Online assessment

Our latest guidance for students following the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on teaching, learning and assessment

What is an open-book assessment?

A timed online open-book assessment is an assessment that is set under timed conditions and allows you access to notes and resources. This is an alternative assessment to a face-to-face invigilated assessment. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, these assessments are considered as the alternatives to your normal examinations.

Online open-book assessment guidance (PDF)

Updated: 12 May 2020

I’ve been given 48 hours to complete an open book assessment; will this assessment take 48 hours to complete?

You will normally be given 48 hours to complete an open book assessment. However, it should take you less time than this to complete the assessment and you will receive specific guidance linked to your individual assessment. We don't expect you to be logged on throughout the time that the assessment is ‘live’. For example, during a 48-hour online-open book assessment, you may be able work on or offline to prepare the answers, providing the assessment is completed and submitted before the end of the 48-hour window. We encourage you to back up your work at regular intervals on your own computer and on your OneDrive.

Updated: 27 April 2020

What if my assessment isn't 48 hours?

There are some assessments that will be alternative lengths of time due to specific regulatory body requirements. Your module lead will provide you with more information about these assessments.

Updated: 27 April 2020

When should I submit my assessment?

Your assessments have been designed to be completed by all students within one working day or less. You should endeavour to complete the assessment on the first day, and the second day shouldn’t be needed unless you have encountered any problems on the first. We encourage you to complete your assessment at the beginning of the 48-hour period, and once you feel it is ready, you should submit it. 

Updated: 27 April 2020

Will I receive additional time for reasonable adjustments or modifications?

There will be no additional time allowance or supervised time breaks allocated to the 24-hour or 48-hour assessments. This is because the duration of the assessment, relative to the time that would be permitted under standard conditions, is intended as an inclusive measure for students with disabilities and to account for difficulties taking an assessment at home.

Should you have any concerns about any other existing individual adjustments (except additional time and supervised timed breaks) that require consideration, you should contact Disability Services, through the Student Hub.

+44(0)1752 587676

Updated: 27 April 2020

How should I approach sitting this assessment at home?

Try to approach this assessment as you would normally with an examination. Set up your workspace, make sure you have snacks and a drink etc, and ensure that you have the time and space to complete the work effectively. More information to help you approach online assessments will be provided in the downloadable PDF online exam manual that will be available soon.

Updated: 27 April 2020

Can I look things up, search the internet, and use textbooks, etc. for my assessments?

This is an open-book assessment. You are encouraged to use relevant sources to answer these questions.

Materials you can use during these open book assessments are usually unrestricted (unless stated otherwise by your module or programme lead, please check). 

  • Materials and resources you might draw on can include: 
  • Your own notes from lectures/seminars, online learning resources
  • Readings, reference to materials or textbooks
  • Equipment such as calculators, drafting tools etc. 

The main restriction for an open-book assessment is that the work – like any other assessment at University – must be your work, so you must avoid plagiarism and collusion. See guidance on plagiarism for further information.

Updated: 27 April 2020

Will I be able to download my assessment to work offline?

This advice will be provided by your programme and will be specific to your assessment. 

Updated: 27 April 2020

Will academic staff be available to support me during my exam period?

Though these assessments may look a bit different from your normal exams, you must treat them in the same way as you would an examination. There will be staff support available for technical issues with delivery, as there would normally be when you are sat in an examination hall. However, staff will not be available to answer any assessment content-specific questions.

Updated: 27 April 2020

I am a parent, carer, key worker etc. Will there be any specific adjustments or extensions provided for me?

We are aware that many students have specific and individual circumstances that may make it difficult for you to complete your assessments during this time. The Plymouth Safety Net has been designed to mitigate against any impact of COVID-19 as much as possible, and there are multiple steps that are in place to support you, including the opportunity to complete your assessments at the next available opportunity at the same attempt. 

Updated: 27 April 2020

Will I be able to have an Extenuating Circumstances extension?

There will be no EC extensions for these assessments. However, in the event you are unable to submit by the published deadline, you will be offered a re-assessment opportunity without penalty in the same way as you would under the standard Extenuating Circumstances regulations for a non-attendance at a formal examination.

Updated: 27 April 2020