Lecturers at the Faculty of Law are angry about the third exam opportunity that students have been given. They’d prefer to administer the tests online, but exam committees at the UG have balked at this. Too many students cheated on the online exams.
Last week, the board of directors decided to create a third exam opportunity for students. They hoped to prevent students who should be quarantining from coming to on-site exams.
Lecturers at the law faculty worry that this will encourage students to dodge the first two exams en masse and go for the third opportunity. That would mean lecturers would have to make, administer, and check a third exam, potentially for all 120 courses at the faculty. ‘Once again, you ask us to do extra work’, said lecturer Mando Rachovitsa during a faculty council meeting.
‘Properly making, administering, and checking an exam is not easy’, says assistant professor Matthijs van Wolferen. ‘It’s genuinely a task that a majority of my colleagues agree is the most annoying, most time-consuming, and most challenging part of the job.’
Besides, with the infection rate still being so high, lecturers aren’t buzzing to walk among large groups of students, says lecturer Frank Veenstra. However, that is required of them during on-site exams, as they have to spot check students’ ID cards and books to make sure they’re not cheating.
The lecturers are arguing in favour of online exams. That would enable everyone to join in without getting close to other people, rendering the third exam opportunity unnecessary.
But the UG exam committees balk at this, says law faculty dean Wilbert Kolkman. ‘They say that the quality of online exams pales in comparison to on-site ones. Or that online exams have to meet at least twenty different requirements or the exams will be considered invalid. And we don’t want to run that risk.’
During the public section of the faculty council meeting, the dean refused to ‘expand on the incredibly high number of cases of cheating and different ways for students to cheat, but a lot of the exam committees say it’s a no go.’