Assessment Regulations - Session 2021-22
During the last two academic sessions, disruption associated with the Covid-19 pandemic led to a number of changes to assessment regulations and processes. For session 2021-22, in almost all respects these regulations and processes have reverted to normal.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has restructured many aspects of teaching and assessment to enhance flexibility and enable students to learn and to demonstrate their attainment and progress. At the time of writing, many positive steps have been taken in relation to the pandemic, however there is still some uncertainty as to how the situation will develop in the coming months. The University remains committed to supporting students and in the event of any significant changes to the progress of the pandemic will review whether any special measures are required in relation to assessment taking place during the 2021-22 session.
The University’s recommended format for exams taking place during semester 1, including the formal December 2021 exam diet, is online. Online exams will run in various formats including 24 hours and on a fixed time basis.
For fixed time exams:
- The time allowed for completion of exams will be the normal time duration, plus appropriate download/upload time if required: where up to five answer files are required to be uploaded, 30 minutes will be added to the scheduled exam time.
- Disabled students registered with the Disability Service will have additional time as recommended in their Needs Assessment.
- Where possible, flexibility will be offered to accommodate students sitting exams in different time zones.
Arrangements for fixed-time online exams have changed from last year
Arrangements for fixed-time online exams have changed from last year as the move to online exams during the first stages of the pandemic has been reviewed. We have learned from our experiences and students have become more accustomed to online exams.
Earlier in the year the University established a group to review online exams and to make recommendations for the 2021-22 exam diet. That group involved members of staff across the University and members of the SRC. They took account of the types of exams, the arrangements that would be best in the interests of fairness, student feedback from previous exam diets, and the needs of students with disabilities.
The recommendations were confirmed by the University's Senate in June 2021. This has resulted in the reintroduction of pre-pandemic practice with regards to the arrangements of additional time for students with disabilities. Also, students will be required to complete exams in the stated exam duration with some additional time to download the exam paper and upload answers. (This replaces the arrangement where 'double time' was available for online exams in 2020-21.) The changes will, as always, be kept under review.
The penalties to be applied for late submission of online exams are in line with those in effect since the April/May 2021 exam diet.
Good Cause is the University's process concerning the impact of illness or other adverse circumstances on a student’s ability to demonstrate in assessment what they have learned. This can apply to assessments including coursework and exams, and might result in waiving a late penalty, granting an extension, or allowing a resit. Grades are never adjusted in response to a Good Cause claim. Good Cause claims are submitted via MyCampus.
Normally Good Cause claims must be supported by evidence of the adverse circumstances. In recognition of the fact that students may still face some difficulties obtaining such evidence during the pandemic, in 2021-22 the expectation will be that good cause claims do not require, but can be strengthened by, provision of corroboratory evidence. Students should make reasonable efforts to provide such evidence.
Good cause is an important mechanism to support students who have completed the learning on their courses but have encountered difficulties at the time of assessment. On the other hand, students who face difficulties more generally through the semester, and who are therefore worried that their learning will be impacted, are encouraged to contact their Advisor/Advising Team as soon as problems arise so that appropriate help can be put in place in a timely way. The University also has a wide range of support services that can be contacted directly. These include additional learning support and support with pastoral issues.
Final awards including assessment from the 2019-20 session
The No Detriment Policy was introduced in response to the emergency situation that developed in the spring of 2020 and was applied to assessment scheduled in the period 16 March 2020 to 11 September 2020. For most students, awards being made in the 2021-22 session will not include any assessment results from this time. For a small number (e.g. graduating integrated masters students, part-time PGT students with a three or more year programme of study) there will still be some residual impact. Examples of the relevant calculations are available here. The same principles will be applied as in 2020-21: a baseline grade point average will be calculated for student performance from outwith the March 2020 - September 2020 period, and results from within that period will only be used where they are equal to or better than the baseline performance.
PGT Masters students completing in 2021-22 - requirements for award
An overview of the requirements for award, includes students who commenced study before 2021-22.