Our approach to planned assessment items, both coursework and exams is to ask
a) whether it needs to happen: and if so
b) what modifications are needed.
Sometimes, the learning, skills and knowledge tested in assessment items overlaps. In such cases we are asking Schools to modify their assessments such that they only assess you once on each learning outcome. Consequently, you may experience changes and find that you are not required to do some assessments.
If an assessment item changes you will be provided with a new assessment brief.
We will be using Blackboard for coursework and examinations. Wherever possible the assessment methodology will remain the same but will be converted to Blackboard. Where an assessment method cannot be replicated ‘at distance’ (e.g. an event such as a group presentation) an alternative will be offered. Details on how to access and use Blackboard outside of the UK can be found on this Portal page.
In making changes to assessment staff will be working to common principles. Consequently, whilst the changes in assessment may differ, and your experience might differ, module to module, we can reassure you that no-one will be disadvantaged.
We have re-designed examinations that were scheduled for the summer examination period and are still going ahead in the examination format but as online examinations so they can be taken by all students wherever they will be in the world and at a time that suits them within a 23 to 24-hour window. Some of the scheduled examinations have been replaced with a coursework assignment and others have been waived altogether.
We will carry on using the current published exam timetable and so if your exam remains it will take place on the same day as originally scheduled.
The plan is for these on-line examinations during the exam period to be taken in an open format and within an extended time to enable all students enough time to complete it. As an example, we will set an examination assessment and tell you that we expect it to take you 2 hours. We will tell you when the questions will be released and we will tell you the deadline for you to save and submit your answers, and this will be either 23 or 24 hours later. We anticipate the time chosen to release the questions and for the exam to close will be 09:30 BST. When you chose to start and finish the examination assessment within this time period will be up to you.
The importance of this approach is that all students will have the opportunity to take longer on timed online examinations compared to traditional exams. All such online assessments will indicate:
- the time you are expected to take on the whole exam and where applicable each question
- the expected word count for essay based questions.
Students without reasonable adjustments should aim to finish within the stated expected time. Students who need longer time or need to take breaks may take longer. However ALL students must stick within the given word limits, or risk penalties.*
Students in different time zones will be able to take the examinations at a time which works for them within the 23 or 24 hour time period.
If you require a screen reader or other technology to help you access the examinations you will hopefully be familiar and have downloaded the alternative formats in your learning materials using Blackboard Ally. You will be able to do the same with coursework descriptions and exam papers.
If you have enquiries about assessment adjustments please contact Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning Enhancement Tutors in Student Services can work with you to improve your revision and exam technique. You can contact the Team at email@example.com or find resources online.
*The penalties for exceeding the word limit by 10% or more will be a deduction of 10 marks from the final examination mark. If the final examination mark is within 10 marks of the pass mark, the penalty will be capped at the pass mark. Final exam marks below the pass mark will not be penalised.
All coursework will be submitted and marked on-line, and you will receive your mark and feedback via Blackboard.
If your preparations are disrupted by illness or other circumstances, you will be able to submit your coursework up to 10 working days after published deadline. This will not appear as a new deadline or extended deadline on eVision. You will not need to apply for an extension.
If you require more than 10 additional days beyond a coursework deadline to complete coursework please do not complete or submit the work as we will be unable to mark it. You will be offered a delayed assessment opportunity in August 2020. You will not be asked to provide any evidence to explain why you couldn’t do it.
Projects and Dissertations
If you are unable to access the research facilities, or undertake the work placement, or undertake fieldwork required and planned for as part of your project please contact your project or dissertation supervisor so alternatives can be put in place. If your project/dissertation has been disrupted by COVID-19 you should discuss and agree an appropriate new submission deadline with your project/dissertation supervisor.
Other assessment events (i.e. you need to ‘be’ somewhere)
If you are on a course regulated by a professional or statutory body (PSRB), such as the GMC, NMC, HCPC or GPC, you might be expecting to have OSCEs or other simulated practice activities or for there to be summative assessments happening when you should be in practice. The current situation with COVID-19 means that placements and practice opportunities are disrupted. We are working with the regulating bodies and your School will keep you informed of their requirements and how this impacts your studies and your assessments. Our priority is to ensure you complete your studies and meet the professional requirements of your course in a way which satisfies your professional regulator.
Vivas, oral assessments and presentations will be facilitated where possible via use of Blackboard Collaborate. Where this is not practicable or possible, you may be asked to submit associated materials (e.g. summary notes or presentation materials) or asked to do something different.
For other situational or practical activities (including drama performances; media, production work; lab work; field work; simulation; demonstration) you may be asked to use alternative ‘virtual’ participation options. Where this is not appropriate an alternative will be put in place.
If your assessment involved you submitting an artefact such as a poster, portfolio or project then this should be converted (pdf / scanned/ collated) for submission and marked via Blackboard. Where the artefact does not convert to electronic submission but is accompanied by a supporting written or documentary submission then you may be asked to submit this accompanied by photographic evidence of production of the associated artefact. Your School will give you instructions on what to do.
If you require more than 10 additional days beyond a coursework deadline to complete coursework please do not submit the work as you can have a further automatic extension until 3 August 2020 if absolutely necessary. You will not be asked to provide any evidence to explain why you needed to use the extension.
If you are unwell on the day of an online examination assessment, you will be offered a delayed assessment opportunity in August. Again, you will not be asked to provide any evidence of your illness or circumstances preventing you from taking the online assessment.
Delayed assessment will take place in August and be in the same form as that of the first attempt. This means that if your scheduled exam was taking place online then your delayed assessment will also be online.
Reassessment will only happen when it is essential to do so. Our regulations allow students to progress with some non-core modules having failing marks – see detail above.
Foundation Year and Year One students: If you have passing marks in a minimum of 60 credits and have passed all core modules you will be permitted to progress to your next year of study and you will not be given an opportunity of re-assessment in modules carrying fail marks. If you do not meet this threshold you will be required to undertake re-assessment.
Year two, three and four students and finalists: If you have achieved an overall passing mark for the year, have passing marks for all core modules and have passing marks for modules valued at a minimum of 80 credits, you will not be required to undertake re-assessment and you will be permitted to progress to the next year of study or complete the course. . However, you will be able to apply to take the reassessment rather than progress automatically, if you feel it would be in your interests to do so.
Reassessment will take place in August for those who had their first attempts prior to July 2020. If you had delayed first attempts in August, your reassessment is likely to take place in early October.
We are seeking to minimise the reassessment burden on students who are required to reassess. We will do this by reassessing failed items synoptically where this is feasible for the course. This is where individual assessments are combined into one synoptic assessment, which covers all learning outcomes being tested.