A pilot scheme started this month in which students register at exams using their WUR cards. This means they no longer have to register in writing. But on 8 February the system was not yet working as it should.
WUR has been piloting digital registration for exams this month. Text and photo by Kenneth van Zijl
A little under 200 students are resitting the exams for Organic Chemistry and Bio-organic Chemistry, in sports hall 4 at the Bongerd Sports Centre. When they have handed in their paper, they leave the hall, going past a table with an apparatus on it about the size of a cassette tape, which emits a loud beep each time a student places their WUR card on the appliance.
Sitting next to the appliance is someone from the IT department with two laptops. The student’s number appears on one of the screens every time. That is all that happens. The IT staff member says in a stage whisper: ‘It’s not working’. René de Koster, project leader of the pilot, curses under his breath. ‘This really annoys me. The student numbers must be recorded, and that’s not happening now. I don’t know why not.’
In spite of this little glitch, De Koster is pleased with the innovation, which offers more protection of students’ privacy. ‘The AVG law, which expands the privacy rights of individuals, goes into effect on 25 May 2018,’ De Koster says. ‘The WUR card complies with this law.’ Digital registration also reduces the risk of examination fraud. As soon as the student scans the WUR card, a passport photo appears on the invigilator’s laptop screen. It does if the system is working, at least.
‘I’m happy with it,’ says one student after the exam in the hall. ‘This way no one can sit an exam for somebody else.’ But a fellow student is less sure about this: ‘They don’t look at the photo on your WUR card very carefully. I reckon you could still cheat.