No time limit for online exams

No time limit for online exams

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Jack Deegan started this petition to University of Reading and

The University of Reading has decided to advance their plans to implement timed online end of year examinations. They say they are 'continuing to do all (they) can to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on your learning experience and ensure your work is recognised through your academic achievements' - Ben Cosh, Head of School, SMPCS. We have heard from many students who feel that the university is ignoring the danger of the proposed exam conditions. This is undoubtedly unfair and frankly insulting to students who have been forced to learn in a subpar way for the past academic year.

The university have formally acknowledged that a very large percentage of their assessments are exam based, 'The fact that we had all our eggs in that summer term exam basket is something we really need to consider if that is the right way to go forward' - Mark Fellowes, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource). Despite having ample time to readjust their methods of assessment (e.g. more coursework based than exam based) the university have decided that the best course of action is to stick to using heavily weighted exams and now attempt to give further disadvantages to students who have already had a disproportionately tough year when compared to previous cohorts. This is unacceptable.

We feel that it is our duty, as paying students attending the University of Reading, to demand that the decision to use timed examinations be scrapped in favour of a system similar to last year's. This would mean a 23-hour window in which students are able to access, complete and hand in their work in their own time. This is not only the fair things to do, but also the right thing to do.

The proposed timed exams would introduce a huge margin between the marks of those who wish to cheat and those who choose to play by the university's rules. All that it would take for a huge group of students to have 23-hour access to a paper is for a single student to open and share the paper with his or her peers, and if the university thinks that this will not happen then they are simply deluding themselves.

On top of this, from our experiences of completing our second year exams online, the situation meant that they took significantly longer to complete for many reasons beyond our control. Again, this introduces a huge advantage to those of us who are lucky enough to have access to a calm working environment, a stable internet connection and a supportive group of people surrounding us. If you would like to stand with us and tell the University that what it is currently planning to do will create an unfair playing field, one that will only be advantageous to those of us who choose to be dishonest and those more fortunate, then please sign this petition. Individuals emailing into the University have thus far been ineffective, but we believe that together we can make a change. Thank you.

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