Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice
Our Safety Net Framework 2020-21
A fair approach to assessment and award during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This academic year (2020-21) began with government restrictions in place and like all universities, York St John University was required to deliver a blend of online and face to face teaching and assessment. In preparation for this, we put a set of measures in place to ensure that you were not disadvantaged by this situation.
After national lockdown restrictions were announced on 4 January, we recognised the impact on students and worked extensively with Students’ Union presidents and academic representatives to review these measures and further strengthen our Safety Net Framework 20-21.
York St John Students’ Union and York St John University have taken a joint approach, in consultation with student representatives, to develop a robust Safety Net Framework 20-21 of measures that will provide reassurance during this difficult time. We are confident that you have every opportunity to be rewarded for your hard work and achieve your potential as you continue your studies at York St John University.
Our Safety Net Framework 20-21 consists of four key elements:
1. Changes to teaching and assessment
Before the start of the year, your course and module tutors made changes to your learning, teaching and assessment to ensure you could continue to achieve and demonstrate the outcomes for your course regardless of whether teaching and learning was on campus or online.
Your tutors reviewed and adapted the assessments for your course to take account of the current circumstances and have worked continuously since to review and adapt online and on campus teaching to ensure you’re able to complete your assessments to the best of your ability.
2. More flexibility for exceptional circumstances (requesting an extension)
We know that the pandemic has impacted upon everybody in different ways.
In 2020-21 we have introduced self-certification to make it easier and quicker for you to receive an extension for up to 7 days. In 2019-20 we removed the need for you to provide medical evidence for extensions of more than 7 days if you, your dependents or your immediate family were ill. We also introduced greater flexibility in approving extensions in all circumstances arising from the pandemic. We’ve continued this approach throughout 2020-21.
3. Ensuring school assessment boards have the power to moderate marks where a set of marks are out of line with past performance
Your assessment performance is reviewed by the School Assessment Board. Where the board identifies an issue with your performance due to exceptional circumstances that haven’t previously been considered, they can ask for a change to an assessment decision. This means you could have another opportunity to take an assessment and improve your mark. This gives us a chance to recognise your individual circumstances.
This year (2020-21), your School Assessment Board is able to change assessment marks where evidence shows that you had been disadvantaged by external circumstances. This means that if assessment marks are out of line with what might be expected based on students who have previously studied the module, or with other performance on your course, the marks can be raised.
4. Uncapped resits at no charge
Normally, if you fail a module and are eligible to resit the assessment you’d need to pay an administration charge, and your mark would be capped (at 40 for undergraduate students and 50 for postgraduate students).
This year, we’ve removed the charge and the cap. This means that if you fail at your first attempt, you’ll have a second opportunity to demonstrate your full potential and receive a mark that reflects this.