COVID-19 (coronavirus) FAQs for students on assessment and exams

Last updated: 16 April 2020

New arrangements: key points

For students in year 1 and 2 undergraduate programmes

  • Spring examinations and most further coursework are cancelled in all programmes except professionally accredited programmes as required by Professional Bodies (these are named clearly in the FAQs) and where coursework is required to enable us to assess your performance.
  • Where assessment of your module is complete, you will receive your grade as normal.
  • Where examinations or further coursework have been cancelled, you will be awarded a pass/fail grade on the basis of your coursework to date.
  • Students who have failed spring modules will be given the opportunity to recover the position and thus obtain the credit needed to obtain their degree. Autumn module resits will take place from 11-15 May 2020 as alternative assessments or remote examinations. Resit arrangements are set out in the Resit FAQ’s.
  • All students will progress to study next year.

 

For students on professional UG programmes in years 1 and 2, undergraduates in years 3 and 4, and taught PG students

  • Examinations will be replaced with remote examinations or alternative assessments.
  • The timetable for the release of assessments is here We will support you through this challenging time, to achieve your potential.
  • The University is operating a 'no detriment' approach to the disruption caused by COVID 19.  What this means is that, where assessments are completed, results from the assessment diet will not disadvantage the position for students.
  • Students who have failed spring modules will be given the opportunity to recover the position and thus obtain the credit needed to obtain their degree. Autumn module resits will take place from 11-15 May 2020 as alternative assessments or remote examinations. Resit arrangements are set out in the Resit FAQ’s.

 

Contents

Advice for 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students

What is happening with examinations and other assessments this semester?

For most undergraduate students in first and second year, we have cancelled all examinations and most outstanding coursework.

Your performance this semester will be confirmed based on your marks achieved over the coursework you have submitted.

There are a small number of programmes that are exceptions to this, where a Professional or Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB) requires students to complete all assessment for professional accreditation reasons. A separate section of FAQs for these programmes is located below. These include:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

Faculty of Health Sciences and Sports

  • BSc Nursing

Faculty of Social Sciences

  • BA Social Work
  • BA Hons Professional Education (Secondary) - all subject variants: 
    • BA Hons Business Studies and Professional Education
    • BA Hons English Studies and Professional Education
    • BA Hons French and Professional Education
    • BA Hons French with Spanish and Professional Education
    • BA Hons History and Politics and Professional Education
    • BA Hons History and Professional Education
    • BA Hons Philosophy and Religious Education and Professional Education
    • BA Hons Religious Studies and Professional Education
    • BA Hons Religious Studies with History and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Computing Science and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Biology and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Chemistry and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Chemistry and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Computing Science with Mathematics and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Environmental Geography and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Mathematics and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Physics and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Sports Studies, Physical Education and Professional Education
  • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) - all subject variants 
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Inclusive Practice
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Early Years
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Literacy
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Modern Languages
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Numeracy
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in The Environment

Stirling Management School

First Year Students

For students studying on the first year BAcc Accountancy  including all subject variants

  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Studies
  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Law
  • BAcc Accountancy and Economics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Finance
  • BAcc Accountancy and Marketing
  • BAcc Accountancy and Mathematics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Spanish
  • BAcc Accountancy and Sports Studies

Second Year Students

For second year students studying the BAcc Accountancy including all subject variants:

  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Studies
  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Law
  • BAcc Accountancy and Economics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Finance
  • BAcc Accountancy and Marketing
  • BAcc Accountancy and Mathematics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Spanish
  • BAcc Accountancy and Sports Studies
  • BA  Professional Accountancy
  • BA Finance

Faculty have now confirmed arrangements for these professional programmes.

How will my grade be determined?

Where all elements of assessments are already complete, you will receive the calculated grade for the module as normal. For modules where all elements of assessment will not take place, you will receive a pass/fail outcome, based on your performance.

What happens if I have failed a module(s) this semester?

We expect that your Spring module grades will be released by 29 May 2020. If you fail a module, you will be required to undertake a further assessment. The resit diet for spring modules takes place 23 June to 29 June and details of the work to be undertaken will be issued shortly after 29 May.

This is likely to be coursework or an on-line assessment. There is also a further resit diet in August for those who have had to defer assessment in the earlier diets. Please note, we will be trying to adhere to normal timescales for release, but please bear in mind staff may also have additional caring responsibilities or fall ill, due to COVID-19. We will be working as fast as the situation allows.

Compensation (Undergraduate study)

Currently, if you narrowly fail a module, you are eligible for a compensated pass in certain circumstances. These principles will still apply in the current situation. Compensation decisions are made after the resit diets are complete in July and August.

When will I know if I have passed my modules?

Notification of the outcome and any associated grade will be released via Canvas and the Portal in due course. We will be trying to adhere to normal timescales for release, but please bear in mind staff may also have additional caring responsibilities or fall ill, due to COVID-19. We will be working as fast as the situation allows.

Will reassessment be offered as usual?

Yes, if you have failed the module then re-assessment will be offered for the elements you have failed. See the spring resit FAQ’s.

Does this devalue my degree?

No. Grades in your 1st and 2nd year modules do not contribute to your degree classification.

In addition, the University continues to maintain the academic standards and quality of degrees, and to ensure that the alternative arrangements for assessment being put in place meet required standards and allow robust decisions on student outcomes to be achieved.

Your degree programme specifies learning outcomes that must be achieved for you to receive your degree. These learning outcomes are achieved over the course of your degree and will often be tested several times during its duration, as you develop new knowledge and skills.

Learning in the early stages of your degree is about setting the foundations for future learning and this will be tested fully in years three and four. Your degree classification is based on your performance in your honours years (years 3 and 4 in full-time study) and therefore, this measure will not impact on your degree classification. In designing alternative assessment arrangements, we have sought to make sure that students are not disadvantaged.

I do not really get to grips with my modules until I start revising for examinations, so I am concerned my learning will be affected. What can I do?

At university, you are expected to develop as a resilient, flexible, and independent learner. COVID-19 has created challenging times for everyone, but these remain key skills to develop.

Please go through your modules to ensure you have grasped the main elements of learning, as a foundation for future learning. The learning outcomes you achieve in years one and two are the foundations for subsequent years. We are allowing all students to progress in their studies but you need to engage with your studies to succeed in your degree.

I still have to complete coursework for my module but I am struggling with the impact of COVID-19, what can I do?

We understand this is a difficult situation for everyone and we are keen to support you as much as we can. You can request an extension to coursework if this would help. You can do so through Canvas.

What support is available to help me complete my coursework assignments?

In addition to support from module-coordinators or tutors, study skills and exam preparation advice is available from Student Learning Services (SLS). The SLS Canvas site offers useful resources and information. SLS also provide guidance and support through quick query emails and bookable tutorials (virtual and email). To book, contact sls@stir.ac.uk

Advice for undergraduate students in third and final year and those 1st and 2nd years on professional programmes

What is happening with examinations and other assessments this semester?

For undergraduate students in third and final year, postgraduate taught students and students in 1st and 2nd year who are studying:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

Faculty of Health Sciences and Sports

  • BSc Nursing

Faculty of Social Sciences

  • BA Social Work
  • BA Hons Professional Education (Secondary) - all subject variants: 
    • BA Hons Business Studies and Professional Education
    • BA Hons English Studies and Professional Education
    • BA Hons French and Professional Education
    • BA Hons French with Spanish and Professional Education
    • BA Hons History and Politics and Professional Education
    • BA Hons History and Professional Education
    • BA Hons Philosophy and Religious Education and Professional Education
    • BA Hons Religious Studies and Professional Education
    • BA Hons Religious Studies with History and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Computing Science and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Biology and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Chemistry and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Chemistry and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Computing Science with Mathematics and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Environmental Geography and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Mathematics and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Physics and Professional Education
    • BSc Hons Sports Studies, Physical Education and Professional Education
  • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) - all subject variants 
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Inclusive Practice
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Early Years
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Literacy
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Modern Languages
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in Numeracy
    • BA Hons Professional Education (Primary) with specialism in The Environment

Stirling Management School

First Year Students

For students studying on the first year BAcc Accountancy  including all subject variants

  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Studies
  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Law
  • BAcc Accountancy and Economics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Finance
  • BAcc Accountancy and Marketing
  • BAcc Accountancy and Mathematics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Spanish
  • BAcc Accountancy and Sports Studies

Second Year Students

For second year students studying the BAcc Accountancy including all subject variants:

  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Studies
  • BAcc Accountancy and Business Law
  • BAcc Accountancy and Economics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Finance
  • BAcc Accountancy and Marketing
  • BAcc Accountancy and Mathematics
  • BAcc Accountancy and Spanish
  • BAcc Accountancy and Sports Studies
  • BA  Professional Accountancy
  • BA Finance

As traditional examinations are not possible, you will be assessed either via an online examination accessed remotely or by an alternative assessment. The spring examination timetable is available.

I still have to complete coursework for my module but I am struggling with the impact of COVID-19, what can I do?

We understand this is a difficult situation for everyone and we are keen to support you as much as we can. You can request an extension to coursework, through Canvas, if this would help.

What support is available to help me complete my coursework assignments and prepare for exams?

In addition to support from module-coordinators or tutors, study skills and exam preparation advice is available from Student Learning Services (SLS). The SLS Canvas site offers useful resources and information. SLS also provide guidance and support through quick query emails and bookable tutorials (virtual and email). To book, contact sls@stir.ac.uk

I am worried I will not be able to undertake the alternative assessment or remote examination for my module due to the impact of COVID-19, what can I do?

You can request a deferral of the assessment to the resit/deferred diet which takes place 23-29 June. Let your module co-ordinator know your position so that they can determine if some flexibility may help you, we are keen to help.

What am I allowed to use when completing remote examinations or alternative assessments?

The assessments will all be “open book” which means you can access appropriate academic sources to help you complete your assessments as necessary. However, working in groups, helping or receiving help from other students or third parties is not permitted. Work will be submitted via Turnitin and staff will also check to ensure that work is in line with your current profile. Where staff have reasonable grounds for believing that a student has breached our academic misconduct policy, steps will be taken under the policy.

I would normally use books in the library to prepare for my assessments but the library is closed. What can I do?

All electronic resources are still available through the library and an increased range of books are available online. Your module co-ordinators can help you identify relevant resources and will take into account the resources available to you, in marking your work.

 

I do not have access to a laptop or other device/internet connection

We would ask you to take steps, where practical and safe and within government guidance, to access this equipment to enable you to complete your assessments. Microsoft Office 365 is available as a mobile app and can be used through a range of devices including mobile phones. We will also build in extra time in the assessments to give you sufficient time to work on unfamiliar devices.

Advice on accessing Office 365 is available here. You can access Resources Lists and submit assignments via the Canvas for Students app, which is available from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. However, if it is not possible for you to source a device or have internet access during the exam period, then it is possible for students to submit by uploading photographs of handwritten work via Canvas. This will be particularly helpful for science and maths-based subjects.

Where students are due to submit essay style assignments, this option is available only to students who have no access to devices or the internet, but do have a smart phone and signal. Students in this position, should seek approval from their Faculty in advance.

Remote examinations via Canvas, such as multiple-choice examinations, can be taken on a smart phone via the mobile Canvas App.

If students are unable to access any equipment then the normal arrangements for deferral will apply. The deferred examination guidance is available here.

guide to these various options is available on Canvas.

Will extensions for remote examinations or alternative assessments be on offer?

No. As the assessments will be replacing examinations, no extensions will be offered.

What happens if I submit a remote examination or alternative assessment late?

As the assessments will replace examinations, no late submission will be accepted. Please note that submitting a “corrupted file” will be regarded as a non-submission so care must be taken to avoid this.

Can I defer a remote examination or alternative assessment?

Yes, you can apply for a deferred examination. The deferred diet takes place on 23-29 June 2020. The deferred examination guidance is available on the website. The criteria have been adjusted to include issues associated with Covid-19.

Compensation (Undergraduate study)

Currently, if you narrowly fail a module, you are eligible for a compensated pass in certain circumstances. These principles will still apply in the current situation. Compensation decisions are made after the resit diets are complete in July and August.

Compensation by Qualified Pass (Postgraduate Taught Study)

Currently, if you narrowly fail a module, you are eligible for a compensated pass in certain circumstances.  These principles will still apply in the current situation. Compensation decisions are made after the resit diets are complete in July and August.

Extenuating Circumstances

Applying to have your case considered by the Extenuating Circumstances Board is a last resort measure once extensions, deferred examinations, and leave of absence has already been considered. Detail of the Extenuating Circumstances policy is on the website.

Have special arrangements been made for undergraduate dissertations?

Local arrangements have already been made with students who are submitting their dissertations to provide extra time and adjust requirements where required, due to COVID-19 restrictions having an impact on dissertations and projects.

Will special arrangements be made for postgraduate dissertations?

Some local arrangements have already been made for adjustments to projects and dissertations which have been impacted by COVID-19. As the situation develops, we will consider what other measures may be necessary to support you. You should keep in close contact with your supervisor to discuss any issues you foresee.

How will the 'no detriment' policy work?

We have always operated a 'no detriment' approach to any disruption to ensure that students are not disadvantaged as a result of circumstances that impact the whole institution, and we will continue to do so in recognition of the disruption caused by COVID-19. Examiners and exam boards will act to protect the interests of students at this difficult time.

Alternative arrangements have been designed to allow students to meet learning outcomes. We encourage those students who, due to individual circumstances, require more time to complete work, to apply for extensions where appropriate (and staff have been asked to be accommodating on these) and then deferral if really needed. Our aim is to support the maximum number of students to successfully complete modules and thus meet the learning outcomes for modules and degrees.

Exam boards will additionally be considering students at the level of cohort performance and will give due consideration to the prior performance of cohorts, in order to take into account the national situation and ensure that students’ interests are protected. Where assessments are completed, results from the assessment diet will not disadvantage the position for students.

This approach is designed to ensure that your degree meets national quality, benchmark and where appropriate professional, standards and that when you graduate you can be certain of the quality of your Stirling degree.

Advice for students who hold an ARUAA

I have an ARUAA and normally get extra time in examinations, how will that work?

ARUAA students should note that timescales for submission of assignments have been adjusted to give all students extra time to complete. These are generous allowances in excess of the usual ARUAA allowances and supersede your current arrangements for this diet.

If you have been given an alternative to an exam in the past, and, after consulting the timetable you would like to discuss any further adjustments, please contact the A & I Service via ask@stir.ac.uk who can liaise with your faculty after an online assessment of your needs.

Please do this before 9am on Wednesday 15 April.

I am normally allowed to use a computer to undertake examinations, and/or I use Texthelp Read&Write (or other assistive technology), and/or a scribe in examinations. What should I do?

As all assessments will be carried out remotely, all students will submit via a laptop or other device in the same way as you would if you were submitting coursework.  If you normally use Texthelp Read&Write (or other assistive technology), you can still use this for your assessments. You should have your own assistive technology on your laptop, funded by DSA, or loaned from the University. If you do not have access to the assistive technology you would normally use in exams, please contact Accessibility & Inclusion.

Feedback

When will I receive feedback on coursework already submitted?

In the circumstances, feedback turnaround times will be extended to four weeks where necessary. Feedback will not normally be provided for on-line examinations or alternative assessments.

Advice on completing groupwork

How can I complete the group work for my module?

All teaching and learning should be completed online within Canvas.  In order to support social distancing and meet government public health advice, students must not travel or meet to complete group work in person. 

If you have a group area set up in Canvas you can use that to communicate and collaborate. Otherwise Information Services support the use of MS Teams (part of Office 365) or you may prefer to use external social media channels with which you are more familiar.

FAQs for students on resit and deferred diet

FAQs for students on extenuating circumstances

Advice for taught postgraduate students

Message archive

Dear student

As we approach the end of this semester and the forthcoming period of marking and confirmation of results, I appreciate that many of you are very concerned about arrangements for assessments and how COVID-19 disruption might impact on your module and degree outcomes.  I want to reassure you that we are taking careful steps to ensure that, given these extraordinary circumstances, we act in your best interests.

The University is operating a ‘no detriment’ approach to the disruption caused by COVID-19.  What this means is that, where assessments are completed, results from the assessment diet will not disadvantage the position for students.

We hope that in providing this message we can reassure you that the significant disruption caused by COVID-19 will be taken into account when the module assessment results and final degree outcomes are confirmed.  Examiners and exam boards will act to protect the interests of students at this difficult time.   Further information can be found in the FAQs below.

I would once again like to remind you that Student Support Services are available to anyone who is experiencing concerns or stress relating to their studies. If this applies to you or somebody you know, you can contact the team by phoning: +44 (0) 1786 466022, or emailing: ask@stir.ac.uk.

Professor Leigh Sparks
Deputy Principal (Education and Students)

Thank you for your patience in awaiting further guidance on the examinations and assessments for this semester. We recognise that this is a challenging time, and I am grateful to you all for engaging with your online learning during this period.

As the Principal has outlined, all the steps we are taking are intended to minimise the risk of COVID-19 and help to protect your health, and that of your fellow students, staff and visitors to the University.

The changes set out in this guidance are designed to ease the burden on you, while allowing you to progress through your degree.

We have developed guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below and hope this gives you the information you need at this time.

I recognise particular further circumstances may apply to our postgraduate taught students and will be writing separately to address this.

Your Faculties will be in touch with details of your assessments in the timescales set out above. In the meantime, I would once again like to remind you that Student Support Services are available to anyone who is experiencing concerns or stress relating to their studies. If this applies to you or somebody you know, you can contact the team by phoning: +44 (0) 1786 466022, or emailing: ask@stir.ac.uk

Professor Leigh Sparks
Deputy Principal (Education and Students)