Online Proctored Examination Regulation
After consultation with the examination committees and with advice from the central Student Council, the Executive Board has adopted the 'TU Delft Online Proctored Examination' regulation that will take effect on 29 May 2020 and was updated in November 2020. In the regulation you will find what responsibilities lecturers and students have in using and participating in this assessment method. You will also find more information about privacy and data security and where you as teacher and/or student can go with questions.
- There is no achievable alternative way of testing
A lecturer/examiner first investigates alternative testing forms; online proctoring is the final option.
- Digital examinations
A precondition for using online proctoring is that the examination is taken in a digital form in one of the aforementioned test systems. It may be possible for students to use a pen and paper for assistance, but this does not form part of the proctored examination.
- Only in the daytime
Online proctored examinations may only take place in the daytime (Delft time zone). Students encounter significantly more internet problems in the evenings and there is less support available.
- Maximum duration of an online proctoring session
A proctoring session may not last longer than 90 minutes. Such a duration justifies not granting students permission to go to the toilet. Examinations may consist of two sessions of maximum 90 minutes each. However, this doubles the costs. There has to be a break of 30 minutes between the two sessions in order to prevent any problems and to allow students to recuperate.The Taskforce Assessment strongly advises that examinations be limited to 90 minutes in their entirety.
- Approval by the Board of Examiners
The explicit permission of the relevant Board of Examiners is required if it is not designated as a standard method for the subject in the prospectus. Given that some caution is needed with regard to online proctoring, it is not recommended that it be included as a standard method for any particular subject.
The minister has stated that online proctoring may be used if it is in accordance with the GDPR. This was confirmed in court. This is also the case with contracts, processing agreements, the provision of information, and this regulation, as the Dutch Data Protection Authority has stated. An important part is the privacy statement, which has also been adopted.
The retention period of 90 days is based on the period of time an examiner has for assessing examinations and includes the duration of the objections and appeals processes.
- What is online proctoring?
Online proctoring is a form of online digital testing that is location-independent. Surveillance is done online, with the help of special software. The advantage of online proctoring software is that students are able to take their examinations anywhere (at home, for example) in fraud-proof conditions. Monitoring software, video images, and watching students’ screens are intended to prevent and detect fraud.The process of proctoring consists of these stages.
- In the first stage, the technical operation of the proctoring system is tested so that all the data can be correctly communicated and collected. After this stage, you are informed that all data from then on will be stored.
- The second stage sees the start of the process of identifying the students. This is usually done by using the webcam to take a photograph of each student, and by each student showing proof of their identity via the webcam. You have to show your Student ID card.
- In the third stage, you are asked to film the room in which you are situated. Through detailed instructions, you may be asked to make a 360-degree recording of the room, to film in front of and behind their computer, to film the ceiling, and under their table. Some systems ask that the students film their ears to show that they are not wearing any unauthorised earpieces. Depending on the conditions under which the examination is to take place, students may also be asked to film any books, papers, or other resources that they have on their table.
Once all three stages have been completed, you may start the actual examination. The examinations are taken in a digital assessment system.The TU Delft uses RPNow online proctoring software with the assessment systems Maple TA, Grasple (for math education) and WebLab (for computer science education).
- Am I obliged to identify myself with my campus card?
From a privacy point of view, there is a strong preference for your campus card. If you don’t have one, it is allowed to use a government ID, please cover at least your BSN number.
- Exam fraud assessment
The reviewers of the Online Proctoring Agency flag suspicious behaviour, but do not determine whether this is a case of exam fraud. This remains the responsibility of the Board of Examiners at all times. Assessment of exam fraud involves the following:
- Use, or attempt to use, unauthorised sources and tools such as the internet, mobile phones, or other devices when taking an examination.
- Share answers with others while taking an examination.
- Call in the help of others during an examination.
- Be outside the range of vision of the webcam during the examination or turn off the microphone, except during any authorised breaks.
- Carry out, or attempt to carry out, technical alterations that undermine the proctoring system or assessment system.
- Why is there no alternative to online proctoring?
The decision as to whether online proctoring can be used for a specific examination is made by the Board of Examiners. This is done based on an assessment of possible alternatives, the number of students involved and the nature of the assessment form.
It is not always possible to use other assessment forms such as essays, oral or open-book exams. One example is the case of multiple-choice exams for large groups.
A final consideration is that replacing exams with open-book or essay-based exams is not an easy and quick process. Designing a high-quality exam that aligns with the learning objectives of the course is a time-consuming process. Not always there is enough time to do this properly next to preparing online lectures and learning activities.
- Are there requirements concerning the room where I take my online exam?
We understand that this is an exceptional situation where you may not be in control of everything. We ask you to please take these requirements into account as much as possible:
- It's a place where you won't be disturbed;
- There are no other people in the room;
- It is quiet (no music or other audio);
- You have a strong internet connection, wireless (WIFI) or wired, but preferably a wired connection (e.g. ask your roommates/family not to download or stream any movies);
- There are no books, summaries, problem solutions, notes etc. on or near the desk, unless it is clearly indicated in advance that this is allowed;
- Do not use headphones, headsets or advanced earplugs (simple foam ones are allowed).
- If there are personal things on your wall or in your room please hide them temporarily (with sheets for example).
Note: it can be any room that meets these requirements. It doesn’t have to be your bedroom.
- Can I have something to eat and/or drink, or take medications during the exam and therefore have these items on my desk?
We have restricted the maximum duration of an online proctored session to 90 minutes, so there should be no need for water, snacks or visits to the toilet.
Just like during an exam at the TU Delft, it is allowed to drink from a transparent bottle and have a small snack during the test. The desk must remain clear. Medications are allowed to be taken.
- Do I need a printer at home to take exams?
No, a printer is not required. For some exams you will need pen and paper to work out an exercise (e.g. mathematical equations). This will be communicated in advance by the lecturer via Brightspace.
- Do I need to do anything in order for my webcam and/or microphone to function properly during online proctoring?
We get questions about cameras and/or microphones that do not function in certain applications. In some cases, this appears to be due to the privacy settings: 'Allow apps to access your microphone/camera' is turned off. Switch this option on again to be able to use them. The practice exam will allow you to test whether your microphone and camera work as needed. Please test this in time. If you run into problems you can contact the Student IT Desk for support.
- How does TU Delft handle privacy and security with regard to online proctoring?
We consider your privacy to be paramount in this process. Despite the short timelines, our privacy team has carried out privacy checks in accordance with the standard TU Delft guidelines.
A data processing agreement was arranged with RPNow and a privacy statement has been formulated, describing what information RPNow and the TU Delft process and how your privacy is safeguarded. RPNow has put in place various electronic safeguards and managerial processes designed to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, maintain data integrity, and ensure the appropriate use of Personal Data. They use industry best practices and guidance from sources such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), Payment Card Industry (“PCI”), standards promulgated by the Centre for Internet Security (“CIS”), and International Standards Organisation (“ISO”), ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (Security techniques — Information security management systems — Requirements) to design and maintain their information security programme.
RPNow limits access to your Personal Data to those persons who have a business need to know. They will only process your Personal Data on our instructions, and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
- I still have some concerns about privacy when testing through online proctoring
During the Covid-19 crisis, we are doing our utmost to avoid study delay. Therefore, we've asked lecturers to formulate alternative examination methods that do not need online proctoring as much as possible. Unfortunately, alternative exam options are not found for all courses. For these exams we decided to use online proctoring, since the only other option is to postpone the exam indefinitely. This is why the Data Protection Officer (Functionaris Gegevensbescherming) has determined that the TU Delft can employ online proctoring based on the principle of general interest (algemeen belang).
If you do not want to take part in an online exam using online proctoring, there is an option to opt-out.
- May I go to the toilet during an online exam?
No, you're not allowed to go to the bathroom during an online exam. If the duration of the exam is too long, the test will be split up into parts to allow you to go to the toilet. This means that you can go to the toilet after 90 minutes. There can be an exception if there you have a medical indication.
- With online proctoring you are asked to make a Room Scan. But when do you have to do this?
As with the ID check, a Room Scan is clearly requested in the process of starting an online proctored session. If you skip the Room Scan, your test cannot be processed as 'valid'. So, make sure you do the Room Scan. Try to practice this in the test environment.
The objective of the Room Scan is to record that you are following the regulations and you can do the exam without additional support.
If you don’t want items in the room recorded, please remove or cover them.
- What are the requirements for my laptop or computer?
For the purpose of taking an examination, the laptop/computer used by the student must meet certain hardware and software requirements. These requirements are listed below.
- A sufficiently powerful laptop/computer for running the required software on one screen; any additional screens must be disconnected.
- A working webcam (internal or external), ready for recording videos.
- A working microphone (internal or external), ready for recording sound.
- A working keyboard and mouse (or another suitable device for indicating purposes).
- A stable internet connection (an upload speed of 300kb/s is the minimum, advised is 1Mb/s), preferably wired.
- The most recent version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
The most recent system requirements can be found here.
- Is a proctored exam worth as much as a normal exam, especially if I am assessed with Pass/Fail?
Yes, you will be fully tested on the learning objectives of the course. The Board of Examiners will assess this and has to approve this.
- When did this regulation go into effect?
The regulation officially come into effect on 29 May 2020. The updated version goes into effect on 1 December 2020. This means that online proctored exams after 1 December have to follow the updated version.
- Can I request to opt-out for an online proctored exam?
We are offering an opt-out pilot as an additional service to a limited number of students – namely 30 students per day for the main exam period and midterms. If more than 30 students per day request this option, the option is cancelled for everyone. See more info here.