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Coronavirus: Law Assessments Update

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Following on from the message received on Monday from the VC regarding the Coronavirus situation, I am posting this to clarify the situation for all of our Law School students in order to avoid any confusion.

If you did not receive the VC’s email directly to your inbox, a copy of the message can be found here.

As the message states, in term 3 there will be no face to face teaching and no face to face assessments. I can confirm that this means no exams will be taking place on campus after the Easter break. If you plan to travel home (and are able), or have returned home already, you will not be required to return to campus.

These are our plans:

  • Teaching: in modules that would have had revision lectures, there will be on-line help and material for you.
  • One-to-one meetings: if you would have had dissertation supervision or personal tutor meetings, your supervisor/tutor will be in touch; communication will be by email/phone or other electronic methods.
  • Exams: in most modules that would have had exams in exam rooms, there will instead be open-book exams. These will be available for you to complete wherever you are in the world on the day you would normally have taken those exams (the exam timetable is not yet available, but it will be in a few weeks). You will have to complete each exam in a 24 hour period, and submit the answers electronically.
  • Other forms of assessment: where assessments are scheduled to be by course work, we do not anticipate any change to those assessments or their timing. In some modules, where presentations form an element of the assessment, your module leader will be in touch to let you know how this will be handled.

We still need to work out some details, taking into account the logistics and technical resources available. We want to ensure that the alternative assessment measures implemented will run smoothly with no negative impact on your learning.

For PPL, ‘Law and’, and ‘Law with’ students: This message applies only to Law modules. You should receive messages about other departmental modules from the relevant departments.

We appreciate that this is a stressful time, and not knowing the exact details can be unnerving. But please be assured we will contact you again once we have more details to share so make sure to check your emails regularly.

Please try to enjoy your Easter break and continue to stay safe.

*************** Update below from 18th March 2020 at 15:30 ***************

Dear Students,

Apparently my last message to you has given rise to a lot of concern. As I said, we will give you more details over the next few weeks. So, while we appreciate that it’s unsettling not to know exactly what will be happening, please accept that in these uniquely uncertain times, uncertainty about some aspects of your assessments will be inevitable for a while.

So please think carefully before you ask my colleagues questions: the more queries they have to answer, the less time they will have to put in place the processes that will reduce the uncertainty you face. An FAQ page will soon be prepared, which should address many of your concerns. But there are a few points that I can clarify immediately:

  1. In ‘open book exams’ you can use any material you want.
  2. When you answer the exam questions we will be advising you to take the amount of time that the exam would originally have lasted (or longer, in the case of people who would have been granted extra time). But you do not have to take this advice – you can spend as much of the 24hrs as you wish preparing and writing your answers. There will, however, be a word limit (details to be confirmed)
  3. The changes to assessment methods should not make it any easier, or harder, to get particular grades. Nor should it lead to students having to do any more, or less, work than they would otherwise have done.
  4. Students will need access to a reasonable computer and broadband: to write their assessments, access on-line material and the exams/assessments, and to submit their assessments/exam answers. We realise that we are not all equally lucky in our access to these resources, and greatly regret that some of you could be disadvantaged. But the move to on-line assessment is a University decision, and the only practical solution to the problems we all face. Anyone who does not have good access should tell us in advance (lawreception@warwick.ac.uk) so we can try and help to reduce or eliminate any disadvantage. We will not take account of such problems if we are told about them only around the time of/after hand-in times.
  5. The SRA restriction on changes to exam methods do not apply to Law Degrees. They apply only to professional training courses. The SRA has confirmed this to me in writing.

We have made many of these decisions because we would not be able to reliably ‘police’ any restrictions on how much time you take (within 24hrs) or what material you consult. Please remember that we are having to rapidly make decisions to use online methods that have not previously been used on the scale envisaged, so we are trying to keep this simple in order to minimize the risk of system failure. But we think that these are the best solutions to the unprecedented problems that we are all facing.

With best wishes

Andrew Sanders, Head of Warwick Law School

If you have any queries, please contact the Professional Services Team on lawreception@warwick.ac.uk 

Wed 18 Mar 2020, 14:10 | Tags: Feature