CoHE Announces Basic Principles of Exams that Could Be Carried Out in Digital Environment

May 27, 2020 / Ankara 

The Council of Higher Education (CoHE) determined the principles to be applied, ranging from the technical support to be provided to students to exam security, to the final exams to be held online at universities, instead of face-to-face exams, due to the coronavirus pandemic and sent these principles to universities.

Previously, CoHE had decided that final exams and other exams to be held in this academic year would not be carried out face-to-face due to the coronavirus pandemic in the spring term of the 2019-2020 academic year and that they would be carried out through digital opportunities or alternative methods such as assignments and projects. The universities were informed of this decision on May 11. In this context, supervised or unsupervised online open-ended or multiple-choice exams, assignments, online quizzes, projects, Learning Management System (LMS) activities, usage analytics of LMS and similar applications will be used during the assessment processes to be applied in distance education.

The committee, established under the Council of Higher Education and consisting of the faculty members from various universities who are experts in distance education, determined the framework of the principles regarding the assessment and evaluation procedures to be carried out in the digital environment. After the general principles were finalized by the Executive Board of CoHE, they were communicated to universities in writing.

- Decisions will be valid during the pandemic

In the communication, CoHE asked the universities to consider the general principles that should be applied in the assessment and evaluation processes to be carried out in the digital environment, on condition that they would be limited to the pandemic.

Accordingly, in addition to online exam scores, assessments such as assignments, projects, discussions and participation in LMS activities will also be encouraged to be included in the calculation of end-of-term grade point average during the global pandemic.

The exams that will be conducted online will be based on transparency and auditability and the exam security measures permitted by the LMS or digital environments will be applied to these exams. These measures include a random selection of questions, use of full-screen mode and functionalization of browser lock.

Briefing and educational activities will be offered to academic staff and students about online exam applications at universities. Before the exam starts, students will be clearly informed of the exam process, the duration of the exam, principles of scoring, responsibilities of students, objections to exams and codes of conduct. The students who will take the exam will be prioritized to log into the system through the e-Government portal within the bounds of possibility.

- Students will be provided with solutions for internet alternatives

New solutions will be developed to provide technical support for students who do not have access to digital environments. In this context, students will be allowed to use internet alternatives. They will be allowed to use the computers and internet facilities of the Ministry of National Education and other public institutions, primarily the university units in their locations, if necessary.

In order to avoid any adverse effects on the students who are unable to take the exam for acceptable reasons, these students will be given the opportunity to take an online make up exam. Necessary procedures will be determined for students who have technical problems to complete the exam. Plagiarism detection programs can be used to assess assignments, projects and research reports.

Students will be given sufficient time, depending on the type of exam, for online assessments. All necessary measures will be taken to conduct the exams of students with disadvantages and disabilities in a healthy way in the digital environment.

The relevant higher education institutions will make the necessary arrangements for the assessment of the internships of graduates-to-be by taking into account the conditions of the global pandemic. In order for the exams that are not conducted through institutional systems to be transparent and auditable, academic staff will record and archive these exams.

The course credits and workload of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) will be taken into account for assignments and projects. In order to carry out the exam process in the digital environments without any interruption at universities, structures that students can get technical and administrative support will be established.