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AY23/24 Assessment Guide

A wide range of assessments will be administered in AY2023/24, in person and online (unless accrediting bodies require in person assessments). There are two distinct groups of assessments which will be assessed under the standard Study Regulations:

  • Examinations / Tests – remote examinations, timed take home assessments (THA), in-person examinations/practicals (where required), class tests etc.
  • Continuous Assessment / Coursework – essays, projects, reports, portfolios etc.

The following guidance is intended to support continuous assessment/coursework and online examinations/tests throughout the academic year.  The advice has been designed to help you consider what mode of submission is suitable for your students and to point you towards appropriate guidance for the use of Canvas, depending on the mode of assessment.

Online examinations / tests – where final exams are necessary to satisfy the learning outcomes for a module, these will be arranged by the School.

⬜ Examples of online examinations which worked well during previous examination periods:

  1. A short scheduled online exam – (of duration equal to the original module exam, with additional time added to allow for online submission e.g. X+1hr)
  2. An online open book assessment – (of duration up to 24 hours)
  3. An assignment submitted online – (with slightly longer duration of up to 7 days)

For online examinations, the period for submission will vary based on the type of assessment, the material covered and also the requirements set by the programme’s accrediting body, if applicable. However, all online examinations will include additional time to allow for download and upload of the assessment and accessibility for those needing reasonable adjustments. It is proposed that the nature of the assessment could determine the upload/technical time allowed. A 3-hour exam would follow the X+1 model and could operate on a pro rata basis according to the nature of the assessment. Details of your assessments should be outlined in module handbooks.

Remember, a 24-hour open book or take home assessment does not mean that that students should work on it for 24 hours! The time is provided to accommodate different circumstances and offer more flexibility to complete the assessment. The important thing is that you explicitly detail your expectations for each question and share this with students in your assessment instructions.  Also, consider creating a tighter word limit for each question in order to ensure that you promote quality over quantity. For guidance on word count, refer to the workload equivalence table on page 21 of the QUB Assessment Handbook 2023-24 . Also the following workload equivalence guide from Ulster University is helpful!

NOTE: Guidance on considerations for open book assessment is available here:   🔗 Online Open Book Assessments  🔗 A Helpful Guide for Students

Please refer to step-by-step guidance on the use of Assignment to support Examinations / Tests. 🔗

Continuous assessment /coursework refers to the regular assessment of the learning performance related to a module and is accompanied by regular feedback. It can replace the final examination (often used as an alternative) or it can be combined with the final examination to calculate a final grade. It often provides a more accurate and complete picture of the learner’s level and has a positive impact on learning.

⬜ Examples of continuous assessments /coursework include:

  • Coursework-type assignments
  • Student presentations/seminars
  • Final year projects
  • Practical skills tests
  • Portfolio
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Peer assessment

Assessment should be contextual and authentic. In other words it should be relevant to the developing skills of the student and what they will be expected to do as they progress and graduate. Such assessments are also more difficult to collude on.

Please refer to step-by-step guidance on the use of Assignment and Quizzes to support Continuous Assessment / Coursework. 🔗

Key Considerations

In addition to the advice outlined above, the following are key considerations to bear in mind, regardless of the mode of assessment in use. When considering how students should submit any pieces of assessment online, it is recommended that the method employing the least amount of technology should be preferred over more technology reliant alternatives. The less complex the assessment, the more likely students will be to submit without incident, reducing the likelihood of problems arising during submission.

  1. Keep it Simple – From instructions to submissions, simplify the process.
  2. Stick with Low-Tech – Don’t over rely on complex technology.
  3. Devices – Students may not have the hardware required. Consider how students will access and summit their assignments. A mobile phone may be the only device they have access to. Broadband may also be limited or sporadic for some students.
  4. Accessibility – Assessment approaches must allow all students to have the opportunity to engage fully and perform on an equal basis with their peers and designing for accessibility is important when creating online assessments. Students have been advised to contact their Disability Officer, once they receive details of the assessment, if they think they may require a reasonable adjustment.  The Disability Services team can be contacted at:

Further Advice, Support and Documentation

Examinations Office

The Examinations Office can be contacted with exam related queries at the following address:

Centre for Educational Development

The Centre for Educational Development (CED) continues to provide support for assessment and can be contacted at:

Disability Services

Disability Services provide students and staff with appropriate information relating to disability issues. They can be contacted at:

Quality Assurance and Regulations

The Quality Assurance and Regulations (QAR) Team in Academic Affairs continues to provide regulatory support and can be contacted at:

Canvas Tier1 Support

Canvas Tier 1 are available 24x7x365 via the HELP menu in Canvas for technical queries and advice on ‘how do I…’ type questions. They can also be reached outside of Canvas by email: