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WE/ME in epedagogy design » Blog Archive » Oral examinations based on eConferencing

Wey-Han Tan

Oral examinations based on eConferencing

In this german diploma thesis “Potentiale von WebVideokonferenzsystemen bei Prüfungen” by C. Püschel (University of Konstanz, 1999) the author examines the possibilites and dangers of oral tele-examinations.
Maybe this is useful for some german-speaking students or tutors.


Distance Learning and the studies at virtual universities enjoy rising popularity and spreading due to better technical possibilities. Yet not only the process of learning but also examining could take place at two different localities in the future. The basic question this thesis is going to deal with is whether oral exams can be carried out as web videoconferences. The aspects to be dealt with are whether oral exams can pose an acceptable and equivalent alternative to face-to-face exams from a psychological, formal-legal and technical point of view.
In the psychological part the differences between conventional exams and tele exams are described as well as the effects with regard to perception. Simultaneously, recommendations for the behaviour during such exams and for the composition of the videoconference equipment are given.
In the chapter about the formal-legal perspective further demands to tele exams are formulated. They comprise the agreement of examiner and examinee about the test form, the perfect functioning of the equipment and connection of the conference, the prohibition of making direct expenses for the exam and the fulfilment of organizational demands.
In the technical part the hard- and software components of video conference systems, the importance and function of elementary standards, effects brought about by technical devices, problems and possible solutions are expounded.
A prospect to possible enlargements of videoconferencing systems in future exams, like the introduction of identification systems, increased possibilities of input by touch tablets and devices to record such conferences will follow the basic chapters.
In the evaluation at the end of the thesis it will be made clear that tele exams can be recommended at all costs for psychological reasons, with reservations for formal-legal reasons and under no circumstances for technical reasons at this very moment.

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