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As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop we will do our utmost to keep you updated in relation to university services and NHS advice.
We understand that periods of assessment are particularly stressful for many of our students and that the COVID-19 pandemic will be adding to that concern for some of you. We have carefully considered all assessment options in light of this and can now provide you with some more information on how these will take place. This information will be complemented by further details from your Departments and Schools by the end of this week.
Ultimately, we feel very strongly that it is essential that assessment should continue, albeit some of it in an adapted form. This is vital to maintaining the integrity of your qualification and it is also important that we support and acknowledge your continued academic engagement this semester.
However, we are also clear that assessment should fairly reflect the unprecedented circumstances we are all facing and we have put a range of measures in place to ensure this is the case.
We will do everything we can to support you to complete this academic year successfully. We know that it is likely that some students will fall ill over the coming period, and some students will be trying to study whilst dealing with difficult family circumstances and we will work hard to support you and deal with these circumstances and others flexibly and sensitively. We will treat all requests for extensions sympathetically.
All planned coursework will take place as expected. Some assessments may need to be modified to reflect the move to online teaching, learning and submission and some deadlines will be moved to reflect this. Expected coursework will only be cancelled or changed in exceptional circumstances and after approval by the Faculty.
We have reviewed our examination arrangements for the Semester 2 exam and summer resit periods and, unless you have been advised otherwise by your Department (e.g. students on clinical programmes), you should not expect to attend any formal examinations in Liverpool.
In the majority of cases examinations will be replaced by seen (open-book) assessments.
In some exceptional cases, there may be local variation in arrangements, but the rationale for these decisions will be made clear, and will have been approved through internal quality assurance processes to ensure our rigorous standards are complied with.
Open-book assessments will be available to students over a longer period than normal. We will minimise the use of time-controlled tests except where these are required by, for example, professional bodies. We will stagger the scheduling of submission deadlines as far as possible and some deadlines may now be later than the timing of the original examination period in order to give you more time to complete the work.
Alternative assessments will be viewed as exam replacements, and not as coursework. Where appropriate, word limits will be set in order to help manage your workload; normal conventions of coursework (e.g. footnotes) will not be required, and work will be marked as an examination would be (which means not with the level of feedback normally provided for coursework).
We understand that many of you will be working on a range of devices and so markers will not have the normal expectations about formatting, presentation quality, etc and will mark work accordingly.
If resits are required for failed Semester 2 modules the resit will be in the new alternative format and will be held in the resit period. Any resits for failed semester 1 modules would be expected to be carried out in their original format providing that it is possible to do so.
All assessment will be submitted, marked and returned online. Examination Boards have a great deal of experience in taking account of a range of extenuating circumstances and they will follow our well-established institutional Procedures for Protecting the Interests of Students in the Event of Major Disruption to guide fair decisions concerning your progression and classification.
Exam Boards routinely make decisions regarding classification and progression using a range of evidence and, this year, will give particular emphasis to those assessments known to be unaffected by industrial action, the consequences of COVID-19 on teaching and learning, and staff and student illness.
In a small number of cases it may be that some non-final year students cannot fully demonstrate all expected learning outcomes for this year. If that is the case for you then you will have an opportunity to acquire those learning outcomes at a future date during the remainder of your programme.
You will not need to submit extenuating circumstances relating to the impact of COVID-19 on your learning as these will be applied automatically by exam boards. Individual extenuating circumstances only need to be submitted for anything additional to this, for example, illness at key submission points (medical evidence will not be required and this will normally be dealt with by the offer of an extension) or bereavement.
In order to allow for extensions to assessment and the staggered submission deadlines referenced above, and also in order to allow for staff sickness as a result of COVID-19, we will be moving exam results day back and we will confirm this revised date later this week.
Separate arrangements have been approved for some programmes including Medicine, Dentistry, Health Sciences and Veterinary Sciences. You will be notified about the specific alternative arrangements where they sit outside of the above principles.
We also ask all students, if you haven’t already, to update your current location on the personal information portlet in Liverpool Life. This will help us to get a clearer picture of where you are and means we will be able to offer you more effective pastoral support.
We understand that a small number of you may not have access to the technology you need to complete online assessments. We have a small number of laptops which we can loan to students, but please consider your own needs carefully before requesting one; if you take one and don’t need it then it may deprive someone who does. If you do need support of this type then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A document setting these principles out in full can be downloaded from the FAQ pages and, as mentioned, your School or Department will be in touch by the end of this week with more information for your specific programme of study.
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