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Teaching and examinations

Before teaching

1.1. How do I comply with the university’s rules for teaching?

The teaching must be organised on the basis of the description in the programme regulations. There are two programme regulations:

  • One for the course of study
  • One for all of the humanities joint requirements
  • In case of an elective subject, the special course description that is made for the elective subject must be followed


It is not permitted to organise according to other criteria than those that are described in the programme regulations/course description.
 
You may find the programme regulations/course description on SDU’s website. Click on the pages that are intended for students. If in doubt, you can ask the degree programme secretary.
 
The programme regulations will typically state something about the content of the instruction, especially forms of work in the subject and the scope of the examination syllabus. There will also be a detailed description of the objectives for the subject and a description of how the examination is to be carried out. If you have further subject-specific questions, you must contact the Head of Studies.

See following examples.

1.2. What should be included in a course description?

A course description for an elective subject must comply with the faculty’s guidelines for preparing a description of objectives and exam regulations. See the template here.

The course description must be approved by the study board. If you have questions about the preparation of the course description, you must contact the Head of Studies, who can refer you to the person responsible for the course.

1.3. When are the students obligated to attend classes?

The programme regulations/course description will state whether class attendance is part of the examination type. Class attendance is included in the assessment of the exam performance only if it is specifically stated in the course description.

1.4. When does the semester start?

The spring semester starts on 1 February.

The autumn semester starts on 1 September.

1.5. Where and how are the course plans published?

All communication with the students takes place via the Blackboard IT platform.

When your employment contract has been signed, you can be given access.

Contact IT service for help.

Maria Kyung Overgaard in the faculty: overgaard@sdu.dk can also help.

During teaching

2.1. When are the holidays?

See the website for information about public holidays in Denmark.

2.2. When are the exams held?
  • Spring semester: Exams are held in June and the re-examinations in August.
  • Fall semester: Exams are held in January, with re-examinations in February.

Always ask the examination secretary to get the exact dates.

 

2.3. May the students switch from one elective subject to another?

During the first three weeks after the start of the semester, the students may switch to another elective subject.

After that, their choice is binding.

 

2.4. What do you do if you must cancel or postpone teaching?

If you are ill, you are required to inform the students via the Blackboard IT platform and  to contact the degree programme secretary so that she also is informed. 

In case the class has to be moved, contact the degree programme secretary so that new rooms may be booked. Please inform the students about the new times and rooms via Blackboard.

 

2.5. What is the standard procedure for evaluation of teaching?

You are required to evaluate teaching in writing via an electronic form, and you must plan to spend time on this at the end of the course.

You will receive more information from your degree programme secretary.

You may also find guidelines about the system here.

2.6. What do you do if a student says that his or her health or personal situation prevents him or her from following the class?

A student who has not fulfilled the requirements  regarding teaching and exam regulations due to illness or other unusual conditions should contact  the study board for a dispensation.

It may be possible to give more time for an exam or to postpone the submission deadline.

If the student is ill at the time of the exam, he or she must notify Registration and Legality (the examinations office).

The university instructor is not authorized to give permission for these things him- or herself.

2.7. How should you warn against cheating in exams?

At the beginning of the course, all students will be informed about the rules for good academic practice, so they should know the rules – and cannot claim ignorance.

If you wish to remind them about the rules, you can refer them to this web page . You may inform them that it is their own responsibility to know the rules and that violations have consequences. Ignorance will not be recognized as an excuse.

 

Before the exam

3.1. What are the rules about the number of pages in written assignments?

The examination must be organised based on the description that is in the programme regulations. There are two programme regulations:

  • One for the course of study
  • One for all of the humanities joint requirements
  • In case of an elective subject, the special course description that is made for the elective subject must be followed.

It is not allowed to test according to criteria other than what is described in the programme regulations/course description.

The programme regulations describe the formal requirements for the exam, for example, the number of pages that the exam paper must have. The joint requirements clearly state definitions for the number of keystrokes for a standard page and what should be counted.

The students must use a special front page (supplied by the secretary, stating the specific requirements) when they submit written assignments. Here, the students must state the number of keystrokes, amongst other things.

If an exam paper does not meet a minimum or maximum number of keystrokes according to these guidelines, the response must be rejected.

Thus, it must not be assessed and the student has used one attempt.

 

3.2. What do you do if a student says that his or her health or personal situation prevents him or her from taking an exam?

A student who cannot participate in the exam must visit a doctor and obtain documentation for his or her illness. The documentation must be sent as soon as possible to Registration and Legality (the examinations office) (See 2.6).

Sometimes, the student may also be given permission to have the submission deadline for an assignment postponed. This permission is given by the study board, and also in this case a doctor’s certificate is required.

The university instructor must not give permission for these things himself or herself.

 

During the exam

4.1. What is the basis for marking?

The examination must be organised based on the description that is in the programme regulations. There are two programme regulations:

  • One for the course of study
  • One for all of the humanities joint requirements
  • In case of an elective subject, the special course description that is made for the elective subject must be followed

It is not allowed to test according to criteria other than what is described in the programme regulations/course description.

When you assess an exam, you must take the subject’s objectives as the starting point.

If marks are given according to the seven-point grading scale, you must use the Danish Ministerial Order on the Grading Scale and Other Forms of Assessment of University Education as the basis for assessing the degree to which the exam performance fulfils the objectives of the subject. 

If the assessment is passed/fail, you must evaluate whether the exam performance fulfils the objectives of the subject sufficiently. In other words, you must not attempt to have a specific distribution of marks, where at the time the mark is given you compare the performance with the performance of other students, but base it on the objectives of the subject.

The assessment must always be individual. If a student has worked with another student, the exam paper must state who has written the individual sections and an individual assessment must be given. If it is not stated who has written the individual sections, the exam paper must be rejected because it does not fulfil the requirements for individualization in the Danish Ministerial Order on University Examinations.

You must take notes of the assessment and save them for at least one year. The notes must be used in case of a complaint.

4.2. How do you fill out a protocol?

See the website about how to fill out a protocol (click "FAQ om eksamensprotokoller", english below).

4.3. What are the rules about the number of pages in written assignments?

The exam must be carried out based on the description in the programme regulations. There are two programme regulations:

  • One for the course of study
  • One for all of the humanities joint requirements
    In case of an elective subject, the special course description that is made for the elective subject must be followed

It is not allowed to carry out the exam following criteria other than those that are described in the programme regulations/course description.

The programme regulations describe the formal requirements for the exam, for example, the number of pages that the exam paper must have. The joint regulations clearly state definitions for the number of keystrokes for a standard page and what should be counted.

The students must use a special front page when they submit written assignments. Here, the students must state the number of keystrokes. (See 3.1)

If an exam paper does not meet a minimum or maximum number of keystrokes according to these guidelines, the response must be rejected. Thus, it must not be assessed and the student has used one attempt.

4.4. How do you discover cheating in exams?

 All exam papers less than 10 MB, which are submitted via the Blackboard IT platform, will be automatically checked for plagiarism and the reports can be read there.
Ask your degree programme secretary if you have questions about the system.

You can also read more here.

4.5. How do you report cheating in exams?

If you suspect examination irregularities, you must go to your Head of Studies.

The suspicion must be justified and documented using markings in the student’s exam paper.

The Head of Studies will investigate the case and make a decision on the extent to which the student must be reported.

A response that includes cheating must not be assessed – so it is important to retain the examination result until the case has been settled. Write EU in the examination protocol.

You may read more about the procedure here.

4.6. How do you assess an exam paper that has been reported for suspected cheating in exams but has been cleared?

When you have reported suspected exam irregularities, the Head of studies may decide that it was not cheating, but poor academic craftsmanship.

In such cases, the student is only given guidance, not a sanction, and his or her exam paper must be assessed.

When an exam paper contains poor academic craftsmanship, this will affect the mark according to an individual academic assessment.

After the exam

5.1. What do you do if the student complains about the exam?

The Danish Ministerial Order on University Examinations gives students the right to complain.

Complaints may be made about an assessment, test course of events, the basis for the examination (questions, assignments etc.) and legal conditions.

If the student complains about something that the university instructor has had influence on or has the possibility to assess, you will be asked to make a statement.  

If the student complains about the assessment, the university instructor must provide an explanation about how the mark was arrived at. The explanation must be based on the objectives of the subject and the Danish Ministerial Order on the Grading Scale and Other Forms of Assessment of University Education.  

It is important for you to save the notes from your original assessment so you have a starting point for preparing the explanation.

If the student complains about other things, the university instructor must address the complaints that are made in the explanation.

When the statement is written on behalf of a public institution, there is an obligation to keep it in an academic and friendly tone – even if the student has been unreasonable or emotional in his or her complaint.  

The statement will be sent to the student, who has the opportunity to send comments. If the faculty believes that the student’s comments provide new information, the faculty will then ask for further comments from the university instructor with regard to the comments received.

The faculty makes the decision

The Danish Ministerial Order on University Examinations states that the decision must be made on the basis of the student’s complaint, the professional statement of the assessors and the student’s comments on the statement. That is, the exam paper itself is not included in the basis for the faculty’s decision.

In connection with the faculty’s processing of the case, if there are any doubts that can only be settled by looking at the exam paper itself, the faculty may choose to make a decision to make a new assessment.  

If the complaint is about an oral test, naturally a reassessment cannot be made, but the faculty may choose to offer a re-examination.  

Statistically, approximately 25% of the complaints result in a reassessment/re-examination and the rest are not upheld. Regardless of what the decision is, it will be sent to the university instructor for information purposes. Note, however, that the decision will only be in English if the student does not understand Danish.

When processing a complaint, if the faculty discovers that errors have been made, an attempt will be made to correct the errors. This may be to offer a reassessment or a re-examination. In some cases, this will be offered to all of those who have participated in the exam with errors.

5.2. What happens after the faculty has made a decision about an examination complaint?

If the decision about the complaint is not in favour of the student, he or she has the right to appeal the decision within 14 days.

In this case, a board of appeal consisting of two examiners, another university instructor and a student, will look at the case again.  The board of appeal reviews the same documents as the faculty; that is, the complaint, the assessors’ statement and the complainant’s comments, after which they assess whether they agree with the faculty that the decision should not be made in the complainant’s favour.

The board of appeal has the possibility to reach another decision than the faculty and offer a reassessment or a re-examination.

If the student has been offered a reassessment or a re-examination test, he or she has 14 days to accept the offer. Then new assessors are assigned to carry out the reassessment or re-examination. The new assessors get all of the case’s documents for review; that is, the complaint, the assessors’ statements, the complainant’s comments and the decision. Of course, they also get the exam paper itself, as well as the programme regulation’s description of the subject.

As a rule, the re-assessors are given one month to carry out the reassessment. The reassessment may result in a lower mark than the original one, but a higher mark may also be given. A written justification must be given for the mark, which is sent to the student.

The original assessors will be informed about the result of the reassessment. 

 

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