The content of these pages will be continuously updated in light of ongoing changes and government advice on Covid. Please refer to them regularly.
NEW FAQs updated 07/12/2021
Do I need to ensure Subject Extern approval of the changed or additional assessments in advance?
If an alternative or additional assessment is being prepared now, there will be limited time for review by a Subject Extern Examiner so this is not required. These assessments can be made available in the usual way where appropriate and if this is feasible or for information at a later stage. All Subject Externs have been contacted and advised of this and the exceptional circumstances leading to a possible impact on assessments in UCD.
Extenuating Circumstances changes:
Why have temporary amendments been made to the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Academic Regulations impacting the delivery of assessment for the Autumn examination session?
Academic Council has agreed to provide a formal process and guidance to students on what steps to take in the event they are unable to take assessments due to COVID-19 related circumstances. This is intended to encourage students to attend their in-person examinations when it is safe to do so and ensure students are provided with a suitable alternative that will not unduly delay their progress if unable to take an online or in-person exam.
Further, in light of the anticipated volume of students who may be unable to take assessment due to Covid-19 and/or the need to self-isolate, the application of the verification requirement of the Extenuating Circumstances policy to the affected cohort of students will place undue pressure on professional staff including health services at a time when these are in high demand.
Do I have to provide an alternative assessment opportunity for the January exams session (10-14 January) in place?
Alternative assessment opportunities should be in place to accommodate students who are unable to attend their assessment due to Extenuating Circumstances.
Has the Extenuating Circumstances Policy changed for 2021/22 Autumn Trimester Examination Session?
Yes, temporary amendments to Academic Regulations have been introduced and approved by Academic Council at its meeting of 25th November 2021. Details of the process can be found here.
When will these assessments be scheduled? updated 14/12/2021
This alternative assessment opportunity to allow the completion of the assessment attempt prior to the release of the Autumn trimester grades. A timetable for the January online examination session taking place between Mon 10 and Fri 14 January 2022 is available
What is included in the timetable for additional online assessments in January? updated 14/12/2021
- A timetable is provided for timed online assessments to be delivered between Mon 10 to Fri 14 January 2022.
- Module slots are included for any in-person or online timed exams that were originally scheduled during this Autumn examination session - Fri 10 to Weds 22 December 2021.
- This is a compressed schedule to deliver the exam session over a significantly reduced 5-day period and does not follow the pattern of the original exam schedule provided in December.
- Sessions commence at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm each day.
- Details of the precise timings (start time, duration, any additional time) should be provided directly to students, but we would advise starting at the indicated start times.
- Some students may be taking back to back exams so please also ensure the exam can be completed within two hours where possible.
- Module slots can be ignored if they are not required but it is not possible to change or delete modules from the published timetable.
- The schedule is provided to minimise risk of clashes and students impacted by more than 2 exams in a day. While this is a very low risk, we would advise staff to please be cognisant of the possible impact on students if organising any other assessments with deadlines during this same period (e.g. essays, assignments).
- Personalised schedules will not be available for students as this timetable is based on the original student registration data.
How do I grade this alternative assessment?
This alternative assessment opportunity will be treated as a first attempt. No grade penalty shall apply to students who avail of the alternative assessment opportunity.
Can students take the first assessment and then decide take the alternative assessment opportunity?
Students who attend the original assessment opportunity will be considered to have attempted the assessment and will not be eligible to undertake the alternative assessment. Students who access or download online exams delivered via Brightspace are considered to have attempted the assessment, regardless of whether the assessment is completed
If a student downloads an online exam delivered via Brightspace and is taken ill how do I deal with that?
Students have been informed that in such circumstances that they should notify their Module Coordinator immediately, go through the Extenuating Circumstances process to detail the nature of their circumstances that lead to non-completion of the assessment. On receipt of this Module Coordinators can decide based on the Extenuating Circumstances request.
If I have large numbers taking the alternative assessment when are the grades due in?
Faculty should try and aim to grade the online alternative assessment as quickly as is possible providing students with their provisional grades in advance of the release of final grades for the Autumn trimester. If the final grades are available for the Grade Approvals Process (GAP), they are to be entered via the normal channels. If the final grades are not available, an IA grade is to be entered for the GAP.
What is the text of the temporary revision to Academic Regulations?
Where a student cannot attend a terminal assessment opportunity due to Covid-19, they will be provided with an alternative assessment opportunity prior to the final release of grades on 28 January 2022. In this instance, there will be an exemption from regulations 3.5 and 4.8. Arrangements for the implementation of this temporary regulation can be determined by the Registrar.
What have students been told about the temporary amendments that have been made to the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Academic Regulations impacting on delivery of assessment for the Autumn examination session? updated 14/12/2021
Students have been via emails and FAQs.
How will I be informed if one of my students misses an exam due to COVID-19 related circumstances?
Module Coordinators can see details of students who have missed an exam due to Covid-19 related circumstances on the Extenuating Circumstances - Module Coordinator View report in InfoHub.
Programmes Offices will be able to see this information via their Extenuating Circumstances report.
What is the additional exam session in January intended to be provided for students?
The purpose of the additional exam session in January is in the event they are unable to take assessments due to COVID-19 related circumstances.
What if I have students who missed their exam due to other reasons or illness unrelated to COVID? updated 03/12/2021
Additional online assessments offered during the exam session in January can be made available to all students who have missed an assessment or exam scheduled between 22 November 2021 and 22 December 2021 due to approved extenuating circumstances.
Why do the additional assessments provided during the additional exam session in January have to be online assessments?
These additional assessments are being delivered to students outside of term time and students may already have finalised travel arrangements. It also mitigates the likely impact of continuing COVID-related circumstances. Therefore these should be delivered online only. If there is a very exceptional need to offer in-person additional exams, please contact email@example.com for advice and to agree possible arrangements.
What do I need to prepare for delivery during the additional exam session in January? updated 03/12/2021
An additional online assessment should be prepared for this purpose. An additional January examination session for timed online exams has been scheduled, this session wil take place between 10 - 14 January 2022, schedule will be available on the Asssessment webpages shortly and will be based on data available from the December exam session. Other additional assessments cannot be scheduled as it is not possible to build a new timetable, so please organise non-scheduled assessments as best as possible directly with affected students while cognisant that students might also be taking other scheduled assessments.
What are the dates for the additional exam session in January?
The additional exam session will take place between Monday, 10 January - Friday, 14 January 2022.
I provided an online end-trimester exam in December, do I still need to prepare another online assessment for delivery during the additional exam session in January?
Academic Council agreed that these additional assessments will be required for any students who missed any assessment or exams (online or in-person) during 22 November 2021 and 22 December 2021.
My assessments were delivered during the trimester, but I am aware of students impacted by COVID. Do I still need to prepare an online assessment for delivery during the additional exam session in January?
This will not be scheduled during the additional exam session in January, but you should consider alternative options to help support students to complete any required module assessments as early as possible.
My assessment is an essay or assignment that has a submission window that falls within the period 22 November to 22 December; what do I need to do in light of the extenuating circumstances changes if I have a student affected by COVID-19 related circumstances? updated 08/12/2021
Students impacted by COVID-19 related circumstances or illness are being asked to submit an extenuating circumstances application as soon as possible. When verified by the College, you can agree to a revised submission deadline where appropriate. If the student submits by the agreed deadline, please proceed to grade the assessment and you can then enter the achieved grade where possible or an IA grade if grading cannot be completed by 18 January. If the new timeline is not possible for the student, the College can award an IX grade. Further details of the process for extenuating circumstances can be found here.
What should be offered to students who are still affected by COVID or other extenuating circumstances during the additional exam session in January? updated 03/12/2021
The Extenuating Circumstances policy and opportunity for students to self-certify will still apply (IX grades can be awarded where appropriate by the relevant governing board)
Do I need to have my alternative paper approved by my Extern Examiner
If an alternative or additional assessment is being prepared now, there will be limited time for review by a Subject Extern Examiner so this is not required. These assessments can be made available in the usual way where appropriate and if this is feasible or for information at a later stage.
Will the university be in contact with Subject Extern Examiners to inform them of the temporary changes being put in place?
All Subject Externs have been contacted and advised of this and the exceptional circumstances leading to a possible impact on assessments in UCD.
Will the proposed changes have an impact on the GAP dates?
GAP dates will remain unchanged and the exceptional grade change process is available for results not available in advance of School Module Exam Committees and Programme Examination Boards and to be processed later. IA can be used as a temporary grade in these cases. Efforts should be made to provide provisional results for students in these cases.
How should I provide the provisional results I have available to students?
Use of Brightspace is the advised option for you to provide the provisional results to students. Students are presented with the following information on the Brightspace landing page:
Grades may be displayed in Brightspace in advance of the University's formal results release date. Until ratified by your Governing Board, all grades are considered provisional only.
The resources listed below provide more information:
Displaying Quiz Grades within a Module
Graded Assignment Set up Guide
What result should be entered for students ahead of the SMEC meetings and Programme Exam Board if additional assessment results are not yet available?
For these exceptional circumstances, IA grades should be used until the final result is available.
My examination is not a scheduled terminal in-person examination, do I need to offer an online examination in January if one of my students has approved extenuating circumstances and can’t submit their assessment by the published deadline?
This will not be scheduled during the additional exam session in January, but you should consider alternative options to help support students to complete required module assessment as early as possible.
I am concerned that I may not have a grade ready for my SMEC in January, what should I do?
IA can be used as a temporary grade in these cases. Efforts should be made to provide provisional results for students where possible.
My student is unable to sit the alternative additional online assessment in the January exam session, what should I advise them?
The Extenuating Circumstances policy and opportunity for students to self-certify will still apply (IX grades can be awarded where appropriate by the relevant governing board)
Will there be an official extension to the Autumn Trimester GAP given the additional assessments taking place in early January?
GAP dates will remain unchanged and the exceptional grade change process is available for results not available in advance of School Module Exam Committees and Programme Examination Boards. IA can be used as a temporary grade in these cases. Efforts should be made to provide provisional results for students where possible.
Before the exam:
Where will scheduled in-person exams take place?
UCD exams take place in classrooms or the following exam centres:
Any communications issued to students can also be viewed in the Registry communications archive.
During the exam:
As a module coordinator can I gain entry to the exam hall when my exam is taking place?
Module coordinators are advised to attend the exam centres when their modules exam is scheduled to answer questions from students. Where an academic is not a permanent or contract member of UCD academic staff and does not have access to a UCD staff ID card they should complete a No UCD Staff ID Form and bring along a photographic ID for verification. This form will gain you entry into the exam centre to answer questions on the appropriate exam paper. You should note that if you have an in-person exam taking place in the RDS for example you may also have students sitting in the Newman Building.
What if I cannot attend the exam, can another person attend the exam in my place?
Yes, but the person nominated will need to be a UCD staff member with a UCD staff card which must be presented at the exam centre to gain entry.
What if I am unwell , can I attend the Exam Hall/collect my scripts from the Exam Centres in person?
If you are unwell/displaying Covid symptoms, you should follow HSE guidelines and not attend your exam in person. You can instead name another person to attend in your place. The person nominated will need to be a UCD staff member with a UCD staff card which must be presented at the exam centre to gain entry. You can also nominate an alternative academic contact person for your exam should there be any questions in the hall by emailing their contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where an academic is not a permanent or contract member of UCD academic staff and does not have access to a UCD staff ID card they should complete a No UCD Staff ID Form and bring along a photographic ID for verification.
If you have provided a delivery address in Exams Manager, the scripts will be delivered to that location. If no one is there at the time of delivery, the scripts will be brought to the Distribution Centre for collection from there.
If you have indicated in Exams Manager that the scripts will be collected from the exam hall and you can no longer collect them in person due to illness, they will be brought to the Distribution Centre. You may notify email@example.com if you cannot collect the scripts, invigilation staff at the exam centres will be notified accordingly.
Where are AEADS (Alternative Exam Arrangements– Disability Support) students accommodated for their exam?
Students registered for disability or temporary exam support with the Access and Lifelong Learning centre will take their exam in either the Newman Building, office A106 (for all RDS scheduled exams) or on the Blackrock Exam Campus, office located in the Blackrock Exam Hall (for the majority of Blackrock Exam Centre scheduled exams)
When visiting the exam centre do I wear a facemask?
Yes. The University has mandated that face coverings in the form of a face mask must be worn at all times in indoor settings.
Where are the completed exam materials delivered?
Exam materials can be collected from the exam centre once packaged and immediately following the exam provided you have your UCD staff ID card.
Exam materials are delivered as quickly as possible and within 2 working days to the address you have indicated in Exams Manager when completing your exam cover sheet. For large exams an attempt will be made at delivery the next morning following your exam. If you have not completed an address they will be available for collection (Minimum within 2 working days) from the exam distribution room, located in the basement of the Newman building. You will need a UCD staff card to collect any exam materials. Scheduled delivery to addresses at precise times or days across campus will not be possible to organise. Given many staff may be working remotely, if you would prefer that scripts are delivered directly to the exam distribution room so you can locally organise collection, please ensure to email firstname.lastname@example.org to update the delivery address. You can contact the Exams Distribution Room on ext.8430 to check on the expected delivery times.
When can I collect my exam materials?
Your exam materials can be collected during the distribution room opening hours (see below for dates/times) and should be collected within 2 days of the exam, provided it is safe to do so. Please note there is limited space in the Exams Distribution room (locatd in the basesment of the Newman building), an early collection is therefore appreciated.
What are the distribution room opening hours?
- Monday, 13 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Tuesday, 14 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Wednesday, 15 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Thursday, 16 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Friday, 17 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Saturday, 18 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Monday, 20 December - 8.00am- 21.00pm
- Tuesday, 21 December- 8.00am- 17.00pm
- Wednesday, 22 December - 8.00am- 17.00pm
What will I need to collect my exam materials?
You will need a UCD staff card to collect any exam materials.
What will be contained in my exam materials package?
Your package will contain all answer books, used or unused along with all exam question papers, used or unused. You will also receive an Assessment checklist giving contact details and useful dates.
What do I do if my exam materials package does not contain the correct number of exam question papers?
UCD Exam Regulations state all exam materials, used or unused must be returned by the student. Each student must sign the number of answer booklets returned in the exam hall at the conclusion of the examination. We recommend that each School should have a protocol in place to double-check exam materials when they are delivered. If the numbers expected are not returned, contact email@example.com for this record. Please note that scripts for students sitting in the Newman Building, if requiring additional supports, will be sent separately.
Should I wish for my MCQ examination to be corrected by Assessment, how do I arrange this? (updated 8/12/21)
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a drop off time for your MCQ sheets. Please have a master sheet and cover sheet prepared and include them with the MCQ sheets to be corrected.
What are my options for my terminal assessment in the Autumn Examination Session (December exams)? added 23/11/2021
- Continue as you have planned for online or in-person delivery
- Change from an in-person exam to an online timed exam or online non-timed assessment (see further FAQs below)
Is it possible to change the delivery of my exam from an in-person exam to a timed online exam or online assessment? updated 14/12/2021
It is no longer possible to change the exam timetable to reflect any change in delivery of your planned in-person exam, so late chanes should be referred to email@example.com. Where applicable, we advise planning such a change as far in advance as possible in order to adequately adjust to delivering online and communicating to students. Typically, notification should be provided to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 days in advance and this will also be notified to IT Services.
If I change the delivery of my exam from an in-person exam to a timed online exam or online assessment, is permission required? added 01/12/2021
The Registrar and ACEC have confirmed that planned in-person exams can be changed without any usual permissions or protocols. It is no longer possible to change the exam timetable to reflect any change in delivery of your planned in-person exam (the deadline for this was to notify Assessment by Monday, 29 November). Please contact email@example.com for advice if you wish to make a late change to delivery of planned in-person exam.
I am planning to deliver an in-person exam. Am I required to switch from an in-person exam to an online exam? added 23/11/2021
Planning continues for delivery of in-person exams in line with current Government advice. For those planning to deliver in-person exams, an alternative online timed exam must also be prepared as a contingency in the event that Government advice changes and it is necessary to cancel in-person exams. If required, the in-person exams will be cancelled and replaced by alternative online timed exams that will take place during the same scheduled times
My student has contacted me to say that they are uncomfortable with attending an in-person examination, what should I advise them? 23/11/2021
Please refer a student with any queries to the Student website and FAQs for further information. Advice will vary depending on the student’s circumstances.
Is there a university requirement to have online examinations proctored? updated 01/12/2021
No, there is no requirement to use a proctoring solution, including Zoom, for online exams and you should plan for delivering an online exam that will not be proctored (unless you are participating in the pilot during the Autumn trimester). A reminder that Zoom is not a proctoring tool and has not been approved for use in this regard in line with usual assessment and disciplinary processes, data and privacy considerations.
What do I need to have prepared as a contingency in the event of my planned in-person examination being cancelled should this be required? added 23/11/2021
In the event of in-person exams cancellation, an online alternative should be available to be offered to take place at the same scheduled time. The online timed exam being prepared as a contingency might be required if exams are cancelled just prior to the start of the exam session or during the exam session. This might require a sudden pivot to online delivery of the exams at the scheduled times.
Does the additional online timed exam for use as a contingency to be delivered in the event of in-person exams cancellation require approval and processing in the usual way? How should I prepare for this? added 23/11/2021
If an alternative assessment is being prepared now, there will be limited time for review by an Extern Examiner so this is not required. These assessments can be made available in the usual way where appropriate and if this is feasible or for information at a later stage.
In all cases, Module Coordinators are advised to familiarise themselves with support materials on how to set up an online exam in Brightspace, or attend a workshop covering the assessment method you wish to use. You could also engage with any local supports in this regard. It will be important to organise an internal review of the online assessment and appropriate checks given the requirements for online assessments could be different to the in-person examination. An internal review of the assessment can be done by sharing the assessment item (quiz or assignment)with a colleague using your sandbox and a test student account. (Test student accounts can be requested via www.ucd.ie/ithelp). If you would like to have the settings used in the Quiz/Assignment checked please contact www.ucd.ie/ithelp to arrange this, please do so in good time in advance of your assessment.
There is no requirement to submit online assessments via Exams Manager (the Exam Paper Management System). Assessment will be in contact with you/your School after the conclusion of the examination session to determine which version of the exam, if any, should be published in the Past Exam Paper archive.
I am scheduled for in-person examination/s in the Autumn Trimester examination session, what are all my options?
A module coordinator can determine to continue as planned, with an in-person timed examination in an Exam Centre, however, they must also prepare an alternative online examination in place should the university be required to pivot to online examinations upon the instruction of the government (see FAQs on preparing the contingency alternative online timed exam) .
It is no longer possible to change the exam timetable to reflect any change in delivery of your planned in-person exam (the deadline for this was to notify Assessment by Monday, 29 November). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice if you wish to make a late change to delivery of planned in-person exam.
What are my options if I want to change my in-person exam currently scheduled to an online assessment? (added 23/11/21)
Options for alternative assessments to be delivered during the main exam session can include online timed exams, open book exams (to remain open for 48 hours or more as far as possible) or essays or any other non-timed and non-scheduled assessments that can be submitted online during the main exams period. See FAQ on changing your in-person exam below for next steps.
Please note that the students may still be taking other timed assessments during the period and the changed assessment should be comparable in terms of assessment requirements and load so as to avoid putting undue pressure on students.
I have changed my in-person exam currently scheduled to an online assessment, what happens now?
- If your module has changed to an online timed exam, the module will be adjusted as ‘online’ and retained at the same time within the exam timetable. Please note that the replacement exam does not have to match the original assessment or original duration, but must be possible to complete within the allocated slot.
- The module will be removed if not replaced by a timed online exam (such as open book/ essay etc).
- It will not be possible to reschedule any exams.
- Any changes will be updated in both the published exam timetable and personalised exam timetable for students.
- Please note that any students with back to back in-person/ online exams have been identified and special arrangements offered to them by Assessment.
- Students will be advised and provided with an updated timetable during the week commencing 29 November 2021
- There is no requirement to submit online exams via Exams Manager (the Exam Paper Management System). If you would like to add the online exam questions to the Exam Paper Archive, documents can be submitted at a later stage, after the exam has been completed, by emailing email@example.com. In-person exams already submitted are kept securely and will not be published in the Exam Paper Archive.
I have changed my in-person exam currently scheduled to an online assessment. What information is available to me to set this up in Brightspace?updated01/12/2021
It will be important to ensure to organise internal review of the assessment and technical checks given the requirements for online assessments can be different. In all cases, Module Coordinators are advised to familiarise themselves with support materials on how to set up an online exam in Brightspace, or attend a workshop covering the assessment method you wish to use. You could also engage with any local supports in this regard. It will be important to organise an internal review of the online assessment and appropriate checks given the requirements for online assessments could be different to the in person examination. An internal review of the assessment can be done by sharing the assessment item (quiz or assignment)with a colleague using your sandbox and a test student account. (Test student accounts can be requested via www.ucd.ie/ithelp). If you would like to have the settings used in the Quiz/Assignment checked please contact www.ucd.ie/ithelp to arrange this, please do so in good time in advance of your assessment.
I have changed my in-person exam currently scheduled to an online assessment. What happens to the in-person exam paper that I have already submitted through Exams Manager? added 25/11/2021
The in-person exam paper will not be published to students and can be retracted if not used. Assessment will contact the Schools at the conclusion of the exam session to determine what exam papers (in-person or online) are to be published in the past paper archive, if any. Any paper copies that have been produced will be destroyed in a confidential manner.
Can I offer an online alternative online assessment at the same time as my in-person examination? added 23/11/2021
ACEC considered the matter and concluded that exams taking place during the Autumn Trimester session can either be in-person exams or online exams but not both. Information will be provided to students who may not be in a position to attend an in-person examination.
Exam Centre Requirements
When visiting the exam centre do I wear a facemask?
The University has mandated that face coverings in the form of a face mask must be worn at all times in indoor settings by all staff and students.
What if I forget my face mask when I visit the exam centre?
The exam centre will have a limited number of face masks available on the day.
Will there be social distancing in the exam centre?
Yes, staff and students will be required to socially distance themselves, including when entering and exiting the exam centre. As a result, there may be delays when entering and exiting the exam centre.
Will there be social distancing in the exam hall?
Yes. For students, all desks have been arranged according to government social distancing advice for exams and they will be required to sit at the desk allocated to them. Staff must maintain social distancing within the exam centre at all times.
Will there be hand sanitisers available in the Exam centres?
All exam centres will have hand sanitiser stations available.
The following are the IT supports for online scheduled exams which have been agreed with the Registrar and Assessment.
IT Exam support process for Module Coordinators during the Exam Period:
- Module Coordinator (or nominee) clicks on to the IT Support Hub
- Module Coordinator (or nominee) creates a self service ticket using a new category "Exam Support"
- This will move the query straight to the ETS (Educational Technologies Services, IT Services) call queue, where it will be addressed as a matter of priority
- An auto response message will be issued to indicate that calls logged in this way will be handled as a matter of priority
- The ETS team will be monitoring this call queue when online exams are running during the Exam Period, including on Saturdays, and will contact the MC as a matter of priority to assist with the issue
IT Exam support process for Students during the Exam Period:
- Students will continue to be able to access IT Support in the normal way during the exam period
- Saturday hours will be added to cover the Saturdays that fall within the exam schedule
As with previous exam sessions, please note the following:
- Students should be advised to contact their module coordinator if an issue arises. Ensure students know how you would prefer they get in touch should the need arise and what type of queries can and cannot be addressed during the exam.
- Students can be directed to the Assessment Exam Arrangements webpage for support information on how to prepare themselves for exams.
- You may have nominated a stand-in or have assistance planned for during the exam. In case you might suddenly be unavailable during the exam, ensure the stand-in has prior access to the module at least 24 hours before the exam (via the Module Access Management system). A reminder that any relevant contact information should be provided to students.
- Please do not advise students to use the "Exam Support" category as this will not be visible to them. Students should contact you directly if they are having difficulties.
The following resources may be of assistance to you before and during the examination session: