ULaw students face exam notes headache after proctoring switch

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By Aishah Hussain on

Exclusive: Law school says it’s looking to resolve issues as soon as possible

The University of Law’s (ULaw) decision to switch online proctoring providers weeks before core exams for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) take place has caused frustration among some students who claim they’ve not been given enough time to prepare and adapt to the changes.

ULaw switched providers this month and LPC students appear to face issues with their ability to access online materials during the exams which are less than two weeks away.

The university switched to open book exams in response to the coronavirus meaning that students are, in theory, able to access hard and soft copy textbooks and notes during their assessments.

Legal Cheek understands that the new provider does not allow external programs to be opened, and so students will be unable to access online versions of their textbooks as they had done so under the old remote proctoring service. ULaw had given all students hard copy textbooks at the start of the course but this creates problems for some who, for example, travelled back home ahead of the lockdown, and no longer have these to hand.

The change of provider has also meant their ability to access notes and search within documents for certain keywords is no longer available. The only way to access their notes during the exams is to copy and paste them into an online document viewer which students say throws out the formatting and means they cannot search within their notes.

“We now need to spend several hours re-organising several thousands of words of notes during time which would ideally have been free for exam preparation,” one concerned student told us.

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The university advised students that the change of provider was necessary to enable them to complete their exams within the course timeframe. It would have taken up to ten weeks to deliver the core exams under the previous service instead of the two weeks they had timetabled.

A ULaw spokesperson said:

“We have moved our proctoring service to a new provider to ensure that all students can complete their assessments within the course timeframe. We are aware of the issues students are facing, at what is a particularly challenging time, and we are working with them to resolve these as soon as possible.”

ULaw further advised students without hard copies or access to a printer to come into campus to make use of the printing facilities there, and that they would not be charged for doing so. If they’re unable or would prefer not to travel to campus, the university agreed to reimburse students up to the amount of £100 for printing costs.

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