adjusting the function of existing examination formats. For example, written assignments that normally have a formative function could be quantified, while multiple choice questions that normally have a summative function could be used as a formative knowledge quiz. Finally, another option is cross-curriculum solutions, for example by merging the examinations for different course units with a cross-course unit oral exam or assignment. These solutions should always focus on examining all of the intended learning objectives.

According to the addendum included in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) of the University of Groningen, adjustments may be made to the examination form if necessary, to allow an exam to take place during the pandemic, provided that the Board of Examiners can still determine whether the learning objectives are achieved. The greatest cheating risks are still during large-scale exams, during which it is difficult to verify students’ identities and the possibility of exchanging answers is present. Additional checks can be carried out by temporarily registering final assessments as provisional in the SIS, so that lecturers or the boards of examiners can analyse the outcomes (at random if necessary), and only then make them final

We can also provide you with some points to consider when designing your assessment and how to think about the purpose and goal of the assessment. 

Whom to contact?

Contact EDU Support or your faculty's Embedded Expert from ESI for tailored didactic advice in using these suggestions in your teaching. For technical assistance please contact Nestorsupport.


On-campus examinations

If conversion to an alternative examination format is not feasible and/or a high risk of cheating persists, on-campus examinations can be scheduled. Thus, practicals can continue and large-scale examinations can be carried out with in-person surveillance. On-campus verification depends on the guidelines imposed by the government and Veiligheidsregio (safety region). In block 1 of 2020-2021, in-person examinations took place in the exam hall. This proved to be feasible and safe, even during the peak period and with maximum occupancy. If on-campus exams are no longer possible, they must be replaced by online exams. An online alternative must be offered for students who cannot be present on campus. The Pandemic measures for the Aletta Jacobs Hall are published on My University.


Last modified: 13 December 03:45 PM
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