The Formal Assessment Period: Semester 2
The University’s Formal Assessment Period for Semester 2 runs from 19 April to 21 May 2021 inclusive.
From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has sought to ensure that no students are academically disadvantaged as a result of Covid-19 or measures the University has put in place in response to UK and Scottish Government guidance. We are committed to ensuring that these circumstances do not detrimentally affect your academic performance at module or programme level.
Semester 2 assessments have been planned and developed to take account of online and blended learning approaches throughout the course of the Semester. It is expected that students will participate in all planned assessments.
If you have any concerns about participating in an assessment, such as personal circumstances you are experiencing or obtaining access to technical equipment or broadband, please contact your Module Leader to discuss your concerns. The University’s Personal Circumstances web page contains information on how to notify the University of any challenges you may be experiencing that impact on your academic studies, and the MyPlace Student Support site contains technical guidance on preparing for online assessments to reduce the likelihood of experiencing any technical challenges on the day of your assessment.
The University is fully committed to supporting and advancing the academic studies of students during the pandemic. Please contact your Module Leader and/or Programme Director if you have any specific concerns regarding the upcoming formal assessment period and any of your online assessments.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. From the outset of the COVID-19 situation, the University has sought to ensure that no students are academically disadvantaged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are committed to ensuring that these circumstances do not detrimentally affect your academic performance at module or programme level. This position is sometimes known as a 'no detriment' policy.
The NDP will be incorporated within formal guidance, approved by Senate, for Boards of Examiners, known as the Procedure for Markers & Boards of Examiners in Response to COVID-19 for Boards of Examiners. As was the case last session, these procedures (including the No Detriment Policy) will require approval of the University Senate for academic year 2020/21.
Our approach for NDP in 2020/21, developed in partnership with StrathUnion, recognises that each student is an individual with their own specific, personal circumstances and that the pandemic has impacted different communities of students in greatly differing ways, whether due to personal challenges or family circumstances impacting upon their study environment.
Our approach to no detriment takes account of these factors and builds on the foundations of the supportive and sympathetic approach taken within AY 2019/20, evolving to take account of the different academic circumstances in AY 2020/21 while retaining and assuring the academic integrity and quality of an award from the University of Strathclyde.
Following Senate approval, a summary of the No Detriment Policy for 2020/21 is available here https://classes.myplace.strath.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=19991
Examinations and assessments within the Formal Assessment Period for Semester 2 have been planned and developed to take account of the online and blended learning approaches throughout the Semester. All assessments and examinations will be delivered online. Your Department/School will ensure that you are clear about the format of each of your assessments. If you are unsure about anything you should ask your Module Leader and/or Programme Director.
The examination and assessment schedule for all programmes has been developed to enable all students to access and engage fully with their assessments.
Faculties have worked closely with colleagues in Departments/Schools to review and approve any amendments to assessment arrangements, including details for examinations, or alternative assessments. Where required, consultation with relevant accrediting and professional bodies has taken place. Students should be reassured that any online assessments that have been put in place reflect the required academic and professional standards for the module concerned.
To comply with Scottish Government guidance and to protect the whole Strathclyde community, online assessments are being used wherever possible and appropriate and there will not be scheduled on-campus examination sessions. The Library has individual study spaces, where you may be able, subject to agreement, to undertake your online assessment. Pending confirmation of the Scottish Government local protection levels of the time, a survey will be conducted to assess essential requirements to undertake an assessment on campus, to aid our capacity planning for on-campus study space. Please speak to your Department/School beforehand, if you are relying on use of University facilities to undertake an online assessment.
You will be expected to undertake your online assessments as scheduled by your Department/School. Where students have any concerns regarding assessments and their ability to participate in the assessment process, they should contact their Module Leader or Programme Director in order that appropriate arrangements can be made, in advance, to support participation.
In preparing you for your online assessment, your Department/School will provide information on whether you can access materials (known as ‘open book’ assessments). Most online assessments will be ‘open book’, which means students will be permitted to access some relevant materials, i.e. notes, textbooks, webpages etc. ‘Open book’ assessments require as much preparation as ‘closed-book’ assessments. Some assessments will be ‘closed book’, meaning that materials cannot be accessed for the duration of the online assessment, and this will be made clear to students in advance of the assessment taking place. You should ensure you are clear on the scope of the online assessment in relation to accessing materials, and, if necessary, seek clarification from your Module Leader or Programme Director ahead of the assessment taking place.
Your Department/School will make it clear what equipment is required in order to undertake the online assessment. If you need additional support to access and/or operate particular equipment or resources, such as software, you should make your Department/School aware of this as early as possible.
Software packages are available to download free from the University.
MyPlace has technical guidance on preparing for online assessments and you should ensure you have taken the outlined steps to prepare for online assessments to reduce the likelihood of experiencing any technical challenges on the day of your assessment. Please read this guidance which will help you prepare for your online assessment. If you require further guidance, please contact your Module Leader or Programme Director.
Your Department/School will clearly set out its expectations for your online assessment, which could involve typed answers, but could also involve submissions which are handwritten or hand drawn. If you are unsure about your Department/School’s expectations for a particular assessment, you should ask your Module Leader to clarify the assessment requirements.
Your Department/School will make the submission procedure clear to you as they prepare you for the assessment. If you have concerns or questions you should check your MyPlace module and/or programme pages for further guidance and get in touch with your Department/School office if you are still unclear after this.
No, you can complete your online assessment from wherever you are based, as long as you are able to access the appropriate hardware (e.g. a computer) and software (e.g. internet access to MyPlace). The MyPlace Student Support site has technical guidance on preparing for online assessments and you should ensure you have taken the outlined steps to prepare for online assessments to reduce the likelihood of experiencing any technical challenges on the day of your assessment. If you are in a different time zone please be aware that published submission times referenced in any documents relating to the assessment will be given in UK time.
Departments/Schools may choose to schedule online assessments for specific times or within specific windows of time. Where this has been done, the times will be published well in advance and due consideration will have been given to the possibility that some students could be engaging in the assessment in other time zones. If you have concerns about this, you should speak directly with your Module Leader or Programme Director.
If the University has approved any additional requirements for you in relation to assessments, your Department/School will ensure that these are still provided wherever appropriate. You should discuss any concerns regarding individual arrangements with your Module Leader or Programme Director and seek support from the Disability & Wellbeing Service if required.
Your Department/School will provide you with information on who to contact and how to get in touch if you believe there is a problem with your assessment. You will also be told how the Department/School will communicate any confirmed issues back to you and any other students undertaking the assessment.
You should communicate these, at the time or as soon as possible, to your Module Leader and contact the IT Helpdesk for technical assistance. You will not be penalised if you are experiencing technical issues which cannot be mitigated within the timeframe of your online assessment, but it is essential that you communicate any challenges to your Module Leader.
Yes. You will have the same arrangements as those sitting the assessment for the first time.
We expect our students to act with integrity and avoid any practices or activities that might be considered as academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to: plagiarism; copying or colluding with other students; submitting someone else’s work; falsifying information; and duplication or resubmission of previously assessed work.
It is important to note that the University expects the same level of integrity to be demonstrated by students in relation to online assessments, as it does for assessments prior to the pandemic. For example, if students have been set a timed examination to complete on an individual basis, it will be unacceptable for students to collude to produce answers, in the same way that it would have been to do so in the examination hall.
The University has measures in place to ensure that the same quality standards for assessments are maintained for assessments delivered online. If the University has a concern about academic dishonesty in any assessment, it may invoke the Student Discipline Procedure. You can find more information on what constitutes Academic Dishonesty at the University here.
We understand this is a difficult time and that not all students will have easy access to quiet and distraction-free study spaces. The Library has individual study spaces, where you may be able to take, by agreement, your online assessment, however, it is important you speak to us if you are relying on use of University facilities to undertake an online assessment. If you anticipate a particular problem with this you should speak directly with your Module Leader or Programme Director to make them aware and to start, as early as possible, any discussions around mitigating this problem.
Students should use their own equipment, where possible. If you don’t have access to a suitable computer then you should speak to your Programme Director as soon as possible. The University is committed to supporting students and this can include access to hardware such as laptop computers.
If you are feeling isolated and unsupported, it’s important to reach out to your peers, friends, and family. You can also contact the University’s Disability & Wellbeing Service for support in these circumstances. The University’s Study Skills Service is also operating online and will be able to provide support and guidance on effective study strategies for learning online and online assessments. The Myplace Study Skills site has guidance and support, and appointments can be booked online or through emailing email@example.com.
We understand how challenging the pandemic and associated measures required by the Scottish Government is for our students and appreciate that your circumstances might be impacted in a variety of ways that you are unable to anticipate. If you are experiencing personal challenges, you should visit the University’s Personal Circumstances web page. If you are concerned about your personal circumstances affecting your studies or assessment, you should discuss your concerns with your Programme Director.