Over 1400 Warwick students sign open letter demanding flexibility with assessments

‘This environment is mentally challenging and not one where we can put our minds towards studies’

Over 1400 Warwick students have signed an open letter asking the University for a “choice with regards to the upcoming assessments” for Term Three.

The letter states that the coronavirus pandemic has created a “mentally-challenging environment” for students, and that some have “little to no private or silent study space” as a result of quarantine.

The letter acknowledges that the University currently faces “the unprecedented task of finding alternative assessments” and offers three “sensible arrangements” for consideration, stating that: “students who wished to take part in assessments this academic year” should be offered one or a combination of:

“A portfolio of essays, written over a period of days or weeks,

“Coursework that replaces traditional exams for particular bio papers, open-book exams completed online,

“Open-book exams completed online or Vivas through video-conference.”

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The letter adds that the University should consider “postponing exams and coursework deadlines until social distancing and quarantine measures have been sufficiently relaxed” or “give students the option to write their exams in September.”

Alternatively, it asks that students who feel “unable to undertake any further assessment at all” should be given a grade based on a combination of “work completed this academic year”, “grades achieved in previous years” and “previously submitted dissertations and/or coursework.”

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The students behind the petition told the Warwick Tab: “We took the decision to write this letter because we believe that Coronavirus is, unfortunately, going to impact us all, but in many different ways.

“Enforcing a blanket ‘solution’ is likely to leave many students stressed out and will probably put certain groups at a disadvantage in contrast to others.

“The initial response from the university, mainly to try to mitigate for all this, is an impossible task.

“The only fair thing to do is allow students to choose the type of assessment that suits them from a select range of options.

“This way, mitigating the consequences and making sure that no one is unfairly disadvantaged.”

So far, the petition has over 1400 signatures.

The University has been contacted for comment.