Rector’s Ordinance of May 8, 2020 on conducting diploma examinations by using Information Technology

dr hab. szt. Alicja Snoch-Pawłowska

30.05.2020

 

 The Ordinance of the Rector
of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin
no. 33/2020
of May 8, 2020

 on conducting diploma examinations by using Information Technology
in relation to preventing the spread of SARS-COV-2 among the community
of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin

Pursuant to Article 23, section 2, item 2 of the Act of July 20, 2018, Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 85) and in relation to the Act of March 2, 2020 on special solutions with regard to the prevention, counteracting and eradication of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 374 as amended) with regard to the Article 63 item 4 of the Act of April 16, 2020 on specific support instruments in connection with the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 695), it is ordered as follows:

General provisions
§ 1

  1. In the face of the prolonged epidemic and the limitation of the direct education at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, it shall be recommended that until September 30, 2020 the diploma examinations shall be conducted outside the University as well as outside its branch by using Information Technology assuring the control of their processes and recording them. The Faculty Dean shall decide about the form of the diploma examination.
  2. The diploma examination conducted by using Information Technology shall be performed solely by means of online video conferencing by Teams application, within the framework of a University license Microsoft Office 365 as well as by using the University employees' work accounts. The process of the diploma exam may be registered in the Microsoft Teams application. The Vice-Rector in charge of students education may agree to conduct the diploma examination using another equivalent tool.
  3. The student taking the diploma examination using the tool referred to in item 2, shall be obliged to have access to a computer or other device equipped with a microphone and
    a camera, allowing for real-time two-way audio and video communication, connected to the Internet, as well as shall have access to the Teams application (or other application, platform, if has been selected) and the knowledge of using this tool.
  4. The participation in the diploma examination using the tool referred to in item 2, shall be tantamount to agreeing to the possibility of recording its process with the participation of the student and all members of the Examination Board.
  5. A diploma examination using the tool referred to in item 2 shall be conducted according to the procedure specified in the present Ordinance in § 2.

The process of the diploma examination conducted by using
Information Technology
assuring the control of its processes and recording it
§ 2

  1. After fulfilling all the conditions specified in the UMCS Study Regulations, the student preparing for the diploma examination shall submit a copy of the diploma thesis in the form of a PDF file downloaded from the Archive of Theses System (hereinafter referred to as APD) to the relevant Dean’s Office via e-mail, in the version containing control numbers, as well as with the scans of necessary statements, in compliance with the diploma principles applied at the Faculty.
  2. A designated Dean’s office employee shall verify the correctness of submitted documents, the compatibility of control numbers in the sent PDF file with the numbers indicated in the USOS system and the status of work in the APD system.
  3. The diploma examination may take place providing that the diploma thesis is at stage 5 (thesis ready for defence) in the Archive of Theses System (APD).
  4. The Dean of the Faculty deciding to conduct the diploma examination by using Information Technology, shall set the due date of the diploma examination (i.e. date and time) as well as appoint the Examination Board to conduct the diploma examination in accordance with the procedures applied at the Faculty.
  5. The Dean of the Faculty may additionally appoint a faculty employee to perform the function of the technical support for the Chairperson of the Examination Board in the scope of servicing equipment and programs as well as conducting the diploma examination properly.
  6. Sign language interpreters as well as assistants of people with mobility impairments and blind people may participate in diploma examinations performed by means of online video conferencing, referred to in § 1, item 2. Persons assisting students with disabilities shall have the consent of the Faculty Dean in order to participate in diploma examinations. The Dean of the Faculty shall have the right to refuse the participation of the assistant during a diploma examination if this person is substantively or professionally related to the subject of the diploma thesis which the student shall defend.
  7. After receiving the notification about the date of the examination, the Chairperson of the Examination Board or the person responsible for technical support shall create a meeting in the calendar in the Teams application entitled “Diploma examination [name, surname and (student's album number)]”, and shall invite the student and other members of the Examination Board to take part in it. Participants shall immediately confirm the receipt of the invitation using the Teams application. In the case of using other tools or programs - in accordance with the Dean’s guidelines.
  8. On the day of the exam, starting 10 minutes before the scheduled start time, the dissertation advisor, reviewer and the student shall be required to be available in front of the device with the running Teams’ application or other one (if has been selected).
  9. At the scheduled time of the diploma examination, the Chairperson of the Examination Board or the person responsible for technical support shall organise a group conversation (“chat”) through the Teams application and shall call the members of the Examination Board and the student taking the exam to connect. In the case of using other programs - according to the Dean’s guidelines.
  10. The Chairperson of the Examination Board shall have the option of recording the process of the diploma examination. Other members of the Examination Board and the student shall be prohibited from recording the process of the diploma examination, both through the Teams application and other technical means.
  11. During the diploma examination, cameras and microphones of all persons participating in the examination (the student and members of the Examination Board) must be switched on, except for the person responsible for technical support, if such a person has been appointed by the Dean of the Faculty.
  12. After receiving the call, and thereby joining the meeting referred to in item 8 by the student and all members of the Examination Board, its Chairperson verifies the student’s identity. The student taking the diploma examination is obliged to present a student ID.
  13. Before taking the substantive part of the exam, the Chairperson of the Examination Board shall explain to the student technical issues related to the process of the diploma examination as well as the consequences of delinking the video conference (the loss of the connection) before its ending.
  14. At the request of the Chairperson of the Examination Board, the student taking examination shall be obliged to facilitate, by using a camera in his/her device, the room where he/she shall be during the diploma examination.
  15. In the event that the thesis presentation is required during the diploma examination, the student who is taking the exam shall make accessible the entire desktop of his/her device referred to in § 1 item 2 to the members of the Examination Board. The shared desktop shall contain only a presentation of the thesis or a file with the thesis. During the entire examination, only a file with the thesis or the presentation of the thesis and possibly related applications may be on the student’s desktop, provided that the student's face must be visible. It is unacceptable for the student to use applications which may help to answer questions during the examination. The desktop presented during the presentation shall be the only screen available for the student during the examination.
  16. The student taking the exam shall be facing the camera so that his/her face shall occupy at least 40% of the area covered by the camera. The student shall also look at the screen throughout the exam. The image from the student’s camera shall be unmodified. It is forbidden to use additional image modification software, including tools used to modify the background or to add effects.
  17. The student’s non-adherence to the rules referred to in items 11-16 may be a basis for breaking and cancelling the diploma examination by the Chairperson of the Examination Board.
  18. If the student’s answer during the exam requires a written form, it shall be written by the student on a piece of paper and presented to the camera.
  19. The diploma examination shall be conducted in compliance with the diploma principles applied at the Faculty. The Chairperson of the Examination Board shall be required to compile a diploma examination report. The report shall include the video conferencing form of conducting the examination.
  20. When all parts of the diploma examination are completed, the video conference with the student shall be disconnected. During the secret part of the examination, the Examination Board shall determine the grade for the diploma thesis, the grade for the diploma examination, and in the case of a positive result of the diploma examination, also the final result of studies.
  21. After reconnecting with the student, the Chairperson of the Examination Board shall announce the grade for the diploma thesis and the result of the diploma examination determined by the Examination Board. In the case of a positive result of the diploma examination, the Chairperson of the Examination Board shall announce the result of studies and the decision to obtain the appropriate professional title.
  22. The report about the process of the diploma examination shall be prepared by the Chairperson of the Examination Board and sent to all members of the Examination Board in an electronic version. Each of them shall respond in the form of an e-mail message that they accept the report, and then they shall sign the printed copy and send it to the relevant Dean’s Office in order to store it in the student’s file. After the period of restrictions on the functioning of the University, all members of the Examination Board are required to complete the signatures of the final copy of the report.

§ 3

  1. If during the examination the connection with a student, dissertation advisor or reviewer is interrupted, the Chairperson of the Examination Board or the person responsible for technical support shall attempt to reconnect it, whereby such an attempt shall be made up to three times in a 15-minute period.
  2. If it is not possible to reconnect with all participants of the diploma examination, the Chairperson of the Examination Board shall make the decision about the necessity of retaking the examination at another time. In such a situation, if the student has already managed to answer part of the questions, the Chairperson may consider that the retaken diploma examination shall be a resumption of the previous examination which was interrupted. All participants of the examination shall be informed about this fact by the Chairperson of the Examination Board via e-mail. The resumption of the diploma examination shall mean determining the content of only those examination questions that were not answer by the student due to the loss of the connection.
  3. The loss of the connection, the interruption of the exam and the decision about retaking it shall be recorded in the examination report.

Proceedings after completing the diploma examination
§ 4

  1. In the case of a positive result of the diploma examination, a designated Dean’s office employee shall prepare a University diploma and then via e-mail call on the student to complete the required documents.
  2. The student who has taken the diploma examination by using Information Technology shall immediately send to the relevant Dean’s office following documents: one copy of the thesis printed from the Archive of Theses System (APD), necessary statements, photos for the graduate degree diploma as well as other documents in compliance with the diploma principles applied at the Faculty. The copy of the thesis and the necessary statements must be identical to the PDF file and scans sent to the Dean’s Office before taking the diploma examination.
  3. After submitting the documents referred to in item 2, the student shall receive the graduate degree diploma in person, at the relevant Dean’s Office in the allotted time. The Faculty Dean may, in particularly justified cases, consent to sending the graduate degree diploma by registered letter with the return receipt to the correspondence address provided by the student.

Final provisions
§ 5

  1. If a decision about conducting the diploma examination at the University as well as in its branch is made, the Dean of Faculties shall be obliged to conduct it in accordance with all safety rules, i.e. in particular, keeping the distance, specifying the exact times of persons participating in the examination, assuming breaks between individual diploma examinations and providing disinfectants.
  2. If the student obtains a negative grade at the diploma examination conducted by using Information Technology, a retake diploma examination shall take place at the University or in its branch, after agreeing with the Dean of the Faculty under conditions specified in the aforementioned item 1 or after resuming direct education.
  3. At the student’s justified request, a retake diploma examination may be conducted by using  Information Technology, subject to § 6 of this ordinance.

§ 6

The ordinance shall become effective on the day of signature and shall apply until further notice, however not longer than until September 30, 2020.



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