Q&A Online tests for teaching staff

Communication and organisation           

Who informs the students?      
Assessment Logistics (Toetslogistiek) will take care of the communication to students regarding digital assessments.

Is a student allowed to register late(r ) fora n assessment?
No. Late(r ) registration via the Exam Committee is not possible in case of online assessments. This has been clearly communicated to the students. Online assessments require each student to be linked to an assessment. We expect to offer around 950 assessments per period. With our current technology, it is impossible to execute single activities, such as linking an individual student.

What if the teacher opts for an oral assessment instead of a written one?       
We have offered a number of solutions in our concept memo. This memo was globally approved by the Exam Committee, directors and Education Committee and representative body approval is pending. We expect the offered solutions and assistance to be sufficient. If the teacher opts for an oral exam, we will contact the study’s contact person, but this option is not one of the suggested alternatives.

Some assessments were offered via Stenden Professionals in the past. What will happen to these assessments?        
All assessments that have not been planned via Assessment Logistics will be listed. Separate solutions for these assessments will be sought.

Can we still add assessments that are not yet known to Assessment Logistics and for which students still need to register?
No, that is no longer possible as the deadline for registration is definitively closed, after having been postponed three times. This means that no assessments can be added anymore to the ones that are currently in our system.

Is it possible to organise my own assessment, without the involvement of Assessment Logistics?
We discourage organising your own assessments, as there cannot be any proctoring in such cases. Should this concern an assessment type that is not suitable for online assessing, such as a practical assignment or an oral exam, please contact your study’s or academy’s Assessment Committee or Exam Committee.

Will teaching staff see the assessment schedule before it is published for students?
No. The publication is planned for 2 April.

How do students receive instructions and are they helped with starting online tests?
The first online test week is over and the second test week starts at the end of April. There are a lot of questions from teachers asking how students are instructed to start the test and how they receive help if they need it.  Below you will find information regarding these questions. You can share this information with student if they come to you with these questions.

When do students  receive instructions for the test?
Students receive instructions for the test at least one day in advance.   Two separate messages are sent to their NHL Stenden e-mail address. The first e-mail contains a confirmation link. Once they have confirmed their participation, they will receive the second message-mail with comprehensive instructions on how to start and take the test.

Where can students turn to when they are experiencing technical difficulties  at the start, during and at the end of the test?
Half an hour prior to the start of the test, students can ask for help at the technical helpdesk (chat) via the link below. The helpdesk will help the student solve the problem via the chat. Additionally there is also a helpdesk for proctoring that can help  the student with  technical question.


Reliability and safety

How will I know whether an assessment is taken safely?
In order to guarantee the reliability, proctoring is used. Proctoring is a form of online monitoring that offers the possibility to safely and distantly (independent of place) assess students. Online proctoring video records the student and his/her computer. The images can be monitored after the assessment.

Is it possible to test the assessment programme, so we know that everything works as expected?
, there is a stress test, in which we request 200 colleagues to take a sample assessment in Quayn. During this test, they will be monitored by way of proctoring. This way, teaching staff may experience for themselves how online assessments are taken. At the same time, the Online Testing Taskforce can test how this works in practice. This stress test is prepared at this moment.

Are there any risks of overloading the system?
That risk always exists. Right now, the Digital Learning and Working Environment Services do their utmost to optimise the assessment process. From the Taskforce point of view, we are not concerned.

What if an assessment programme stops during the assessment?
During the assessment, Quayn saves the entered data. In case of any malfunction during an assessment, the Exam Committee will look for a solution.

A few days before the assessment is planned, the student will receive an email in order to execute a system check, during which – inter alia – the network connection is tested.

There are students with sufficient technical knowledge to bypass the proctoring function. Are these possibilities looked into?
There is never a 100% guarantee that cheating will not happen during an assessment, as is the case with an assessment in a class room. The only difference is that, by using proctoring, the sessions are recorded and may be reviewed in the event of irregularities. So proctoring even provides an advantage as opposed to assessments in a class room.

Handing in documents and working with assessment applications

Where shall I send my assessments?   
You shall send you assessments in the distributed Excel format to Assessment Logistics. This department prepares the assessments for summative testing in Blackbaord or Quayn.

Which type of assessments can I use?
You can only use multiple choice assessments and essay question assessments. Other kinds of assessments (such as oral assessments) cannot be accommodated and shall be executed by the study.

Can one assessment include multiple types of questions? So, multiple choice and open questions?
Yes, that is possible. You may send us your multiple-type question assessment in one Excel file.

Some teachers have already prepared their assessments in wintoets, can these be presented to you in wintoets?      
Yes. We even encourage that. Assessment Logistics is already in the process of including those questions in Quayn.

The planning for the conversion of the original assessment to a digital assessment is very tight and for some colleagues maybe even too tight. To what extent is it possible to send you our assessments at a later moment. I can imagine that the 3.9 assessments are due sooner than those of 3.10? 
The planning has already been made and the schedule will be published on 2 April. It is of the utmost importance that the assessments are handed in in a timely fashion, as they still have to be digitalised. It is therefore impossible to hand in assessments later than planned.

Are there any instructions available for working in Blackboard?            
uctions regarding the use of Blackboard for assessments will be made available. The assessments can be handed in, in an Excel file, at Assessment Logistics. There, the assessments are prepared for summative testing through Blackboard, including proctoring.

Can’t teaching staff prepare their own assessments in an existing course on Blackboard?         
It is not desirable to prepare the assessment in an existing course. A course often contains multiple subjects, teachers and managers. Moreover, it is hard for Assessment Logistics to manage the overview. We will create a new course per assessment, add the registered students and responsible teacher (so he/she can check the assessment), so please hand in the assessment in the Excel format that was distributed to you.

Which assessment applications are currently supported by our university of applied sciences?
At this moment, Blackboard and Quayn are the only two formally supported applications. We are looking into the possibilities to add other packages, but for now, only Blackboard and Quayn are supported.  

Is it correct that, if I want to have an assessment included in Quayn, I only have to hand in the Excel file in the format that was distributed?
Yes, that is correct. Teaching staff only needs to send us the questions in the Excel file, the rest is taken care of by Assessment Logistics.

Can language assessments be taken in all possible languages? For example, do languages with other language characters, such as Russian or Mandarin, pose any problems?
No, that is no problem. These languages are supported by the applications.

Can a teacher still check the assessment before a student takes it?
Yes. In both Blackboard and Quayn, the teacher still needs to check his/her own assessment. This is part of the procedure.

I am worried that things in my assessment might shift. Can we, as soon as the assessments have been included in Quayn, check this? Or is there any possibility to check the digital facilities?
Yes. In both Blackboard and Quayn, the teacher still needs to check his/her own assessment. This is part of the procedure.


How long can an assessment take?      
An assessment may take up to 2 hours maximum. Students that are granted extra time because of disability will be granted their extra time as agreed.  

Can assessments take more than 2 hours?
No, in principle, digital assessments may not take longer than 2 hours, because we need to take the attention and energy of our students into account. They cannot, for example, visit the bathroom as they would be able to do in an assessment room. If it is impossible to limit your assessment to 2 hours, please confer with Assessment Logistics.

If, normally, an assessment takes 2.5 hours, should it now be cancelled?
If an assessment normally takes 2.5 hours, this also applies now, unless Assessment Logistics specifically contacts you because it would be technically impossible. This will be done in week 13, as soon as the overview and planning are finished. Please bear the energy and attention span of our students in mind in mind in determining the duration of the assessment. They cannot visit the bathroom as they would be able to do in an assessment room. That is why we do advise to limit the duration of the assessment to 2 hours.

For certain subjects in year 1, it may be that over 200 students from different studies take a certain assessment. Should I then present my assessment twice or can I do that in one time in two batches?
You can do that in one time in 2 batches.

Some subjects use symbols or drawings, for example mathematics, physics and phonetics. Are these compatible with Quayn or Blackboard?
Students can enter formula’s in Blackboard. In Quayn, this is not possible. It is however possible to enter ‘other symbols’, through a pop-up screen, in which you can indicate the symbol. This is also possible in Blackboard. As regards drawings, students could take a picture and upload it onto Blackboard. Blackboard contains a question type in which you can upload a file. This question may then be put amongst the other questions.

Please keep in mind that this takes a lot of effort. The student needs to take a picture and transfer it to the computer, for example by emailing it to himself. In order to do so, students should start their email programme on their computer, download the picture and then upload it onto Blackboard. All under the scrutiny of ProctorExam, which will probably render a red alert. That would then be known before the assessment starts.

Would it be able for students to borrow equipment, if need be, also at locations outside of Leeuwarden? And will this be communicated to students centrally, or should we do so ourselves?
Yes, certainly. This request may be filed with studentinfo@nhlstenden.com . Please note that there is only a limited number of laptops and other digital equipment available. Should a student be unable to participate in an assessment because of the unavailability of the proper equipment, then he/she should contact the Exam Committee.


How does proctoring work?
With online proctoring, the student's webcam makes recordings of the student throughout the test. In addition, the screen of the student is recorded, so you can see what the student did on the screen (which tabs did the student have open, etc.). Afterwards, the Examination Board receives an overview of the green students (no irregularities) and the red students (irregularities). The footage can in the latter event be reviewed and a decision regarding the consequences can be made. The green students’ recordings can also be reviewed, but no irregularities have been determined there.

Are there any proctoring instruction video’s?
As a teacher, you can join an online webinar by ProctorExam and ask questions there. Please register via the ProctorExam website and select ‘exploring options’. The website is in English and also available in Dutch. Another example is a very useful instruction, for students, via Noa-vu.nl: https://noa-vu.com/producten/online-tests/

In linking the proctoring to the assessment, is anything expected of me as a teacher?
No, nothing is expected of you in this respect.

Can teachers be digitally ‘present’ to answer questions during Quayn assessments, for example as a proctor?
As a teacher, you can be present online in the proctoring of an assessment to answer questions.

How many students may take part in an assessment where proctoring is applied?
In principle, 50 students may start an assessment that applies proctoring. This means that when an assessment starts with 200 participants, each 15 minutes a group of 50 students may start the assessment.

What happens if a students does not allow online proctoring for privacy reasons?
If a student does not allow online proctoring, he/she cannot participate in the assessment and will have to file a request with the Exam Committee for an alternative way of assessment.

Is proctoring possible for all assessment forms that are offered via Blackboard/Microsoft teams and Quayn?
Yes, proctoring is available for all assessment forms that so require ánd that are included in the assessment schedule.

What is plan B, should proctoring fail?
In that case, a decision should be made whether the assessment can be taken without proctoring or that the assessment is postponed. Should the assessment take place after all, the validity of the assessment should be discussed with the study’s or academy’s Exam Committee.


Can multiple assessors be linked to Quayn in order to grade essay questions?
In principle, only 1 assessor may grade the assessment, the one that is linked to the assessment.

There are multiple assessors for one assessment. Does Quayn allow a division of the assessments for the purpose of grading?
In principle, only 1 assessor can grade the assessments, the one that is linked to the assessment.

Can I review/check the assessments that will be presented on the basis of the information that I have provided in Excel? And should I confirm this?
Yes. On Blackboard and Quayn, the teacher should verify the assessment. This is part of the procedure.

Assessment students with disabilities

Some students are used to be granted extra time, will this also apply to online assessments?
Yes, the extra time facilities also applies to the student at home.

Some students are used to do their assessments on a computer instead of on paper, how will this be done now?
These students can take the assessment at home on their own computer/laptop.

Some students always take their assessments in a quiet/solo space, how will this work in case of online assessments?
The university of applied sciences cannot offer these facilities.

Some students are used to take speech assessments. Will this option also be available in the digital assessment environment?
The digital assessment programme Quayn offers the possibility to have the assessment read aloud. Students will receive a separate instruction email.

Some students take their assessments on A3 paper. Will this option also be available in the digital assessment environment?
The A3 facility cannot be offered. Should taking the digital assessment without A3 be a problem, please have students contact their study’s Exam Committee.

Some students take their assessments on yellow paper. Will this option also be available in the digital assessment environment?
No, it will not.

Some students make their digital assessments on paper. Will this option be available now?
Students that are allowed to take digital assessments on paper are requested to inform the Exam Committee of their study whether they will be able to take the online assessment in their home.