Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - E-Assessment

Winter semester 2020/21

Due to the pandemic, almost all examinations in the winter semester were taken digitally. The number of examinations increased significantly not only compared to the summer semester, but also compared to the previous winter semester.

E-exams at a distance in focus

In preparation for the examination periods of the winter semester, it became clear that the number of examination cases would already increase significantly compared to the summer semester due to the "examination backlog". In addition, the pandemic-related special regulations for failing (assessment as an examination not taken) remained in place, so that more repeat examinations were expected. The implementation of e-examinations was also made more difficult by very tight examination timeframes and uncertainties as to how to handle, above all, exam-like formats that require supervision. After digital teaching and learning appeared to be established, it became clear how much still remained to be clarified with regard to e-examinations at a distance.


Examination formats at the HU in WiSe 2020/21

A total of more than 56,000 examination cases were recorded in the examination database (as of 31.3.2021), i.e. almost 8,000 examinations more than in WiSe 2019/20. Of these, more than 4/5 were taken in written form. These examination formats include, for example, written and multiple choice examinations, take-home examinations, longer-term assignments such as study papers, seminar papers and term papers, as well as smaller free-text formats such as essays, exposés and reviews.


Verteilung der Prüfungsformate im WiSe 2020/21 an der HU Berlin


Examination cases and examination formats at the faculties


Relative Verteilung der Prüfungsformate auf die Prüfungsfälle pro Fakultät


Written examination formats at the HU

In the winter semester, almost 85% of the examinations were taken in written form (incl. portfolio examinations). The use of written examinations (fig. darker blue in the large circle) varied greatly: While the Faculty of Law used almost no closed-book examinations (7%), this format dominated the examinations in the Faculty of Economic Sciences (92%).





Examinations with Moodle

The data on the use of Moodle is based on structured self-reporting by examiners to assist Moodle support in the organisation and supervision of e-examinations (as of 6.5.2021). In total, two thirds of the written exams at HU were taken via Moodle (565 exam courses).

The total of 30,883 examination cases in Moodle are distributed as follows:

  • 23,494 closed-book examinations
  • 6,499 take-home exams (often marked as closed-book)
  • 645 homeworks
  • 49 other forms of examination
  • 15 written examinations
  • 181 oral examinations


The number of written examination performances differs compared to the data from the examination database, since

  1. the data is based on self-reporting by the examiners,
  2. not all written examination formats are conducted using Moodle, i.e. via examination courses,
  3. the timing of data collection is slightly offset.

It can be assumed that further (written) e-examinations were conducted via HU Moodle, but that no separate examination courses were created in the designated area.