Oral examinations based on a written product are wide-ranging. At one end of the spectrum are examinations which are like an oral examination but involve some form of smaller written paper for the examination, while at the other end of the spectrum are examinations in which the written product is the ‘primary’ driver and the oral element is like a defence of the written product (e.g. a bachelor project, masters’ thesis, master’s project, graduate final project or large projects). However the following applies to all variations: 1) Submission of the written product is a requirement to be able to attend the oral examination, and 2) Both the written product and the oral presentation count in the assessment, and the assessment is a comprehensive assessment (overall evaluation) of the written product and the oral presentation. The examination can be an individual examination or a group examination. If it is an individual examination, this applies to both the oral and the written elements. In the same way, a group examination applies to both the oral and the written elements. However, in the 6 cases of group examinations, the individual student can normally demand to do the examination as an individual examination. In this case, both the oral and written elements will be individual. In group examinations, it is not a requirement that the written product be individualised. Oral examinations are based on a smaller written product (synopsis or similar). Here, emphasis is put on the oral aspect and the dialogue at the oral examination can involve all areas of the syllabus. Oral defence for a larger written product or oral examination based on a larger written product The most important variables for this form of examination are:
Variable 1: Type of written product, including the degree of freedom associated with the assignment. Typically this can be quite broad and often only the assignment topic or thesis statement needs to be approved.
Variable 2: A maximum number of pages are normally set for the scope of the written part.
Variable 3: Limits for the oral examination, which typically will be one of the following options: – The examination is focused on the written product but may involve elements from the syllabus to the extent that they are relevant to include in the project, even if this is not the case. – The examination is based on the written product and can then be extended to include the entire syllabus. No preparation time is given prior to the examination. Seminar with defence and opposition at another seminar This examination form was previously widely used (especially on the HD courses), but fell out of favour following a ban on group examinations. However, it is expected that this examination form will be re-introduced in the summer of 2012. The most important variables here are 1) the percentage distribution between the three partial elements; 2) the maximum number of pages for the written product (the seminar), and 3) the examination time for the oral elements (defence and opposition). When selecting an oral examination based on a written product as examination form, the following decisions need to be made:
o Type of written work on which the examination will be based, e.g. the type of assignment: Case assignment, own choice of thesis statement, project etc.
o Length of response: How much time do the students have to do the assignment?
o Individual or group: Should the assignment be produced in groups or individually. If it is a group assignment, how big should the group be?
o Assignment length: What is the maximum number of pages, and perhaps minimum number of pages for the assignment paper? 7
o Time: How long will the oral examination last (including evaluation and grading)?
o Assessment: With one examiner/with a co-examiner/with an external examiner?
o Grading: 7-point grading scale or pass/fail?
o Make-up/re-take examinations: Does the re-take have the same form as the regular examination or is it another type of examination?