The current situation makes reliable planning for the semester - courses and exams - very difficult. The long-term development of the infection figures cannot be reliably predicted, but a renewed increase is to be expected. TU Wien has a responsibility towards its teachers and students, which is why the Rectorate has decided that teaching that can be substituted online, including examinations, should be implemented in distance learning formats for the winter semester 2020.
Winter semester 2020
This decision was not taken easy, but there is no alternative and the Rectorate is well aware of the consequences. In order to facilitate the changeover in the best possible way, a comprehensive support strategy for the adaptation of teaching and examinations to online formats has been developed. The Distance Learning Team of TU Wien has been implementing this strategy since the beginning of the lockdown, especially in the area of online examinations.
Deans of Academic Affairs, lecturers and also the letterbox on studyability, opens an external URL in a new window have received feedback from students that they cannot afford the necessary infrastructure to take part in online exams. In order not to exclude anyone from the possibility of taking exams, it was therefore decided to support students with additional measures. In order to keep the risk of infection as low as possible and to conserve the limited room capacities, we ask you to use this support only in cases of real need. There are two ways for students to receive support:
- If students are unable to take the online examination in the prescribed form, they should report this to the examiner with a statement of the problem
- The examiner decides whether the examination can be carried out in parallel in a room at TU Wien. The on-site supervision is to be organised by the examiner. Possibly, another alternative solution can be found with them.
- The central teaching and learning room management provides an appropriate room.
- Students are requested by the course management to send their on-site examination place request, including reasons, to email@example.com in order to get an idea of what the problem is and to be able to make further optimisations in the process.
- If the examiner is not able to organise on-site supervision, it is also possible to report this via the address firstname.lastname@example.org. The central teaching and learning room management will then provide you with a room for taking the exam. This means that you can use a stable W-Lan connection throughTU Wien and bring your own equipment (depending on the examination requirements). Another advantage is that you do not have to reveal your private premises.
Withdrawal from examinations - Non-attendance at examinations without withdrawal
On behalf of your colleagues, we ask you to deregister from examinations as soon as you know that you will not be taking them. This is the only way to avoid a situation where - as has unfortunately been the case very often in the last few months - on the one hand there is a feeling that there are too few examination places available, but on the other hand examination places are forfeited.
Please also note that an examination suspension can be imposed for unexcused non-attendance at an examination!
Important legal information
- Recording of online examinations:
The recording of examinations is permitted if the students and the examiner expressly agree. Consent can be obtained, for example, by email or via a checkbox in TUWEL or similar. If students do not agree to the recording, the examination may not be recorded. Under no circumstances may consent to recording be stipulated as an examination requirement (e.g. "By taking the examination, you consent to recording" or "By activating the camera, you consent to recording"). The recording of an examination must be kept in accordance with data protection requirements and deleted no later than two weeks after the announcement of the assessment.
- Principle of publicity of oral examinations:
This principle must also be observed in online oral examinations. Interested members of the audience must be able to register as listeners during the registration process. A verification of identity is not necessary, as any person can listen to oral examinations. The number of listeners is to be limited with regard to the available technical possibilities. On the day of the examination (or shortly before), the listeners receive the corresponding access data and instructions on how to behave (e.g. camera and microphone off).
- No change of the examination mode in the online format:
The originally announced examination mode of the LVA must also be adhered to in the online mode. The regulations of the ordinance for the summer semester (combining test dates, omission of partial performances, etc.) is no longer legally possible.
As February 2021 creates particular planning uncertainty and offers significantly less time for making up exams in contrast to the summer holidays, the available resources must be optimally allocated for attendance exams. The security requirements to be met significantly reduce the capacities of the rooms. Therefore, a large part of the examinations in February will also have to be conducted online. Even in the case of face-to-face examinations, however, it cannot be ruled out that they will have to be converted to an online format at very short notice due to sudden tightening of the restrictions.
Summer Semester 2021
The Rectorate has decided that the summer semester 2021 will be planned similarly to the winter semester 2020/21 with a focus on distance learning. The concept of semester lecture halls will be retained and the compulsory courses of the first year of study will be planned in a hybrid mode (keyword cohort regulation). Cleaning times of at least one hour for cohort changes within a room will also continue to be necessary.
When announcing the courses for the summer semester 2021, it will already be stated in which online format the course and the online examination will be held should the case arise that new changes in the framework conditions force a changeover to distance teaching: e.g. instead of written, oral examination, or omission of partial achievements, etc. Likewise, where necessary, a description of the changes in assessment criteria resulting from the conversion to an online format will be published.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this challenging situation for all of us. I wish you much success with your online examinations and relaxing holidays, and above all a healthy year 2021.
Kurt Matyas, Vice Rector Academic Affairs