Defense Format Policies
In-person defenses are the standard exam format at IUB, however, candidates and research committees may elect to conduct defenses online using tools such as Zoom and Skype without prior UGS approval.
The candidate and committee must agree to the defense format at least 30 days prior to the defense, and the agreed format should be adhered to except in cases of extenuating circumstances. Selection of one format for all participants is encouraged. Public components of defenses may be facilitated through in-person or online format (see Public Components below).
The online Defense Signature Collection Form is used for all thesis and dissertation acceptance pages regardless of the defense format.
Best Practices for Conducting Defenses Online
Defense Procedure. Defenses should follow the same procedures and include the same components as required by the department whether conducted in-person or online. If conducted online, any portions of the defense in which the candidate is not normally present may require the candidate to temporarily leave the conference and any recording to be paused.
Logistics. Defenses conducted online should follow these guidelines:
- The candidate and all members of the committee must agree in advance to remote participation and to all video communication arrangements. Video conferences must be hosted by a member of the research committee or a department staff member and not by the candidate.
- The examining department is responsible for providing adequate technical accommodations that allow all participants to see and hear each other throughout the defense and to view any text, graphics, or other visuals referenced.
- If, at the onset of the defense, these accommodations are not found to be adequate for the examination, the candidate or the research committee may elect to postpone the defense until a later date without penalty.
- In the event of a technical failure, the defense proceedings must be stopped and may not resume until any technical issues are resolved.
- Defenses conducted through remote technology may only be audio or video recorded with advance permission from the candidate and research committee chair and must adhere to departmental and school guidelines for recording defenses.
Online Public Components. Departments may allow online public access for defenses. This can be facilitated through distribution of the conference link after the defense has been formally scheduled. Following the public session, the conference should be restricted to the candidate and research committee only. See the resources below for participant management instructions for Zoom.
Resources for Conducting Defenses Online
For additional help with Zoom, contact UITS Learning Spaces Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-856-2020.