How online state exams look like in practice

Stress, sweat, shaking of limbs. That’s what the students of the final year at the Faculty of Medicine of the CU are experiencing in these days, sitting comfortably at the computer in their bedrooms. Distance state examination started at the Faculty on Monday.

10. 04. 2020 11.16 hod.
By: CU's Public Relations Office

Preparations took them 2 weeks

The Faculty had to change the course of state examinations two weeks ago. Personal face-to-face meeting was replaced by an online call by the means of MS Teams. ”Classrooms of the Faculty on Moskovská Street were transformed last week.  We distributed the necessary hardware equipment, members of the state examination committees attended trainings. We had a rehearsal on Friday to make sure that everything works, and state examinations have been taking place since Monday without any problems,” explained Katarína Soroková, computation center manager of the Faculty of Medicine of the CU.

Cell phones only in special cases

Students log into MS Teams via their university email addresses. Instructions how to use MS Teams can be found in a short video. To make sure everything goes well, one day before the state exam the chairman of the committee contacts his study group and they have another small ”rehearsal” together. Should there be a problem during the state exam, there’s no need to worry. ”In case of technical issues all students have a phone number of a member of the state examination committee whom they can contact. Therefore, they don’t have to worry that they would not be permitted to take the exam,” reassures Peter Jackuliak, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the CU.

For the aforementioned reasons, and to maintain a constant visual contact, students are advised to use computers with webcams or notebooks. Cell phones should be used only in inevitable cases, since they should be used primarily for contacting the committee in case of a technical problem. ”We try to take an individual approach. A student who doesn’t have any other possibility of the connection can use a cell phone after a previous agreement with the chairman of the committee, but this concerns only special cases,” points out Peter Jackuliak.

Two students at a time

The number of students ”in the room” doesn’t differ from regular exams. Students will receive a timetable beforehand together with a notice to be online 15 minutes before and after the exam, just in case of need. They choose a number and the teacher reads out loud the corresponding question. The question numbers are not identical with the list of questions available on the webpage, because the committee mixes the questions every morning and assigns them new numbers. Two students attend the examination at once, they can alternate in answering the questions. They both log off only when both are finished with the examination. The results of the examinations are presented to the students at the end of the day when the chairman of the committee calls all of them to an online meeting.

Visual control of the room

Online examination raises questions about the possibilities of cheating, but this can be controlled. A student may be asked to show his or her surroundings and desktop. The exam is also adjusted to the conditions by taking place in the form of a discussion. ”We try to have a constant discussion between the students and the committee. Students were informed that they would have less time for preparation than usual. Teachers try to guide them in the case of need by additional questions, so again, no worries,” Jackuliak added.