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    Written exams from home

    Considering the current exceptional circumstances, the exams will be organised somewhat differently. Written exams can take place in two ways. Discover more about these different forms of examination and how to participate.

    Secured online exams with Respondus Lockdown Browser

    Online exams take place from your own home, via your own computer. To avoid irregularities, these online exams will be conducted via a 'Respondus Lockdown Browser'. This prevents other programmes or webpages to be opened temporarily while taking the exam. Your teacher might opt to add a second layer of security, in that case you'll be filmed (image and sound) via your webcam while making the exam. 

    Make sure to install Respondus before the exams start and test it out, in order to avoid any surprises during your exam. Important: If you've installed LockDown Browser in the previous exam period, make sure to update it. Click in the taskbar in the top right corner on the information icon and click "check for the newer version". (see a printscreen)

    LockDown Browser doesn't work if you've installed a Virtual Machine. A Virtual Machine, like Bluestacks, makes sure you can use your mobile apps (such as Whatsapp) or other operating systems on your computer. You'll need to remove these in order to use LockDown Browser. Contact helpdesk@vub.be if you need help with this. Afterwards, make sure to test if LockDown Browser works via this test.

    Exams on paper from home

    It's also possible that you will be asked to fill out your exams on paper, from home. In this case, you take pictures of your exam after you finish, and upload them to Canvas. You will be taking these photos with 'Microsoft lens', an app you need to install on your smartphone.

    Make sure to install this app before the exams start, and test it out. 

    Oral exams from home

    Online oral exams can take place in 2 forms: Via Microsoft Teams or via the conference-tool in Canvas.

    Specfic instructions on your oral exams will be communicated by your professors on Canvas. Please make sure to keep an eye on the notifications.

    Microsoft Teams

    Install MS Teams beforehand using this step-by-step plan (it's a free tool for all VUB students). All information on how to use Teams can be found on www.vub.be/teams.

    A few important things:

    • Add your lecturer as a contact person, so you can see whether he/she is available, or still in conversation with the student before you (more info).
    • In most cases, you will receive an invitation for the oral exam in advance. You can participate directly on the day of the exam by clicking 'Join Microsoft Teams meeting' on the event in your calendar. If you received a link in advance, you can open the link at the time of the exam. Choose to open the meeting via MS Teams application.
    • The way in which the exam is organised depends on your lecturer. You will receive the necessary instructions from your lecturer beforehand. Keep an eye on Canvas for this.
    • Do you want to test MS Teams in advance? Check the tips in this video!

    Conference in Canvas (BigBlueButton)

    BigBlueButton, or BBB for short, is the meeting-tool in Canvas. You can find BBB under 'Conferences' on the left in your course menu in Canvas. You don't have to install anything for this. For an oral exam through the conference tool in Canvas, you will receive an invitation in advance by email.

    A few important things:

    • Use the most recent version of Chrome or Firefox (check in advance if an update is needed)
    • Set your preferences in Canvas to receive notifications by email (more info).
    • Mark in your calendar when your exam will take place and through which tool/link. If necessary, copy the link to the oral exam in your online calendar.
    • Be on time for the exam. As soon as the teacher has started the meeting in Canvas, you can participate. You can do so through the ‘Join’ button under the tab 'Conferences' in the Canvas course (more info) or via the link you received by mail.
    • Once in the meeting, you will be asked to test your audio (choose to participate with your microphone) and share your webcam (more info).
    • Do you wanna test BigBlueButton? You can do that here!

    Tips & Tricks

    Make sure you're prepared for your exam from home, by going over these notes:

    • It's really important that you install and test the tools to be used beforehand! Take part in the test moments and/or mock exams organised by the study programmes or set up your own test moments with fellow students. That way, you won’t be confronted by any unpleasant surprises on the day of the exam.
    • In the event of technical problems, contact the ICT Helpdesk asap at helpdesk@vub.be.
    • Find a quiet place to take the exam, where you won't be disturbed. Inform your roommates about when your exam will take place and ask them to limit their internet use, if possible.
    • Make sure to go to the toilet first. If you need a bathroom break, read what you should do here.
    • Lay out all the materials allowed (books, notes, pencil or pen, scrap paper ...). If necessary, have tissues and a glass of water to hand, but other than that, try to create a workspace that is as empty as possible.
    • Take place in front of your computer ahead of time and wait for the lecturer to invite you/call you for your exam. Also bear in mind that exams before yours may run late and incorporate this in your schedule.
    • Has your computer been on for a few hours? Restart it about 15-30 minutes before your exam starts. 
    • Make sure you are clearly visible on the webcam. For example, do not sit directly in front of a window as this will create a shadow on your face.
    • Make sure roommates burden the internet as little as possible (no streaming/downloading), to avoid internet problems during your exam.

    Any more questions? We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers for you.