Exam Regulations and Process

Examination Process 

Exam = summative assessment, online, multiple-choice, time-limit, no re-take, must log-in, mid-term/final

What Who Where When
Exam Schedule Lecturer Class Schedule Semester Commencement Date
Inform students about exam schedule Academic Department Website / Student Handbook (Important Dates) / Class Timetable
Forward exam questions to Academic Lecturer
QA exam materials Academic Director / Department Head eLearning (take the complete test) 2 weeks before exam dates
Organize support (academic and IT) during the exam Academic Department hotline and internal message system during the exam
Results released eLearning eLearning immediately after
Archive exam results IT eLearning and back-up system immediately after

Guidelines for dealing with plagiarism

What is considered plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the complete or partial takeover of a foreign work without indication of the source and the author. Plagiarism is a violation of copyright law. Shorter passages of another’s work may be quoted. However, this requires that the citation be marked, and the source be indicated.

The following actions constitute plagiarism (Schwarzenegger, 2006):

  • the author submits a work created by another person on commission (“ghostwriter”) under his or her name
  • the author submits a foreign work under his or her name (full plagiarism)
  • the author submits one and the same paper (or parts of it) for different examination or seminar occasions (self-plagiarism)
  • the author translates foreign-language texts or parts of foreign-language texts and passes them off as his or her own without citing the source (translation plagiarism)
  • the author takes over parts of the text from another work without making the source identifiable with a quotation. This includes in particular the use of text parts from the Internet without citing the source (copy-paste plagiarism).
  • the author takes text parts from a foreign work and makes slight text adjustments and rearrangements (paraphrasing) without identifying the source with a quotation.
  • the author takes text parts from a foreign work, paraphrases them if necessary and quotes the corresponding source, but not in the context of the taken text part(s) (example: hiding the plagiarized source in a footnote at the end of the work).

Basic rules of citation

Scientific ethos requires that intellectual creations, ideas or theories of other people be identified by a quotation, even if they are only given in the text in the sense of the meaning. There are special citation regulations in the individual subjects which must be observed when writing scientific texts.

In general:

  • Each citation must be accompanied by a precise reference so that the reader can verify the information. As a rule, the original source must be cited.
  • Verbatim quotes must be placed in quotation marks and must end with a closing quotation mark.
  • The rearrangement of a sentence or a sequence of sentences, a translation or the use of synonyms does not release the user from the obligation to disclose the origin.
  • Other forms of using foreign ideas – such as the identical adoption of a foreign structure – are also subject to the obligation to cite.

Procedure for the detection of plagiarism

Depending on the severity of plagiarism, different approaches are taken:

Procedure in minor cases

Pronounced minor cases (few forgotten citations, negligent actions, etc.) fall below the threshold of a warning and are dealt with informally by the lecturers.

  • In the case of incomplete and incorrect information or paraphrasing of texts without indication of source, a mark of at least 0.5 will be deducted from the grade of the work in question.
  • If a longer section of text is reproduced identically without reference to the source, the work in question is graded 1 or the corresponding proof of performance is declared a failed performance.

Procedure in serious cases

A serious case is one where…

  • … plagiarism is of greater quantitative or qualitative importance,
  • … it’s a thesis,
  • … this is a repeat case of plagiarism.

In serious cases, the work in question will be declared a failure and disciplinary action will be taken.

The following disciplinary measures are possible:

  • Written warning by the program management.
  • Exclusion from the program by the program management.

In order to determine the nature and duration of the disciplinary measure, the quantitative or qualitative significance of the plagiarism on the one hand and the fault, motives and behaviour of the plagiarist, on the other hand, are decisive.

Inspection of files after exam

 Once an order has been opened, the right to be heard must be granted. This means that the inspection of the examination can be carried out after the performance record has been delivered, even if access to the audit has already been granted (and claimed) in advance.

After the exam, the academic department will save the written exam paper of students on the archive system so that all the documents would be accessed. Students are generally allowed to make notes and copies at their own expense. The modalities of the inspection of files are to be determined in accordance with the principle of proportionality after “careful consideration of all interests at stake”.

Students must be allowed to take notes in order to be able to understand the result of the examination. It is not necessary for the lecturer to be present at the examination inspection and answer questions. The inspection of files should be carried out in a study secretariat.

Subjects to the rights of inspection are:

(a) the terms of reference for the written tests and practical work

(b) your own solutions to see the written tests and practical work

(c) the evaluation grid, which gives information on the number of points possible and obtained in each task;

(d) the minutes of the oral examinations by video clip record (if available)

(e) the question posed in oral tests, provided that the experts have asked pre-formulated questions in writing.

Student Appeals Procedure

Appealing a decision

To start an appeal, the student must submit the following documents:

  1. a written notice of appeal
  2. a copy of the original decision they are seeking to appeal
  3. details of the grounds for the appeal and an explanation of how it applies to their case
  4. any supporting materials or documents.

The student must submit the documents to the Academic Director within 20 working days of being notified of the initial decision.

The student may apply in writing to the Program Directors to appeal after the deadline specified above. Late applications will be accepted only where the student can provide supporting material or documents to show how exceptional circumstances prevented them from applying by the deadline. Failure to check email or advise the University of a change of address are not exceptional circumstances. The Program Directors will decide whether the application shows exceptional circumstances and advise the student whether their application can be accepted.

Prior to the hearing

The Program Directors considers the appeal documents and may decide to dismiss the appeal if it:

  1. does not meet the minimum threshold to proceed to hearing
  2. lacks substance in relation to the grounds for appeal.

Where the Program Directors has a conflict of interest, the Academic Director or a member of the Academic Board nominated by the Program Directors will make this decision.

If the appeal is dismissed the student must be notified within five working days of the decision being made and the reasons for the decision.

If a clear misapplication of procedure has occurred in the determination of the original decision, the Program Directors may request the Academic Board to withdraw its decision.

The appeal process must commence within 10 working days of receipt of the application to appeal.

The student must be given at least five working days notice of:

  1. the date of the hearing and location of the hearing
  2. their right to provide additional relevant information to their written submission and the deadline for this
  3. their right to attend and speak at the hearing in person or via telephone or other communication means and to call witness/es to the hearing
  4. their right to bring a support person to the hearing, provided the person is not a practicing lawyer
  5. the fact that the hearing will still be held even if they do not respond or attend the hearing and that a decision (and outcome or penalty if appropriate) will be made in their absence.

At the hearing

At least three members of the Committee must be present to hear the appeal. Where the appeal involves research students or research integrity, at least one of the members apart from the Chair must be a supervisor of higher degree by research student/s.

Where a student brings a support person to the hearing and the support person has expertise likely to assist the Committee on procedural, technical or factual matters or if the student has additional support requirements, the Committee will allow the support person to speak on the student’s behalf.

At the hearing, the Committee will:

  1. give the student the opportunity to be heard and to ask questions of the Committee and answer questions asked by the Committee
  2. interview any staff, students or other relevant people as required
  3. act fairly and impartially
  4. exercise independent judgement
  5. conduct themselves in an unbiased, professional and courteous manner.

The Committee may adjourn a hearing at any time but must continue to hear the matter in person or by circulation as soon as possible afterwards. The membership of the Committee must remain the same throughout the hearing.

Decision

The Committee will privately consider all the information presented at the hearing and make a decision on whether it is more likely than not that the student has established the grounds of appeal. The decision is reached by a simple majority of Committee members with the Chair having the casting vote.

The Committee will make a decision at the end of the hearing or as soon as possible afterwards.

The Committee decides whether to:

  1. uphold, vary or set aside the original decision; and
  2. uphold, vary or set aside the original outcome. Where the only successful ground of appeal is an excessive penalty, the Committee is restricted to varying the outcome.

If setting aside the original decision and/or outcome, the Committee determines whether to:

  1. determine a new decision and/or outcome during the current hearing of the appeal; or
  2. schedule a re-hearing of the original matter, to be conducted by the Committee at a future date, in line with the requirements of the Regulation under which the matter was heard; or
  3. direct the original decision-maker to rehear the matter.

The Committee can make recommendations or require conditions on enrolment including that students access support services.

In appeals against academic progress decisions, the Committee may also require that failure to comply with any condition imposed will result in the student being excluded.

The Committee may also make recommendations to the Faculty or University on quality improvement and preventative or corrective actions.

The Committee Chair will provide their decision in writing to:

  1. the student, together with a statement of reasons for the decision and any recommendations, within five working days of the decision
  2. the original committee or panel whose decision was subject of the appeal

The Committee Secretary will coordinate the implementation of the decision and record the decision and outcome.

Any decision by the Committee on appeal is final and binding.

The Committee will report on its decisions three times a year to the Academic Board.

The decision of the Committee will be implemented immediately, subject to the provisions.

The student’s enrolment will be maintained:

  1. until the end of the University’s appeal process, except where an immediate suspension or exclusion has been determined.
  2. for student appealing decisions about unsatisfactory academic progress, until the conclusion of an external appeal where the decision of Thinkingschool Switzerland AG Swirzerland is upheld.

Written notifications

All written notifications made under this Procedure will be by email to the student’s official email address and last known private email address.

THINKING SCHOOL SWITZERLAND

  • 🏳 Address: Steinrain 16, 4663 Aarburg, Switzerland
  • 📩 Email: info@thinkingschool.ch
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