Learning, teaching and assessment
We will continue to update students via MySuffolk, Infozone and Brightspace.
All teaching and assessment is now be delivered via online methods only. Please note the University campus is now closed.
Please visit the contact information section for useful links. For students studying at our Partner Colleges please access contact information here: https://www.uos.ac.uk/content/partner-colleges-covid-19
Access frequently asked questions via the headings below:
As of Monday 23 March 2020, teaching was transitioned to online methods only. We remain committed to the highest standard of delivery. Online delivery requires as much commitment and engagement from students as face to face learning does and we expect all students to engage with the online learning. We appreciate many students have devices that will support online learning but if you have any issues with either devices or connectivity please discuss this with your course leader.
For support and guidance on the use of online learning tools such as Virtual Classroom in Brightspace access https://libguides.uos.ac.uk/brightspace-student-support
Please follow the guidance on the IT Services website for remote studying from home. This will guide you on how to attend online virtual classes and submit all your assessments from home https://its.uos.ac.uk/content/students
Placements: for students where work based experience is integral and mandatory to achieving professional body requirements and therefore outcome qualification (including health and social care placements) we will be communicating directly to those students.
- Will assessments still be submitted in hard copy?
No. All written assessment will be submitted electronically. Where any assessments have been changed to enable electronic submission, for example a digital portfolio, this will be detailed in the revised assessment schedule published in the course area of Brightspace.
- Will assessments be delayed?
Where assessment is delivered online it will take place as previously scheduled. Assessment schedules are published to your course area in Brightspace, please check your assessment schedule.
- What happens if you are unable to participate in an online assessment?
You can apply for extenuating circumstances through OASIS via https://mysuffolk.uos.ac.uk.
- What happens if you need access to specialist equipment to complete an assessment?
It is likely that your assessment will be amended to allow you to meet the same learning outcomes without needing access to specialist equipment. Where is this not possible, the submission date will be delayed until such time that you can gain access. Please contact your Module Leader if you have any questions about assessments involving specialist equipment.
- Will the assessment deadlines be changed in light of the circumstances?
Please check your assessment schedule in Brightspace for any changes to submission dates. If you are having problems meeting a submission deadline, please contact your Course Administrator as soon as you are able to.
- I don’t feel I will be able to meet the assessment deadlines for my work due to Coronavirus and the current circumstances. What should I do?
If you feel you cannot submit a piece of work by the published deadline you can apply for extensions or deferrals using the usual route through OASIS. Whilst we are still asking you to apply in the usual way so that we can retain a record of who has requested more time, if you are applying on the grounds of ill-health or additional pressures associated with the Coronavirus outbreak, you do not need to supply evidence. You will still have the option to upload any supporting documents you do have, and we encourage you to do this whenever possible. Those with Coronavirus symptoms who have been advised to self-isolate can apply online for an NHS certificate, which can also be supplied to employers.
If you apply for an extension you are likely to be given an additional 10 working days to submit your work. Please note that extensions cannot be given in all cases (for example, for time-constrained assignments or where the Assessment Board is due to be held within the 10 day period.) You may be offered an extension of a different duration, or your application will automatically be considered for a deferral instead.
If you defer your submissions you will be set a further submission date by the Assessment Board. Specific dates will be communicated to you by the Assessment Board but will fall later in the summer. In some cases, deferring work may mean you are assessed in the 2020/21 academic year but the Assessment Board will communicate this to you and explain why. In all cases the Assessment Board will review your academic profile and make the decision on how best to support your academic progress within the relevant Assessment Regulations, and mindful of the circumstances.
Where your circumstances are not directly related to Coronavirus but you cannot obtain third-party supporting evidence due to the availability of services (for example, if you are unable to get a GP appointment for another issue, or see another specialist) the Panel will consider your application appropriately and only seek evidence where this is necessary.
We hope that making these changes to the process will provide additional support and reassurance to students by providing a clear outcome to application as soon as possible.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students
- Will exams still go ahead?
Face to face exams will not take place for the remainder of the academic year 2019-2020. Alternative assessments are being put in place, subject to professional body requirements, and published in your assessment schedule in Brightspace. In addition, your Module Leader will confirm instructions to you for each assessment.
- Where can I complete my assessment?
You will be able to take your assessment remotely, from wherever you are based. If you cannot access the necessary IT equipment or the internet to undertake online assessments, and you cannot reasonably put in place arrangements by the date of the assessment you should apply for extenuating circumstances.
We have been informed by the Specific Learning Difficulties Assessment and Standards Committee (SASC) that we are no longer able to undertake remote assessments and current Public Health England advice means conductingface-to-face assessments is not feasible (further information is available on their website https://www.sasc.org.uk/NewsItem.aspx?id=85).
Student Services will be contacting all students who are awaiting an assessment to confirm new arrangements.
Don't forget you can still receive specialist support from qualified advisors in Library and Learning Services, to view more information access: https://libguides.uos.ac.uk/academic/specialist-support/home
- I am unhappy with the approach the University is taking towards assessments. Who can I talk to?
We understand that during the period of uncertainty you may be anxious about your studies and the way the University intends to assess you, how your results will be determined, and how any academic awards might be made. In particular you may hear about the approach of other Universities and the arrangements they have in place. Each University has their own regulations and policies, although these are informed by our regulators (including the Office for Students and the Quality Assurance Agency), and they will all be working flexibly within their own policies in the best interests of their students.
If you are concerned about the assessment methods for your course, in the first instance your should contact the Module or Course leader to discuss your concerns. Their contact information can be found in your course handbook. If your concerns cannot be informally resolved, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to the University. The Complaints Policy and form can be found here.
- I am struggling with my academic work. Where can I get support?
In the first instance, contact your Module Leader or Personal Tutor for advice. You will also find a range of online support available via the Library and Learning Services dedicated webpages, including how to book one-to-one support, finding and accessing relevant resources, and referencing.
If you feel that you need more time to complete academic work, you can apply for Extenuating Circumstances. If you would like to talk to someone from Student Services, you can contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been advised that in these challenging times essay writing services (also know as 'essay mills') are increasing their advertising and directly approaching students. As outlined in the University's Academic Misconduct Policy, the use of such services is considered as collusion and should not be undertaken in any circumstances. If you are approached by such a service and wish to notify the University, please send details to the Office of the Academic Registrar via email@example.com.
Support and Advice
All advisers are offering virtual appointments using Microsoft Teams chat, audio or video call. For information on using Microsoft Teams to access your study and services, guides are available at https://its.uos.ac.uk/content/remote-study-it-access.
If you know the service you would like to connect with, you can make an appointment online or email the team directly.
Ask a question: Infozone@uos.ac.uk
Student Life Advisers & Suffolk Life Mentoring Scheme firstname.lastname@example.org
Study Abroad and International support email@example.com
Disability, Mental Health, Counselling and diagnostic assessments firstname.lastname@example.org
Make an appointment with an adviser:
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Whilst we encourage you to continue to prepare for your assessments and make progress with your studies, we understand the situation may have an impact on wellbeing and mental health. There are a wealth of resources, tips and advice to cope and thrive under the circumstances. Including from our Students’ Union who are in the process of developing a social portal where you can connect and get ideas about ways to keep active during this time. https://www.uosunion.org/mysu/social-portal/
Appointments with University Mental Health Advisers are available online and will be held through Microsoft Teams as described earlier in this email.
Government Ministers point to the following public services:
- Public Health England Every Mind Matters
- NHS Mental Health Services – for information about NHS services or if you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency.
Other resources you may find helpful:
- Shout – text support
Text ‘Shout’ to 85256
Mind/org.uk Coronavirus and your wellbeing
Safeguarding Officers can still be contacted if you have a concern such as:
- You are a child or at risk adult and need to talk to someone
- You are a member of the University and a child or adult has disclosed abuse, or you suspect abuse, but it is not an emergency.
- You are concerned that someone is vulnerable to radicalisation or exploitation
- An allegation of abuse us made against University staff, students, volunteers or academic visitors
To contact us please email: email@example.com
For immediate concerns, such as imminent risk of harm please contact the emergency services by telephoning 999.
You can also contact the your local authority’s safeguarding agencies, such as Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership https://www.suffolkscb.org.uk/.
For a list of local and national Domestic Abuse services operating during COVID-19, please see the link here.
- Library and Learning Services can be contacted via live chat on their website: Libguides or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support on how to access IT resources such as Office 365, can be found on the IT Services website.
- If you are an Apprenticeship student please visit this page for specific information https://intranet.uos.ac.uk/apprenticeships
- If you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus please inform the email@example.com.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for all student disability, wellbeing, counselling and diagnostic assessments. Services and Advisers can also be contacted in the following ways:
- Careers Team email@example.com
- Finance Team firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Life Advisers & Suffolk Life Mentoring Scheme email@example.com
- Study Abroad and International support firstname.lastname@example.org
- Disability, Mental Health, Counselling and diagnostic assessments email@example.com
If you are feeling anxious about coronavirus, please visit this webpage from Mind which contains advice and sources of support.
The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 (coronavirus) related to education. Students, parents and staff can contact the helpline by telephone and email on 0800 046 8687 and DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org. The helpline is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
You can find the latest information and advice on COVID-19 at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.