Your examination in Zoom
Below you can find out more about how to prepare for an upcoming exam that involves Zoom, whether it is used as the place where the exam actually takes place, a complementary software to monitor you during a written exam or as a tool to create a recording for an assignment that requires video submission.
Examination forms in Zoom
Zoom can be used for various types of exams. Here are some example of how you might use Zoom in an upcoming exam.
Zoom is an excellent tool for an oral exam as it gives your teacher the opportunity to assess your skills either as part of a group exercise or individually by using the break out room feature.
In practice this means that an oral exam can range from a final exam to your participation in a compulsory seminar session.
If you wish to prepare for an upcoming seminar conducted in Zoom, it is good for you to check if:
- there is any information about the structure of the session, i.e. when can you ask questions (during or after the seminar), will you be required to put your camera on or can it be off and will the seminar be recorded or not
- you can login to Zoom correctly, i.e. with your student account. You check this easily by logging into our test meeting in Zoom.
If you are writing your thesis this semester you could be asked to conduct your final seminar via Zoom. In practice it would mean that you would join a Zoom meeting together with the examiner, your discussant and possibly other guests.
The opposition can occur in various ways depending on where you study at the university. The following is an example of how it could occur:
- You are asked to present your paper. You do so by sharing your screen and the presentation you have prepared.
- The discussion that follows will continue once you stop sharing your presentation
- Your opponent might then want to share their screen to show their comments.
In preparation for this type of examination you should join a test meeting in Zoom to try out your speakers and microphone. You should also familiarise yourself with the function bottons, in particular Shared Screen, and possibly create a meeting with a classmate of yours where you both get to practice how it is to share a presentation and all other aspects of presenting in front of a camera.
If you have a group assignment where you have to write a paper and do a recorded presentation you can do so in Zoom or in Studio. By practicing the spotlight feature and shared screen you can make a good recording.
If the assignment is in Canvas you can upload your recording in Zoom onto Studio, so that it is added to your media library, which enables you to upload it in the correct place.
The recording feature in Zoom can also be used to record interviews and be a tool when you collect data for a research paper/thesis.
Please note that you must always inform all meeting participants that they are going to be recorded. Zoom will also send everyone a message once recording starts.
Zoom as a monitoring tool
If your upcoming exam is planned to be conduced online, your examiner can use Zoom as a tool for monitoring the participants. As such Zoom can be combined with examination in Canvas, Inspera or QPS. If this applied to you, please read the instructions on this page as well as the information related to the other examination tool that is being combined with Zoom.
Prepare your workstation
It is not uncommon for two cameras to be required, one on the computer watching you and one installed behind you to film your desktop and computer screen.
You might also need to log into two devices at the same time. It is important here that you make sure that the camera is on but that the sound and the speaker are only activated on one device, otherwise you risk feedback
Example of what you set up might look like:
Example on how a monitored exam can be conducted
In order for you to get a feeling of how a monitored exam can be conducted we have put together the following example. As always it is important that you read the instructions and the information provided by your teacher and do ask them if you find anything unclear.
You start by reading the instructions that you have been given by your teacher. Then you have a look in the examination check list to ensure that you are fully informed and aware of what to expect ahead of your exam.
It is important that the examiner can establish your identity during an exam. How this is carried out in practice can defer depending on where you are studying. It is therefore important that you read the instructions carefully.
The following is an example of how it can be carried out. You can be asked to keep your camera and microphone on so that the invigilator can hear if anyone speaks, while you turn off your own speakers so that you don't get disturbed by other students mumbling and caughing. To not loose touch with the invigilator you can be asked to check in with them by looking in the chat every 15, 30 or 60 minutes.
If you have several units connected to Zoom at the same time, you might also receive instructions about which microphone should be on and which one should be off. This is in order to avoid sound feedback.
The settings for your hardware can differ for each exam. It is therefore once again important that you carefully read the instructions you should have received prior or in conjunction with your exam.
The following is an example of what it can be lika. You can be asked to have your camera and microphone on so that the invigilator can hear if anyone starts talking, while being instructed to keep your speaker off so that you do not get disturbed by the mumbling and coughing of other students.
To not loose touch with the invigilator you can be asked to check the chat every 15, 30 or 60 minutes.
If you have several units connected to the same Zoom meeting, you can also receive instructions regarding which microphone to leave on and which one to mute. This in order to avoid feedback.
It is important that you receive information about what the consequences would be if you have to divert from your desk. There are many different kind of routines for this. Sometimes the teacher will divide the exam to include breaks for visiting the toilet or collecting a cup of coffee and sometimes you can write to the invigilator in the chat and have then a set number of minutes to visit the bathroom. Make sure that you are informed of what applies to your exam.
If you have been asked to use pen and paper for your exam you should also have received instructions of what actions to take once you have completed your exam. In some cases students are asked to use their phones to take a photo of the paper with the written answers and submitting it electronically within a window of time. You can also face demands related to the originals, that might be required to be sent in by post. The invigilator will in such cases note down the time at which the exam has been submitted and will follow it up with the photos sent. To prepare for such as exam you can download a pdf scanner that can help convert a photo on your phone to a pdf document.
There might be specific instructions regarding when you can leave once you have submitted your exam. Make sure that you know what applies in your case by reading the instructions carefully.
If your speaker is turned off you might not realise that the exam time has run out and that you have failed to submit your answer on time. Make sure that you keep a track of time so that you do not risk failing because of that.
Zoom is a very good tool if there is a need to use alternative forms of examinations such as:
- special arrangements in exams with extra time
- examination in smaller groups
- individual exam
- divided exam
- complementing with oral exam
It is important that you make sure that your examiner is informed well in time about your need for an alternative form of examination so that there is a chance for them to make such adjustments. Please note however that special arrangements are only available at the discretion of the examiner. You can read more about this on our pages about learning support for students with disabilities.
If you have followed the instructions above and the examiner grants an alternative form of examination you will be informed about it ahead of yoru exam. In practice it might mean that the examiner or the invigilator will create a break out room where you can sit on your own, have more time or conduct an oral examination.
Zoom offers a few features that make the tool more accessible for all students. They offer amongst others:
- the possibility to customize the font size of chat
- use Zoom with a screen reader
- manage all major workflows with just your keyboard
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