Fri | May 29, 2020

... No face-to-face exams, says principal - Coursework, assignments to help determine final grade; major changes for summer school

Published:Saturday | April 4, 2020 | 12:14 AM
A student walks towards the Main Library at The University of the West Indies, Mona, in this 2018 Gleaner file photo.
A student walks towards the Main Library at The University of the West Indies, Mona, in this 2018 Gleaner file photo.

The University of the West Indies, Mona, has shifted course delivery and a majority of its assessment instruments online as classes are set to resume on April 14 after a one-month break.

The time period for end-of-semester examinations has also been shifted.

“Consistent with the one-month pushback of teaching for this semester, The UWI, Mona, has correspondingly shifted examination period for Semester Two to commence June 15 to July 3,” Principal Professor Dale Webber explained during a digital town hall meeting yesterday.

“Examinations, in the main, will be done using asynchronous assessment methods such as coursework, take-home assignments, and projects. There will be no face-to-face exams because at this time, we do not think the social-distancing regulations would have changed.”

He said that despite the changes, the university was working to preserve integrity in its examination procedures.

Webber said that the administration is aware that some students might find it difficult to access the online-based platforms The UWI will be now using, but efforts are being made to accommodate them.

“The campus is, therefore, working assiduously with the Guild of Students, the Government, and Internet providers as we first identify those students who are affected in this way and to facilitate their access to both instruments and service,” he said.

The principal added that 500 tablets have been procured and will be given to students who need a device to connect to the online platforms.

“We, however, need to go through the process to decide how we will make those devices available and what you will be able to do with those devices,” he said.

Yesterday, The UWI also said that the Government was close to finalising having the UWI-related websites zero-rated so that they can be accessed without charge.

The UWI, Mona, also announced changes to its summer-school programme.

“Having regard to the unpredictability surrounding the ... COVID-19, it is not clear whether we will be able to have a summer school on the face-to-face basis we normally do. After consultation with our deans and deputy principal – save and except for the Faculty of Medical Sciences and our postgraduate programme for which summer is a normal semester – the decision has been taken to restrict summer school to exams only for students needing to repeat courses to either progress or graduate,” the principal said.

Students, the principal said, have the option of doing courses offered by other UWI campuses as replacements for courses.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com