Inclusivity: Good Practice Guidelines for Arranging Assessments (Including Exams and In-Class

Inclusivity: Good Practice Guidelines for Arranging Assessments (Including Exams and In-Class

Inclusivity: Good practice guidelines for arranging assessments (including exams and in-class tests) relating to inclusivity and modified provision.

These notes are intended to provide information and guidance particularly for personal tutors and programme leaders and other academic staff.

The Plymouth University Assessment Policy underpins all assessment in line with the Curriculum Enrichment Project from 2015 all standard undergraduate programmes will commence with a 1st year( level4) intensive module. It is vital that inclusive assessment methods are utilised as students’ modified assessment provision may not be finalised when this module is assessed. In addition 1st year programmes will contain a Plymouth Plus module this module will not be assessed through examinations..

  1. What is an inclusive assessment?

At Plymouth University our ambition is that: “All students will have an equitable, supportive assessment experience”

Inclusive assessment will:-

 Fairly evaluate students’ ability to meet module and programme learning outcomes and academic standards

 Be accessible for all students

 Provide every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievements

 Support student engagement, learning, progression, retention and address the needs of our diverse student population

 Be authentic and offer students contextualized meaningful tasks that replicate real world challenges through effective programme design

 Reduce the need for modified assessment provision

  1. Arranging assessments – the process
  1. At the start of the academic year students need to be given information and the dates of all the assessments as soon as possible by their module leaders or programme team.
  2. Students should be informed in advance of the intended learning outcomes and the criteria for assessment for their programme of study. This information should be available on the DLE programme site.
  3. Students should be informed in advance of the marking and assessment criteria of all assessments. This information should be available on the DLE site.
  4. Students should be informed of the requirements of each assessment through lectures, tutorials, seminars, in handbooks and on the DLE.
  5. Programmes with extended exams/ assessments (for example day-long), the dates and schedule should be communicated to students as early as practicable detailing times for refreshments and rest breaks. This will also allow students to organise carer or employment responsibilities
  6. Module leaders will be automatically informed of students’ modified assessment provisions (MAP) through the Student Support Document (SSD) once agreed by Disability Assist Services (DAS). It is good practice for module and/or personal tutors and students to engage in a dialogue about specific assessment needs.
  7. Students with a declared disability and those with a MAP outlined in their SSD should be contacted separately by the module leader and invited to meet to discuss their assessments needs (non –exam). ( e.g. the importance of practice papers, formative feedback, use of the writing café and study skills)
  8. Students particularly those with a MAP should be encouraged to participate in timed (where appropriate) practice assessments/ papers with the opportunity to receive feedback. Mock assessment tasks, are particularly important for students who may stressed by the assessment process and need to develop good assessment techniques. This can reduce student anxiety.
  9. Where reasonable adjustments are recommended but, after discussion with the student it is decided that they do not require the adjustments a Revised MAP (RMAP) form should be completed ( for each individual assessment ) to ensure the students confirms the new arrangement. This is a faculty led process except for exam adjustments which are organised by DAS and the exams office. Revised MAP form.
  10. Good inclusive practice for low stakes, short answer and MCQ in-class test/exam involves the provision of invigilation time for double the period given for the test/ exam (e.g. two hours of invigilation for a one hour test/exam). This may have logistical implications which will need to be addressed in each case. (This is not appropriate for all assessments e.g. tests with open ended descriptive answers or mathematical problems)

Type of test/exam / Double amount of invigilation time for all students / MAPs -individual invigilation time / No extra time
Formative tests – low stakes / √
Questions - short answer / √
Questions - essay style answers / √
Mathematical type problems / √
Multiple Choice Questions (online or paper based ) / √
Laboratory practical / √
Test based on professional /clinical competence where time is crucial. (e.g. CPR ) / √
  1. Where the assessment is designed to measure a competence standard (e.g. a practical test is required to meet with professional standards) no additional time can be allowed. The rationale for this must be explained to students.
  2. Module leaders are responsible for booking their own rooms (if different from the teaching room). This should be done via the online web room bookings facility. In case of difficulties please contact .
  3. The rules governing the allocation and use of invigilators for formal exams do not apply for in-class tests. It is therefore acceptable for all categories of staff to invigilate in-class tests. The University has a database of trained external invigilators who may be used if required. Requests for external invigilators should be made to in a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the test. Once an invigilator is found the module leader will be passed the contact details and will be required to brief the invigilator directly as to arrangements. External invigilators will need to be paid by the School/Faculty at the invigilator’s contracted hourly rate.
  4. Module leaders will be automatically informed of any student who has valid extenuating circumstances affecting assessment as soon as possible after the extenuating circumstances claim has been processed.
  1. Informing students of assessment arrangements via DLE

It is important that students have access to detailed assessment information. This should be made available to all students through the DLE module pages.

The following information should be published:

 Title of assessment and description of the requirements.

 Format of examination/test (seen, unseen, open book, group, presentation etc.), with detail on the assessment guidelines, assessment, marking and grading criteria.

 Value (i.e. weighting) of each assignment.

 Planned dates for any class or group discussions about the assessment. Further sources of guidance and support available (seminars, personal tutorial, DAS, LD and peer support)

 Date and time deadline for submission including information on penalties for late submission.

 Planned dates for the release of marks and feedback.

 Guidance on referencing protocols.

 Hot-link to past examination papers on the library site; and / or links to practice papers (e.g. for multiple choice); and /or links to exemplar answers.

 The names and email addresses of programme & module leader and team.

  1. Examples of good practice

It is important to maintain a dialogue with students about their assessment support needs, as circumstances change adjustments to the support suggested through the MAP may be sensible. Some examples of good practice in this area include:-

 A disabled student is recommended a scribe. The imminent in-class test is a multiple choice paper. After discussion with the student it is decided that they will not need this modification, an RMAP confirms the decision.

 As a result of a meeting with the module tutor a student feels they require a scribe and own room for their in-class test. It is vital that this occurs with plenty of notice ( minimum of 2 weeks ) to enable arrangements to take place. Your faculty office will advise you of the faculty process for booking rooms, locating scribes and borrowing laptops.

 An own room has been recommended for a student to sit their exams in. The personal tutor explains the outline for an ‘in class test’ and offers a trial assessment after which time the student decides they are able to take the test in the normal or a smaller room. The exam provision changes from own room to a smaller room. An RMAP form should be completed to ensure the students confirms the new arrangement.

 A disabled student is assessed and the SSD recommends an extra 20 minutes per test hour additional time. Their exam is 1.5 hours long the student undertakes a practice paper. After a discussion with the student where it is explained the exam room will be open for 3 hours, any additional adjustments are not required as the student is receiving an additional 1.5 hours to complete the exam.

 A student support document (SSD) recommends a student receive 20 minutes per hour rest breaks. Their in-class test is 30 minutes and their module leader has given all students 1 hour to complete the assessment. After a meeting with his/her personal tutor, it is agreed that no additional modifications should to be put in place, the RMAP form confirms this. Further staff guidance regarding SSD’s can be found in this link:

 Ergonomic equipment has been recommended for a disabled student but as the test is less than 30 minutes the student has agreed with their tutor that the provision of this equipment is not necessary. An RMAP form should be completed to ensure the students confirms the new arrangement

 A computer has been recommended for all assessments for a disabled student. The next in-class test is only 30 minutes but the student still feels they need to use a computer for the test. The module leader should contact the faculty office who will advise the process to arrange a loan of the library laptop for the duration of the in-class test.

  1. Summary of responsibilities

Arranging assessments – the process / Module leader / Module team/staff / Students / Personal tutor / Faculty Admin: / DAS
Assessment information : dates, time, length, learning outcomes, assessment & marking criteria, assessment brief, practice papers on DLE & handbook / √ / √
Assessment briefing & activity in lectures, seminars and module tutorials / √ / √
Student Support Document & MAPs (dissemination) / √ / √
Invitation to students with MAPs to discuss individual needs / √
Arranging the required assessment resources ( non-exam) (e.g. room, laptop, scribe etc ) / √ / √ / √
Meeting with students’ to discuss MAPs / √ / √ / √
Completion of a RMAP (if appropriate ) / √ / √
Setting practice papers, test, presentations, quizzes etc: / √
Completion of practice papers, test, presentations, quizzes etc: / √
Feedback on practice papers / √
Arranging assessments – the process / Module leader / Module team/staff / Students / Personal tutor / Faculty Admin: / DAS
Booking rooms for in class tests / √
Requesting an invigilator from the exams office / √
Extenuating circumstances (initial notification ) / √
Extenuating circumstances - administration / √