1.     Introduction

All University examinations are governed by regulations and this policy relates to examinations/assessments that are scheduled using a proctored online delivery method.

This Policy aims to clarify the roles and responsibilities of Faculties/Schools, and students in relation to the provision of online-proctored examinations/assessments at the University.

Without prejudice to the General Examination Rules of the University, a Candidate taking an Examination via Online Assessment either at Swansea or remotely must also abide by the following rules laid down in these Special Examination Regulations.

2.     Definitions

In this Policy, the terms below have the following meanings: 

“Appeal”: the request for a review of a decision of an academic body charged with making decisions on student progression, assessment and award.

“Assessment”: any processes that evaluate the outcomes of student learning in terms of knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and abilities.

“Candidate”: the individual taking an Examination/assessment.

 “Examination”: a formal test that evaluates student learning in terms of knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and abilities.

 “Academic Misconduct”: any act whereby a person may obtain for themselves or for another, an unpermitted advantage.

 “Video Proctored Online Examination”: an examination conducted remotely through online examination software, during which the candidate is not monitored permanently by onsite invigilator, but for which control and monitoring takes place afterwards, on the basis of video and audio recordings made throughout the complete duration of the examination.

3.     Consent

The University’s privacy notice states that the University will use student information for ‘Recordings/reviews of remote assessments in order to provide a remote proctoring solution for assessments 7(1)(e)’ and therefore consent is not required.

4.     Dates and Times

  • Candidates will be informed on the date and time of their examination either by the University Examinations Office or by the Faculty/School.
  • Candidates are responsible for correctly noting the dates and times of their Examination(s)/Assessment(s).
  • Candidates will be expected to begin their examination on time and will not normally be permitted to start examinations/assessments late without the express permission of their Faculty/School.

5.     Faculty/School Responsibilities

  • Faculties/Schools should provide students with appropriate training on the use of the relevant online-proctored software for example by running a practice test.
  • Where online-proctored examinations are required by a professional body Faculty/Schools should clearly inform students of any specific requirements relating to the examination.
  • Faculty/Schools should provide clear written instruction to students prior to the start of the examination/assessment including reference to what physical/online resources can be used, whether communication with a third party is permitted and guidance on referencing requirements.
  • The Faculty/School Disability Coordinator(s) will ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place for students with disabilities, mental health difficulties and/or related medical conditions.
  • Faculties/Schools shall provide feedback on the examinations/assessment in accordance with the University’s Assessment, Marking and Feedback policy.
  • Faculties/Schools will ensure that candidates have access to the relevant technical support required.

6.     University Responsibilities

  • The University shall provide appropriate software for the use in online-proctored examinations.
  • The Examinations Office/Faculty/School will ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place for students with disabilities, mental health difficulties and/or related medical conditions in relation to all examinations under its authority.
  • The Examinations Office/Faculty/School will ensure that candidates have access to the relevant technical support required.

7.     Candidates' Responsibilities

  • Candidates are expected to agree to supply some personal information for the purpose of verification. This is a requirement to maintain the academic integrity of the exam.
  • Candidates must prove their identity prior to the examination by means of a valid student ID. Candidates may be asked to take a photograph of themselves (using the webcam) with a valid proof of identity, which includes a closely resembling photograph. This may be checked and verified by a member of university staff.
  • Candidates must satisfy the following requirements for the setup of the computer and webcam that are used during the examination/assessment:
    1. Desktop sharing software should not be installed and activated on the computer.
    2. The webcam and microphone required for the exam should be enabled and running.
    3. The webcam should be focused on the candidate taking the examination at all times.
    4. The Candidate's face should be positioned in the centre of the webcam view and must be visible throughout the duration of the examination.
    5. Nothing may cover the lens of the webcam at any time during the examination.
  • Candidates must be present in the virtual examination/assessment at the time mentioned in the examination notice;
  • Candidates must follow the instructions of the examination/assessment set out by the University.
  • Candidates must answer their examination questions in accordance with the instructions on the front of the examination paper.
  • Candidates are required to write their answers in English, unless either it is clear from the question that a foreign language is to be used or special arrangements have been made in advance in accordance with Guidelines on Assessment or Examination in Welsh or in a Language other than the Language of Tuition.
  • Candidates who believe that an error has been made in the content of an examination/assessment question should report this after their exam sitting to the Examinations Office/Faculty/School (as applicable); however, no amendments or clarifications may be made during the examination and candidates are instructed to complete the examination question as far as they are able with the information provided.
  • Candidates experiencing technical difficulties during the examination/assessment should following the instructions given to them regarding technical support and report any unresolved difficulties to their Faculty/School as soon as possible.
  • Communication of examination paper content with other candidates is forbidden before, during and after the examination.
  • Candidate must be dressed, behave decently and maintain professional conduct at all times.
  • Candidates must complete their examination/assessment by the deadline specified.
  • Late submissions will be dealt with in accordance with the Faculty/School Late Submission Policy.
  • Candidates should report any extenuating circumstances relating to the examination/assessment in line with the University’s Policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment.
  • Candidates must treat the Examination Materials as strictly confidential.
    • Candidates are not allowed to take with them (or parts of) the Examination Materials, or to copy, photograph or in any way reproduce these, inform third parties of the contents of Examination Materials, or provide these to third parties in any way.
    • All rights, including the copy rights and other intellectual property rights that can be exercised with regard to the Examination materials, vest and remain to vest exclusively with the University.
    • The candidate may only use the examination materials as far as this is necessary for taking the examination.

8.     Specific Provision

The University shall make reasonable adjustments for candidates with specific requirements, in compliance with the requirements of prevailing legislation, notably the Equality Act 2010.

In the case of examinations delivered through the University Examinations Office, students who have been assessed and registered as requiring a specific provision shall be referred to the Examinations Office by the University’s Disability Office or Wellbeing Services. The Disability Office or Wellbeing Services shall make recommendations to the Examinations Office regarding the provisions which are to be made for each referred student in accordance with point 12 of the Regulations and Procedures for the Operation of Examinations.

For Faculty/School assessments, the Faculty/School shall be responsible for putting in place any provisions made for each referred student.

Candidates with approved additional writing time/rest breaks will have this time automatically added to their exam duration.

9.     Academic Misconduct

9.1   Academic Integrity

To ensure the integrity of the examination/assessment, candidates:

  • Should take the examination/assessment in a private personal space.
  • Should take steps to ensure that no other person enters the room during the examination/test.
  • Should only take into the examination/assessment permitted items (as specified in the Examination/Faculty/School instructions).
  • Will normally remain in the room once the examination has started. However, where breaks are required, for example toilet breaks, candidates should explain the reason for leaving the room and the examination/assessment should be left running to log that the candidate has moved outside of the camera’s view. After the examination/assessment has been completed, any flagged issues will be reviewed and candidates may be required to provide further clarification.
  • Should face the computer screen during the examination and be in view of the camera throughout the examination/assessment.
  • Should not take screen shots during the examination.
  • Should not copy and paste any elements of the examination/assessment.
  • Should not talk aloud during the examination.
  • Should not attempt to try to communicate with another person during the examination/assessment.
  • Should not access the internet and/or to consult digital data, web pages or other applications, unless this is explicitly permitted in the examination/assessment instructions
  • Should not wear earplugs or headphones.
  • Should not use a virtual machine, second monitor, mobile phone or any unauthorised electronic device during the examination/assessment

9.2 Academic Misconduct

Candidates must ensure that they are familiar with the contents of the University's Academic Misconduct Policy.  

Academic misconduct in examinations/assessment(s) or class tests can include (but is not restricted to) the following prohibited activities:  

  • introduction into an examination/online proctored assessment/in-class test any unauthorised form of material such as a book, manuscript, data or loose papers, information obtained via an electronic device or any source of unauthorised information;
  • copying from, or communication with, any other person in the examination, except as authorised by the Faculty/School;
  • communication electronically with any unauthorised person;
  • being in possession of any unauthorised electronic device capable of communicating with other devices or other people;
  • impersonating an examination candidate, or allow oneself to be impersonated;
  • presenting evidence of special circumstances to examination boards which is false, or falsified, or which in any way misleads or could mislead examination boards;
  • presenting an examination script as one’s own work when the script includes material produced by unauthorised means. 

Answers should be entirely the candidate’s work without unacknowledged input from others; should a candidate be in doubt, they should clearly acknowledge the origin of any material, text passages or ideas presented (e.g. through references and quotation marks).

Plagiarism detection software will be used. 

Any suspected attempts to commit Academic Misconduct will be dealt with in accordance with the University’s Academic Misconduct procedures.

10.   Extenuating Circumstances

The University recognises that students’ study and preparation for assessment may on occasion be affected by a range of factors, including extenuating circumstances, and that students may on occasion be unable to complete assessments.

A student who is affected by extenuating circumstances either before/during or after an online examination/assessment should contact their Faculty/School in line with the University’s Policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment.

11.   Appeals

Appeals will be considered and conducted in accordance with the University’s Appeals Process