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University of London delays LLB exams after students encounter ‘bandwidth difficulties’

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Exclusive: ‘Small minority’ of undergraduates affected, says uni

The University of London (UoL) has paused its undergraduate law examinations for a week after a “small minority” of students encountered “bandwidth difficulties” while attempting to complete their assessments online.

The first two assessments, commercial and criminal law, that encountered difficulties with bandwidth, are being re-run with new exam papers, the university said. All students have been given the opportunity to re-sit the two assessments. UoL has issued students with a revised timetable.

Legal Cheek understands that some law students were unable to view their exam papers online while others could not submit their answers in full.

The university has decided to conduct remote assessments via its own Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to protect its students “from any potential technical issues that could arise in the immediate future”. There will be a 1,750 word limit to exam submissions, a spokesperson for UoL told this website.

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A statement from UoL read:

“The University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes operate in 180 countries and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university transferred all its examinations to online assessments for the first time.”

“At the start of the undergraduate laws examinations, some students in Asia experienced difficulties with the bandwidth. This small minority of students were not able to complete their assessment, although overall the online provision went well.”

“In the interest of equity for all our students, the university took decisive action to postpone its undergraduate laws examinations for a week. We immediately issued a revised timetable. The assessments will now be run on our own VLE because the university wishes to protect its students as far as possible, from any potential technical issues that could arise in the immediate future.”

“The first two assessments (commercial and criminal law), which encountered bandwidth difficulties are being re-run with new examination papers. All students have been given the opportunity to re-sit the two assessments.”

“The University of London is committed to listening and acting in the best interest of its students while protecting the integrity of its award.”

A number of law schools moved teaching and assessment online in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just this week Legal Cheek published an anonymous account written by a law student about her exam proctoring experience, which she says was, for the most part, positive.

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2 Comments

Mark

It is certainly an interesting point. I wonder whether the bandwidth issues existed as a result of issues at the university’s end, or whether in a sheer numbers game certain students just happened to have their own localised issues. Even if it is the latter, should they have grounds to obtain some sort of a re-sit? It would seem a harsh outcome to say no if it was caused by ISP issues that are beyond the control of the student.

Also, I love the graphic used at the top of the article!

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Larry

Love it and totally agree with the points you raise above.

(0)(0)

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