Advice Updates

We sincerely hope you are well during these concerning times.

The advice team will attempt to give you relevant updates as and when we receive them, whether they are internal EHU updates, or relevant pieces of news and information from exterior sources.

We hope the information found on this page will be helpful to you. 

Please stay indoors as much as you possibly can and stay safe.

 


April 7 2020

Below is correspondence sent out to all students from EHU.

We are publishing here in the case that students were unable to check their Edge Hill inboxes.

 

Dear Student(s)

As promised in Monday’s email, I am writing to provide further details of our planned approach to assessment.  Apologies in advance for the length of this email but it contains important information which we hope will help at this uncertain time.

As stated in my earlier messages, we are acutely aware of the stress and anxiety the current situation is causing everyone; for many of you, that will be compounded by concerns about assessment and how your performance might be impacted by the extraordinary circumstances in which we are all living. We are very alert to these realities and our response seeks to ensure that we are acting in the best interests of all students.

The current situation involves us not only making appropriate adjustments to teaching and assessment but ensuring that those adjustments comply with the quality and standards you would expect and which are necessary to protect the integrity and value of the awards you will achieve for the long term.

We therefore need to be confident that you are given the opportunity to demonstrate your learning and to acquire appropriately graded credit towards your degree classification.  And all of this must be done whilst recognising that the external circumstances have changed dramatically.

Given this, we have taken a number of decisions which will affect how you are assessed, and the details are set out below.  We hope the information provides sufficient certainty about the assessment process and how we will use the outcomes from that assessment to ensure you receive appropriate credit for your work. 

In making these decisions, we are very aware that each of you will be operating in your own unique set of circumstances, studying and living in different environments and with different responsibilities.  We have sought to build in as much flexibility as possible, but if you have specific concerns, please speak to your tutor and they will help you explore the options available. 

Some of the below was contained in my earlier email but it is repeated for the sake of clarity.

 

Graduation July 2020

 

In light of the Government’s recent indications of the length of time we are likely to be living under some form of restriction, we have regrettably taken the decision to postpone the graduation ceremonies which were scheduled for July 2020. We realise this will be a disappointment, especially for those due to graduate but we remain committed to ensuring you have a future opportunity to celebrate your achievements with your loved ones.  We will consider future dates when there is more certainty about when it may be appropriate to organise such gatherings.

 

 

Assessment

 

Non-Examination Based Assessment – All Levels

 

  • If your module is assessed by an assignment, coursework or dissertation, this will still be the case and you will be expected to upload it via Blackboard in the usual way. If you are concerned that your ability to complete an assignment or dissertation may be impeded by an inability to access physical resources on campus, your tutors will provide you with guidance about alternatives that may be available.
  • If you were due to undertake some other non-examination based, face to face assessment (such as a presentation, viva or similar), as far as possible this too will now also be undertaken online. Your tutors will offer guidance on how you can do this, so you are able to complete the work and upload it.
  • For all non-examination-based assignments, as above, we will be granting a blanket 2-week extension for submission. This 2-week period will run from the original submission date; your academic department will confirm the new submission dates.  Whilst we would encourage you to submit your assignments as soon as they are complete, we hope this extension alleviates some of the concerns caused by the rapid change in circumstance. 

 

Examination-Based Assessment

 

Level 5 (UG Yr2), Level 6 (UG Yr3) and Level 7 (PG) Students

  • For all assessments at undergraduate Level 5 and Level 6 and post-graduate Level 7 (which therefore count towards your classification) and which were due to be undertaken by examination, these will now be replaced with open-book, non-invigilated, online Time Limited Assessments (TLAs). If you were already due to undertake a TLA then this will proceed as planned but be subject to the relaxations set out below.

 

  • Except where we are constrained by the rules of Professional or Regulatory bodies (see below), you will be given a 24-hour window to complete the TLA online.  This 24-hours will be from 1000 – 1000 BST.  You will be provided with a full timetable for TLAs in due course, including how to access the question papers. 

 

  • The purpose of providing this 24-hour window is to enable you to undertake the TLA at a time best suited to you, being mindful that you may be in a different time-zone, have caring and other responsibilities or that your living environment may not be conducive to completing the work within a more restrictive timescale.

 

  • It is not the intention that you spend 24 hours completing the TLAs and you are strongly encouraged to prepare for this assessment as you would have done and to seek to complete it within the time normally allocated for the examination.

 

  • To support you in only spending a proportionate amount of time on the TLAs, a word count restriction will be placed on each individual question and you will be notified of this by the academic department in due course.

 

  • To ensure you have sufficient time to prepare for assessment, the main new assessment period will run from 18th May – 5th June 2020 inclusive. If you were due to take an examination in the May assessment window, all of your TLAs will now take place within this new assessment window and your personal timetable will be communicated in due course. If you were due to take an examination at any other time in the coming weeks, then that will be scheduled as planned and your tutors will confirm this to you.

 

Level 4 (UG Yr1) Students

 

  • Except where Professional or Regulatory bodies require it, assessments which were due to be undertaken by examination will be cancelled; all other coursework must however be completed.  Where your academic department is satisfied that you have already completed (or will complete by means of coursework) sufficient assessed work to demonstrate compliance with the Programme Learning Outcomes (which we expect to be the majority of cases), you will not be required to undertake an additional examination; judgements on your ability to progress to Level 5 will be made on your achievements during the year.  Where there are outstanding Programme Level Outcomes which still require testing, your academic department will advise you of how and when these will be assessed; this assessment will not however, be by formal examination.

 

 

 

Assessing Student Performance – ‘No detriment rule’

 

We hope that the changes outlined above enable you to complete your assessments and progress and graduate as planned. We will do all we can to support and facilitate this.

 

Where you have outstanding reassessments, we will seek to support you in completing these to enable you to progress and graduate. Your academic department will discuss this with you, including timescale that can fit into your current assessment requirements

 

Notwithstanding the above mitigations, we recognise that, whatever type of assessment you are undertaking you will be doing so in circumstances quite different to those you expected and in a period of significant disruption.

 

We are therefore in the process of developing rules to enable us to make decisions which will effectively provide a ‘safety net’ and ensure you are not unjustifiably disadvantaged by these circumstances.

 

As long as you would qualify to progress or graduate based on the marks obtained during the year (including those in the upcoming assessment round), we will ensure that any mark you receive cannot be negatively impacted by any under-performance in the upcoming assessment round.

 

The mark you will receive will not be lower than the average mark you would have achieved if the performance in the upcoming assessment round were discounted. It is, however, clearly in your interests to achieve the best mark you can to help improve your overall mark or classification.

 

The above approach will be applied at all levels except where it is prohibited by Professional or Regulatory Body rules (as below).

 

Communicating Outcomes

 

The changes we are making are substantial and it is vital that we ensure the appropriate quality assurance processes to protect the integrity and value of the awards you will achieve. This will be particularly important at the point at which marks are scrutinised at an individual module level and when every individual student’s performance is scrutinised at our Progression and Award Boards. It is vital that sufficient time is given to consider how to ensure fairness to every individual, and we will need to set sufficient time aside for this process.

 

As a result, for those expecting their main results in July, we envisage these  will be available during the week commencing 20th July 2020.  We will confirm the date when the overall assessment schedule has been reviewed.

 

 

Deferrals and Mitigations 

 

It is our firm commitment to provide the support you need to achieve the outcomes you have been working towards.  However, we do recognize that everyone’s situation is different and you will all have differing personal circumstances and demands on your time.

 

For this reason, we have developed a simplified route through which you can, exceptionally, request a deferral of your upcoming assessments.  If, despite the above mitigations, you remain concerned about the impact of coronavirus on your ability to complete your outstanding assessments, then you can request a deferral in advance.  Whilst we would recommend that you complete your assessments if at all possible, deferral requests will be granted, initially to the main resit period in August (when the assessment arrangements are likely to mirror the assessment arrangements in place for this round). The application form can be found here

 

Before making an application for deferral, we would strongly urge you to consider all of the above very carefully. The mitigations in place are specifically designed to support you to succeed in the next assessment round whilst protecting the quality of our awards.  If you have concerns please talk to your tutors, as well as your family and friends before making a decision. 

 

If you have particular circumstances which you would wish to be taken into consideration which do not relate to coronavirus, then our normal Exceptional Mitigating Circumstances procedure remains applicable and can be found here.

 

 

Support

           

We know that, in addition to concerns about assessment, this may be an anxious and unsettling time for you. Whilst we may not be on campus we remain very much available to support you.

 

Your tutors are available via email, as are a range of University services designed to support you. Please see our FAQs page for further details: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/coronavirus-faq/

 

I would particularly remind you that you have free access to the ‘Big White Wall’, available 24/7 wherever you are; this is an excellent resource to help you deal with any stress, anxiety or other issues you may be experiencing at this time. Visit www.bigwhitewall.com to register for free.

 

Students Subject to PRSB Requirements

 

Whilst the above provisions will apply to the great majority of students, those students who are subject to the requirements of Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies will already be aware of the greater constraints placed upon us. This is a sector-wide issue and all such students will be subject to the same constraints regardless of where they are studying. We, along with other institutions, continue to work with the PSRBs to make the case for the need for greater flexibility in these extraordinary circumstances. We will update those students affected by these discussions as appropriate.

 

 

 

Conclusion 

 

We know we cannot alleviate the concerns and anxiety you and your loved ones may feel at the moment.  However, we hope that the steps we have outlined above enable you take confidence from the fact that, given your engagement and commitment, we will do all we can to ensure you progress and graduate, and that the achievements you have had to date will not be undermined by the exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves. 

 

Thank you for your patience as we continue to respond to the current situation and future developments.  We will come back with further details as and when we have additional information.  Colleagues in academic departments are working equally hard to ensure we can provide you with detail at a more personal level in due course.

 

In the meantime, do not forget that we are here to support you and we wish you and those dearest to you very best wishes and good health.

 

 

Lynda Brady 

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)