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Coronavirus – Update: Details on courses and examinations

Further details on teaching and examination due to current regulations and resolutions

Covid-19 Update 12.04.2020

The current situation makes reliable planning of the semester - courses and examinations - considerably more difficult. The longer-term development of the infection figures cannot be reliably predicted, but a renewed increase can be expected. The TU Wien has a responsibility towards its lecturers and students, therefore the Rectorate decided that online substitutable teaching including examinations should be converted into distance learning formats for the winter semester 2020.

Winter semester 2020

This was not an easy decision to make, but we have to make it possible for students to complete their studies under these conditions, and currently there is no other option. In order to make the changeover as easy as possible, 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.

The Dean of Studies, teachers and also the Studability Mailbox have received feedback from students that the necessary infrastructure for taking online exams is not available. In order not to exclude anybody from the possibility of taking exams, it was therefore decided to support students with additional measures and to provide them with a place in a room at TU Wien where they can take their online exams. The following process was developed for this purpose:

  1. If students are unable to take the online examination in the prescribed form, they should report this to the examiner with a problem description
  2. The examiner decides whether the examination can be carried out in parallel in one room at TU Wien. The on-site supervision is to be organised by the examiner.
  3. The examiner shall inform of the room requirements and the reasons for the examination
  4. The central teaching and learning room management provides an appropriate room
  5. Students are requested by the LVA management to send their application for an on-site examination place, including the reasons, to

Important legal information

  • Recording of online tests:
    The recording of exams is permitted if the students and the examiners explicitly agree. This consent can be obtained, for example, by e-mail or by checking a box in TUWEL or similar. If students do not agree to the recording, the examination may not be recorded. Under no circumstances may consent to the recording be set as an examination requirement (e.g. "By taking the examination you consent to the recording" or "By activating the camera you consent to the recording"). The recording of an examination must be kept in a data protection-compliant manner and deleted at the latest two weeks after the announcement of the result.
  • Principle of the publicity of oral examinations:
    This principle must also be observed for oral online examinations. When registering, interested listeners must be given the opportunity to register as listeners. It is not necessary to verify identity, as any person can listen in on oral examinations. The number of listeners must be limited in view of the technical possibilities available. On the day of the exam (or shortly before it) the listeners will receive the corresponding access data and instructions (e.g. camera and microphone off).
  • No change of the examination mode in online format:
    The originally announced examination mode of the course must also be observed in online mode. The regulations of the ordinance for the summer semester (merging of test dates, omission of partial performances, etc.) is no longer legally possible.

February 2021

As February 2021 is a particularly uncertain month for planning and offers considerably less time for catching up on examinations than the summer holidays, the available resources must be allocated in an optimised way for presence examinations. However, it cannot be ruled out that these will have to be converted to an online format at very short notice due to suddenly occurring tightening of the restrictions, so that appropriate online formats must also be planned for all attendance examinations.

In order to create appropriate resources for the particularly critical presence examinations, all room bookings already entered must therefore be deleted centrally, as was already the case in the summer semester 2020, and the associated approvals must be revoked.

Only the timetable coordinators are authorised to make room bookings for February 2021 (see examination scheduling May 2020).

Summer Semester 2021

The Rectorate has decided that the summer semester 2021 should be planned similarly to the winter semester 2020/21. 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 system (keyword cohort regulation). Cleaning times of at least one hour for cohort changes will also continue to be necessary.

When announcing the courses for the 2021 summer semester, it must therefore be stated that, in the event of a further change in the framework conditions, the course and the examination will be held in online format. When announcing the courses for the summer semester 2021, it shall be stated exactly in which online format the course and the online examination will be held (e.g. instead of written, oral examination, or cancellation of partial performances, etc.), as well as a description of the change in the assessment criteria caused by the conversion to the online format.

Details of the room booking process will be sent out separately by the central teaching and learning room management.

Thank you for your support and understanding!
Kurt Matyas, Vice Rector Academic Affairs

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