Oxford students doing exams slam videolink exams as intrusive

Students doing Oxford exams on videolink from their bedrooms complain that invigilators and tutors should NOT be allowed to see their ‘private space’

  • Oxford classics students say room sweeps and web cams are ‘intrusive’
  • Faculty confirmed exams would be taken over Microsoft Teams starting Friday
  • Invigilators will undergo mandatory ‘camera sweep of the room’ before test

University of Oxford classics students have slammed plans for exams to be taken via video link deeming them ‘intrusive’ and an invasion of privacy.

The Faculty of Classics at the historic institution confirmed that exams would be taken over Microsoft Teams – an online video call service – starting this Friday.

All invigilators will undergo a mandatory ‘camera sweep of the room’ before the test starts.

The move will prove that the student is alone in their room and does not have any notes around them.

University of Oxford classics students have slammed plans for professors to inspect their rooms and watch them take their exams via video calls as an invasion of privacy. Pictured: All Souls College, Oxford

But disgruntled students have said this is too intrusive, The Times reports.  

Elizabeth Coyle, 22, who will take her Latin exam next Friday during a video call, said: ‘It’s quite intrusive, especially because they want us to do a scan of the room, which is our one private space.’ 

Another student, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘As a student from a disadvantaged background, it is extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing to know that my tutors will have a view into my personal home circumstances — which are atypical to those of a regular Oxford student.’ 

Certain papers must have an examiner present as students need to translate set texts.

These translations are often available online with a quick Google search. 

The Faculty of Classics at the historic institution confirmed that exams would be taken over Microsoft Teams – an online video call service – starting this Friday. Pictured: Tom Tower at Oxford university

The University of Oxford’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, Prof Martin Williams, set out plans for the first term of the academic year to Oxford students earlier this week.

He said: ‘Face-to-face teaching and research supervision will be complemented by high quality online activities where necessary, delivered by Oxford’s world-leading academic staff and drawing on the exceptionally rich resources available through our colleges, laboratories, libraries and collections.’

It comes as Cambridge University became the first university in the world to axe all face-to-face lectures until summer 2021 due to ‘rigid social distancing.’

It comes as Cambridge University became the first university in the world to axe all face-to-face lectures until summer 2021 due to ‘rigid social distancing.’ Pictured: A student enters Trinity College in Cambridge last month

Britain’s second oldest university said that because social distancing appeared to be likely to continue for a long time, ‘there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year.’

The institution, which prides itself on academic rigour, did not say how it would continue to maintain the highest standards with students kept at range.

Other universities, including Oxford, Edinburgh and Cardiff, are planning a mixture of on-campus and remote lectures from the start of the academic year. 

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