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Online Exam Environment

Online exam environments (OPUs) can be created in MyLEARN to carry out online exams. Online exams are written exams that are administered synchronously via MyLEARN at a specified and limited time frame (cf. Information at the homepage "Teaching and Learning 21/22").

You can use an OPU,

  • if you don't want your online exam to be held in the regular course environment on MyLEARN,
  • if you want to carry out an online exam with an online supervision or
  • if you have a common online exam date for multiple courses.

A newly generated OPU includes automatically generated portlets that contain information for students, as well as automatically activated applications that you can use for your online exam. Additionally, each OPU includes an exam statement that students have to accept before the start of the exam.

Portlets

The following portlets are displayed on the left column of the home page of your OPU and serve as information for your students. The content of the portlets cannot be changed manually:

  • Portlet "Calendar", displaying the exam date and the preparation time.
  • Portlet "Welcome" with the date and time of the start of the exam which synchronizes automatically with the dates entered in Rooms.
  • Portlet "Examination with online supervision", if online supervision is activated (see Decide if you want to activate an online supervision).
  • Portlet "Your to-dos before taking an online exam", which can vary depending on the settings in the OPU.
  • Portlet "MS Teams for communication", if Microsoft Teams is activated (see Decide if you want to use MS Teams for the communication with your students).

You can adapt the portlet "Information" in the right column of your OPU yourself (see How can I enter information about the online exam in the OPU?).

Applications

Among the applications in your OPU that have already been activated are the following:

  • Calendar: The Calendar informs the students about the exam date.
  • Gradebook: Use the gradebook to infom your students about their exam results, to convert the exam result into a grade by defining a grade key und to transfer examination results into the BACH system.
  • Learning activities & Online Exams: With both applications you can create your written online exams. After having decided for one of the applications, deactivate the application which you don't want to use.
  • E-Mail: You can send group e-mails or e-mails to individual students.

You can activate further applications:

  • News: If you make announcements via this app, they appear on the "home" page of the OPU. Furthermore, students can subscribe to these announcements and they can be forwarded to their own e-mail address.
  • Forum: With a moderated discussion forum you offer students a communication channel within the OPU. It can be used as an alternative to Microsoft Teams.

Guidance about how to activate applicationsis available in "Applications".

Create an Online Exam Environment (OPU)

Several steps and prerequisites are necessary to create an Online Exam Environment (OPU).

NOTE:

You can create a new OPU for each exam date. That means, combining different dates in one OPU (as done before via Subgroups or Problem Based Learning environments) is not applicable any more..

To create an OPU, first you have to book the exam date via Rooms, if this was not done yet with the announcement of  your course. To book the exam date via Rooms, please proceed as follows:

  1. Open the course administration in Rooms.
  2. Select "Online Unit" as room.
  3. Click on "Save".
  4. With a click on "P", mark the desired appointment as "exam".
  5. If this exam takes place as joint appointment with other courses (e.g. for a PI), mark this appointment as "same time as LV..." by clicking on "T".
  6. Confirm all entries and proceed to "Book".


Please note that the dates for examinations from the major examination week are booked directly by the staff of examination administration and the persons responsible for the examinations are informed about it.

As soon as you booked the online examination date via Rooms, you can find it in MyLEARN in your academic unit. Thus, you can create an online exam environment (OPU).

  1. Visit your academic unit in MyLEARN.
  2. There, click on "Online Exam Dates".
  3. Select the semester of the exam.
  4. In the list of the online exam dates, search for the date, for which you want to create an OPU. If the desired appointment is not displayed, you have to enter it via Rooms  (cf. Book the online exam date via Rooms).
  5. At "Actions", click on  "Create new OPU".

Please note that you can only perform this action if you are entered as course administrator for this appointment or if you are course administrator in the academic unit.

After you clicked on "Create new OPU", the OPU Wizard opens. It will guide you through the setup of the new OPU.

OPU Wizard

In the OPU Wizard, you can see the dates which you had entered in Rooms for the examination. You can also specify further settings.

At "Organisationseinheit" all academic units are listed in which the exam date is displayed. Course editors of these academic units have access to the exam date and can edit the associated OPU in MyLEARN.

After having specified all settings as explained below, please do not forget to confrim your entries with a click on "OK" and thus to create a new OPU.

  • Under "Title", you can enter the name of the OPU, e.g.  "ICT Basics". The students will see the OPU at their MyLEARN starting page under "My Online Exams"  and under the assigned term.
  • Under "Administrators" all persons are displayed who are registered as course managers for this date in Rooms. These are automatically added as administrators of the OPU. After creating the OPU, you can add additional administrators.
  • You can enter internal information in the field "notes for admins". This information can then be viewed and edited (in the OPU) by all administrators of the OPU and course editors. In addition, the information is visible to members of the associated academic unit(s).
  • "Joint appointment" shows exam dates that have been marked as joint appointments in Rooms and take place at exactly the same time.
    Select the checkbox next to the online exam dates that should be linked to this OPU. You can change this link at any time (see How do I unlink an exam date from an OPU?).

The automated exam supervision serves as a measure to prevent cheating. This involves recording footage of the student's camera image, desktop, and microphone. These can be viewed by the administrators of the OPU during or after the exam (see information for students).

Select "Yes", if you want an online supervision for your exam to activate the automated online supervision. If you do so, the start time for activating online supervision is automatically set to the preparation time (30 minutes before the start of the exam) and the end time is automatically set to 15 minutes after the end of the exam.

NOTE!
You can change the end time of the automated online supervision at any time before the start of the exam, e.g., if you have to take an extension of time for BeAble students into consideration.

By activating the automated online supervision, the examination statement is activated automatically and the following content is added to the OPU:

  • Calendar entry for the preparation time (30 minutes before the start of the exam): During this time, the students can set up online supervision when visiting the OPU and report possible technical problems and solve them (independently) if necessary
  • Portlets: To inform students about the automated online supervision, two portlets are automatically added to the "Home" page of the OPU:
    • A Portlet displays information about the start time and end time of the activation of the online supervision.
    • A Portlet informs students about their to-dos before the start of the exam:
  • Administration page: Upon click on "Administrate" in your OPU you can change the settings of the automated online supervision, e.g. the end time or view the recordings of the online supervision.

NOTE:
To change the starting time of the online supervision, you have to change the starting time of the exam in Rooms. this generates a new starting time for the online supervision.

No online supervision

If you do not activate the automated exam supervision, you have the choice between 15 or 30 minutes of preperation time in the OPU Wizard.  Afterwards the following content is added to the OPU:

  • calendar entry for the preparation time (15 or 30 minutes before the start of the exam): This calendar entry reminds the students to call the OPU for their exam in good time.
  • Portlet: The portlet informs the students what they have to do before the exam:
  • Configuration of the examination statement: Via this configuration page, you can edit the end date/time for submitting the examination statement. The The start time is automatically set 15 or 30 minutes before the start of the exam.

An examination Team in Microsoft Teams helps you to communicate with your students in a structured way. The examination Teams contain automatically three pre-created channels:

  • Channel "General": There, you and further administrators can share with students important information and changes during the exam. 
  • Channel "Content": In this channel, students can ask technical questions about the exam.
  • Channel "Technical Problems": Students can use this channel to report technical problems, or an interruption or termination due to technical problems.

Select "Yes", to activate a MS Teams Team for communication around the examination.

With the activation of Microsoft Teams an examination Team in Microsoft Teams with the name of the OPU is automatically created for you. All administrators of the OPU are added automatically as owners of the examination Team.

Furthermore, the follwoing content is added to the OPU:

  • Portlets: To inform students about the examination TEAM, two portlets are added automatically to the "Home" page of the OPU:
    • A portlet provides information about the use of Microsoft Teams as a communication channel during the online exam.
    • The participation link to the exam team appears in a portlet, allowing students to add themselves to the exam team. It may take up to 10 Minutes for the participation link to appear.

After the examination Team is created in MS Teams, you can do further changes and adaptations there, e.g. create further channels.

If you do not use Microsoft Teams, please inform the students about the alternative means of communication, e.g. via forum or e-mail, which must be provided in any case.

When creating an OPU, the examination declaration is activated automatically. It appears as a pop-up window shortly before the start of the examination and must be read and accepted by the student. Acceptance of the examination declaration indicates to students that they have accepted the examination and are therefore ready to take it. Only after acceptance students can enter the OPU and take their exam.

Students can view the wording of the examination statement via the Website of the Study Service Center.

How do I see who has accepted the examination statement?

  1. In the OPU, click on "Administrate" in the left side menu.
  2. Under "examination statement", click on "Export list of users who accepted the examination statement."
  3. Save the CSV file.

The list shows who has accepted the examination statement and at what time. No entry next to a matriculation number means that the examination statement was not accepted and the student did not access the exam (= no attempt).

If multiple entries are shown next to a matriculate number, it means that the student has left the OPU several times and entered again. This can happen, for example, if there are internet problems or problems with the online supervision.

You can make changes using the OPU wizard. To open the OPU wizard again, please proceed as follows:

  1. In the OPU, click on "Administrate" in the left side menu.
  2. Under "OPU-Wizard", click on "Edit OPU basic settings".

NOTE
Please make sure to make all changes in the basic settings in time before adding stundents as examinees.

Design the Online Exam Environment

If you are a course administrator, you will find a list of all OPUs and of all online exam appointments in your Academic Unit. If you are administrator of an OPU, you will find all OPUs which are not archived yet addditionally on your MyLEARN home page under "My Online exams".

Until the summer semester 2022 you can create written online exams with the application "Learning Activities" in MyLEARN.

At the same time, you can create online exams using the "Digital Exams" application. From the summer semester of 2022 onwards, you can only use the "Digital Exams" application to create written online exams in an online exam environment.

Please send an e-mail to digitalteaching@wu.ac.at if you would like to transfer exam content from the "Learning Activities" application to the "Digital Exams" application.

Use the portlet "Information" in your OPU, to inform students about the online exam. To edit the portlet, proceed as follows:

  1. In your OPU, click on "Administrate" in the left side menu.
  2. Then, click under "Start page information" on "Information".
  3. You can delete the instructions and the dummy text, but you should keep the heading.
  4. Enter the information about the online examination and save your entries with a click on the upper "OK" button.

You can use the existing headings in the portlet as a guide:

Contact for questions
Please name the contact persons for your students for all questions before and after the exam.

Online supervision rules
Remind your students of the rules of online supervision:

  • do not talk
  • do not wear headphones
  • show permitted aids (if applicable) etc.

Structure of the exam

  • Which application do you use for creating the exam ("learning activities" or "digital exams")?
  • What types of questions does the online exam contain (e.g. MC questions, open questions)?
  • What are the components of the online exam?
  • For examinations with "learning activities": Should the online exam consist of several components: is a sequence recommended or are students free to choose which parts of the examination they begin or end with?
  • For examinations with "learning activities": Do students have different time limits within the total examination time to work on the individual components of the online exam (e.g. 30 minutes for open questions and 15 minutes for closed questions)?
  • For examinations with "learning activities": Tell your students if you use one or more measures to prevent cheating (e.g. hide list of questions, scramble questions, etc.). But don't mention if you're using different groups or working with random questions.
  • For examinations with "learning activities": Please point out to your students when an exam is considered "completed".
  • How many points can students score with the online exam (partial score) in total? Which assessment scheme (partial points, no partial points etc.) is the basis for scoring?

Procedure of the exam & permitted aid

  • Inform your students, if aid is allowed during the exam. If so, which aid is permitted (dictionaries, calculators, ...)?
  • Does the online exam require special technical equipment that goes beyond the required equipment (e.g. external software programs)?

Communication

  • How will you communicate with your students before and during the exam (Recommendation: Microsoft Teams)?
  • What communication rules are there (e.g. no screenshots of exam questions during the exam)?

Evaluation & exam review

  • Announce, when students will be able to see their exam results.
  • Announce if you are unsing a grade book.
  • Describe how viewing of the examination documents is organized and until when it will be possible.

You have the option to add additional portlets.

  1. Click on "Administrate" in the left side menu of your OPU.
  2. Under "Start page information", click on "New Custom Portlet"
  3. Save your entry with a click on the upper "OK" button.

Please note that students can find extensive information about online exams on the Study Service Center website. If you would like to provide further information, you can also send group emails via MyLEARN.

Experience has shown that students read the information more precisely, the more reduced the text in the OPU is.

You can find instructions via "manage members".

If you want to add colleagues as administrators,  select the role "admin".

If you want to add students, the following applies:

  • Students who have applied via LPIS for an exam in the major examination week via LPIS, are added by the team of the examinations office as members of the OPU after the end of the registration period. You do not need to do anything else.
  • Students of a PI, who take the exam in the framework of the major examination week, are added by the team of the examinations office at a die im Rahmen der Großprüfungswoche ihre Prüfung durchführen, werden vom Team der Prüfungsorganisation at a mutually decided time. Please Please discuss a possible appointment with your colleagues from the examinations office.
  • If your exam is not administrated by the examinations office, please add your students independently as examination participants (in the role "member").

As soon as students are members of the OPU, they see all content which is released and all information in the portlets at the "home" page of the OPU.

Please try to avoid changes after students have been added to the OPU as changes can unsettle the students.

The text in the automatically gemerated portlets at the "Home" page adapts to the MyLEARN language settings of the students. Excluded is the portlet "information" which you can fill yourself.

Further FAQs

As soon as students are members of an OPU, they find it under "My Online Exams" on the MyLEARN starting page.

As soon as the OPU has been created and students have been added as members, you can use the communication options of the OPU:

  • e-mail
  • Announcement (via the application "News", which has to be activated first)
  • Microsoft Teams or Forum on MyLEARN

Before an OPU is available, you can send erste Informationen zur Online-Prüfung before the start of the signing up for the exam or via the News in the corresponding course in MyLEARN.

For administrators and course managers the archived online exam environments (OPUs) will be still visible.

For students, however, achived OPUs are not visible any more and they cannot access them any more.

The link of an exam date with an OPU can be changed later. To remove the link, do the following:

  1. In the academic unit on MyLEARN, click on "Online Exam Dates".
  2. Next to the appointment of which you want to remove the link, click on "Actions" and select "Verknüpfung mit OPU lösen".

Thus, the link is removed and the administrators of this appointment are removed form the OPU if they are not administrators of a different appointment which is liked to the OPU.

The OPU is still in the list of the online exam environments of the academic unit and can be reused for other online exam dates (feature in progress).

BeAble students obtain a extension of online exam time to complement their disadvantages. The corresponding extension of time has to be considered when creating BeAble exams and when configuring the examination statement and, if applicable, the online supervision.

Precise instructions for handling online exams with BeAble students can be found here.

You can create an online exam in an OPU as a fallback solution for an exam in the classroom. In addition to booking the appointment for the exam in the classroom, proceed as follows:

  1. Create a parallel exam appointment as an online appointment and signpost it with "B" for "breakout date". This exam date is not displayed to the students, but you can view it in the Academic Unit and furnish it with an OPU.
  2. If you want to conduct the online exam instead of an exam in the classroom, navigate again to Rooms, delete the appointment for the exam in the classroom and remove the add-on "B" at the "breakout" appointment. Now, students will see this alternative appointment.

Make sure that all basic data of the online examination already fit before you create an OPU for the examination date. When the OPU is created, calendar appointments are automatically created and configurations are made within the OPU (e.g. with regard to the examination statement  and, if applicable, online supervision). 

Proceed as follows if there should still be a change to the appointment:

Change of date

  1. Keep the online exam booked in Rooms and change the date (and if necessary also the time) here.
  2. Save the changes you have made. 
  3. A completely new appointment is now displayed under "Online Exam Dates".
  4. Create a new OPU for this appointment and copy the contents from the "old OPU" into the new OPU.
  5. Please note that a new MS Teams examination team was also created with the new OPU. Remove all members from the old objects (teams, OPU). Disconnected OPUs (without an linked examination date) are automatically archived and are still displayed under "Online Exam Environments".

Change of time

  1. Keep the appointment booked in Rooms and only change the time here.
  2. Save the changes you have made.
  3. The changes to the time are synchronised in the OPU already created and displayed the next day. The OPU data is usually updated by 10 a.m. on weekdays.