Receiving the assignment/project and description of learning objectives
The external examiner is sent the project or assignment which is to be assessed electronically as well as information on the precise venue, time, date and formalities regarding the assessment.
Furthermore, any study plans, descriptions of the learning objectives for the examination, stated in the academic regulations, or a reference to these are forwarded. It is the responsibility of the external examiner to ensure that the assessment is based on the description of the learning objectives and an examination cannot be carried out without a description of the learning objectives. Similarly, the external examiner should take care to request the assignment and any formal documents in due time before the assessment if such material has not been received.
The role of the supervisor at assessments
The supervisor has the role of chairman and starts by presenting the members of the Assessment Committee and the examinee.
The supervisor should call for silence during the assessment. If the student exceeds his or her time for doing a presentation, the examiner is required to stop the student in order to ensure there is time left for questions and discussions.
The role of the external examiner at assessments
It is the responsibility of the external examiner to ensure that through the examination the students’ skills and meeting the objectives of the programme are documented, including to ensure that:
- the examinations and the requirements for the content of the programme are consistent with the objectives and other requirements laid down for the educational programme
- that students are given a uniform and fair treatment and that their performance is assessed in a reliable manner
- that examinations are carried out in accordance with the applicable rules
Apart from this, the external examiner’s responsibilities at the examination also include the following:
- Acting as the representative of the public during the examination
- Ensuring that the legal rights of students are not violated
- Providing feedback on the presented material to the examinee
Good practice for external examiners
At the exam proper, the external examiner should arrive at the venue in due time, to meet and greet the examiner/supervisor and ensure that everything is in order. Rules have been drawn up for the duration of individual examinations. See the section on rules applicable to both Bachelor’s and Master’s assessments.
A positive mood
When the student enters the room, it is important that the external examiner appears friendly and accommodating. The student should be given an opportunity to perform to his best capabilities. The uncertainty and nervousness which are a natural part of the situation can be minimised by the external examiner if he or she creates a safe and positive atmosphere.
The actual examination/presentation
At the presentation, the student must review the main lines of the assignment solution and the completed programme and project course. Subsequently, the assessors ask detailed questions about the material to develop and inform their knowledge of the content of the assessment material and the student’s qualifications. It is important that during the examination/presentation itself, the assessors pay attention to asking questions about weaknesses in the project, of the oral presentation, or in responses, to give the student an opportunity to demonstrate his or her capabilities and thus make up for any weaknesses, errors and deficiencies. If the examinee is unable to answer a question, the assessors should move on.
It is important that the assessors pay attention to managing expectations, ensuring that the student also notices mistakes and deficiencies along the way. When an examination has begun, an assessment has to be made, unless the examination is interrupted due to dismissal or due to illness qualifying for a re-examination due to illness.
The examiner/supervisor is in charge of the deliberation process. Based on the examination itself and making clear references to the description of objectives and The Grading Scale Order it is determined which mark should be given. There are no rules regarding who should have the first say during deliberation. The external examiner has been chosen because he or she has a relevant general professional knowledge in the area, the examiner/supervisor has a deep and extensive professional knowledge in the area.
Only members of the Assessment Committee may be present at the deliberation.
Immediately after the exam, the external examiner and the examiner fill in the examination sheet. It may be expedient for the external examiner to fill in any other relevant forms at the same time, such as forms regarding fees settlements and reimbursement of transportation expenses. Relevant documents must be submitted directly to The Education Secretariat, another option is for the external examiner to subsequently forward the documents by postal mail.