Breaking: Birmingham could cancel exams worth less than half of modules

Staff are being told to prepare online versions of all exams

The Birmingham Tab can reveal that staff at the university have been advised to make online provisions for student teaching and exams in response to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

In an email sent to all academic staff and lecturers at the university,  the provisions the university were taking to reduce the impact of the spread were revealed, including provisions for the possible closure of university and the entire university campus.

Staff have also been told that any exams worth 50 per cent or less of a module could be cancelled. “Schools could decide simply to cancel that exam if they feel students have already met the module/programme learning outcomes elsewhere,” the email says.

The university staff have been advised to ensure that all academic teaching could be done from this point to the end of term through online resources such as panopto to reduce the impact missed teaching will have on students.

The email set out that “in this uncertain and dynamic context, a team of colleagues has been developing emergency plans to ensure we can continue to offer a basic level of education provision.

“Building emergency resilience into our teaching and assessment by making the best possible use of our existing digital tools, resources and teaching content.

“For a standard lecture, the basic provision could be: Panopto (you could choose to simply roll over from last year if appropriate); Slides (with voice-over if no Panopto and/or ‘acceptable alternatives’ as required by the Code of Practice); and links to appropriate online supporting resources through Resource Lists.

“All staff please check that critical teaching material for key lectures remaining on your modules this term is available online (Canvas).”

This development comes after Kings University has already confirmed that law students will sit take-home exams due to coronavirus, whilst at the University of Durham, all classes have been cancelled and students were advised to leave campus.

The university has taken this decision after considering the following scenarios that could potentially take place in the coming weeks, as the Government could shut all UK universities at short notice.

Indeed, the email stated that “campus may have to be wholly or partially closed at some point and for an uncertain length of time.”

Likewise, this comes after the Government advised everyone yesterday with flu-like symptoms to immediately self- isolate for seven days, with the number of confirmed cases in the Midlands rising up to 42.