Chapter 1 - Changes to Existing Policies in Exceptional Years

 

  1. Changes to Existing Policies in Exceptional Years
    1. Introduction
      1. This document summarises all the temporary revisions to current TQA policy that have been approved in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
      2. Any policy which has been amended will be updated to state the following:

        ‘* Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information * Please note: the Dean of Faculty/Deans of Faculties has approved temporary revisions to this policy/section of this policy to ensure that appropriate alternative arrangements required during this period have been made. Information on the temporary arrangements in place may be consulted here: [Changes to the TQA Manual due to Exceptional Circumstances]. The temporary arrangements will be in place until further notice, please ensure you have consulted the latest information available online before taking any action or providing any advice in connection with this policy.’
      3. The areas that have been amended are as follows, and will be treated in turn:

        • External Examiner Absence and Appointments
        • Approval of Amendments to Assessments
        • Mitigation
        • Trailing
        • Module Completion Timeframe and Deferral
        • Late Submission of Coursework
        • Non-Attendance or Non-Submission
      4. Further policy details are available in the appendices.
      5. Where we have created a new policy this has been included within the Exceptional Years Policies and Guidance Handbook.
    2. External Examination Absence and Appointments
      1. In order to allow for external absences at short notice due to illness, childcare etc. a short term replacement process has been created.
      2. In relation to the TQA, this has meant that criteria for nomination have been relaxed in order for these short term replacement to be found. The following criteria, currently listed under 4.2 of the Quality Review Handbook, do not apply in the case of short term appointments:

        • The External Examiner and University of Exeter department should ensure that there is not reciprocal external examining between departments at the University of Exeter and the External Examiner’s home department.
        • The External Examiner should not be appointed for any one programme consecutively from the same institution, nor should more than one External Examiner be appointed from any one department.
        • The External Examiner will serve for a period of four years and shall not be re-appointed for the same programme/s without exceptional reason, normally after a period of five years or more has elapsed since their last appointment.
        • The External Examiner should normally not hold more than two External Examining appointments for taught programmes at the same time; this includes their appointment for the University of Exeter.
      3. In addition, the process for appointment has been amended to allow greater agency from Colleges/departments. Associate Deans for Education will be able to approve nominations, without this being signed off by the Associate Academic Dean for Students. This is not formally recorded within the TQA but is noted here for completeness.
      4. Equally, absence from Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs) is normally approved by the Associate Academic Dean for Students. In these circumstances, approval for absence will not be required. This means that section 4.4 r) of the Quality Review Handbook and section 7.5.1 of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook do not apply.
      5. Further details of the policy is available as Appendix A.
    3. Approval of Amendments to Assessments
      1. In order to allow for changes to be made to assessments at short notice due to exceptional circumstances, it was agreed that Associate Deans of Education could provide final approval without the need for External Examiner approval.
      2. All changes to assessments must be recorded and must be reported at the APAC.
      3. For Ref/Def examinations in 2019/20 Colleges should consult with external examiners where possible, and not automatically use ADEs as final approval point.
      4. The change outlined in 1.3.1 is in contradiction with the current guidance in the TQA manual under the following sections:
        • Section 2.7 and 2.8 of Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.
        • Section 4.4m) of Quality Review Framework.
        • Section 2.2.2.c)v) of Chapter 2 of the Managing Education Provision in the event of Exceptional Circumstances handbook.
      5. As mentioned, these changes have been imperative in the context of the global pandemic in 2019/20. It should therefore be considered if a more permanent change is required to Chapter 2 of the Managing Education Provision in Exceptional Circumstances handbook. As this is meant to be a set of procedures to stand up in exceptional circumstances/years, this should be flexible enough to cover such eventualities. This should be reviewed and amended for consideration at September Taught Programmes Faculty Board.
      6. For further policy details please see Appendix B.
    4. Mitigation
      1. To acknowledge the difficulties students are facing in trying to continue with their studies and assessments during the global pandemic, significant changes were made to the mitigation process.
      2. In essence, students will not need to provide evidence for mitigation claims1 and the timeframe for withdrawing an application for mitigation was extended to three working days following examinations, not within 24 hours.
      3. In addition, deferrals could be offered where students submitted incorrectly or if they submitted late due to technical difficulties.
      4. For mitigation applications related to Covid-19 where supporting evidence is not provided;
        • There will be no examination deferrals permitted beyond August 2021 REF DEF.
        • There will be no PGT assessment extensions permitted beyond the 2020/21 PGT APACs; such extension requests will only apply to assessments set in the 2020/21 academic year.
      5. The change outlined in 4.1-3 is in contradiction with the current guidance in the TQA manual under the following sections:
        • Chapter 10 Mitigation in the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.
      6. Further details of the amendments are available in Appendix C.

        1Exceptions to this rule may apply to some programmes, for example those regulated by PSRBs; please follow programme-specific guidance in such circumstances.
    5. Trailing
      1. Due to the above we anticipate that a greater number of students will defer their assessments, with some also opting to defer further assessments in August if the global pandemic is still having an impact on their studies.
      2. In order to allow students to progress with deferrals pending it has been agreed that trailing of deferred assessments should be allowed, as is currently allowed for referrals.
      3. The principles of trailing will still apply, so it will be at the discretion of the APAC to recommend this option where this is in the students’ best interest.
      4. The changes outlined in 5.1-3 is in contradiction with the current guidance in the TQA manual under the following sections:
        • Section 11.5.1a) of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.
      5. Further details on the policy are available in Appendix D.
    6. Module Completion Timeline and Deferral
      1. With a greater number of students not able to progress this academic year, it was agreed that the module completion timeline should be able to be relaxed.
      2. This is already possible within the wording of the TQA as it states: ‘Exceptions to this rule may be granted in exceptional circumstances and with the authority of the Academic Dean for Students.’ However, in the event of exceptional years where it is anticipated that this rule may need to be relaxed more regularly it is suggested that this should not always be approved through the Academic Dean for Students.
      3. In exceptional years, the ability to extend the module completion timeframe for an individual or group of students should be at the discretion of the APAC. As such this should be added as a power of the APAC in an exceptional year.
      4. As impact of exceptional year may be felt in subsequent years, the APAC may also use this power as a result of an exceptional year. This will need to be reported up to the University APAC.
      5. This will be used in the case of the global pandemic in 2019/20, however this power should be included in general exceptional circumstances procedures. It should therefore be considered if a more permanent change is required to Chapter 2 of the Managing Education Provision in Exceptional Circumstances handbook as mentioned in item 3.5 above.
      6. Changes to the TQA to accommodate these revisions are needed to the following section:
        • Section 2.13 and Section 7.8 of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.
        • Section 2.2.4.g) of Chapter 2 of the Managing Education Provision in Exceptional Circumstances handbook.
      7. Further details on the policy are available in Appendix D.
    7. Late Submission of Coursework
      1. Following the move to online assessments, it was agreed that different late submission guidance and penalties were required.
      2. These are set out in Appendix E.
      3. This also has implications for the mitigation policy, as students will be offered opportunity to defer in lieu of a late submission penalty.
      4. The change outlined in 7.1-3 is in contradiction with the current guidance in the TQA manual under the following sections:
        • Section 2.11 of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.
        • Chapter 10 Mitigation of the Assessment Progression and Awarding Handbook.
      5. Further details of the policy are available in Appendix E.
    8. Non-Attendance and Non-Submission
      1. Where students have not submitted their examination, and where they have not contacted the University to apply for a deferral, students will be contacted and asked if they wish to apply for a deferral.
      2. This policy has implication for the mitigation policy, as we are proactively contacting students.
      3. Changes to the TQA to accommodate these revisions are needed to the following section:
        • Section 2.11 of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.
        • Chapter 10 Mitigation of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.

Last reviewed August 2020

Appendix A - External Examiner Absence and Replacement

The below proposal was submitted for approval to the Education Policy Group on 17 April 2020.

Currently External Examiners for taught programmes are appointed to a standard four year tenure and new appointments must meet the guidance laid out in the UK Quality Code and reflected in Chapter 4 of the Quality Review Framework.

However in light of the Covid-19 situation and the potential need to recruit External Examiners as short-term appointments to cover existing ones who may need to be absent due to various reasons such as, suffering from illness/childcare responsibilities/own institution commitments (this list is not exhaustive), it is proposed that some of the essential criteria for appointment are removed and some of the processes are amended, for this assessment period, to ensure that appointments are made in a timely manner.

The amendments that are being proposed will not affect the University applying its policies and procedures consistently and fairly to ensure the integrity and rigour of assessment practices, which is of paramount importance given that we need to demonstrate robustness in our TQA processes in such an exceptional year.  

Any External Examiners appointed on a short term contract will still have sufficient standing, credibility and breadth of experience within the discipline to be able to comment on the quality and standards of the course in relation to the national standards and frameworks and comment on the reasonable comparability of standards achieved at other UK providers with whom the examiner has experience.

1.     Criteria for appointment: 

To be appointed as an External Examiner at the University of Exeter a number of criteria must be met, with any exceptions being approved by the Academic Dean for Students, the Associate Academic Dean for Students or the Dean of the Faculty of Research. The criteria are as follows:

a)     The External Examiner's academic/professional qualifications should be appropriate in level and subject for examining the programme/s to be examined, and should meet any criteria set out by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies.

b)     The External Examiner’s standing, expertise and experience should be such as to enable fulfilment of the External Examiner's responsibilities. Normally the University would expect such experience to be demonstrated only by those of Senior Lecturer level (or equivalent) status. Where this is not the case, Colleges will be asked to state their reasons for considering the candidate meets the criteria.

c)     The External Examiner should have had significant recent examining experience as an internal examiner at the required level.

d)     The External Examiner and University of Exeter department should ensure that there is not reciprocal external examining between departments at the University of Exeter and the External Examiner’s home department.

e)     The External Examiner should not be appointed for any one programme consecutively from the same institution, nor should more than one External Examiner be appointed from any one department.

f)      The External Examiner will serve for a period of four years and shall not be re-appointed for the same programme/s without exceptional reason, normally after a period of five years or more has elapsed since their last appointment.

g)     The External Examiner should normally not hold more than two External Examining appointments for taught programmes at the same time; this includes their appointment for the University of Exeter.

h)     The External Examiner should not be former member of staff of the University of Exeter, unless there has been a lapse of at least five years. This would normally include honorary staff, members of staff at partner institutions and those who become University employees during their External Examiner appointment.

i)      The External Examiner should not have acted as an External Assessor for a programme during the approval process. A College may apply for an exception to this rule if it can demonstrate to the Academic Dean for Students, Associate Academic Dean for Students or Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Research that it has taken full account of any potential conflict of interest.

j)      The External Examiner must not be registered for an award at the University of Exeter as they are ineligible for appointment as an External Examiner in any part of the University.

k)     The External Examiner should not be appointed if they come under any of the following categories in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest. The Academic Dean for Students, Associate Academic Dean for Students or Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Research will be responsible for resolving conflicts of interest in the appointment of an External Examiner.

    • They are a Council or Senate member
    • They have a close professional, contractual or personal relationship with a member of staff or student involved with the programme of study
    • They have been involved with the supervision of any of the students being examined on placement or professional training
    • They are in a position to influence significantly the future of students on the programme of study
    • They are involved in collaborative research activities with a member of staff or anyone who has been directly involved as an external member of the validation panel for the programme

Whilst some of these criteria are essential in order to maintain and uphold standards of quality, it is suggested that the Academic Dean for Students grants exceptions to d) e) f) and g) and waives the need for these criteria to be met so that External Examiners can be recruited from as wide a pool as possible. By relaxing these criteria for this assessment period, it would mean the following:

  • External Examiners should, where possible, be sourced from a department at an Institution where we are not providing our own expertise. However, if the University has to engage an expert from another provider due to limited availability, where it is providing an expert to the same or closely-related provision, this should not been seen as a reciprocal agreement, and delegation for this approval should fall to the ADE/HoD of the discipline.
  • To avoid any conflict of interest which may build up over time because of an excessive engagement period or re-engagement by the same Institution, External Examiners should serve for a maximum of four years and not normally be reappointed for the same programme without exceptional reason. However, if the University has to reappoint an External Examiner within the normal period of five years it should be seen as an exception, and delegation for this approval should fall to the ADE/HoD of the discipline.
  • To assist in assuring the independence and impartiality of the external examiner and the avoidance of conflicts of interest or reciprocal arrangements, External Examiners should normally not hold more than two External Examining appointments for taught programmes at the same time; this includes their appointment for the University of Exeter. However, as per the above, if the University has to engage an expert who holds more than two existing External Examining appointments, due to limited availability, this should not been seen as a conflict, and delegation for this approval should fall to the ADE/HoD of the discipline.

2.     Nomination and Appointment:

The Quality and Standards Team will continue to work with the College to facilitate the nomination, appointment, provisions of induction information, distribution and response of report, and subsequent payment of External Examiners as per usual practice.

It is proposed that all new nominations continue to be made through the University’s TQAE Connect system, with nominations communicated to the Quality and Standards Team to process as timely as possible. If the Academic Dean for Students deems it necessary, for reason of speed of appointment, to delegate the final approval of appointment to the College Academic Dean of Education or Head of Department this can be facilitated by the Quality and Standards Team through the TQAE Connect System.

3.     Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APAC)

All correspondence regarding APACs and the setting up of virtual Microsoft Teams meeting, including sending out invites, will be carried out by the Hubs as per usual practice. The Hubs will be required to send out any paperwork required, electronically, in advance of the meeting and make any necessary arrangements with the External Examiners attending.  The Hubs also need to ensure that all External Examiners are able to attend virtually or in the case of incapacitation, ask the nominated person within the College or discipline to find a replacement.

Where the Chair of the APAC receives a late notification of non-attendance at the virtual APAC and does not have the time to source a replacement External Examiner they should ensure that the existing External Examiner has been fully involved in agreeing marks and that there is, at the meeting, a written record of the External Examiner’s remarks and recommendations on classifications and failures. 

It is the responsibility of the Hubs to confirm which External Examiners have attended the virtual APAC with the Quality and Standards Team immediately following the APAC so that the Quality and Standards Team can ensure that the External Examiners receive the report to complete after the APAC. The processing of the reports will follow the standard practice.

 4.     Contract and re-numeration:

All External Examiners on short term contracts will be issued with a contract reflecting their terms of service, with the contract being amended from the existing contract to take account of what they will be doing for their associated fee, and the length of service.

All External Examiners will be remunerated for the work they have carried out, including partial work, in line with the College payment structure for External Examiners. The payments will be processed by the Quality and Standards Team as per usual practice.

Any existing External Examiner who are unable to attend the APAC and submit a final report this assessment period, will not be deemed to be in breach of their contract and will be expected to carry on their duties in the next assessment period.

Appendix B - Approval of Amendments to Assessments

The below proposal was submitted to the Education Policy Group for approval on 31 March 2020.

Exam Changes Approvals

In the TQA manual it states that:

‘All draft examination papers must be reviewed by the Module Moderator and improvements/revisions agreed with the Module Convenor/ Leader. An example of good practice is the use of an internal ‘scrutiny group’ to review the content of the draft papers and the associated process ahead of submission to the External Examiner.

Once agreed internally, draft examination papers must be sent to the External Examiner for review and approval.’

In practice, where assessments or changes to assessment have not been approved by an external examiner, as happened during the 2018 industrial action, the Academic Dean for Students was able to approve.

However in light of the current situation, and number of changes required it has been agreed that:

a)     External examiners will not be asked to approve changes to assessment

b)    Changes should all be logged and will be reported to the relevant APAC

It is also proposed that the internal sign off for changes needs to changed, and spread across more people for resilience.

It is therefore suggested that changes to assessments that would normally be sent the Academic Dean for Students are approved by the ADE.

The Education Policy Group are asked to approve this change.

Appendix C - Deferrals and Mitigation

The below was submitted to Academic Dean for Students and DVC Education for approval in March

Extract from: Summary Proposal Paper: Assessment, Progression and Awarding Period Operational Adjustments April 2020 – September 2020

I. Summary:

Below is a series of principles and agreed operational actions in relation to the Assessment, Progression and Awarding period for the summer of 2020, deployed in response to the significant impact of COVID-19 disruption on the University teaching activity since March 2020. These have been assembled following significant discussion and collaboration between both Professional Services education leadership staff and executive academic management in Colleges (Associate Deans for Education). 

II. Action requested:

The Academic Dean for Students and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education are requested to approve all of the proposed principles listed against each activity for onward communication and action implementation.

III. Mitigation Principles

i. Term 2 Coursework Mitigation

Students will be allowed to request an extension on outstanding coursework remaining from Term 2. There is a larger volume than normal of such coursework outstanding due to a series of extensions already actioned in relation to 1) industrial action impact and 2) disruption due to the transfer to online teaching.

This proposal makes allowances for further Term 2 coursework mitigation in relation to the likelihood of additional impact on individual students of COVID-19, either through personal illness, family illness, and general disruption, anxiety and stress of the current national and global situation. It is not possible to ‘evidence’ COVID-19 circumstances in the normal way expected during the mitigation process. However, it is appreciated that COVID reasons not requiring evidence could quickly slide into students using COVID-19 as their default reason, regardless of the reality of the situation. Therefore, principles established as below:

Principles:

  1. Students do not have to provide any evidence for mitigation of their Term 2 coursework still outstanding from 15th March 2020, regardless of reason.
  2. When possible for the academic circumstances of the assignment, an extension of up to 3 weeks after the original or extended deadline will be given.
  3. Where a 3 week extension is no longer possible before the APAC dates in June 2020, the extension date will be no later than 3 weeks before the first UoE APAC. This is to allow for the capacity to mark the assignment and prepare those marks for inclusion in the APAC process.
  4. Where an extension is not possible or appropriate for the assignment, either for academic or APAC timing reasons, the student will be offered a deferral of the assignment to August 2020 or May 2021 period. The student must specify their choice on application.
  5. If a student has chosen an August 2020 deferral and their circumstances are still unfavourable in August 2020, the student may apply for mitigation for a final time with no evidence. A deferral will be granted to May 2021.
  6. Any deferral to May 2021, will affect the student’s progression/award options for the academic year 2020/2021.
  7. In the current situation, no further COVID-19 no-evidence deferrals for Term 2 2020 assessments would be offered beyond May 2021. Normal mitigation processes and rules would be expected to be reinstated by that point.
  8. The August 2021 period then allows for completion of any referrals from the May 2021 deferral period.

ii. Term 3 Examination Mitigation

The potential for COVID-19 impact on students as described above for Term 2 Assessments will still remain during the May examination period and may be more likely if rates of actual sickness have increased at that point. The principles for Term 3 Examination Mitigation in relation to COVID-19 are as below:

Principles:

  1. Students do not have to provide any evidence for mitigation of their Term 3 Examinations.
  2. Students will have until 1st May 2020 to consider their personal circumstances in relation to COVID-19 impacts.
  3. Until 1st May students can choose to defer all examinations to August 2020 or May 2021.  The student must specify their choice on application.
  4. The 1st May deadline is chosen because there does need to be a point of confirmed stability of the ‘sitting’ cohort of students for each exam in order to deliver examinations coherently. Examinations begin on Monday 4th May.
  5. If a student has chosen August 2020 deferral and their circumstances are still unfavourable in August 2020, the student may apply for mitigation for a final time with no evidence for COVID-19 reasons. A deferral will be granted to May 2021.
  6. Any deferral to May 2021, will affect the student’s progression/award options for the academic year 2020/2021.
  7. In the current situation, no further COVID-19 no-evidence deferrals for Term 2 2020 assessments would be offered beyond May 2021. Normal mitigation processes and rules would be expected to be reinstated by that point.
  8. After the 1st May 2020, students must request deferrals per assessment i.e. defer some but not others for their circumstances. Requests must be received as per the normal mitigation timeline rules either before the examination or within 24 hours of sitting. No evidence will be required.
  9. The August 2021 period then allows for completion of any referrals from the May 2021 deferral period.

iii. Mitigation Processing

Principles:

  1. Term 2 mitigation will be dealt with via the current standard mitigation form (albeit without the requirement for evidence)
  2. A Microsoft form will be created for Term 3 COVID-19 no-evidence deferral requests to simplify the process for students and staff. Current version of form (not live for students at this time):

    https://forms.office.com/Pages/DesignPage.aspx?fragment=FormId%3Dd10qkZj77k6vMhM02PBKUxSRLbog3xlKj_jmWFcg0itUQ1ZRSUhZSTdEVVZFWlJMTExVOUpZSDRKTC4u%26Token%3Da7799d22bde7425d8618bc2bab681734
  3. For examination mitigation requests, following the 1st May deadline, we will revert to a version of the current word document form, as this will cope better with partial deferrals on a module by module basis (but without evidence).

Webpage information for students will be revised appropriately for the period. Current example as below which will be further modified once principles are approved. http://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/infopoints/yourinfopointservices/mitigation/

Appendix D - Trailing and Module Completion Timeframe

The following proposal was submitted to the Education Policy Group for approval on 19 May 2020.

Progression

1.     Introduction

It was suggested at the Education Policy meeting on 04 May that two of our policies should be amended to provide Assessment Progression and Awarding Committees with more flexibility to enable student progression. These are guidance around:

-          Trailing

-          Module Completion Timeframe

This paper outlines the changes to these policies and how they will be used to support student progression.

2.     Trailing

The current TQA guidance in Section 11.5.1a) of the Assessment Progression and Awarding Handbook states:

‘Progression, carrying a trailed1 module(s) with referral at the next assessment point. This may only be recommended where a student has failed no more than the permitted maximum number of credits for the award/stage and has achieved the required credit-weighted stage mean, as defined in Chapter 8. In recommending a candidate to progress to the next stage under these circumstances, College Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees must take into account the academic requirements of the programme at future stages. College Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees must be carefully advised over any implications for module choice, prerequisites at the next stage, assessment requirements, financial support and the wellbeing of the student. In addition, College Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees must be satisfied that the candidate is able to pass the trailing modules while also studying (if full-time) for the 120 credits of the next stage.’

This section relates only to referred assessments, and is allowed where students have failed a deferral. However, with an increased number of deferrals this academic year due to the global pandemic, it was recommended that this option is extended to deferred assessments.

It is recommended that a new section is added to state:

‘Progression, carrying a trailed module(s) with deferral at the next assessment point. This may only be recommended where College Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees have taken into account the academic requirements of the programme at future stages. College Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees must be carefully advised over any implications for module choice, prerequisites at the next stage, assessment requirements, financial support and the wellbeing of the student. In addition, College Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees must be satisfied that the candidate is able to pass the trailing modules while also studying (if full-time) for the 120 credits of the next stage.’

Where this is applied, the APAC is still responsible for ensuring that trailing the module is in the students’ best interest, and they are satisfied that the student will be able to pass any trailed module while also studying full time for the next stage.

3.     Module Completion Timeframe

The current TQA guidance in Section 2.13.1 of the Assessment Progression and Awarding Handbook states that:

‘Modules must be completed by the end of the academic year following that in which they were started. Periods of interruption are not included within this timeframe. Exceptions to this rule may be granted in exceptional circumstances and with the authority of the Academic Dean for Students’

The current guidance allows for this rule to be relaxed in exceptional circumstances with approval by the Academic Dean for Students. However, as we are expecting a higher volume of students will be deferring assessments due to the global pandemic, it is more likely that students will reach the end of next academic year without having completed modules started in 2019/20. This is particularly the case for students who have opted to defer all summer 2020 assessments to May 2021. Due to this it is suggested that in the event of an exceptional year, APACs are granted the power to extend the module completion timeframe.

This will require an amendment to Section 7.8 of the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Handbook as follows:

7.8        Exceptional Years

7.8.1     Certain powers of Programme/Discipline APACs are only able to be exercised in exceptional years. These powers include:

a)     Ability to make individual adjustments to student module marks.

b)    Ability to make individual adjustments to student degree classifications.

c)     Ability to extend the module completion timeframe for individual students (this can also be applied in subsequent academic years, as a result of an exceptional year earlier in the students’ programme)

7.8.2     It is at the discretion of the Academic Dean for Students to determine if a year is exceptional. A year would normally only be judged to be ‘exceptional’ when circumstances have had a significant impact on student academic performance, or it has not been possible to assess student academic performance in the usual manner. Reasons that a year may be judged to be exceptional include (but are not limited to):

a)     Natural disaster

b)    War

c)     Disease outbreak

d)    Industrial action

e)     Widespread/significant IT failure.

This amendment will allow for APAC discretion, but consideration should still be given to the ability to assess the student under the current syllabus.

The application of these powers should be reported to the University APAC.

4.     Request

Education Policy Group is asked to approve the amendments to the TQA for application in 2019/20.

Amendments to the TQA on a permanent basis should be approved by Taught Faculty Board.

Appendix E – Late Coursework Submission

The following policy was approved by the Academic Dean for Students and the DVC Education on 22 April 2020.

Untimely Submissions and Submission Errors – Policy

1.     Late submissions

For the summer examinations and assessments, we have kept the types of penalties for late submission comparable to those currently in use for late coursework submissions. These penalties are the same for both (i) option 1 examinations undertaken within a 24 hour window, and (ii) option 3 coursework assessments undertaken over longer time frames within the examination period.

Exam Type Reduce Mark by 5% Cap at Pass Mark Award Mark of 0%
Option 2 Submissions that exceed the ‘total fixed duration’ by up to 14 minutes and 59 seconds late Submissions that exceed the ‘total fixed duration’ by 15 minutes to up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds late Submissions that exceed the ‘total fixed duration’ by more than 30 minutes late

Where a student submits within the total fixed duration for their examination, but after the end of the 24 hour window, then the following penalties will apply:

Exam Type Reduce Mark by 5% Cap at Pass Mark
Option 2 Up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds late More than 1 hour late

When is work late?

Option 1 – work submitted more than 24 hours after the examination paper release time will be marked as late, and penalties will be applied.

Option 2 - work submitted after the ‘total fixed duration’ available to complete and submit the examination will be marked as late. The total fixed duration for option 2 papers consists of: (i) the examination time (as specified on your paper); (ii) the technical upload time; and, only where applicable, (iii) the additional time conferred by a students’ ILP. OR work submitted within the ‘total fixed duration’ but more than 24 hours after the examination paper release time. You should therefore make sure that you start the paper in plenty of time.

Option 3 - work is late where is has not been uploaded by the deadline, as is the case with coursework.

1.      Submission Errors

  • Where a student submits the incorrect file, or the file is corrupted, the student will be offered a deferral. If a student realises their error before a mark of 0% is applied they may choose to take the capped mark instead of undertaking a deferred assessment.
  • Where a student has submitted their examination/assessment on time, but to the wrong location in eBart/ELE, the piece of work should be marked and a non-capped mark awarded where identified.

2.     Illegible Scripts

In the event that students hand write your answers for an examination, it is their responsibility to provide a script that is clearly legible. Candidates who submit scripts which examiners are unable to read will be invited to produce a word-processed transcript. This transcript must be a true copy of the original. If any embellishments are found, this will be treated as suspected academic misconduct following guidance under Chapter 12 – Academic Conduct and Practice.  

3.     Communication to Students

Following to be provided as FAQs and in exam process guidance.

If I submit an exam late will penalties be applied?

Yes, where work has been submitted late, penalties will be applied.

  • For option 1 examinations, work submitted more than 24 hours after the examination paper release time will be marked as late, and penalties will be applied.
  • For option 2 examinations, work submitted after the ‘total fixed duration’ available to complete and submit your work will be marked as late and penalties will be applied. The total fixed duration for option 2 papers consists of: (i) the examination time; (ii) the technical upload time; and, only where applicable, (iii) the additional time conferred by your ILP.
  • For option 3 examinations, work is late where is has not been uploaded by the deadline, as is the case with coursework.

I have realised I have submitted the wrong file/ or submitted to the incorrect place, what do I do?

Where you realise you have submitted your work incorrectly, you should contact the Assessment Helpdesk as soon as possible. They will be able to advise how you can submit the correct work, and if any late penalties apply.  

 

 

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