Please note: the following information is intended for TEI Staff and Students who are part of the Common Awards scheme.
This FAQ section relates to Covid-19 and the Delivery of Common Awards Programmes in 2019/20.
Last Updated: 11 February 2021, 12:11.
The Common Awards team is not in a position to advise on whether or not TEIs should suspend face-to-face teaching (nor would we wish to do so); TEIs will be in the best position to make this decision in the context of your wider activity.
We recognise however that it might become necessary to use alternative modes of delivery to deliver teaching. This includes if students are unable to fulfil normal placement expectations but can still meet the module learning outcomes. In line with the University’s practice, we are happy for TEIs to move their teaching to online delivery. We appreciate that what this online delivery may look like will vary for each TEI. We also appreciate that this may lead to a different arrangement of learning hours, within the general parameters set out in our learning hours policy.
The guiding principle is that it is important that all students can participate in any classes remotely and access any online materials as required –and that you provide assistance to any student for whom such access might be a challenge or a barrier to full participation.
We appreciate that colleagues are having to respond to a difficult situation quickly. In light of this, we are happy for TEIs to undertake the changes necessary and inform the Common Awards team at a later date. That is: we do not require you to seek approval in advance for such changes. We have not set a deadline by which we require this information; however, we would encourage TEIs to provide this information as soon as they are able. Please ensure that you keep clear records of the changes made.
Additional resources to support staff and students in making the transition to online delivery and learning can be found in the additional resources section of these FAQs.
We also recognise that it might be necessary for alternative assessments to be put in place. We are happy for TEIs to do so and inform the Common Awards team of the alternative assessment used at a later date. Please ensure that any alternative assessment used is in line with the assessment patterns for Common Awards modules. If you would like to use an assessment method that falls outside of these parameters, please contact the team for advice, and approval if needed, as soon as possible. Colleagues are reminded that TEIs should assure themselves that alternative assessments assess the same learning outcomes, to a similar breadth and depth, and that thought is given to whether there are any students likely to be disadvantaged by the change and how to mitigate that.
Please ensure that you continue to maintain oversight of such changes by consulting with the designated lead for the teaching affected, and seeking approval from the Chair of the TEI’s Board of Examiners (or nominee) and the Principal (or similar). We would advise that TEIs ensure that nominees are identified as soon as possible to mitigate for any unplanned staff absences. Again, please ensure that clear records are maintained.
We would advise that wherever possible TEIs keep the same assessment weightings, even if you need to change the various assessment components.
On a practical level, there is likely to be an administrative burden involved with making such changes in Moodle, and at a time where efforts in TEIs might be required elsewhere.
We would encourage you to make reasonable efforts to contact your External Examiner, but we realise that it might not always be possible to get feedback before you need to make the new arrangements.
If it is not possible to use the alternative arrangements outlined in these FAQs then TEIs are permitted to seek a concession for the students affected. Cohort-level concessions can be submitted for approval by the University. A TEI may seek a concession to move a whole module that was planned for deliver in the present academic year to the next academic year, or to delay the completion of a module that has been started in the present academic year to the next academic year.
Please ensure that the following information is included in the concession request when submitted to the University:
We recognise that it might not be possible to deliver everything you intended. TEIs can adjust learning hours (including contact hours) within the parameters of our learning hours’ policy. We are happy for TEIs to make these changes and inform the Common Awards team of the alternative learning hours at a later date. If the learning hours fall outside of the parameters, please contact the team for advice, and approval if needed, as soon as possible. If I becomes necessary to make changes, we encourage TEIs to be creative in how you do so – considering various forms of online contact, email, phone, guided reading, setting other learning exercises, getting students to talk to one another (online) in pairs or groups even if not always with a tutor present, for instance. We would remind TEIs that, as far as possible, by these means provide students with an equivalent level of support in meeting the module learning outcomes.
Please ensure that you continue to maintain oversight of such changes by consulting with the designated lead for the teaching affected, and seeking approval from the Chair of the TEI’s Board of Examiners (or nominee) and the Principal (or similar). Please keep clear records to share with the Common Awards team in due course.