Covid-19 and the remaining 2019-20 examinations

  • We can confirm that we do not intend to host any examinations in Oxford or Swindon for the remainder of this academic year. This plan includes Semester 1 resits, GDL exams and resits and Semester 2 exams and resits due to be sat in April, May and July 2020.

    Exams will be replaced with an appropriate, alternative assessment that will be determined by your Module Leader, considered within the context of assessment across the level of study within your programme. Some of this may be online and we will provide further, detailed information as soon as we can. Some practical exams will be conducted through Google Meet. Due to social-distancing restrictions, some face-to-face assessments will be rescheduled to another date, once restrictions have been lifted.

    Where exams are replaced by an online assessment, it will run to the same, or a similar schedule as the original exam timetable. Google Calendars will be updated to show how to access the online assessment. July resits will be entered in Google Calendars once candidates are known. The exam will be time-constrained, with a time window for completion which allows for any international time differences, rest breaks, additional writing time or technical hitches. You should aim to complete the tasks in the time allowed, on your own.

    Please see the University's Coronavirus Information for Students webpage for additional resources and information. Please see the Upgrade advice on preparing for take home examinations.

    Mock Exam

    We have created a Moodle course with a mock exam for you to practise downloading an exam paper and uploading an answer sheet to Turnitin. You will need to enrol yourself on the course to participate by clicking on the "Enrol Me" button.

    Assistive technology

    It is assumed that students will use assistive technology (AT) in place of a reader or scribe. This can be your DSA provided software, such as Dragon, Claro or Read and Write, or the in-built accessibility features within your PC or Mac. Students for whom this is not possible or is insufficient, or who feel that another temporary change to their Inclusive Support Plan (ISP) is needed should complete the Google Form to request a change to their provision

    You will need access to the following to sit these assessments:

    • internet access
    • computer, laptop or other device
    • a web browser capable of accessing Moodle
    • software able to open PDFs (many browsers do this)
    • your Moodle login details
    • Microsoft Word or other word processing software
    • a desk and suitable chair to work

    We recommend the following as far as possible:

    • try to arrange a quiet room away from disturbances
    • try to ensure reliable internet access
    • try to have the device plugged in so you won’t run out of battery.
    • try not to have food or drink on the desk. Please take care to ensure there are no spills if you choose to have a drink.
    • switch off or silence any mobile electronic devices so that they do not disturb your work. Ideally put them out of sight or reach as their presence can spoil concentration.

    Appropriate Academic Conduct During Exams

    As a general rule, the University’s academic conduct regulations will always apply and your work will normally be put through Turnitin, so unless you have specifically been told about a variation to the conduct rules, follow the below guidance to keep within the regulations and avoid a conduct investigation:

    You should:

    • always write your answers yourself, in your own words. Upgrade have some tips about paraphrasing;
    • if you need to use other people’s words, figures, pictures or ideas, (e.g. from a book or another source) for part of your examination answer, properly reference them using the correct referencing style. Upgrade have some tips about avoiding plagiarism;
    • work on your own without getting help from anyone else;
    • submit your own work via Moodle.

    You should not:

    • help other people complete their exam or share your exam with anyone else - this is a breach of the conduct regulations and you would be penalised;
    • make contact with anyone else taking the same exam as you during the exam period - this may look like an attempt to cheat. If you have an issue with the exam paper itself, contact the Exams Team, the module leader, or see the Technical Issues section of the FAQ below;
    • copy previous work you have submitted for other assignments or exams, this will be deemed duplication and is a breach of the regulations;
    • gain access to any unauthorised material relating to the assessment before the information is released;
    • use custom writing services.

    If you have any questions about what you can or cannot do in relation to an online examination, ask your module leader.

    You must be signed into your Google@Brookes account to access the exam materials. Work to be uploaded should be saved as a *.PDF or *.docx file. Please do not try to upload a *.pages file to Turnitin as this will not be accepted.


    Guides and templates

    The following guides and templates will help students prepare for and be successful in the new style assessments.

    Frequently asked questions

    Last updated: 23/04/2020

    In order to help you prepare for an online assessment, we are providing a guide in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below on what to expect, how to prepare yourself, your working environment and your technology. This information will continue to be updated. If you think you will have difficulty accessing online exams, please contact exams@brookes.ac.uk

    General information

  • You will need to log on to the Moodle course for your module on the date of the examination. The exam assessment will be available on that page. Open the assessment there. If you log in before the start time of your exam, you will need to refresh the page after the start time to make the assignment visible.

    In most cases the assessment will consist of a PDF question paper which should be downloaded. There may be additional PDF documents such as formula sheets or case studies if required.

    You should complete your answers in a Microsoft Word document or similar file. Please type your answers to all questions in a single document, labelling each question clearly. Save your work regularly.

    You should upload a single file containing all your work to complete the exam before the window closes.

    In some cases the exam may take the form of a Moodle quiz or other online activity.

    Where a calculator is required for a paper, students are free to use any suitable calculator that they have available to them. This can include calculator apps on your phone or device or a web calculator.

    Students may print a copy of the paper for their personal use in the exam.

    Please note that the paper is confidential and should not be shared with other people. Do not share paper or electronic copies with any other people including other Brookes students.

    You should start the exam at the scheduled time shown in your Google calendar, normally 10am or 2pm BST (British Summer Time).
    There will be a 24 hour window to enable you to complete and upload the exam. This allows for technical problems, connectivity issues, time differences, permitted extra writing time and permitted rest breaks. You should aim to complete the exam in the normal time for the exam. You are not expected to work for the full window. There are some modules that will have a different time window to meet accreditation body requirements. Module Leaders will provide information to you if this is the case for your exam.
    We are aware that students may face a number of issues including illness, isolation or lack of access to IT that could prevent them from taking the online assessment. Please contact exams@brookes.ac.uk if you have any issues in the first instance and we will try to find a solution. Illness on the day should use self certification and exceptional circumstances.
    If you are volunteering for the NHS or community to help with Covid-19 related work then you can apply for a change of exam date. Please go to the change of exam date page for more information. You will need a letter from the organisation confirming that you are volunteering and you must apply by week 11 for the Semester 2 examinations in May.
    Module Leaders should have communicated to students what has been put in place for Semester 2 modules by Monday 6 April. This will be updated in Google Calendars. Please check the list of exams that are different from the standard online exam format for your modules.
    Email exams@brookes.ac.uk. We will keep updating this FAQ so if you think something is missing or unclear, please get in touch.
  • Completing my examination

  • On the day of your exam, if you experience any issues with accessing the exam paper, please email exams@brookes.ac.uk, and copy in the Module Leader. The Exams email account will be monitored from 09:00 to 17:00 British Summer Time, and we will respond as quickly as possible. Emails relating to the exams currently running will be prioritised. There is also support available by phone - please call +44 (0) 203 426 0116. Lines may be busy, so we recommend sending an email to exams@brookes.ac.uk as well.
    You can use Microsoft Paint or a similar program and cut and paste the diagram into the final document.
    You may also choose to hand draw and include a scan or photograph in the final document. You will be responsible for ensuring that any scans or photographs of such work are clearly legible for marking.
    See the Online Exam Guide in the “Guides and templates” section above for instructions on including diagrams and graphs in your answer sheet.

    You can use the equation tool in Word

    You may also choose to hand draw and include a scan or photograph in the final document. You will be responsible for ensuring that any scans or photographs of such work are clearly legible for marking.

    See the Online Exam Guide in the “Guides and templates” section above for instructions on including equations and mathematical formulae in your answer sheet.

    See the Online Exam Guide in the “Guides and templates” section above for instructions on typing in Japanese.

    We have worked with Module Leaders to check and remove any material not covered. If the question is optional then choose another question where the material has been covered.

    If there is no alternative question where the material has been covered, or if the question is compulsory, then make a note in your answer sheet against the question that you do not believe the material has been covered. If you are able to attempt the question anyway then please do so.

    Place a statement in the answer text against the question to state that you suspect an error and what that error is.

    Answer the question as best you can stating any assumptions.

    After the exam email exams@brookes.ac.uk with the details of the suspected error.

  • Reasonable adjustments and Inclusive Support Plans (ISPs)

  • The 24 hour window allows for any extra writing time or rest breaks that students normally have.

    If your exam has a shorter window to meet accreditation body requirements then arrangements to allow extra time and rest break entitlements will be made.

    Blue cards will be managed in the normal way for Moodle submissions. You do not need to take any special steps.
    It is assumed that students will use assistive technology (AT) in place of a reader or scribe. This can be your DSA provided software, such as Dragon, Claro or Read and Write, or the in-built accessibility features within your PC or Mac. Students for whom this is not possible or is insufficient, or who feel that another temporary change to their Inclusive Support Plan (ISP) is needed should complete the Google Form to request a change to their provision.

    Students should be able to use zoom functionality to make print larger on screen. Students with a specific font requirement on their ISP will be sent a special version of the paper.

    Students can choose to print on coloured paper at home if they wish and have the facility to do so.

    It will depend upon the reasonable adjustment. Students will hopefully be able to sit the exam at a suitable desk and chair in a room that meets their needs. They will be able to supply any food, drink or medicines and to take any medication, rest or movement breaks as their condition requires. If a student has a requirement that they cannot meet at home then please email altprov@brookes.ac.uk so we can review their circumstances and reach the best possible solution for them.
  • Technical issues

  • For IT related issues with equipment and access please contact the IT Service Desk for assistance - Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm BST
    Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 48 3311
    Chat via our portal (including 24hr Self Service): https://service.brookes.ac.uk
    Once the exam has begun, if you are unable to successfully download the paper, please email exams@brookes.ac.uk and we will email the paper to you. Please note we are not able to offer a 24 hour service for emailing papers.
    If you are unable to upload your work successfully to Moodle and are running out of time then you may email the document to exams@brookes.ac.uk. We will treat the email timestamp as the submission time.
    We are unable to make any on-campus IT facilities available for students at present so you will need to make use of network access and IT kit available to you. If you do not have sufficient facilities available to you then you can contact COVID-19@brookes.ac.uk to see if a hire can be arranged, or whether you are eligible for financial support with the cost of equipment. If, having done this, you are still unable to access IT equipment for your assessments, you will need to apply for exceptional circumstances.
  • Miscellaneous

  • Module Leaders are ensuring that they will cover all the required learning outcomes for the module in the online teaching that they are preparing for delivery in weeks 11 and 12. If necessary exam content will be adjusted.
    We have provided recommendations on the optimal set-up for completing examinations online. We accept that the conditions will not be normal exam conditions and module leaders are adjusting their assessments and/or marking plans to reflect this where necessary. It will still be a valid assessment of each student's knowledge and ability.

    We recognise that you may be feeling anxious about whether you’ll be able to give enough focus to this semester’s assessments to perform to the best of your ability. For that reason, as communicated in an email on Monday 6 April, Oxford Brookes is introducing additional measures for all taught programmes, to make sure that you are not disadvantaged by the changes to the learning materials and assessment methods that have been introduced, or by the disruption that all students are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

    For more information on this, please see the main Student Coronavirus FAQs webpage question 'What is being done to ensure grades do not suffer because of the current extraordinary circumstances?'.

    Other universities will be developing their own processes. Information from colleagues in the sector shows many are using similar approaches to assess their students and enable them to progress. On all programmes which have an accrediting body (e.g. RIBA for Architecture, NMC for Nursing), academic staff are working with those bodies to ensure that they are happy to continue to offer their accreditation for the programme when it is assessed in a new way. Students will be able to complete their degrees with the accreditation they need from those professional bodies.
    We hope that offering a 24 hour completion window will enable some students to work around childcare or other problems but we acknowledge that in some cases this may not be possible. If you are unable to complete online examinations, then we would encourage you to apply for exceptional circumstances. Whilst we appreciate that the situation is not ideal, we have attempted to ensure that student progression is delayed as little as possible, given the implications that delays could have on students' financial circumstances, for example.

    Given the likelihood of technical difficulties with students accessing exams online, and the fact that many international students have already returned home to countries with a significant time difference to the UK, the decision has been taken to provide the 24 hour window for exam completion. This will also allow students who are entitled to extra writing time or rest breaks to complete their papers.Attempting to monitor this would require significant configuration of IT systems, whilst introducing the potential for additional technical problems which would be very difficult to resolve remotely.

    Academic staff are aware that the additional time may be used to work. They are taking account of this in the design of the assessments and the mark schemes.

    We do appreciate that this solution is not ideal, however, we felt it was important to ensure that students are able to progress as normally as possible through their degrees, given the implications that delays could have on students' financial circumstances, for example.
    Academic staff are aware that students will have access to other materials. They are taking account of this in the design of the assessments and the mark schemes.
    We acknowledge that these online exams are not the same style of assessment as a written exam. Exams are not the only way to effectively assess the knowledge, skills and understanding that students have achieved. These assessments will replace exams as the assessment. Where appropriate academic staff will adjust the questions or tasks or the marking schemes to reflect the new style of assessment being used. The assessments will be fair.