Online assessment at LSE

The assessment schedule for January 2021 is now available.

The schedule includes all January assessments that have been adjusted from on-site invigilated exams. Your department can provide you with information for all other assessments.

For January 2021 assessments, LSE is introducing random and selective interviews:

Find out how we're ensuring academic integrity

LSE is taking additional steps to ensure that academic integrity is maintained throughout the January online assessment period and that any instances of academic misconduct are either prevented or detected.

These include our academic regulations, including the LSE Code of Good Practice and LSE plagiarism regulations.  

When you open an assignment, you will be asked to indicate your agreement to abide by and uphold the School’s Code of Good Practice and Integrity as outlined in LSE’s plagiarism regulations, the regulations on assessment offences other than plagiarism, and by any department guidelines. These regulations and the submission statement you will need to sign can be viewed online

Additional ways we’re upholding academic integrity in January assessments 

For January 2021, we are piloting additional methods and checks to ensure academic integrity. These include randomised interviews and selective interviews.

As methods of assessment vary between departments and disciplines, not all departments will be introducing interviews as part of the invigilation process. Your department will let you know by 11 December if they will be using interviews as part of their invigilation process for January assessments.

You will not need to do any additional preparation if your department confirms they will be using interviews to supplement existing academic conduct polices and processes.  

Randomised and selective interviews are being used on a trial basis for January 2021. If we extend the process to future assessment periods, we will consult with the LSE community before committing to this. 

  • Randomised interviews 

    If your department is running randomised interviews and you are asked to participate in the process, there’s no need to worry. Randomised interviews are exactly that – a random sample of the course cohort will be asked to take part. It does not mean there is any suspicion of academic misconduct amongst selected students. 

    You are not expected to revise ahead of your interview, and you won’t need to recall exact answers you gave in your assessment. Instead, you’ll just need to show your knowledge of the topic or concepts that you are asked about.  

    You should not expect your mark to change as the result of a randomised interview. In the unlikely event that the interview leads to a confirmation of academic misconduct, conclusions drawn from the interview may be used as part of the rationale for the application of mark penalties. 
  • Selective interviews 

    Selective interviews will enable departments to conduct a thorough interview as part of a wider academic misconduct investigation. Students will only be invited to a selective interview if one or more of the markers are concerned it appears that some or all of your assessment is not your own work.  

    The selective interview process is an extension of an existing LSE policy, in which these types of interviews were conducted if plagiarism was suspected. Any action that is taken as result of a selective interview will be in accordance with the School’s procedures on academic misconduct

    The outcome of the interview will not lead directly to changes to individual marks. However, any information contained, or conclusions drawn from the interview may be used as part of the rationale for the application of mark penalties if academic misconduct is later confirmed. 

Ahead of the January assessment period, you should familiarise yourself with the Online Assessment Procedures for Students, which covers important information about what is expected of you to ensure the academic integrity of your assessments, and what to do if things do not go to plan. 


Assessment FAQs

The following FAQs answer questions about online assessments for 2020/21 and provide information about deferrals and sitting assessments online.

All assessments in January and Summer Term 2021 will take place online. 

Preparing for online assessment

When will the January 2021 online assessment schedule be released?

The course-by-course assessment schedule for the January online assessment period will be published on 7 December 2020. All January exams will take place online.

What format will my online assessments be?

Online assessments will be designed in a variety of formats to suit the learning objectives of the course. Examples of online assessment formats are:

  • Time limited assessments with a common start/finish time for all students (12 noon, GMT)
  • Time limited assessments to be taken at any time within a 24-hour window
  • 24-hour assessments
  • 48-hour assessments
  • 72-hour assessments
  • One-week assessments
  • Longer coursework pieces

Timings for all assessments will be given in GMT. Your academic department(s) will provide more information about the format of assessments to help you prepare. You will also be given guidance on how long to spend on assessments to be taken over a 24-hour period or longer.

The aim of these longer assessments is to provide you with as much flexibility as possible to plan and manage your time during assessment periods.

What resources are available to me to help me undertake online learning and assessment?

There are lots of resources to support you in your online learning, and to help you prepare for completing assessments online. 

  • LSE LIFE
    LSE LIFE is running online one-to-one sessions, workshops and has a large collection of online resources to help you prepare for your assessments. Find details of the support available to you on the LSE LIFE website.
  • LSE Library
    The Library has lots of support and resources available online, as well as guidance on conducting primary research online.
  • Departmental support
    Your department is here to support you during this time. Get in touch with your academic mentor, department tutor and departmental staff if there is anything you would like to discuss.
  • Online learning and assessment guides
    There are several resources available to help you prepare for completing assessments online, including how to enrol for Moodle courses and submit assessments. We would encourage you to refer to the collection of Student Guidance for Support Learning Online (including online assessments) resources.

The following guidance is also available:

What if I do not have the equipment needed for online assessments and I am struggling with my finances?

We recognise that some students may be facing additional financial pressures during this time, and LSE and LSESU have support mechanisms in place to support students who may need financial help.

LSE’s Financial Support Office (financial-support@lse.ac.uk) can provide you with advice and guidance, and we also have a financial support fund to assist students, with details including eligibility criteria available on the Coronavirus - Financial Assistance web pages.

The LSESU Advice Service can provide up to £200 for the purchase of a laptop or computer if you do not have home access to either and cannot afford to purchase one yourself. Apply to LSESU hardship fund if you need support – but please note that the fund is means tested.

If you think you might need, and be eligible for, financial assistance we would encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

 

Sitting online assessments

How long should I spend on an online assessment?

For time-limited assessments:

All students will be given the same maximum period of time to complete these assessments. These time allocations will be specified in the assessment schedule. The only exception to this will be for students with an Individual Exam Adjustment (IEA), who may be awarded with extra time.

For assessments to be taken over a 24-hour period or longer:

All students will be given the duration of assessment window to complete the assessment, but will be provided with guidance on how long they will be expected to work on their assessment. This type of assessment has been designed to be fully completed within a specific number of hours as outlined in the assessment schedule, and not the entire period between release and the submission deadline. This gives you the flexibility to plan and balance the tasks required across the whole assessment period.

What if some students spend more time completing assessments than others?

There will be no advantage to spending longer on an assessment than the amount of time specified. Students who meet criteria for their specific assessment(s), such as showing understanding of a topic and an ability to respond logically to the question or task, will gain the marks they need.

When an assignment is marked, it is clear how long has been spent on it, especially when something has been drafted and re-written, and this is not the basis on which your work will be assessed.

How will Individual Exam Adjustments apply to online assessments?

If you already have an Inclusion Plan (IP) and/or Individual Exam Adjustments (IEAs) in place, these will be applied to online assessments as follows:

  • Letters of Notification will be provided for all assessments, as specified in the relevant IP/IEA.
  • For time-limited assessments, additional time will be added as specified in the relevant IP/IEA.
  • For asssessments that take place over a 24-hour period or longer: these assessments have been designed to allow each student the flexibility to plan and balance the tasks required across the whole assessment period. As such IEAs granting extra time will not be applied to this format of assessment.

Full guidance for students with IEAs and IPs for January 2021 assessments is available at this link.

If you have a disability or long-term health condition and you do not have an IP or IEAs in place, please visit the DWS webpages to make the necessary arrangements.

The option to apply for short-term Individual Exam Adjustments remains in place if students’ needs change, or if they face new challenges and require different adjustments as a result of the move to online assessments.

Assessments that take place over a 24-hour period or longer have been designed to allow each student the flexibility to plan and balance the tasks required across the whole assessment period. As such IEAs granting extra time will not be necessary for this format of assessment.

What happens if I have technical issues submitting my assessment?

If you have any technical issues relating to your online assessment(s),  DTS Tech Support will be operating weekdays 8am–5.30pm (GMT), excluding UK bank holidays.

Contact Tech.Support@lse.ac.uk with the subject heading: Assessment inquiry and course code for support.

We advise you to review the January 2021 online assessment guidance, so you can familiarise yourself with the process of uploading and submitting your assessments in readiness for the January assessments. The guides include information about how to upload assignments, how to scan documents for online assessments, as well as instructions for what to do if something goes wrong. It is important that you follow the guidance to ensure that your work is safely received on time.

If you encounter any problems and you cannot upload your file on Moodle, you can upload a copy to this Student Services Enquiry Form.

What happens if I submit my assessment late?

To support and reassure you during the pandemic, we have made significant changes to some key policies and procedures. Please see the Extensions, Deferrals and Exceptional Circumstances document.

However, in order to ensure the academic integrity of the School’s assessments and its awards, it is necessary to apply late mark penalties where an assessment is received after the published deadline or agreed extension.

A full list of late penalties can be found under the ‘Late Submission Penalties’ section of the Assessment Discipline and Academic Misconduct webpage.

Students who encounter exceptional difficulties outside of their control that might prevent them submitting on time during the assessment window should submit Exceptional Circumstances within the normal deadline. They may also wish to contact the relevant academic department as soon as possible after submission to explain why they could not submit on time.

Note: If there are any professional accreditation requirements, then it is possible the late penalties may differ slightly. This will be confirmed by the department responsible for the course.

 

Deferrals, extensions and exceptional circumstances 

Please review the extensions, deferrals and exceptional circumstances guidance for more detailed information. The deferral form can be accessed from the deferral webpage

What are my options if I can't take one or more of my January 2021 online assessments, or it’s difficult for me to do so? Can I get an extension, or defer?

We’re taking a permissive and flexible approach to deferrals and extensions with assessments during this challenging time. We recognise that various events out of your control may interfere and interrupt with your ability to undertake online assessments, including the lack of a quiet workspace, issues with equipment and connection, the need to care for dependents, and health issues/concerns. 

This is why you can choose to defer your assessment(s) without the need to provide evidence. Short term extensions will also be considered by your department for assessments longer than 24 hours, even if evidence is not readily available.

These more flexible arrangements will be in place for any assessment relating to teaching received in the Michaelmas Term of 2020/21 (including January 2021 online assessments and assessments due in the first few weeks of the Lent Term). The Deferral and Extension policies will be reviewed ahead of the Lent Term.

More information about extensions and deferrals is available in our extensions, deferrals and exceptional circumstances policy.

If I defer an assessment when will it be due? What format will the deferred assessment take?

If you defer any assessments during 2020/21, you will sit your deferred assessment(s) in the In-Year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP). The undergraduate IRDAP will be held in August 2021 and the postgraduate resit and deferred assessment period, which is new for 2020/21 assessments, will be held during the January 2022 exam period. 

Summer Term assessments in 2021will take place online, but a decision is yet been taken with regard to the format of IRDAP assessments.

I’m an undergraduate student - if I defer my assessment(s) to the IRDAP, do I assume that I have completed the year and apply to next year’s courses as usual?

Students who defer any assessment in 2020/21 will be entered to take their outstanding assessments in the next In-Year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP). For deferred 2020/21 assessments, the UG IRDAP will take place in August 2021.

The UG IRDAP allows undergraduate students to attempt to meet the progression requirements in time for the start of the next academic year. If you have not yet progressed when you receive your results in July 2021, but may be able to progress once you complete IRDAP, you can select your courses for your next year of study as normal.

If you are unable to progress following the IRDAP, Student Services will remove the 2021/22 courses from your record. You will normally be removed from any selected courses and expected to take outstanding assessment during the following academic year as an unregistered candidate.

I’m in the first/second year of my undergraduate studies – what do I need to pass by the end of the academic year to be able to progress to my next year of study?

You need to pass all but one unit’s worth of courses by the end of the IRDAP in order to be able to progress to your next year of study. A failed unit, a unit’s worth of deferred assessment, or a unit’s worth of assessment from which you are absent will be counted as a non-passed unit. 

There are different progression rules for the LLB – if you are an LLB student, you should refer to your academic department and information in the LLB Classification Scheme.

More details about re-entry can be found on the re-entry webpages and information about what happens if you are unable to progress can be found at this link.

I’m in the final year of my undergraduate studies – do I need to pass all courses in order to be awarded?

As a final year student you will be awarded a degree if you attempt all assessments and as long as you fail no more than three whole units overall. If you can be classified for a degree then an award will be made, and you will not be able to resit any failed papers. In this situation you would have to accept the classification awarded, with any penalties for failed papers. If you defer any assessment you will be expected to take outstanding assessment in the IRDAP before you can be considered for an award. 

After taking any required assessments in the IRDAP, you will be awarded a degree as long as you fail no more than three whole units overall and do not defer any IRDAP assessments. As above, if you can be classified for a degree then an award will be made and you will not be able to resit any failed papers. In this situation you would have to accept the classification awarded, with any penalties for failed papers.

There are different award rules for the LLB – if you are any LLB student, you should refer to your academic department and information in the LLB Classification Scheme.

If I defer my assessment(s) to the In-year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP), will any of my marks/grades be capped?

If you defer your assessment and sit/submit it for the first time in the IRDAP your mark will not be capped. 

If you defer a resit attempt, this will be capped at Pass for the purpose of degree classification. The actual (uncapped) mark that you achieve in the course will be included in your academic transcript.

More information about capping can be found on the Re-Entry webpages.

Has the exceptional circumstances (ECs) guidance changed?

The evidence requirements for Exceptional Circumstances (ECs) have been revised for assessments associated with teaching received in Michaelmas Term (including January 2021 online assessments). 

You should always submit ECs if you feel your performance has been affected by circumstances that have impacted you as an individual.

Please review the extensions, deferrals and exceptional circumstances guidance for more detailed information.

 

Provisional marks

When can I expect to receive my provisional results for January assessments?

Provisional course marks for January 2021 online assessments will be released via LSE for You on 24 February 2021.  

Please refer to the Publication of Results webpages for a full list of results publication dates. 

 

Summer Term 2019 no disadvantage policy

Will the no disadvantage arrangements that were implemented in 2019/20 apply to me?

The no disadvantage approach introduced for the Summer 2020 assessment periods applies to any assessments taken in Summer 2020 and the 2020 In-Year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP). If you took assessment during this period, your 2019/20 results and overall classification will be calculated in line with the updated policies. 

We know that there are ongoing challenges as we adapt to the measures and restrictions in place both in the UK and beyond. That’s why we are continuing to take a permissive and flexible approach to deferrals and extensions with assessments for the January 2021 assessment period. This includes:

  • Adjustments to the Extension policy, relaxing the requirement for evidence where it is not possible for students to provide it. 
  • Removal of the evidence requirement for requesting a deferral so that students can more easily opt-out of taking some or all of their assessments, with no penalty.  
  • A simplified Exceptional Circumstances policy, with revised requirements for evidence in some circumstances. 

See the Deferrals, extensions and exceptional circumstances section above for more information on how we are supporting you during the January 2021 assessment period. 

For details about the arrangements that have been put in place for assessments taken in 2020/21, please refer to the Regulatory Addendum that can be found in the School’s Online Calendar.