Brightspace mistake: four hundred medical students have to retake exam

Four hundred third-year medical students have to retake an exam they sat in early October because there was some confusion about which buttons they had to click in the new digital learning environment of Brightspace.

The exam consisted of two parts: an open-book section and a closed-book one. 

In Nestor, which Brightspace replaces, students needed to click the button ‘submit’ to move from the first section to the second. But in Brightspace, there were two buttons: ‘submit’ and ‘next’. 

While the students were supposed to click ‘next’, seventy-five out of the four hundred clicked ‘submit’ instead. This resulted in them handing in their entire exam, which meant they had to leave the exam room without completing the second section. 


‘The Brightspace interface is the main reason this went wrong’, says UG spokesperson Elies Kouwenhoven. After the incident, the exam committee decided to reject all four hundred exams. 

‘The UMCG is very upset that this happened’, says Kouwenhoven. ‘Especially since they administer a relatively large number of exams. That’s the reason they were the first ones to figure this out.’ 

According to the spokesperson, the university is working hard on finding a solution for the interface issue. It should be implemented before the start of the exam period next week. 



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