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06 Dec 2021

University of Limerick: ‘non-detriment’ grading already built into modules

University of Limerick: ‘non-detriment’ grading already built into modules

THE University of Limerick has said the idea of “non-detriment” grading is already built into its assessment systems.

It comes with students signing a petition urging the college to implement such a policy regarding assessment for students

This comes with on-campus classes now at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Students had campaigned to have the scheme introduced – in simple terms, it means that students with a passing grade at present will finish with a final grade that’s either the same or higher than their average so far this year.

The petition which was sent to the University of Limerick’s executive committee argues that since the college ceased face-to-face operations last month, many students are “now bereft of a suitable working environment, WiFi, laptops, computers and even office equipment.”

“Some students are exposed to toxic living conditions, without proper access to a safe place to do assessment in, or exposed to and caring for sick family members,” the petition argues.

“With online examinations approaching, many students do not have access to the resources they require to achieve the grade they deserve, or to maintain their current grade. Students will now be required to complete assessment in an environment that is not conducive to achieving their true potential. In addition, many students will not have adequately prepared due to this disruption in their studies. It goes without saying that many of our students are now at a serious disadvantage, and are unlikely to achieve their grades without proper university support,” it adds.

But a college spokesperson says they are already supporting students.

They said: “As a result of the Covid-19 closure of the campus, UL has moved from the high stakes end of semester closed book exams to alternative, take-home and open book assessments with extended deadlines to take into account the variety of challenges that students are facing when engaging in remote learning and assessment.”

They said the idea of “non-detriment” is already “inherently built into” its assessment systems, “and we will continue to ensure it is used in any new assessment formats.”

In a letter to students, the college wrote: “Commit to your work, distil out the noise of distraction, sustain your energy over the next two months”.

However, students have described this statement as “tone deaf” and one which “blatantly disregards the situation students have been placed in, and misses entirely the point of the petition for a non-detriment policy.”

Many colleges across Britain have put in place a “non-detriment” policy.

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