Help With Implementing Remote Exams

February 7th, 2021 | by

As the coronavirus pandemic’s trajectory and its impact on the examination period remain extremely difficult to predict, the University has decided to investigate and implement alternative options to ensure that exams can be held in a timely manner. Instructors have the option of offering exams as online (proctored) exams. Based on the instructors’ constitutionally protected freedom in research and teaching, the decision in this regard is entirely up to them.

 The following rules and regulations apply:

  • No in-person exams may be held at RWTH up to and including February 14. Exceptions apply in the field of medicine and for lab courses.
  • Exams can be taken online (as take-home exams) with or without Zoom proctoring, entirely independent of students’ actual location.
  • Participation in online proctored exams is voluntary – students can also choose to take the exam later instead, for example, in-person in the resit exam period. The instructors are responsible for offering an alternative in-person exam option close to the time of the remote exam.
  • In an online proctored exam, students will participate in a Zoom meeting, where they will be monitored by their instructors or their staff via the students’ (smartphone) camera or webcam. The exam session will not be recorded.
  • Before students take the exam, they must have officially declared that they have chosen to take it as an online proctored exam. For each exam, the respective departments will ask students how they have decided to proceed, e.g., via RWTHmoodle. Students are also required to submit an affidavit stating that they have not cheated during the exam. Cheating attempts will be prosecuted.
  • Students are urgently asked to provide a phone number where they can be reached during the exam. This is solely for the students’ benefit, so that they can be contacted, for example, in case of technical problems which they might not be aware of during the exam. The phone number, which is submitted voluntarily, may only be used for the purpose mentioned above. It must be deleted immediately after the exam has been successfully completed.
  • The Center for Learning and Teaching Services (CLS) offers comprehensive guidelines on online (proctored) exams, which are available for download at:
  • Instructors must inform the students about the exact procedure of the exams and the conditions under which they are to be held in advance.
  • Instructors are to avoid putting extra stress on RWTHmoodle with any additional activities during the exam period, as a large part of the exam processing is done via this system.
  • Instructors should check immediately if these online alternatives are an option for their exams. As a rule, the exam will have to take place on the original, centrally planned date. The actual start date may be postponed at short notice to avoid peaks – the chairs will be informed accordingly.
  • Faculties and departments will soon ask the instructors how they intend to conduct their exams and will pass this information on to exam planning. If the remote exams require more members of staff, please contact the respective faculty.

It will not be possible to offer online proctored exams in all cases. If, due to the pandemic, in-person exams cannot be held on the scheduled dates, the exams will be postponed to a later date.

Please also note that the consolidated guidelines on teaching and learning have been adapted to reflect the current regulations. The latest version dated January 29, 2021, can be found here in German and English.

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