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ZML - Center for Technology-Enhanced Learning

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76133 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 721 608-48200
fax: +49 721 608-48210
E-mail: info does-not-exist.zml kit edu


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Oral exams via video conference

The KIT strives to minimize the impact of the corona crisis on exams. In this context, an examination via video conference may be a possibility, provided that the exam must be carried out in a timely manner and its failure would otherwise lead to considerable disadvantages.

With the resumption of the course of studies from 20.04.2020, it will again be permissible to hold oral examinations on site with no more than five persons present. However, it is to be expected that the corona crisis will continue and that many examination candidates will not be able to attend an examination in person due to quarantine measures, travel restrictions or other consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. In special cases it will therefore be possible to hold oral examinations via video conference system even after 19.04.2020.

Students can find information on prerequisites and on how to apply for an oral examination via video conference on the central KIT corona information page in the division "Questions on Studies and Teaching" in the section "Do KIT Courses (e.g., Lectures, Seminars) and Examinations Have to be Canceled? “

A handbook for lecturers on the formal requirements and the conduct of oral video conference examinations has been sent to the Deans of Studies and can be requested there. In addition, lecturers can find important information, documents and contact information for formal questions on the SLE website.

How is an oral video conference examination conducted?

A performance via videoconference is only carried out upon written request of the examinee, which has to be submitted to the examiner. The examiner is responsible for the decision on the examination.

Notes on the technical implementation of oral exams via video conferencing

Currently, the open source video conferencing web application Jitsi Meet is available for conducting oral online examinations at KIT and is provided on KIT servers. Information on its use can be found at http://www.scc.kit.edu/en/services/vc-exam.php.

If there is a need beyond the functional scope of Jitsi Meet, MS Teams from the Microsoft Azure Cloud are still available (info on MS Teams http://www.scc.kit.edu/en/services/ms-teams.php).

We strongly recommend all persons involved in the exam to test the video conferencing system in advance (at the latest one day before the exam)!

Checklist for the oral exam via video conference

Before an oral video conference exam, all persons involved in the exam should check whether they have the necessary technical skills to conduct the exam virtually. Clarify the following points:

Do all participants have a computer/laptop suitable for video conferencing?
  We recommend that you do not use a tablet for the video conference oral exam, as not all features may be available.
Do all persons involved have a sufficiently fast internet connection (DSL/cable)?
  A video conference via the mobile network (LTE, 3G) is prone to errors and cannot meet the requirements for a stable connection. If possible, we recommend connecting to the router via cable. A connection via W-LAN is also more error-prone and can affect the stability of the connection.
Do all persons involved own a headset (headphones with microphone)?
  For an optimal audio connection we recommend the use of a headset. Be sure to test the functionality of your headset in advance and familiarize yourself with the operation (volume control, activating the microphone).
Do all persons involved have a webcam?
  A prerequisite for the oral video conference examination is an undisturbed image and sound transmission. You need a webcam. This can be integrated into your device (e.g. laptop) or connected externally (e.g. USB webcam). Test the functionality of your webcam and familiarize yourself with its operation.
Have you conducted a successful test conference?
  Arrange a short test appointment with the persons involved in the exam, at the latest one day before the planned exam. Test whether the audio and video connection works and whether you can release documents for joint use by all examiners. Familiarize yourself with the functions of the video conferencing software.
Set a date for the exam
  Agree on a date for the exam with all persons involved in the exam. At off-peak times, i.e. early in the morning or in the evening, experience shows that the online systems and network connections of the participants are less busy and therefore less prone to errors and faults.
Have all examiners and the exam candidate activated access to MS Teams?

This is only necessary if you want to take the oral exam with MS teams. If you have not already committed to this application, we recommend conducting the exam with the open source video conferencing application Jitsi Meet hosted at KIT.

If you have not already done so as the examiner, activate your KIT access to MS Teams. You will find information on how to do this and contact persons for technical support on the SCC website http://www.scc.kit.edu/dienste/ms-teams.php.
You can create a new team to perform the exam. Proceed as described on the SCC pages in the section "Coordinated Meeting - Teams" in the section "Regular work in fixed teams". Add the reviewers and the person to be reviewed as members of the team.

Note: to add KIT students to a team, you have to enter the complete address of the examiner to be added to the team under "Add members": KIT-Kürzel∂student.kit.edu (e.g. uxxxx does-not-exist.student kit edu).

Please also point out to the examinee that the technical requirements for access to MS teams must be met via the mentioned page of the SCC, otherwise it will not be possible to take the exam. Please note: All information in the team area created for the exam is visible to all members of the team, including the examinee. Therefore, you should not store any documents relevant to the exam in the team, nor should you carry out any confidential voting on them.