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Alternative Exams Portal Student Guidance

In April 2020, the University made available a web based tool, called the ‘Alternative Exams Portal' or AEP. The AEP displays your personalised timetable with the time and duration of your centrally timetabled assessments. The AEP also provides access to your online assessments during assessment weeks.

This page provides guidance on how students should use the AEP. Please take some time to read through this extensive information with care.

Taking your online assessment

At the specified date and time, when you are ready to undertake your assessment you will log into the Alternative Exams Portal and go to the module you’re sitting. You can then start your assessment.

  1. Click on the relevant Assessment block to access your assessment paper. Your assessment time has now started. Once you have started, you cannot go back. Do not start until you are ready to sit the assessment.
  2. You will first be asked to confirm you understand and accept the academic integrity rules (addressing plagiarism, cheating and collusion). You will not be able to proceed without agreeing to this statement.
  3. You will then be asked whether you have an agreed entitlement to reasonable adjustments. If you do, you should tick the box. If you do not, proceed.
  4. You will be given your assessment instructions. Your lecturers have been asked to be very clear in setting out what is expected.
  5. The assessment instructions will either give you the assessment questions so you can start working on them, OR you will be given a link through to a quiz tool or a multiple-choice tool where you will take your assessment. In a limited number of cases, departments may use another tool you will already be familiar with.
  6. If you are referred to another tool (Moodle, Questionmark Perception, MyWBS) you will complete your assessment there. If you have been given your assessment questions in a file, you will be uploading your assessment yourself through the AEP. A box for this is provided with an upload function. Once you have uploaded your assessment you must tick the box in the AEP to ensure you have finished your assignment. Do not forget to do this. You cannot return to your work after uploading your assessment.

Please note that your department may or may not want you to use an answer booklet. Do not worry if you don’t find one provided. Just follow the instructions given. If no instructions are given about what file you need to upload, you can simply use any file you prefer.

Your time starts from the moment you click to access your assessment paper. If you are taken to a different tool (Moodle, Questionmark Perception) then your time counter will restart there.

DO NOT click on the block until you are ready to start. Once you have started, you cannot stop and/or restart the process.

We've created four short videos to demonstrate:

If your assessment is in Moodle or QMP

If your assessment takes place in Moodle or Questionmark Perception, your department has been advised to ensure the additional time for technical matters (45 minutes) and the late submission/ reasonable adjustment time (2 hours) are added. You should still aim to work within the timescale set out for the assessment. Your assessment will carry a time stamp allowing your department to see whether you have used more than the time allotted, and will check whether this is justified.

Late submission

If you submit during this late submission window and do not have previously agreed reasonable adjustments, you will need to explain the late submission through the mitigating circumstances portal. If the mitigating circumstances are deemed eligible, then the assessment will be marked as normal and the marks will count towards exam board decisions on progression and award. If the mitigating circumstances are not deemed eligible a mark of 0% will be applied to the assessment.

If you attempt to submit after the end of the submission window, you will not be able to do so as the submission window will have closed and a mark of 0% will be applied to the assessment. However you may still submit a case through the mitigating circumstances portal.

Reasonable adjustments

Students who have an entitlement to reasonable adjustments should always tick the reasonable adjustment box in the AEP (when starting the assessment). You may be concerned that your department or assessment markers are not ware of what your reasonable adjustments are. In that case, you are welcome to add a few lines to explain what markers should be aware of at the beginning of your assessment.

Exam invigilation and technical support

Exam invigilation looks a little different in online assessments. Your module convenor (or nominee) is asked to log in to the AEP at the start of the 24 hr window. For a two hour assessment, they will be available for the first two hours of the 24 hour window. For a 3 hour assessment they will be available for the first three hours of the 24 hour window. For a 24 hour assessment they will be available for the first three hours of the 24 hour window. When they sign out, they will leave any messages in the AEP that you need to be aware of if you start the assessment later.

Please note that you can log any issues with the assessment paper, but there is no individual two way communication possible. Where invigilators (module convenors) find there is an issue logged that has relevance to all students, they will make an announcement to resolve the matter. This message will remain available for as long as the assessment is open (normally 24 hours).

You can log issues through the AEP only, so if your assessment takes place in another tool (Moodle, MyWBS or Questionmark Perception) please do not close the tab to the AEP, as that is where you are able to log any issues.

Once you have uploaded your assessment in the AEP, you must ensure to tick the box below the uploading function to ensure you have fully finished your assessment. Do not forget to do this. If you are asked to use Moodle (MyWBS) or Questionmark Perception, you do not need to do this.

Technical support, invigilation and general oversight of proceedings during the online assessments is only available between 9:00 and 17:00 BST on assessment days (including Saturdays). If you encounter technical problems during the assessment, i.e. you may not be able to complete the assessment in time, or at all, please make sure you use the Mitigating Circumstances portal to raise any such issues. Your department will take appropriate measures.