Teaching and Assessment FAQs for Faculty

Information still relevant on Monday 6 July

Teaching and Learning

How will students be taught in Trimester 3 this year?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, UCD will deliver Trimester 3 at distance, ensuring that the expected learning outcomes of the programmes are achieved. Further information about modules in Trimester 3 (availability, delivery & assessment) will be available from Programme Directors or Module Coordinators from Tuesday 12 May.  The Start of Trimester 3 has been delayed by one week and will begin on Monday 25 May.

When do I contact my students about changes?

Lecturers and Module Coordinators should contact students when trimester recommences (March 23) or sooner if at all possible. Module-specific communications should be made via Brightspace communication tool, (i.e. announcements, email).

What do I do when the trimester commences on March 23rd? Do I have to offer online classes at fixed times?

The existing University timetable will be adhered to as far as possible. Much will depend on how you plan to teach for the remaining weeks of the trimester. You can pre-record your lectures for students to access at their convenience, classes may also be delivered using content and learning activities through Brightspace. Some classes may be live streamed for access at fixed times, should you find that approach appropriate. You should contact your students directly to communicate your plans for teaching delivery. Where classes are normally scheduled you should advise students to be available where possible. Lectures should be provided in Brightspace for students to study in their own time and all of the material should be available. Students should be encouraged to structure their study across all their modules to ensure that they keep up to date. Where you are offering tutorials, seminars or other activity live, you should provide details on the time and how students can engage with the proposed activity. There are many suggestions in the guidance document produced by UCD Teaching and Learning which can be accessed at this link

http://www.ucd.ie/teaching/t4media/online_delivery_teaching_learning.pdf

Not all students will be able to be available online for a variety of reasons outside of their control (broadband access; lack of privacy; lack of necessary equipment; increased caring responsibilities) and it is important to provide materials so they can progress with their studies.

Where do I make my lectures and materials available for students?

All lecture and support materials should be made available in Brightspace. These include module information, learning materials, activities and assessments and all materials should be made available immediately for the remainder of the trimester. For support with the most common tasks in Brightspace please click this link:

https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/educationaltechnologies/virtuallearning-brightspace/brightspaceinstructors/

What types of materials do I make available to students on Brightspace?

You should make available the materials that will best support your students’ learning during this period. This will include some of the following examples narrated PowerPoint slides, pre-recorded lectures/videos, case studies, readings, discussion forum, quizzes, online group activities. There is excellent guidance available from UCD Teaching and Learning. Click on this link for further information

http://www.ucd.ie/teaching/t4media/online_delivery_teaching_learning.pdf

I lecture a large number of international students. How do I address their needs across different time zones?

Acknowledging that not all students will be able to participate in ‘live’ sessions it is important that core content is available in other formats on Brightspace and that students are reassured on this point so that their core learning will not be disadvantaged. You should ensure that you record the session and make it available to all students post-delivery. Where live activity does takes place it will be in line with the University timetable and follow local UCD time.

What supports can I offer students with additional needs in terms of online and assessment?

Students are entitled to all of their usual accommodations in an online exam environment. Please see UCD Access and Lifelong Learning's FAQs for information on this. ALL can also provide additional support and guidance as required.

Are online classes supposed to be available until the end of the trimester?

Yes all scheduled classes will continue to take place as we are fully operational. Inform your students directly about the arrangements that you have put in place with reference to your modules and programme.

I have never used Brightspace in this way before or within such a limited timeframe. What do I do?

You can access Brightspace through UCD Connect with your Connect username and password. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely with your College / School based Educational Technologist (where possible) who will provide guidance and advice. If you would like more in-depth support on Brightspace topics, please log into Brightspace and click on Help, Brightspace Essentials Resources for even more help guides and videos. Alternatively, IT Services have developed a set of guides to help you with using Brightspace. If you have problems accessing your account, IT support is available to all UCD staff and students. You can contact our IT Helpdesk at (01) 716 2700 or by emailing ithelpdesk@ucd.ie General hours of service are Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17.30pm.

How do I set up live lectures to deliver online?

Collaborate Ultra is the virtual classroom tool used by UCD to facilitate real-time classes, it can be accessed directly from within your Brightspace module. UCD Teaching and Learning has an excellent lecturers’ guide to the virtual classroom including details on how to set-up, deliver and record in this online environment. You will also need to provide instructions to students on how to access the virtual classroom. A students’ guide is also available from UCD teaching and Learning. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely (where possible) with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

Will I still run my tutorials and seminars?

Yes, where it is possible to continue to do so. You should contact your students to indicate how they will take place and confirm that they will run as per usual scheduled time. Collaborate Ultra in Brightspace or Google Meet (which is part of Google Apps) are the recommended technologies for this activity. Refer to UCD Teaching and Learning Lecturers’ Guide and Students’ Guide to Virtual Classroom. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely (where possible) with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

I have never taught in an online forum before, how do I do this?

Collaborate Ultra is the virtual classroom tool used by UCD to facilitate real-time online classes, it can be accessed directly from within your Brightspace module. Refer to UCD Teaching and Learning Lecturers’ Guide and Students’ Guide to Virtual Classroom. If you need further information on how to support your students’ learning online refer to UCD Teaching and Learning Guidance for Online Delivery of Teaching and Learning. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely (where possible) with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

I have never used a discussion forum. What is it?

Discussion forums are often used in modules to encourage collaboration between students on a topic or task within the module, where they can chat about module materials, ask questions and participate in group work. You can establish the discussion forum within your Brightspace module. If you need information on how to support your students’ learning through discussion forum refer to UCD Teaching and Learning Guidance for Online Delivery of Teaching and Learning.

What are virtual office hours?

Virtual office hours can be used using Google Meet. When students are remotely located, it is essential that they know your availability and how to contact you. Virtual Office Hours can replace face-to-face office hours. Google Meets is recommended for this purpose. Once you set-up Google Meets you should provide the link to students through your Brightspace module.

I lecture more than 500 students how am I expected to maintain contact and answer all of their queries using Virtual Office Hours? What supports will be available to me?

When lecturing large student groups it will not be possible to be in contact with each individual student. Using alternatives in Brightspace will allow you to get information to your student cohort, for example, you could set-up a discussion forum for FAQs and encourage students to ask and answer one another’s common issues/dilemmas relating to the module. For more information on communicating with your students through Brightspace please refer to Guidance for Online Delivery of Teaching and Learning.It is also important that you contact and liaise closely with your College / School based Educational Technologist (where possible) who will provide guidance and advice.

Will the Estate Services Teaching Support AV phone line (extension 7300) continue to operate?

It is currently planned that the Teaching Support phone line will remain active between 9am and 4pm, Monday – Friday. AV technicians will be able to provide limited assistance over the phone. Unlike onsite Teaching Support delivery, the Teaching Support phone line will not be able to provide troubleshooting once a remote class has begun. Queries should be placed outside of class delivery times.

Will faculty retain the right to destroy any online teaching materials (recorded lectures/notes etc.) that are prepared as part of this crisis planning?

The UCD Intellectual Property Policy recognizes that UCD owns “copyright in software, apps, data, databases, database rights or to any online teaching materials (including courses captured in video, or in other digital forms) existing or new and UCD shall own all copyright in such works and publications created by the UCD Community in the course of their activities at UCD.” In the context of material produced by faculty at short notice and solely for the purpose of the provision of distance learning in light of the CORVID 19 University response, the university will waive its rights to ownership of the material in its altered form. Faculty will have the right to destroy any material specifically produced as part of the response once the University COVID 19 response concludes.

I need to access proprietary software with UCD licence for a practical class test, how can I access it off-campus?

Much of the software available in the university can be accessed from anywhere. If you are having difficulty, please contact IT services for advice.

How do I teach studio work from home?

The present circumstances will require that best efforts are made to provide support for students undertaking studio work. Collaborate Ultra is the virtual classroom tool used by UCD to facilitate real-time online classes, it can be accessed directly from within your Brightspace module. Refer to UCD Teaching and Learning Lecturers’ Guide and Students’ Guide to Virtual Classroom. If you need further information on how to support your students’ learning online refer to UCD Teaching and Learning Guidance for Online Delivery of Teaching and Learning. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely (where possible) with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

My module depends on resources that are only available in hard copy in the Library; what can I do now?

You are asked to look at electronic alternatives to the greatest extent possible. If there are resources that can be obtained by the library, please contact your library liaison providing details.

What do I do if I fall ill and am unable to teach my module for an unforeseeable period of time?

You should ensure that you seek appropriate medical advice and support. Contact your Head of School or line manager and inform them of your status. The School has developed a Contingency plan for these circumstances and it should be put into operation by your School.

Do we still require students seeking extenuating circumstances to provide evidence of their circumstances such as note from a doctor or counsellor?

  1. The requirement for written verification to support an application for Extenuating Circumstances (5.1 and 5.2 in the policy) is waived for the remainder of the trimester. A formal statement of circumstances by a student will still be required. The University maintains the right to investigate the validity of applications. In the unlikely case where there is a suspicion that an application may have been submitted fraudulently, the issue may be referred to the University's disciplinary process. This change has been approved by ACEC. We note that the COVID 19 pandemic is placing a significant strain on all elements of society, including students and the vital services from whom they would ordinarily seek evidence in support of an extenuating circumstances application.
  2. Detailed instructions can be accessed at this link.  

 One of my students has a disability and feels overwhelmed by the new technologies. What do I advise them?

UCD Access & Lifelong Learning are developing resources to assist students to adapt to this new working environment. Students can contact support staff for help by emailing disability@ucd.ie.

One of my students has told me that they have a learning difficulty and cannot type fast enough or process information quickly enough to show that participating in online discussions. What can I do?

Access & Lifelong Learning have prepared some advice for students with learning difficulties who have difficulties with typing and/or processing information. These can be found on the UCD Access & Lifelong Learning FAQ page or you can contact staff for advice by emailing disability@ucd.ie

Can I provide extra time for students with additional needs taking online examinations in Brightspace?

Access & Lifelong Learning have prepared some advice for students with learning difficulties who have difficulties with typing and/or processing information. These can be found on the UCD Access & Lifelong Learning FAQ page or you can contact staff for advice by emailing disability@ucd.ie.

One of my students in final year wants to know if there will graduations this year as they have a job starting in July that is dependent on having their degree?

We are proceeding with scheduled classes in so far as it is possible and working towards the normal examination schedule. The examination schedule will be published giving advance notice as to when examinations and assessments will happen. It is anticipated that all students will have their results within the normal timeframe. We are not in a position as this juncture to say when graduations will take place, we are in a very fluid context and we can only make decisions based on the guidelines and advice issued by the government and the HSE. We will be in contact with the student community informing them of the situation nearer the time and based on the information available at that time.

Students are emailing me with queries and I cannot keep up. What am I supposed to do?

Where the queries are not specific to your module, you should refer students to the University FAQ on their Brightspace. You can post a module level FAQ in Brightspace addressing common queries, and inform the class to consult these in the first instance. They should be updated as additional questions arise.

Will tutors be expected to teach hours originally contracted for, perhaps in an online or other format?

Tutors will be paid if already scheduled and this will also apply if their work moves to an online format.

If tutors are not required to teach further this semester, will they still be paid?

If they were originally scheduled but are no longer required, then they would be paid. If they were not scheduled to teach this semester - they would not be paid.

If a tutor cannot teach online because they don't have adequate Internet facilities or a suitable laptop, will they lose their entitlement to reimbursement for contracted classes?

If they can’t teach because they don’t have a laptop or related equipment, facilities can be made available so that they can teach online.

If a tutor needs to cover for faculty at short notice due to sickness, bereavement, or self-isolation, will they be compensated for preparation time as well as class time?

If the tutor is to provide cover for a sick faculty member, and additional work is required, they will be compensated for this as appropriate.

Will tutors be able to receive support for materials they may need specially to deliver teaching online, but do not already possess - e.g. an audio headset, a webcam?

Facilities can be made available so that they can teach online.

A student on a SUSI grant has a difficult home situation which is making study difficult and does not feel that they will get through this trimester. They are afraid of losing their SUSI grant. What do I advise them to do?

You should advise them to contact SUSI. The grant scheme makes provisions for a student to apply under an exceptional circumstance in relation to a repeat period of study, which can be discussed with SUSI directly.

A mature student who has just came back to College this year contacted me wondering if they could reduce their workload to two modules for this semester and were worried that they would lose their SUSI grant. What do I advise them?

You should advise them to contact SUSI directly. The grant scheme makes provisions for a students to apply under an exceptional circumstance in relation to a repeat period of study.

A student has asked me if their SUSI maintenance payments be affected as a result of COVID-19 and campus closures.

Where a college or Higher Education Institute (HEI) has closed the campus as a consequence of COVID-19, but continuing to operate, students will continue to receive their maintenance as normal. The value of the grant will not change. There are 2 scheduled maintenance payments remaining for Higher Education Grant (HEG) students in 2019/20. These are 10/4/2020 and 15/05/2020. 

I am a staff member who is concerned about a student; how can I engage with the UCD Counselling service?

If you would like to schedule a phone consultation with a student counsellor for advice/guidance, please phone (01) 716 3134 or contact student.counselling@ucd.ie with your contact details and request to speak with a member of the counselling team.

Please do not ask students to visit the service in person. If the student requires further information please direct them to the Student Counselling Service website or ask them to get in contact on (01) 716 3134 or by emailing student.counselling@ucd.ie.

Examinations and Assessment

How will at distance teaching affect my end of trimester assessment?

There will be no examinations in the RDS, Blackrock Exam Hall and Newman Centre this trimester.

Will all examinations be at a distance?

Yes. There will be no face to face examinations held this summer. You are asked to consider alternative assessments for each module taking account of the learning outcomes to be assessed for that module. Examples of online alternatives to the traditional end of semester examination include a ‘takeaway’ examination or an online quiz. For further information refer to UCD T&L Guidance for Designing Alternative Assessment Methods

Will the end of trimester Examination timetable being prepared for RDS, Blackrock Exam Hall and Newman Centre be developed in the normal way?  

Examinations will no longer be scheduled to take place in the RDS, Blackrock Exam Hall and Newman Centre.

When do I get in touch with my students about my examinations and assessments?

You need to inform your students by March 31st. You should issue clear comprehensive instructions on the altered delivery and assessment approaches and associated technologies. Where there is any significant change in your assessment strategy, you should notify your students as soon as possible and undertake to give reasonable notice.

Will my scheduled examinations take place as per the original examination schedule?

A new examination timetable for online timed examinations has now been created and made available. It can be found here.

The schedule provides 4-hour blocks over the extended exam period with 2 sessions per day. and the details of the precise timings for the assessment should be confirmed for students. The regulatory requirement specifying a limit of 2 hours for an examination (4.11) was not intended for delivery of online examinations. Additional time will likely be required to ensure adequate flexibility and as appropriate to the specific type of examination.

Are current due dates changing?

Your lecturer / Module Coordinator / Programme Directors will inform you of the required due date for your assessment. The University will be operating according to its existing schedule so there should be minimum changes but in some cases it may occur. The online examination Schedule has been extended, timed examinations will now take place from Tuesday 5 May – Saturday 23 May. Some alternative assessments may have submission dates prior to or during this period. You lecturer/Module Coordinator will provide you with more detailed information on your assessment.

Assignments which were already in train should be completed by the due date. Where this is not possible due to a change in circumstance such as unavailability of material etc, you should complete a late submission of coursework form available here and seek guidance from your lecturer / Module Coordinator. If you cannot complete your work due to illness including infection with CORVID 19, once you have recovered, you should complete an extenuating circumstances form. For help and advice contact your Student Adviser, School and College Office.

What is a take home examination and how does it work? How is it different from an end of trimester examinations in the RDS? 

A takeaway (take home) examination (Open Book) seeks to replicate the examination paper format whereby students will receive the original examination paper via Brightspace and they will submit their answers within a defined time period (e.g. same day/next day) via Brightspace. They will be working remotely and will have access to resources/books in that time period. Students will require instructions on completing the paper. For further information on takeaway examinations and other alternative assessment please refer to UCD T&L Guidance on Designing Alternative Assessment Methods. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

Can I use ebooks as open book assessments?

The standard e-book model is for 3 concurrent users. That normally is not an issue for typical use but it would preclude simultaneous use of an eBook by more than 3 students. This may change and 2 ebook providers have now started to allow UCD library unlimited access for the duration of the crisis.

How do I set up MCQs in Brightspace?

Brightspace offers a number of online quiz options including MCQs. The MCQ can be set-up to be timed, akin to a formal examination. Timetabling issues, time to upskill on this approach and technical support will need to be considered for this examination type. For further information please refer to UCD T&L Guidance on Designing Alternative Assessment Methods. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

What do I use as alternatives to Oral Assessments?

You could organize an online oral assessment utilising technology such as Google Hangouts Meet or Zoom. Collaborate Ultra is prioritised for teaching delivery during the teaching semester, however in the examination period this could be used for oral examinations. Whichever option you choose, oral assessments should be recorded, for potential access by additional graders or external examiners. For further information please refer to UCD T&L Guidance on Designing Alternative Assessment Methods. It is also important that you contact and liaise closely with your College / School based Educational Technologist who will provide guidance and advice.

I have so many students in my module that it will be impossible to provide practice experiences in conducting assessments. What do I do?

Where it is possible it is important that you provide students with an opportunity to practice any unfamiliar online approaches without grading. Unfamiliar online approaches are ones that they have never used before as part of your module such as MCQs, quizzes etc.

If my student contacts me to say that their internet connection failed during an online assessment who do I contact and what should I do?

You should contact IT Services to report this. Brightspace logs all activity, and you might be able to provide immediate assistance if you are made aware. Ensure that your students know to contact you immediately if something like this happens and send you a screen shot. You should take these circumstances into account and treat each case on an individual basis.

If my students don’t have internet access what advice should I give them?

Brightspace is a fully responsive system that works well through web browsers on multiple mobile devices to give you the same information and experiences as on your computer and can be used with 3G and 4G data services on a mobile device. 

If students indicate that they did not perform well due to taking an examination online what do I do?

This depends on the particular circumstances. If it is possible it is best to offer practice sessions that are not graded to ensure that students have familiarity with the process. It is important in this particular context to judge students’ work having regard to the unfamiliar teaching and learning context that both you and they are now experiencing. It is very important to share any revised grading criteria or rubrics with your students.

How do I mark a continuous assessment compared to an examination and how do I explain to student that they are measuring the same thing?

Your alternative assessment should be measuring the same learning outcomes and that should be made clear to your students. Existing assessment criteria/rubric may need to be adapted to align with the alternative assessment. It is important that any revised criteria/rubric are shared with the students and are used to support inter-rater reliability of multiple graders. For further information please refer to UCD T&L Guidence on Designing Alternative Assessment Methods.

Does the late submission of coursework penalty still apply?

Where a student has submitted work within 10 working days of the due date due to COVID 19 related issues, no grade penalty should apply. Where the work is submitted beyond this date, the Module Coordinator and School may accept the work where a valid explanation is provided or the component may be graded incomplete and the student required to make up the component at a later date. The COVID 19 related relaxation of the penalties for late submission of coursework do not apply to assessments scheduled in the formal examination period.

How do I deal with participation marks or presentation marks where some of the class have already completed theirs, and some were still to happen?

Assessment already completed should hold. While presentations can still be completed by video or live stream, this will not always be easy to achieve. In fairness to both cohorts, one approach that might be considered here is to offer a short assignment remedy for the remaining students, but to give every student the option of completing this and receiving the higher of the two grades.

Can I make my modules Pass/Fail only now at this stage?

A module should not be retrospectively made pass/fail. A change in delivery and assessment from face to face to online is not sufficient exceptional circumstance to change the grading of the module or a final component to pass fail. A derogation is required, and a suitable justification would need to be made.

It is possible to delay assessments for programmes that do not have progression in terms of not having a disruptive impact on to registration for September if the spring examination process is not complete?

We are seeking to provide alternative assessments for all examinations and to complete this within the current trimester and associated examination period. It is likely that the COVID 19 University response will extend well into the next trimester so deferring assessments may not be the appropriate response. In some circumstances, where face to face assessment is required, such deferral may be appropriate.

How do we handle final GPA computation in the event that we introduce some P/F grades given that this applies to students finishing after 3 years, so second year grades matter to 3 and 4th year?

A change in delivery and assessment from face to face to online is not sufficient exceptional circumstance to change the grading of the module or a final component to pass / fail. A derogation is required, and a suitable justification would need to be made. Modules assessed as pass / fail will have a neutral GPA and stage or award GPA will be calculated accordingly. The overall award GPA calculation should not be adjusted. Remaining components may be assessed on a pass / fail basis where the component is less that 25% of the overall module grade. The module GPA will then be calculated from the current component grades.

Is there a case for allowing students for whom the trimester does count towards their graduating GPA, get the higher of the GPA with and without GPA neutral this trimester?

No. A consistent approach should be adopted. A variety of alternative assessments are available including end of trimester examinations so an appropriate alternative (albeit recognizing the issues around integrity of the examination process) should be available.

Can we change the weighting of assessment components in the overall module grade? Does this apply to future assessments only? Or also for assessments already completed by students?

The weighting of components that have been completed should not be changed. The remaining components weighting can be adjusted ensuring that the overall component weightings add to 100%.

Can I take a number of my modules from being graded in the standard way into being pass/fail and grade-point neutral modules?

Making a module pass/fail retrospectively would need to be justified and a derogation applied for. The lack of a formal face to face invigilated examination would not be sufficient reason. Pass fail grades should not be applied unless there are specific reasons for doing so. Modules assessed as pass fail will have a neutral GPA and stage or award GPA will be calculated accordingly. The overall award GPA calculation should not be adjusted. Remaining components may be assessed on a pass fail basis where the component is less that 25% of the overall module grade. The module GPA will then be calculated from the current components grades.

What are the options in adjusting GPA calculations to reduce weightings for this trimester assessments?

The approach to calculating the GPA should not be changed where a student has completed assessments that contribute to the award GPA.

Can missing lab-based teaching be treated as grade neutral?

Yes.

Can I use retrospective continuous assessment based on previous activities?

No, Students cannot be graded on previous work submitted where the student was not informed it would be an assessed component of a module.

As we are turning all of our examinations into essays or take home examinations, we are wondering if the normal Late Submission of Coursework Policy (http://www.ucd.ie/governance/resources/policypage-latesubmissionofcoursework/ ) applies in this case now or whether this is handled differently because these are now terminal assessments?

Normal late submission of coursework policy will apply for any assignments such as essays or short answer questions where timed examination conditions have not been imposed. Modules Coordinators should ensure that sufficient time (at a minimum 5 working days) are given for the work to be completed.

  • Where a student is unable to complete the work due to illness or other appropriate circumstance as a consequence of the COVID 19 national response, appropriate consideration should be given and the grade penalty waived.
  • Where a timed open book examination has been set, either for the formal examination period or during term, the late submission of coursework policy will not apply.
  • The Extenuating Circumstances Policy will apply in all cases where appropriate.

 

What do I do if students refuse to accept my alternative assessments?

Students can choose not to submit assessments legitimately set. They are awarded ABS and the module grade calculated as normal. Students have the right to submit an appeal through the assessment appeals process or to submit a complaint under the student complaints process where they feel the assignment was unfair.

How do I check for plagiarism?

Urkund https://www.urkund.com/ is UCD’s originality/similarity checking or plagiarism prevention tool in Brightspace. Urkund means manuscript or document in Swedish. We call it originality checking as the determination of whether plagiarism has occurred is a matter for the lecturer’s judgement. Click here for more information on this.

How will double marking work now in line with the regulations in this current context?

There is no requirement for double marking in the regulations. There is a requirement for appropriate moderation of grades. The School is responsible for putting in place appropriate oversight of the assessment process including moderation practices. This requirement still pertains but it is recognized that there may be specific difficulties in applying agreed processes within the School. Therefore, a School can adapt its processes in the current circumstances. However, the assurance of the accuracy of the grades submitted remains.

Am I still expected to give feedback to students within a 20 day time frame as per the regulations?

Yes.

If an end-trimester terminal examination is being replaced by another kind of assessment – e.g. a learning journal – is there still a requirement for feedback?

Yes. There are a range of feedback options in Brightspace that facilitates feedback. UCD Teaching and Learning provides very good resources in relation to giving Technology Enhanced Feedback. They can be accessed at this link http://www.ucd.ie/teaching/t4media/technology_enhanced_feedback.pdf

How will grades be processed now? Will it be within the same timeframe?

The Grade approval process dates have been adjusted due to the extension of the examination timetable and to provide additional time and flexibility throughout the process. The new GAP dates can be found here, the GradeBook closing date is now Tuesday, 9 June. Provisional results will be released to students on Monday, 22 June and final results released on Tuesday, 14 July.

What remediation options do I offer? What is the timeframe with reference to examination boards?

Your module descriptor has already established how remediation should be offered to students. Only modules which are making in module remediation available need to consider how this will be achieved. Where this was by an assignment, no change may be required. Where an alternative examination was envisaged, a new format may be considered. Where numbers of students are small, you may consider an online timed assessment which might be held using video conferencing so that oversight of the assessment was achieved.

Temporary changes in Academic Regulations now provide:

In the context of Covid-19 Schools can use a grading approach in offering a resit that is not a minimum assessment and may award grades across the full grade profile.

Where a student passes an in-module resit attempt in this trimester it shall be graded according to the grade scale in regulation 4.28 (using the full grade scale) Where a student receives a failing grade for an in-module resit attempt the original provisional failing grade for the module is retained.  for the use of the IA or IX grade where a student has failed the in module remediation attempt.

In the context of Covid-19 where a resit is offered for a module assessed during this trimester, the assessment should reflect the different components and extend beyond the minimum requirements of a resit as currently provided for in the Academic Regulations.

In the context of Covid-19 a School can allow a resit for a module attempted in this trimester to be completed before the Programme Examination Board if it is considered appropriate to do so based on a student’s individual profile over previous stages. i.e. the School may apply an in-module resit opportunity for modules where this has not been specified in the module descriptor. Such an offering would be an additional opportunity; the specified resit would also be available.

In the context of COVID 19, where an in-module resit is the specified remediation opportunity for a module attempted in this trimester, the module will be considered incomplete and IA or IX maybe considered.

It is not suggested that there should be any change to the resit process in regulations, but rather that using the amended IA grade and/ in-module resit options as suggested should provide enough flexibility for this trimester. Any changes to standard resits would be extremely difficult to implement and have long-term consequences, also raising issues in relation to fees and registration.

When do I run resits? How do I let students know about these?

Resits involving assignments that have been scheduled for resolution during the teaching term should proceed as normal. Where a resit examination either in term or during the RDS session will need to be reconsidered and an alternative approach provided. A simple Pass / Fail assessment is required.

How does the student appeal process work now in the context of these new arrangements?

The assessment appeal process will operate normally. This is a paper-based process and meetings of the assessment appeals board can be held virtually. Additional consideration on how a student can view their script and associated comments of the grader will need to be considered but will likely involve the use of a virtual meeting via Skype, Google Meet or Zoom.

Will students’ evaluations for this trimester be taken into account as many things may happen that are beyond my control and may reflect badly on my overall ratings?

Student Feedback on Modules will proceed for this trimester. It is important that we understand the impact of the change in delivery on students and the Student Feedback on Modules is an important mechanism by which Module Coordinators and Heads of School gain such feedback. The feedback comments are private to the Module Coordinator and Head of School and will remain so. Module Feedback scores are available in the Faculty Development Workspace and are summarised in applications for promotion when the applicant chooses to include them. The Faculty Promotion Committee is cognisant of issues with module feedback and lecturer evaluation internationally and will be particularly aware of the potential for significant changes in feedback scores for this trimester.

How do we facilitate Extern Examiner work? Do we allow them to have access to Brightspace? Do they submit reports using the same deadlines?

Subject Extern Examiners should not be required to travel to the campus and discussion with the Extern concerned should be arranged to agree what minimal information will be shared, acknowledging requirements around data security. UCD Assessment is working with IT services to investigate how we can accommodate more fully an at distance extern examiner process for this trimester with access to UCD systems. They will communicate with faculty about this.

What do we do if our Extern Examiner is unable to engage with this work due to their own commitments as a result of COVID 19?

Best efforts in seeking extern examiner input to the grading process should be made. Where this cannot be achieved in the coming trimester, results should be finalized and students informed. The trimester may be reviewed retrospectively by future extern to gain insights for consideration in future contingency planning.

How do we facilitate our Erasmus students returning and taking modules?

It is expected that Erasmus students will take assessment online, irrespective of location. In cases of extenuating circumstances (such as student illness), alternative assessment opportunities may be requested. Where study abroad or Erasmus students do not complete their assessments, arrangements will be managed by their Schools in their home university.

I was due to run a summer school in trimester 3 what do I plan for now?

It is likely that the COVID 19 National response will extend beyond the end of March and Trimester 3 activity will be affected. You should consider carefully if it is worth continuing to plan for such activity this year. For your particular circumstance, you, in conjunction with your School should consider what alternative arrangements may be put in place in the event that face to face activity continues to be difficult. UCD Global can provide additional advice in relation to international mobility.

My programme has professional work experience which consists of mandatory clinical attachments at UCD or in the health or social care services. These have minimum hours and mandatory competency assessments which have to be completed but, planned placements and assessments are being disrupted both in Ireland and abroad. What will happen?

The School should respect the wishes and capacity of the health and social care partners with regard to placement provision, so it is very possible that some placements could be delayed. This may not be uniform across the University or even within your class. Your Programme Director will be working closely with placement providers and will advise you on the contingency plan for you.

How do we deal with summer placements for students?

The University position remains the same: Where a placement provider is willing to take the student and is meeting public health requirements and the student is willing to continue with the placement, the placement can continue. Where a student does not wish to avail of the opportunity, the students academic progression should not be hindered. Alternative activity may therefore need to be provided. The situation remains fluid and this position may change in light of emerging circumstances.

I was meant to be processing student transfer applications in March/April/May now what happens?

You should discuss with your Head of School how this activity can be supported. The University is seeking to the best of its ability to continue to operate and the important business of the institution needs to continue so that the normal business can resume following the removal of current restrictions.

What do I do about student applications for next year especially dealing with international students?

The recruitment of the new intake of students will need to proceed if the University is to continue to operate when the restrictions imposed by the COVID 19 National response are lifted. UCD Global will provide advice in relation to any specific regional issue.

I have submitted PDARFs to UPB for approval to run programmes in conjunction with outside partners to commence in September 2020. How will they be approved?

UPB has established a mechanism for approval of business. UPB meetings can be held virtually where necessary. A subcommittee of the UPB has been established and is authorized to take decisions when the full UPB is not available. Documentation should be processed for UPB in the normal way.

Will our hourly paid or casually employed staff get paid in the usual way? What can I ask them to do if they have never used Brightspace before?

UMT has issued guidance in relation to the payment of our hourly paid or casually employed colleagues. If it is possible to provide training in Brightspace to part time colleagues through the virtual classroom this should be provided. It is important to link in with your School/College based Educational Technologist (where it is possible) to provide advice and support with reference to supporting part time colleagues.

I am finding all of this very stressful as I have never lectured, taught, assessed in this way before, where do I go for support?

This is a very difficult and challenging time for everyone not only due to the change in approach to teaching that is being requested of colleagues. Please talk to your line manager and to colleagues as peer support is invaluable at this time, and many colleagues are dealing with the same challenges. You may also find it useful to avail of the Employee Assistance Programme who can provide confidential advice on a range of matters. To contact this service, call free and in confidence 24/7, 365 days a year – 1800 817 435.

Can we pull and/or replace exam papers that are currently with Assessment? Some Module Coordinators want to drop the examinations while others want to continue with an end of semester examination but change the format a little?

There is no requirement to process exam papers (via EPMS) in the usual way as exam papers will not be printed. The Assessment team need to investigate possible ways of collating papers at a later stage for the repository and will advise in due course. It will be possible to remove or replace an exam paper to be retained in the repository.

Do I need to schedule my online examination with the Assessment team for publication to students?

If the examination is due to be held during the main examination period (5-16 May), then it should be included in the examination schedule for students. The key objectives of providing a centralised online examination schedule will be to ensure that examination clashes can be avoided and reasonable spread for students and, as far as possible, to front load assessments early in the schedule to maximise time for grading. The Assessment team will only be in a position to build a new online exam schedule when assessment details are finalised after 31 March, but it is anticipated the schedule will facilitate running 2 sessions per day and with at least 4 hours available per session to allow some flexibility. Staff from the Assessment team will be in contact with Schools to outline details on drafting and confirming the Spring examination schedule.

Do we need consent to record student presentations or on-line session engagement (as assessed pieces of work)? If so is there some mechanism to get a blanket consent in relation to this type of assessed work that would benefit from being recorded or would say verbal consent be required each time?

Data Protection considerations that apply for all assessments require Module Coordinators to inform students in advance that a session is being recorded for assessment purposes, and that this will be retained in line with retention guidelines i.e. for 13 months. Consent does not necessarily need to be collated but if a Module Coordinator wants to do this, there is no established mechanism through which consent can be collated. A local process would need to be put in place to collate consent for a particular assessment or across all assessments in a module/ programme. The Student Privacy statement which all students accept on admission to their programme states:

The University will process your personal information for a range of purposes, including the following:

To deliver and administer your education, record the details of your studies (including any placements with external organisations), and determine/confirm your academic achievements (e.g. results, prizes).

What period of time would recorded material have to be kept for?

13 months. 

If a Module Coordinator opts for a take home examination (e.g. a case examination) do we still need to process them through Assessment as normal?

A take home examination might typically 1-2 days or more for completion. If these assessments are expected to take place during the extended examination period, ensure to allow as much flexibility as possible given scheduled, timed online examinations will also be taking place.

How do students with IX grades access their Brightspace Modules?

Students retain access to past modules on Brightspace, the original module can still be used to assess the student if deemed appropriate. If it is preferable to enrol the student to the current offering of the modules this can be requested by contacting student.records@ucd.ie
 
Is there a way that requirements for students who need more time in exams (DSS) can be communicated to either Schools or Module co-ordinators?

This information is available to Module Coordinators. Specific instructions in relation to students requiring exam accommodations are communicated to Module Coordinators via the Infohub Class list.

I am concerned about the academic integrity of my assessment.

Guidance on academic integrity in online and at-distance assessments can be found on the Teaching & Learning website. It covers such information as: what is meant by Academic Integrity; highlights students’ role in understanding and demonstrating academic integrity in their assessments, including agreeing to a UCD Honesty Code (statement); emphasises the importance of communicating to students their permitted access to resources during the assessment; presents some strategies for both preventing and detecting academic dishonesty.

If I have a scheduled/ timed online examination, how much additional time should I provide for completion?

The timetable should provide you with sufficient flexibility to accommodate different approaches to alternative assessments. There are two exam sessions per day, one at 9 am and one 2 pm. Each session is 4 hours long. You are not required to use the full duration, however, it is important to take into account that online assessment will take students longer than normal to complete and additional time may be required for uploading documents at the conclusion of the assessment. The timeslot you have been allocated will allow you flexibility for this. It is important that the specific details of your assessment e.g. start time, finish time, duration of exam, are provided to your students in advance of the assessment. Where it is possible it is important that you provide students with an opportunity to practice any unfamiliar online approaches without grading. Unfamiliar online approaches are ones that they have never used before as part of your module such as MCQs, quizzes etc.

If I have a scheduled/ timed online examination, should I accept late submissions or do penalties apply?

Given the current circumstances it is strongly advised that there is flexibility in relation to the submission timings and if a submission is late this can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Students are advised that they must inform their Lecturer/ Module Coordinator of any issues they experience during the timed assessment.

In Brightspace each assignment can have a specified due date/time and also an end date/time. If an Assignment has a due date set (and end date either not set or set for a later time) then a late student submission is still possible and is also indicated.

If a student is concerned about not progressing within their programme due their performance in their Spring exams, how do I support them?

The standard progression rules as outlined in the Academic Regulations still apply.

5.4 A student may progress to a subsequent stage without completing the previous stage (an incomplete stage) when the following criteria are met:

a) the credits required by the student to complete the incomplete stage do not exceed 10 credits; b) the student has completed all preceding stages to the incomplete stage, if preceding stages exist.

Where a student does not meet the above progression requirements as a result of being awarded IA grades due to COVID-19, a Governing Board can allow progression outside of the above regulation via delegation authority decisions, for the duration of the changes in regulation regarding the application of the IA grade.

Reasonable Accommodations

Students with disabilities will require Reasonable Accommodations for timed examinations or tests. Details of these accommodations can be found on the Module Coordinator’s Class List for each module:

In Infohub click on Students tab

Select My Class Lists 

Select relevant module

The number of students with a disability will appear in the “Students with Disability ” column. Click on the digit to see the list of students with a disability and their classroom and exam accommodations.

If a student requests an accommodation not listed in their current supports please refer them back to Access & Lifelong Learning - disability@ucd.ie.

A student with a disability who has a reading, writing or spelling difficulty can be disadvantaged when assessment takes the form of a written / typed timed examination. How do I deal with this?

If students have such issues and contact you they can register for a support called “Refer to Grading Guidelines.” Please visit where we provide detailed instructions on how these exam scripts should be graded. Please be aware that these guidelines only apply to timed exams, and not continuous assessment. Students are provided with proofreading software and learning support to develop their writing skills for continuous assessments.