Strategic: The College acknowledges that some students may not have welcomed the decision to continue with assessments during the pandemic. At the same time, the College recognised the need for a flexible approach to defer or request an extension where this was needed, and to make this process as easy as possible for students to use. Principles developed by the College’s Academic Workstream to inform the College approach to assessments in spring/summer 2020, ensure that academic standards were maintained, students were supported in a consistent way, and that students were able to take assessments at the scheduled time where possible and to demonstrate their acquired learning. A separate strategy was developed to manage the research work undertaken by PGR students.
Practical: The practical implementation of the principles surrounding exams and assessments included creating additional resources to support students during remote study, including online assessments. The measures employed focused on: assessment period, assessment format, assessment plans, volume of assessments, marking timeframes/models, technology, and maintaining existing arrangements. This information was communicated to students as part of the College’s coronavirus COVID-19 website. Specific faculty plans were implemented and communicated to manage specific provision regarding: deferral, extensions and interruption of studies; Mitigating Circumstances; Safety Net Policy; progression requirements; assessment integrity; technology and resources; PGR students; suspension of regulations; and supernumerary clinical placements. Further support for teaching and learning more generally has been put in place including: support from Personal Tutors; Teaching, Learning and Assessment with Technology webpages; remote study skills resources from King’s Academic Skills for Learning (KASL) on KEATS; and IT support from the IT Service Desk.
The College did not provide a response to the impact of the UCU Strikes compounded with the pandemic on students' exams and assessments. Your Student Officers will have further conversations with the College on this matter and will keep students updated.
Next Steps: The actions taken by the College around exams and assessments form the basis of an Academic Strategy 2020/21 to anticipate and plan for a range of scenarios, to which the College can adapt rapidly and flexibly- to take account of the diversity of King’s provision, and the needs of different student cohorts. As part of this, a number of sub-groups have been formed to provide solutions on particular areas of provision. Once the exam period is completed, the Safety Net policy will be implemented to ensure students are not disadvantaged. Results will be communicated within specified timeframes with consistent guidance, so students are aware of any actions that they need to take going forward.
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