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Coronavirus - CS072106

An undergraduate student was expecting to sit an end of year exam for one module but the provider cancelled the exam because of the nationwide lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The provider told students that it would assess their performance in the module based on coursework undertaken during the year. The student averaged a first class mark in their coursework. The provider moderated the results for the module, calculating the marks using the raw assessment marks and applying an appropriate statistical adjustment based on students’ performance in the same module the previous year. The student was awarded an upper second class mark.

The student made an academic appeal challenging the mark on the basis that it did not properly reflect the high marks they had achieved throughout the module. The provider rejected their appeal and the student complained to us.

We saw that the moderation process had resulted in a change to the overall pass mark and grade boundaries the provider had set, which meant that the student’s moderated mark fell within the grade boundary. The provider had not explained to the student the moderation process and how it affected their mark. It had told students that the exam board would consider how students’ performance might have been affected in any coursework submitted after the nationwide lockdown came into effect and would also consider any mark that was close to a grade boundary. But it had not done that in this student’s case. We asked whether it would reopen the student’s appeal to consider those issues and it agreed to do so. The complaint was settled on that basis.

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