When taking an exam, the conditions for students need to be as favourable as possible. It is also important that these conditions are similar for all students.
While taking the exam, there are several factors that influence the reliability and validity of the exam results:
- The contents of the exam;
- The instructions prior to the exam;
- The location and conditions;
- The tools;
- The examiners and invigilators.
The contents of the exam
First of all, it is important that the assessment items and/or assignment are formulated in such a way that no questions arise while taking it. The exam may not contain any mistakes.
The instructions prior to the exam
Prior to the exam it needs to be clear to students what is expected of them while taking the exam and which rules apply to the exam they are taking. This is indicated on the exam itself (written or digital) and can also be explained by the invigilators.
The location and conditions
The exam location can influence students’ performance. For example, attention needs to be paid to the temperature, excessive noise and how the tables are set up. In the case of a digital exam, an E-support employee will make sure proper hardware and software are present.
It needs to be clear to students and invigilators which exam-related tools are allowed to be used during the exam, such as literature, law bundles, a calculator and more. It is important that this information is available timely and unambiguously on Brightspace, on the cover page of the exam itself and on the invigilator form.
The examiners and invigilators
During a written exam, the examiner(s) does/do not need to be present. On behalf of the examiner, the invigilator is responsible for the optimally controlled conditions in which an exam is taken. Also, during a digital exam an E-support employee is present for any technical support during the exam.
Based on a specific request for help or functional disability, students can request special facilities for exams. Think of, for example, extra exam time or software that reads text out loud. The student needs to request this themselves with the student counselor, who will in their turn advise the Examining Board.
On the student website there is a list of all student facilities which, after approval by the Examining Board, can be facilitated. When a student makes use of a facility that may need extra attention, the faculty assessment organisation will contact the examiner.
Rules and guidelines
While taking any exam, certain rules and guidelines in accordance with the EER of the related faculty apply. In addition, there are Radboud-wide exam rules, protocols for surveillance and fraud protocols.
Digital assessment in the Comenius building
Digital assessments with Cirrus are primarily taken in the Comenius building. With 889 exam seats, this building is the main assessment location of Radboud University. In this assessment building, exams of different faculties are taken simultaneously.