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Coronavirus

Examination board In the following, we have provided specific information regarding the area of Study and Teaching

© Universität Bielefeld

Corona (COVID-19) Measures

General information on the Coronavirus and “Which measures are being taken by Bielefeld University?” can be found at the following link:

https://www.uni-bielefeld.de/themen/coronavirus/

Examination board In the following, we have provided specific information regarding the area of Study and Teaching 

This site will be kept updated.

The Rectorate, in consultation with the faculties, has published Corona Regulations to deal with the current situation;

Corona Regulation (SoSe 20) for the summer semester 2020,

Corona-Regulation (WiSe 20/21) for the winter semester 2020/21 and

Corona Regulation (SoSe 21) for the summer semester 2021,

Large parts of the orders are identical.

The Corona Regulations based on the Corona-Epidemie-Hochschulverordnung NRW.

Corona regulations for the winter semester 2021/22 can only be passed after the state has created the legal conditions for this. However, the following information has already been updated for the winter semester 2021/22.

 


A. Teaching events and courses

In the winter semester 2021/2022, courses are to be held mainly in presence, taking into account the respectively applicable Coronaschutzverordnung des Landes NRW, Corona-Epidemie-Hochschulverordnung NRW and the operational regulations of the Rectorate. Taking into account the regulations under occupational health and safety law, the structural conditions and health protection, half of the lecture rooms will be occupied in a chequerboard pattern and the seminar rooms with the regular number of seats. With this in mind, large courses, especially lectures that exceed the maximum permissible occupancy of the lecture halls, can be offered online or in hybrid formats. Smaller and medium-sized courses should primarily take place in presence or in hybrid formats combining presence and online teaching. Saturdays can also be used for regular events in addition to block events.

Further requirements (e.g. compliance with 3G) from the operational regulations of the Rectorate.

Instructions for holding examinations and carrying out laboratory work on-site during the reduced service at the University

A postponement of planned courses and modules to a later semester or to the lecture-free period can be made in exceptional circumstances with the consent of the examination office.

The workload stipulated in the examination regulations, the subject-specific regulations and the module descriptions also applies to distance learning. The distinction between self-study and face-to-face teaching is suspended and is dictated by the nature of the chosen learning format used to facilitate distance learning.

 

Recordings of online formats are only possible with the consent of all recorded persons. This also depends on whether there are options available to do so, and if the technical conditions exist.


B. General study and examination work

It is currently difficult to predict what the situation will be like for the examination period in the winter semester 2021/22. At this point in time, the principles described under courses apply.

In principle, examination procedures can continue to take place digitally and at a distance; in this respect, the examination regulations of the university apply (accordingly).

Examination work and coursework are assessed according to the respective examination regulations, subject specific regulations and module description. Modifications of existing forms are possible, other forms are basically only possible after prior amendment of the respective regulations, for which simplified procedures have been developed.

Faculties are authorised in principle to conduct examinations in electronic form or by means of electronic communication (online examinations). For this purpose, a variety of online formats have been reviewed and will be introduced on an ongoing basis.

The academic coursework to be completed, but not passed, will be modified as the teaching format changes to distance learning. Here, the sense and purpose of the academic output, the competence goal and the workload for the respective course should be taken into account. If students are unable to meet the coursework requirements for an important reason, then the regulation still applies, according to which equivalent] forms of compensation may be accepted.

Students are requested to meet deadlines for the submission of examination papers as far as possible at least in electronic form. Teachers are requested to offer generous deadlines.

Academic coursework and examination papers are to be submitted electronically. Students should submit their work by email or via the submission folder in the Lernraum [learning room].

In case of electronic submission and digital correction, the file containing the comments and assessments should be sent to the students.

In normal circumstances, theses would be submitted in written form to the examination office. During this exceptional time where there are no courses and university operations are restricted, students should submit their final theses electronically by email and keep to the deadline stipulated. An email with the thesis attached, which must correspond to the printed version, is to be sent to the responsible examination office and to the examiners (open distribution list). The thesis declaration must also be attached. Any current examination regulations requiring the submission of a printed version are currently suspended.

In order to avoid procedural delays, doctoral theses, including the declaration, should be submitted as a pdf file by the doctoral candidates via email to the chair of the doctoral committee and the secretary or administrative unit responsible (open distribution list). The bound version, which must be identical to the pdf, can be submitted at a later date, if printing is not currently an option. A declaration must be submitted alongside the bound version that it conforms to the pdf when handed in at a later date. The same applies to habilitation theses.

Communication (e.g. the submission of declarations also by examiners, and course and examination work/ theses) is conducted electronically, even if the regulations in the examination guidelines and subject-specific regulations stipulate a written form. The office responsible can demand that the email address @uni-bielefeld is used when submitting the declaration. In this way declarations which would otherwise have been signed are clearly identified as belonging to the candidate sending the email.

The existence of an important reason leads to certain measures depending on the examination regulations (withdrawal, extension of the deadline, compensatory work). Illness and the observance of Corona measures constitute an important reason in the sense of examination law. An important reason does not exist in principle if the 3G regulations are not observed.


C. Modification of coursework/ examination work

The following rules apply:

  • The content specifications and requirements, especially those set out in the module description or other examination regulations shall remain binding.   
  • The subject-matter of the coursework and examination papers is based on these requirements ("examination material"). Modifications of the content requirements are only possible within the scope of these specifications.
  • Changes may arise in the design of the intended examination format, given that the assessment will be conducted electronically.
  • Online assessment should only be carried out if reliable examination results can be obtained and the principle of equal treatment for students, also those who have submitted work in the past, is observed (principle: content requirements for coursework/ examination papers should not differ).
  • The online tools developed at Bielefeld University shall be used to submit coursework and examination papers, the LernraumPlus [learning room plus], for example. See: learning platforms.

In all other respects, reference is made to Prüfungsrechtliche Rahmenregelungen.

Academic coursework that has to be completed, but does not have to be passed, will be modified when the teaching format is changed to remote learning. Here, it is important that the purpose of the academic work, the competence goal and the workload for the respective course is reflected. Furthermore, the regulation still applies which states that equivalent forms of compensation should be accepted if students cannot meet the requirements for an important reason.

The requirements concerning attendance are principally the same during on-site teaching.  In regular face-to-face teaching sessions, there is no isolated obligation to attend. However, some course requirements may mean that the student needs to be present. These principles are transferred to online teaching. If, in exceptional cases, a particular online course requires the student to be present, this should be made clear by the lecturers in advance so that students can decide on a different semester plan if necessary.

The LernraumPlus [learning room plus] is a platform used to submit examination papers and academic coursework. 

An oral examination is characterised by the fact that every verbal expression as well as every form of non-verbal communication is perceived by both the candidates and the examiners/ assessors which can influence the form, the process, the documentation and the evaluation of the examination. Furthermore, care needs to be taken that examinees only use approved aids in the examination.

There are limitations, however, in the use of a video conferencing to recreate this environment. This can also be associated with disadvantages for examinees or lead to unfair differences in examination conditions.

Because of this, it is only recommended that oral examinations, disputations and comparable formats be held via video conferences if they cannot be postponed. The following procedure should be used:

  • All parties involved (examiners, candidates, assessors) are in agreement that the oral examination be held via videoconference.
  • Technical assurance that all participants (examiners, examinees, assessors) have good eye contact and can perceive non-verbal communication and that a stable internet connection exists.
  • Before the examination begins, a few minutes should be invested in rehearsing the steps in the examination with the student. Ideally all participants should familiarise themselves with the technical tools before the exam.
  • When the student is not physically present at the University: Before the exam begins, the student is requested to submit the declaration and to allow for an inspection of the room so that the examiners can see that no unauthorised aids are in use. In addition, during the examination, the camera view should include a view of the closed door as well as the student. The student should also take a picture using his or her mobile phone of his or her field of vision, and hold the phone display up to the webcam. This is to ensure that no aids (e.g. in paper form) are positioned next to the camera.
  • If technical problems arise during the examination that compromise the conditions stated above, the examination should be discontinued and repeated again at another time.   
  • As with standard oral examinations, a report is compiled by the examiners (sample report). This report should include the technical conditions of the examination (in particular the type of software used, the quality of transmission, possible malfunctions and explanatory notes) as well as the answers of the examinee. The University does not record the examination in any electronic form. 
  • Finally, the consultation by the examiners on the final grade takes place without the involvement of the student. Therefore, the connection to the student must be interrupted during this time (e.g. muting and turning off the video view from the examiners’ side. In Zoom, please use the waiting room).  

Bielefeld IT Service Centre (BITS) also provides Skype and Zoom.

 

As a replacement for on-site exams, a separate Moodle Instance is available for conducting exams and comparable formats instead of the Lernraumplus [Learning room plus] which is the current Moodle instance. Moodle can be used in any case for so-called Open Book exams. If Moodle is used for so-called closed question types, i.e. questions that can be evaluated automatically, the rules for this are based on those previously applied to multiple choice exams. Further information on the current progress of setting up the separate Moodle instance and its practical application - including a possible option of electronic monitoring - can be found here.

In Open Book exams, students write exams adjusted for online technology from home with the use of aids. In devising the tasks and/or evaluating them, the exam’s modification has to be taken into account in order to ensure equal treatment with students from previous semesters. Further didactic advice.

In addition, a procedure has been developed for conducting examinations using a video conferencing system.

Faculties can change the format of the examinations, and many faculties are already making use of this possibility. To this end, the University has made it easier for the faculties to change the module description, so that the form which the exams take can be modified. If there is the need to replace written exams with oral examinations or coursework, although not stated in the course description, this will now be possible. It is recommended that the deans of faculty arrange these changes in consultation with the Department of Study and Teaching. 

The special situation of students due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 epidemic must be taken into account.

The procedure is basically based on the regulations for compensation for disadvantages (Nachteilsausgleich), i.e. an application is required in which the impairment is explained. In addition, the impairments must be proven in a suitable form, in case of doubt by means of a medical statement. On the page linked above you will find a form that can also be presented to doctors.

If students claim that they cannot comply with the 3G regulation, this does not justify any compensation for disadvantages.


D. Applying for a certificate electronically

There is no need to submit a hard copy of the certificate application. Instead, students are requested to send the signed application form by email to the relevant authorities in scanned form.


E. Contact persons


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