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Exams and assessments - impact of COVID-19

Impaired performance and aegrotat assessment

The University is considering all students to be experiencing some form of “impaired performance” this semester, and this will be considered during grading of your studies. As this decision applies to all students, you will not be required to complete paperwork for impaired performance.

How will impaired performance be applied?

Rather than simply scaling up by a grade, the University's approach allows us to consider your previous academic performance, as well as the results of previous years’ cohorts (class groups), to assess the impacts of COVID-19 in a very nuanced way. This offers maximum flexibility and fairness as we recognise that students will have been impacted in different ways. Take, for example, a student with a consistently strong academic record, in a course where grades across the class this semester were lower than previous semesters’ classes. It is feasible in a situation like this that a student could have their final grade improved by more than one grade.

We believe this approach is a more fair and accurate reflection of your overall performance and the best way of acknowledging the challenges of studying this semester as it allows us the flexibility to recognise your specific circumstances. This compares to simply bumping up a grade on work undertaken throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Some programmes will be more affected than others. So, for example, if you have not had regular access to specialist equipment, then this will be taken into account in terms of assessment and marking.

Changes to grades will be applied at the final grade stage and prior to the publication of grades, but only for those students who have completed the course.

The College of Creative Arts has, given its methods of teaching, delivery and assessment, taken a slightly different approach, which has been communicated to students

Additional impaired performance and aegrotat processes

There is an additional process if you believe you have faced significant challenges – for example if you contract COVID-19 and are seriously ill or you find yourself caring for a family member who has contracted the virus – or if you have faced additional challenges that, under normal circumstances, would necessitate an impaired performance or aegrotat application, including illness, injury and bereavement. If you find yourself in this position, please use our new and temporary Aegrotat and Impaired Performance Considerations: Temporary Form During COVID-19 Emergency (102 KB) , which will be used for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What will happen with my aegrotat/impaired performance application? 

Your application will be considered by academic staff to determine whether your mark or result can be changed. This will depend on how well you did in other assessments during the semester in that course and your personal circumstances. When reviewing aegrotat/impaired performance applications, the University will consider each student’s ability to demonstrate sufficient learning in their assessments. While we will be as flexible as possible, it is still expected you will have completed at least 40 per cent of the course assessment.

How will I know the result of my application?

You will receive a notification of the outcome through your student portal. Please note that by making an application, this does not guarantee a change of grade. 

Do I need to provide any other documents with my application ?

No – during this COVID-19 pandemic, you won’t need to provide any supporting documents in most cases, unless you already have them available when you apply. 

What if I am a doctoral student and my research has been affected by COVID-19?

You can apply for a suspension of studies, change of candidacy from full-time to part-time, or an extension of studies through the student portal.

More on aegrotat


Semester 1 exams

Most paper-based examinations will not take place in Semester 1. They will be replaced by 'Time Constrained Assessments' and 'Online Supervised Examinations'. Your personalised timetable in your portal will show the type of exam you will have and the start time of that exam.

  • Time Constrained Assessments and Assignments are exam-like but unsupervised assessments that you complete on Stream, and for which you have a time limit once you start.
  • Online Supervised Exams are supervised exams that you access through Stream, starting at a set time and completing within a time limit. In general, only courses that have exams worth more than 60% of the overall grade will have Online Supervised Exams. The exception to this are courses where student’s assessments are required for professional and external accreditation purposes.

Some exams cannot be accommodated by these arrangements (eg some aviation courses accredited by the CAA). In these cases, the exams will be deferred until the end of Semester 2. If this applies to you, you will be able to continue with your Semester 2 courses without having completed your courses in Semester 1. Your course coordinator will be in touch with more information.

There are no exams for College of Humanities and Social Science courses this semester. Alternative assessments are being provided by course coordinators. For this reason, no Online Supervised Exams or Time Constrained Assessments for these courses are included in the normal exam timetable.

Getting set up

You will sit your exam or assessment in the space you have chosen to spend the period of lockdown, in a quiet, undisturbed private space. Normally this will be where you are doing your study during the semester. This is assuming there are still COVID-19 restrictions in place. This space should be:

  • Quiet
  • Uninterrupted
  • Have a secure, stable internet connection
  • Have a power connection 
  • Be clear of any materials that are not allowed in the exam rules

Examples may be:

  • In your home
  • A secluded space in a library (COVID-19 restrictions permitting)
  • If you live rurally you may be able to set up in your local school (COVID-19 restrictions permitting)
  • A quiet room/space on any Massey Campus (COVID-19 restrictions permitting) 

If you will have difficulty finding a suitable space and time during the day to sit your exam, please contact us at exams@massey.ac.nz and we can discuss options with you. 

Time Constrained Assessments

Time Constrained Assessments will be delivered via your course Stream site. The assessment duration is in your personalised timetable in your portal. The duration of your assessment starts from when you open the assessment on Stream.

Some Time Constrained Assessments for Massey Business School courses are scheduled to take place during the week commencing June 15, which is the week prior to exam week.

Online Supervised Examinations

The exam session times for Semester 1 have been amended to accommodate exams being held in a shorter period. This semester, exam start times are 8am, 1pm and 5pm.

Massey is using a service called Remote Proctor Now or RPNow for short. RPNow allows a remote supervisor to monitor your examination setting, via your computer's webcam and microphone.


RPNow – what you need

On a Windows PC

  • Windows 8, 8.1, 10 
  • A working keyboard, mouse/trackpad, webcam, microphone and speakers
  • A broadband internet connection with a minimum 300Kb/s upload speed (satellite and Dial up connections are not supported)
  • Note: Adobe Flash and/or the .Net Framework are NOT required 

 On a Mac

  • MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later
  • A working keyboard, mouse/trackpad, webcam, microphone and speakers
  • A broadband internet connection with a minimum 300Kb/s upload speed (satellite and Dial up connections are not supported)
  • Note: Adobe Flash is NOT required

If you are unable to install or run RPNow, or if you don't have a webcam and microphone, or a reliable broadband internet connection, please contact exams@massey.ac.nz and we can discuss options with you 

RPNow – how to use it

A special Online Supervised Exam Student Support Stream site has been set up to help you prepare to sit an online assessment which:

  • Provides a step-by-step guide on how to install RPNow and sit an online assessment delivered through Stream
  • Provides a practice test to try as often as you like before sitting a ‘real’ online assessment
  • Answers common questions on the online assessment process.  

Please note this Stream site will only be accessible to students who are enrolled in courses with Online Supervised Exam assessments.

About your time-constrained assessment

What type of device can I use for the assessment?

You can use a Windows or Mac computer or laptop for the assessment. Please do not use a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device.

Do I need to produce any ID for my time-constrained assessment?

No you don’t need ID for these types of assessments.

Is there a time limit for my assessment?

All time-constrained assessments have a time limit.

Is there an easy way to find out how much time is left during my assessment?

Yes. There is a count-down clock in the navigation block which will show you how much time you have left to complete your assessment. You’ll need to complete and submit your exam within the set time.

If I accidentally drop out of the assessment, will the count-down clock stop?

No, the count-down clock will continue to run even if you drop out of the assessment. Contact Assessment Services immediately. Phone: 0800 MASSEY (or +64 6 350 5701) then extension 83138 or Email: exams@massey.ac.nz. This information will be available within your assessment.

Where can I find my assessment?

It will be available to you on your course Stream site at the scheduled date and time of your assessment.

How do I start the assessment?

Click on the assessment name to view the introduction and instructions. Click “Attempt quiz now” to start the assessment. A pop-up notification will ask you to confirm that you are ready to proceed (note, this step cannot be undone).

How do I navigate within the assessment?

Quizzes may spread across multiple pages. There is a quiz navigation block at the top left of every page of the assessment and a "next" button at the bottom of every page. Each time you click the "next" button or a link in the navigation block, your answers are automatically saved. You can "go back" if you wish to change an answer at any time, but don't use your browser's back button.

Clicking on a number in the quiz navigation block will take you to the corresponding page. You can always get to the last page by clicking on the "finish attempt" link in the navigation block.

Will the whole assessment be answered in Stream?

For some assessments you may be asked to create your answers in a Word or Excel document and then upload that at the end of your assessment. If this is the case, instructions will be provided in your assessment including a link to the document.

Can I mark a question to revisit later?

You can flag a question which will add a red mark to the question number in the navigation block. This allows you to easily return to the flagged question later.

How do I submit my answers and finish the assessment?

When you have answered all the questions in the assessment and checked your responses, click “finish attempt” in the navigation matrix. Once you have done that you will be presented with an assessment summary. The summary indicates which questions have or have not been answered. You can click on any question number to return to complete it.

It is important you have uploaded any questions answered on linked documents before completing the final step below. To fully submit your answers, you must click “submit all and finish”.


About your exam 

Will the exam centres be opened if lockdown is over?

No, we will not be holding any exams in exam centres for Semester 1, regardless of the COVID-19 Alert Level.

What type of ID do I need for my Online Supervised Exam?

You can use a form of photo identification such as your student ID, Driver’s License, Passport, or 18+ Card.

What if I can’t sit my exam at the time scheduled in the exam timetable, due to childcare or other issues?

Please contact Assessment Services on exams@massey.ac.nz to discuss your situation and work out a time that is suitable for you.

Are all exams three hours long?

In the exam timetable, all exams and assessments are currently showing as three hours in duration. This will be the case for Online Supervised Exams, but the duration of Time Constrained Assessments may be shorter. The actual duration of Time Constrained Assessments will be communicated on specific course Stream sites closer to the time of the assessment, once assessments have been finalised by course coordinators.

If I am sitting my exam in another country, how will my time zone affect the date and time of my exam? 

You will sit your exam on the calendar date of the exam and at the local time in your time zone, eg 8:00am your time (the same as when you would normally have sat venue-based exams) 

How safe is my privacy on my computer while taking an online assessment proctored by RPNow?

RPNow only records during the assessment. The recording stops once the RPNow software is closed. RPNow cannot access any of your other information on your computer. 

Do I need to download RPNow every time I sit an exam? 

Yes, you need to download the software every time you sit an online supervised exam. After the initial download it should take less time to download for each assessment.  

Are there any difficulties running RPNow with multiple screens/monitors and cameras? 

Only one screen/monitor can be used. Any additional screens/monitors will need to be unplugged when you are sitting your online supervised exam. Only one camera can be used. If you are using a webcam instead of the computer camera you will need to disable the computer camera.


During your exam

Will I get reading time in my exam?

Reading time is included in the duration of all exams, whether they are Online Supervised Exams or Time Constrained Assessments.

What types of documents will I use to record answers in my exam?

You will answer your exam in three main ways:

1. Within the exam – Exam questions should be answered as indicated in Stream or RPNow.

2. On linked answer documents – A link to a Word or Excel document may be provided within the exam. Not all exams will have linked documents.

  • This document is to be used to answer some or all questions in your exam.
  • There will be instructions in your exam to download, name and save your answer document to your computer.
  • Instructions will be provided regarding which questions to answer on the document, and how to manage the document.

3. On paper – Paper is to be used for either workings or answering questions that need to be handwritten or drawn on paper.

There may also be a PDF question document included within some exams. This is to allow questions to be suitably presented and is only for displaying questions, not providing answers.

How do I submit my answers on an answer document or paper?

Linked answer documents – These will either be dragged and dropped to the box within the exam at the end of the questions OR dragged and dropped to the assignment box in the Course Stream Site (i.e. not within the exam). The instructions in your exam will clearly note which of these options applies.

Answers or workings on paper – If you need to make notes or draw a diagram or graph while you sit your exam, you should show the paper(s) used to the camera at the start and end of your exam. These will be dragged and dropped to the assignment box in the Course Stream site (i.e. not within the exam) and clear instructions will be provided for this option, which involves scanning or takeing photos of these papers with your phone.

I’m sitting an Online Supervised Exam using RPNow. How will it work for me to submit my answer documents?

RPNow will be set up so that there is permission within the invigilation software for you to use any of the programmes or items necessary for your exam – e.g. Word, Excel, pen and paper.

  • Linked answer documents can be dropped into the box within the exam while RPNow is still open.
  • Dropping answer documents (either linked documents or hard copy answers) into the box outside the exam in the Course Stream Site will need to be completed after you have submitted your exam and closed RPNow.

How will I know how much time I have left during my exam?

When you are in Stream, there is a timer that will display on the bottom left-hand corner of your screen.

How are toilet breaks factored in during an online supervised exam?

It is preferred you don’t move away during the exam. If you must take a toilet break indicate this to the camera verbally and by making a "T" sign with hands to the camera. This will be flagged as a violation by the RPNow software. The video will be scrutinized by a trained proctor/invigilator and if it is seen that you have indicated a toilet break this will be taken into consideration.

What happens if my internet drops off or there is a power cut?

In case of an internet drop off, RPNow will continue to record until you resume the exam once the internet is regained. You can also keep going with an opened question in Stream, but you will not be able to start on a new question until the internet reconnects.

In the event of a power cut, you can restart RPNow once power resumes or contact Assessment Services on (06) 356 9099; or from overseas +64 6 356 9099 ext 83138.

What happens if I need to make notes during the exam?

If you need to make notes or draw a diagram or graph while you are sitting your exam, you should show the paper(s) used to the camera at the start and end of your exam. You will have 15 minutes at the end of an assessment to scan or take photos of these papers with your phone and submit them on your course Stream site under the tab "Online Assessment Submission".

Am I allowed to use a calculator during the exam?

If using a calculator is permitted for your online supervised exam, show this to the camera at the start.

What assistance is available if I have issues during my exam?

  • If there is an issue with RPNow, click the “Contact Support” button within RPNow. RPNow Support is available 24/7.
  • For any issues with time-constrained assessments using Stream, you should contact Assessment Services on (06) 3569099; or from overseas +64 6 3569099, extension 83138. Support is available 24/7.

How do I get the password required to sit an online supervised exam?

When you open RPNow and locate the assessment you wish to sit, there is a button at the top of this page that auto fills the required Stream password.


After your exam

Overseas exam venue fees

The fee you have paid will be held as credit in your Massey student account. The credit will be automatically applied to any outstanding fees, if you have any. Otherwise the credit will remain in your student account for use for future study. We expect you will be able to see this credit on the financial statement in your student portal by the end of April.

If Semester 1 2020 was your final semester, contact us at studentadminfees@massey.ac.nz and we will organise a refund.

Alternative examination arrangements

Assessment Services will work with all students who have requested alternative arrangements for online supervised exams or time-constrained assessments. An individual arrangement will be made with you about how you will take the assessment. To discuss your needs please email exams@massey.ac.nz 

Will I get extra time to submit my answer documents?

There is no extra time allowed to submit linked answer documents that are to be dropped into the box within the exam. You will be saving this document throughout the duration of your exam and then dropping it into the box within the exam, which you will already have open.
 
However, there is extra time to submit linked answer documents that are to be dropped into the assignment box in the Course Stream Site. After you have closed out of your exam, you will have 15 minutes to drag and drop your answer document to the box in the Course Stream Site. This time is not included in the exam duration.
 
There is also extra time to submit answers that include workings on paper. After you have submitted your exam (and,if you are sitting an Online Supervised Exam, have gone out of RPNow) you will have 30 minutes to capture, save and drop your documents into the box on the Course Stream Site. This time is not included in the exam duration.

What if I don’t submit my answers within the exam in time?

Contact Assessment Services immediately. Phone (06) 356 9099 then extension 83138; or from overseas +64 6 3569099 then extension 83138, Email exams@massey.ac.nz

Summer School 2019 exams

We are unable to process exam script return requests or applications for remarks for Summer School 2019 exams, due to COVID-19 restrictions, which don't permit us to access the exam papers on campus. When we can return to the campus, your application will continue to be processed. 

Doctoral information

If you are a doctoral student there is added information in our research section.

More on exams

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