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Fig.: Andreas Vollmer

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - E-Assessment

Preparing the Exam

Exam preparation begins even before the lecture period, since the form of the exam and the resulting requirements must be determined at the beginning of a course. In the case of e-assessment, there are some additional specifics to consider in preparing for the e-examination, such as setting up an examination course in Moodle.

In the pre-exam phase, various processes need to be coordinated with each other. These include the formalities surrounding exam registration on the part of the examiners, setting up an exam course on Moodle, converting the exam idea into an approved exam form and transparently informing the students, including a necessary test run of a comparable mock exam (e.g. in the course of the lecture). In each sub-process, some important issues should be taken into account.


Exam registration

After the examination board (PA) or the examination office has requested the examiners to provide the necessary information on the intended examination (examination form according to the study and examination regulations, examination dates, etc.), the examiners still have the possibility to request a change of the examination form from the PA if there are exceptional circumstances (cf. § 96d para. 2 and 3 ZSP-HU).

Normally, however, the form of the examination should be determined before the examination schedule is decided upon, since students must be informed about the form of the examination and its modalities of conduct already at the beginning of the course. This is also important because students are then in a position to apply for disadvantage compensation if they would otherwise not be able to overcome difficulties with the conduct in particular or the examination form in general.

If possible, examinations should be entered in good time in the database (list view: https://hu.berlin/moodle-exam-calendar; new entry: https://hu.berlin/moodle-exam-calendar-newentry) in the Moodle course "Electronic examinations in Moodle". Here, for example, it can also be noted that external (technical) telephone support from Moodle Support is desired for the exam period.

Important to plan: The support of the e-examination should largely be ensured by the examiners and / or supervisors (for your support, see "Handreichung zur Betreuung während der Prüfung"). For this purpose, it would be good to also name persons responsible for the technology and to schedule them for the examination.

Summary: Registering and planning the examination

Step 1: Determination of the examination form, if necessary application for an alternative examination form at the PA (according to § 96d ZSP-HU)

Step 2: Transparent information of the students about the intended form of examination and the associated examination modalities as well as possible compensation for disadvantages.

Step 3: Notification of the examination form, the examination dates, the potential number of participants, etc. to the examination office

Step 4: Show openness to potential technical problems and, if necessary, work with students to find solutions.

Step 5: Registration of students during the registration period in the examination office.


Exam course

For (written) e-exams that rely on information and communication technologies as well as the Internet, a separate exam course must always be created in Moodle (in the exams course area) in order to be able to archive exam and exam results reliably and in the long term on the part of the CMS.

Once a corresponding course has been created, students can be enrolled manually. However, for large cohorts, students should rather enroll themselves via enrollment key. Unfortunately, it is currently not possible to automatically export exam registration data from AGNES or POS to Moodle. In principle, HU students must register for the exam or enroll in the course using their HU account. A change of email address for registration in Moodle can be requested informally from Moodle support (form here), if the first registration was done with a private email address. Students can change the e-mail address in the HU Moodle profile to the HU e-mail address themselves afterwards: https://hu.berlin/moodle-profilanpassen. For HU-externs, the use of the e-mail address of their university should be aimed for.

At the latest shortly before the examination date, the examiners must compare the registered examinees with the admitted ones and, if appropriate, exclude non-admitted examinees from the examination.

Attention: Do not make the examination tasks visible when setting up the course, but only at the beginning of the examination (!).

Important setting in the Moodle plug-in Zoom: Basically, when setting up the HU Zoom Meeting activity in the examination course under the item "Meeting Options", the default settings should be retained. It is particularly important here that no (!) tick is set for "Authenticated users only". This enables data-saving access to HU-Zoom (data protection!).

Summary: Setting up and organizing the exam course

Step 1: Set up the exam course in the separate course area "Exams" in Moodle.

Step 2: Make organizational guidelines of the exam (duration, procedure, etc.) and regulations regarding data protection or legal conditions transparent in the course, e.g. via a text field

Step 3: Precede statements on health, independence, cheating and resources of the exam as a separate test module and link them to requirements (i.e. enter in the test settings at "Requirements": User profile --> Mail address ends with hu-berlin.de or fu-berlin.de etc.).

Step 4: Enter exam sections and set to invisible immediately

Step 5: Activate the exam if "Participant must have e-mail address ending with hu-berlin.de or fu-berlin.de etc." and "Explanation test module = all answered with yes".

Step 6: If necessary, take into account the disadvantage regulation for individual students, i.e. set longer processing times (instructions: https://moodle.hu-berlin.de/mod/page/view.php?id=2382869 (test) and https://moodle.hu-berlin.de/mod/page/view.php?id=2383753 (assignment)).

Step 7: Enroll students manually or let them enroll themselves.

Step 8: Perform test run (role change: participant), if necessary also on different devices or with different browsers.

Step 9: Compare the list of participants with the list from the examination office. In the case of self-enrollment, change the key of the course so that no one else can enroll.


Exam form

Depending on the chosen form of examination, the test and / or assignment module is used in Moodle. In any case, the activation of the examination tasks should be linked to the requirement that the corresponding upstream explanations ("Questions before the exam") have all been answered with "Yes".

The assignment module is particularly suitable for the process "Assign task, download if necessary, process digitally or by hand, upload result", e.g. for take-home exams in essay form. Evaluation is not automatic.
In contrast, closed-book procedures such as the multiple choice method in particular are implemented with the help of the test module.  Here, numerous settings have to be made with care: Randomization of questions and answers, time limits, navigation, pass limit, integration of multimedia elements and item import.

Lastly, an exam test course should be set up to allow students to view an exam course designed like the real exam course well in advance of the exam. In the test exam course, there could be an exam from a previous semester. However, the most important function of the test exam course is that students learn how the exam will proceed:

For example, students learn that they can find the exam on the current semester's Moodle dashboard, that the exam will not be unlocked until they answer "yes" to the explanations ("Questions before the exam"), that they can jump back and forth between the individual assignments in the test module, that they must confirm submission to the test module twice, and more.

Important to know: Moodle stores results and entries every 60 seconds locally (client system) and every 2 minutes in the Moodle database (HU server).

Summary: Turn the exam form into practice

Step 1: Find out about the examination options with Moodle in the Moodle course "Electronic Examinations in Moodle" and / or in one of the Moodle Support webinars.

Step 2: Select test or assignment module (or deliberately combine both).

Step 3: Think about the integration of multimedia elements (audio, film, images) and, if desired, link them to question types or tasks.

Step 4: Think about randomisation - should the questions be mixed in order? Should the answer options be mixed in order? Should tasks (questions and answers) be drawn randomly from a pool so that the respective exams are as different as possible? If needed, import tasks from another course.

Step 5: Think about time limits - In addition to the basic time limit for the e-examination, should there also be time limits for individual tasks (this can be realised via requirements and several sub-tests)?

Step 6: Think about the specifics of the multiple choice method - Should there be a fixed navigation through the tasks (not recommended!)? How are the relative and absolute pass marks set, which are shown in the ZSP-HU (§ 96c, 4 and 5)? What do students see at the end of their examination (presentation of results)? Who contributes to the preparation of the tasks, since according to ZSP-HU (§ 96c, 2) at least two examiners must jointly prepare an examination in the multiple choice method?

Attention: It is forbidden to award malus points.


Informing the students

Already at the beginning of the semester, students must be informed about the exam type and the associated procedures (incl. information on attempted cheating, non-attendance, failure, disadvantage compensation). Furthermore, there is a duty of transparency with regard to data processing if - as in the case of e-examinations - digital data is processed (see standard information on Art. 13 DSGVO).

Important from a data protection point of view: If the examination is accompanied by a video conference (HU Zoom Meeting) and realised with the Moodle plug-in, the dial-in data of the HU Zoom Meeting, i.e. link, meeting ID and password, must additionally be made available via the forum and / or by e-mail. In this way, the dial-in to the HU Zoom Meeting can take place not only via the Moodle plugin in the examination course, but also via the Zoom client or completely anonymously via the browser.

Summary: Informing the students

Step 1: Inform students about the form and procedure of the examination.

Step 2: Inform students about the state and university regulations regarding the significance of attempted cheating, failure to appear, special regulations in the case of failure under Corona conditions and other disadvantage compensation (see COVID-19 regulations).

Step 3: Inform students about data processing in the context of their examination and examination control (see standard information on Art. 13 DSGVO).

Step 4: Publication of the HU Zoom Meeting data in the Exam Course Forum

(status 2/27/2021)