Glasgow University students left unable to finish exam as site crashes multiple times

The engineering department has failed to apologise to students and asked them to keep their questions to a ‘minimum’

Second year engineering students had Moodle crash twice on them during their online exam yesterday.

On the first morning of Glasgow’s exam season, the students were preparing to sit their Dynamics 2 exam, held online.

It was due to begin at 9.30am, however when that time came the portal was still closed. Only ten minutes later did the portal finally open and when it did, it wasn’t long until the entire site crashed. This left all students unable to access the exam.

Eventually, the students were able to get back in, but students told The Glasgow Tab the site was very slow, with ridiculous loading times between each question.

Students were given fifteen minutes of extra time and after reportedly protesting further, were then given another fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, this didn’t solve their problems as the site crashed still crashed again for some students.

One Aeronautical Engineering, who wishes to remain anonymous, explains in more detail what went on: “In the last 10 minutes of the exam the site crashed again for everyone and only came back online with two minutes left to spare leaving me unable to complete the final twenty mark question.”

The student goes on to mention how such unideal conditions impacted their performance. “It was really stressful. Definitely impacted my performance on questions I would have been able to answer under normal exam conditions.”

The university later sent out an email to all students impacted in which they did not apologise to students for the disruption. While they said the issue has been flagged with the Head of Discipline, a decision won’t be taken until June as to whether students’ grades are adjusted to the disruption.

It said: “We would like to reassure you that the lecturer and the Head of Discipline have been made aware of the error and this will be reported at the Exam Board meeting in June, where a discussion will be held to consider if any further action is required.

“The School has rigorous processes for moderating all of its many exams and following marking staff meet to discuss and analyse each of the courses taught this semester. The purpose of this board meeting is to receive a report from the staff who teach the individual courses and analyse the grade distribution for each. Staff members can highlight things that have gone well as well as things that haven’t and report if there were any incidents during the exam. An analysis of the grades and distribution takes place, and the exam board will determine any appropriate course of action based on what the analysis shows.

“As well as our own analysis, we will highlight this incident to the external examiner who will review course material and the grade distribution and provide advice. They will review the course of action suggested by the ACM providing an external point of view.”

The email concluded, saying: “No need to reply unless there is still an issue (please keep email traffic to a minimum).”

At this point, students are likely to be filled with questions, yet the conclusion to the email very abruptly suggests that students are dissuaded from seeking answers.

The student explained his thoughts in regards to the university’s response. He said: “It is still pretty fresh so I can’t blame them for not having an immediate solution but it is frustrating that we will be left in the dark until they come out with their verdict in June.”

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