New Guidelines for Assessments and Exams

New Guidelines for Assessments and Exams

New Guidelines for Assessments and Exams

New Guidelines for Assessments and Exams; Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (08 April 2020) announced that further and higher education institutions will not be holding written, oral or practical assessments in examination centres during the Covid-19 emergency.

Universities and colleges have finalised alternative assessment arrangements, with options including online exams, written assignments or rescheduling. New assessment arrangements have been communicated to all their students.

The Minister asked all the institutions to focus on students about to graduate and clearly communicate their plans to students.

A new guidance document to provide clarity and assurance about assessments and exams has been published by Quality and Qualifications Ireland, the national body responsible for qualifications and quality assurance in higher education and further education and training.

It sets out:

  1. No written, oral or practical assessments in higher or further education will be physically held in an examination or test centre until the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
  2. Alternative arrangements for assessment will be made where at all possible, including online exams or rescheduling.
  3. While the education and training of all students is continuing, students expecting to graduate this year are a top priority.
  4. While some students will not be able to complete their programme or graduate in the timescale originally expected, as many as possible will graduate this year as planned.
  5. Students who are not able to participate in alternative assessment arrangements will not be penalised. They will have opportunities to complete their studies at a later point in time.
  6. Standards will be upheld, and the integrity of awards will be maintained. Qualifications achieved this year will be valued and regarded exactly as in any other year.

QQI also urges institutions:

  1. To be aware of the particular needs of students who are more vulnerable; those who contract Covid-19 or are caring for others; students from overseas; work-based learners; broadband access; students with disabilities or those with mental health issues.

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is an independent state agency responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services. Our mission is to sustain public confidence in the quality of education and training, promote trust in the National Framework of Qualifications and drive a culture of continuous improvement by education and training providers.

This QQI guidance document is available here