Common Technical Problems in Online Exams

Instructors can access the system records of their courses. In case of a problem, it is recommended that the system records be checked by the instructors first. IP addresses of students are also included in the system registrations in ODTÜClass. IP location and / or Internet provider information can be accessed using web services that determine location from IP. However, it should be kept in mind that this information is not 100% correct.

It is recommended to conduct a mock test with students before the exam practice and to ensure that students experience the conditions they will encounter in the real exam in advance. In this way, it can be possible to identify situations that may arise during the exam and to take measures.

If a large number of students take the exam at the same time in ODTUClass, a bottleneck may occur. In order to prevent this situation, the exams of the courses with more than 500 students are taken to the exam servers. If the number of students who will take the exam at the same time is more than 500, it is important to inform the ODTUClass Support Team at least one week before the exam.

Our academic units and lecturers can receive support from the unit distance education coordinators, the Distance Education Center and the Information Technology Center in solving possible problems. Possible problems and solution suggestions are listed below.

1. Disconnection from the internet: When the internet connection is re-established and the student logs into ODTÜClass, it is seen that the student logs into the system in the system records (logs) in ODTÜClass. However, it is not possible to determine exactly what the cause of this situation is. Before the end of the exam, the student can reconnect and continue the quiz activity from where it left off. With the User Override option in the Quiz administration block, a special time arrangement can be made for the student and additional time can be given or a make-up exam can be done.

2. Computer etc. device shutdown or Restart: When the device is turned on again and the student logs into ODTÜClass, it is seen that the student logs into the system in the system records (logs) in ODTÜClass. However, it is not possible to determine exactly what the cause of this situation is. Before the end of the exam, the student can log in again and continue the quiz activity from where it left off. With the User Override option in the Quiz administration block, the student can be given additional time or make-up exams.

3. Power outage: When the student re-enters ODTÜClass, it is seen in the system records (logs) in ODTÜClass that the student logs into the system. However, it is not possible to determine exactly what the cause of this situation is. Announcements of electricity distribution companies regarding power outages can be checked. Before the end of the exam, the student can log in again and continue the quiz activity from where it left off. With the User Override option in the Quiz administration block, the student can be given additional time or make-up exams.

4. If browsing between exam questions is restricted (with the Navigation: Sequential option in the Quiz settings), students try to navigate between the questions with the browser's forward and back buttons: When the browser's forward and back buttons are used, students' time counters may also be displayed incorrectly, which causes students to be mistaken. In addition, it may occur that the buttons required to switch between questions are not visible. Students should be warned not to use the browser's forward and backward buttons.

5. If "block concurrent connections" option is activated while preparing the quiz activity, trying to reconnect to the exam from a different browser: "Block concurrent connections" option prevents students from accessing the exam with another browser after starting the exam. If the students accidentally close the browser window or the browser is closed due to the first 3 problems, the students must be given permission by the instructors to continue the exam. Relevant steps can be found on ODTÜClass FAQ page If this option is to be used, it is important to inform students before the exam. If they need to change the browser for a valid reason, they should be reminded that they should reach the instructor and report the situation without wasting time.

6. Failure to upload the file due to not enough time for the assignment activity or "Essay" type exam questions: Depending on the file size, internet connection speed and instant usage volume of ODTÜClass, it is necessary to wait for a while for the files to be uploaded. Taking this time into consideration, the duration of the quiz or assignment can be determined and the students can be reminded that the time required to upload the files should also be taken into account. ODTUClass first puts the files in the draft folder, then associates them with the assignment or question. In some cases, students' files can be found in the draft folder. Upon the request of the instructors, ODTÜClass Support Team can check the draft folder and forward it to the instructor if there is a file.

7. Quiz functions not working due to internet browser settings: (1) The add-ons (such as ad blocker) in the internet browsers used by students may cause problems such as students not seeing the navigation buttons during the quiz. Before the exams, students may be warned to turn off browser add-ons, if any. (2) Filters such as LaTeX and MathJax are implemented by students' browsers. If running Javascript codes in students' browsers is blocked, students cannot view formulas written in LaTeX or MathJax. Students can be reminded to unblock ODTUClass pages.

8. Using large-sized images in exam questions: Depending on the size of the image files and the internet connection speed of the students, the viewing of the questions can take a long time, and it can cause students to lose time because the time taken for uploading decreases from the exam time. For this reason, it is important to prepare the contents that can be prepared as text or with the formula editor in the exam questions in ODTÜClass. It is recommended that the content that should be given only visually should be uploaded as images and the uploaded images should be in the lowest possible size.


Frequently Asked Questions about Distance Education

Do I have to give my course online?

It is highly recommended to use distance education for the theoretical parts of the courses that include practical applications. For activities that require practice, it is recommended to use alternative teaching methods, if possible.

 

Should I give my lesson synchronously or asynchronously?

Our primary suggestion is that you give your lessons asynchronously. This is a more comfortable process both for you and your students.
Synchronous option is recommended especially for courses where interaction is very high and all students are required to attend. As the number of students enrolled in a course increases, the effect of synchronous courses decreases rapidly. Synchronous lessons also have limitations due to the technological infrastructures needed. That not every student may have a good internet infrastructure may cause problems in class participation.

When deciding on whether to use synchronous or asynchronous distance education techniques, the following should be taken into consideration: The system resources required by the video conference tools used in synchronous distance education, the effect of a high number of concurrent connections on our university’s bandwidth, the Internet and equipment resources of students.

 

Who can I contact with and/or get support from when preparing a synchronous lesson? 

Although there are many different tools for using the synchronous option, our METU Distance Education Application and Research Center has prepared instructional videos for three different tools. Questions and problems related to tools other than these options may not be answered.
You can send an e-mail to odtuclass@metu.edu.tr for problems and solutions during the process.

 

Who can provide assistance when preparing asynchronous lessons?

For asynchronous lessons, ODTUClass platform will be used. METU Distance Education Application and Research Center has prepared a video on how to use the tools on ODTUClass (accessible at the link below). You can email odtuclass@metu.edu.tr for your questions and the problems you face during the process.

 

I want to prepare video-recordings of my lessons. Do I need a special camera?

You do not need to use a special camera to video-record your lesson. You can use a mobile phone with a video-recording option.
Due to limited human and technical resources, we cannot provide video-recording support to all our academics. However, METU GISAM will do the video-recording of lessons for courses offered to large groups of students.

 

I cannot upload the videos I prepared for my lesson on ODTUClass because the file size is too big. What should I do? 

In order to avoid disc space problems, there is a quota limiting the size of the files that can be uploaded on ODTUClass. You can share your videos on Youtube, selecting the unlisted option.

 

I am trying to upload my videos on YouTube, but I am not allowed to do so since the videos are longer than 15 minutes. What should I do?

Users who have a Google account can enter YouTube and share videos. However, users whose account is not verified can upload videos maximum 15 minutes in length. In order to upload longer videos or to do live broadcast, your YouTube account has to be verified. You can access information about how to do the account verification using the link below.
Creating and Verifying Your YouTube Channel

 

What should I do if some parts of or an entire course I am offering consist(s) of practical applications such as laboratories/studio?

It is highly recommended to use distance education for the theoretical parts of the courses that include practical applications. For activities that require practice, it is recommended to use alternative teaching methods, if possible.

 

How can I access a sample online course offered at ODTU?

You can study the course “Excel for Engineers” as a sample for an asynchronous course instruction, prepared by Prof. Dr. Eres Soylemez. Dr. Söylemez designed an 11-week course consisting of the screens of the lessons he uses on the computer as well as his own webcam image.
A sample lesson recording: https://bit.ly/3b8nCeY
The entire course: https://ocw.metu.edu.tr/course/view.php?id=248

As another sample for an asynchronous course, you can study “Analytical Mechanics” prepared by Prof. Dr. Altuğ Özpineci. Dr. Özpineci designed 11-week course content by recording the instruction with a video camera in a classroom with no students. In addition to the video recordings, some PDF files are also offered to students.
https://ocw.metu.edu.tr/course/view.php?id=239

 

What can I do for courses designed as Final Project? 

If the Research Project includes theoretical information, the course can be offered by using one of the synchronous or asynchronous education modules, and with the support of programs, such as skype, zoom, microsoft teams, which enable group interaction with students on the Internet.

If applications in a Final Project, such as experiment/laboratory/studio, cannot be realized by using digital options, these can be done during the summer, after the COVID-19 pandemic has cleared, with a condensed academic calendar that will be prepared for each program. This condensed academic calendar will not be regarded as the calendar of the summer school; instead, it will serve to compensate for the spring semester.


Last Updated:
10/12/2020 - 17:15