Impact of Strike Action on Academic Performance (ISoAP) process
Schools will be actively reviewing and adapting assessment in order to ensure that students are not unfairly impacted by strike action. However, there may be cases where the action taken by Schools may not entirely eliminate impact. The process outlined below allows students to alert Schools in order that they can mitigate any adverse impact.
Please read this guidance carefully and seek advice from the staff in the Support Centre, or Henley Help Desk, ISLI Teaching Office or the Graduate School as appropriate.
1.1 Purpose of an ISoAP notification
The purpose is to provide a mechanism for students to alert Schools (owners of modules) to a situation where they feel they have been disadvantaged in a specific assessment due to:
• teaching not taking place in its original planned form
• materials not being adequately delivered by another means, or
• other unavailability of staff (e.g. in the case of dissertation/project supervision)
Valid identification of such cases will result in the programme staff deciding what action is necessary to mitigate any adverse impact (see below).
1.2 Why use the ISoAP notification and not the Exceptional Circumstances (EC) process?
The EC process looks at the individual student’s situation and makes decisions based on how their individual personal circumstance has impacted their performance. Decisions are based on the nature and severity of the circumstance and different actions are applied to different students.
The ISoAP process is a notification process to allow a student to flag that there is a possible undetected issue with an assessment which may have affected all or many students. If valid identification of an issue is found, the resulting actions can be applied to an individual or, in some cases, to groups of students. However, if you feel you have been impacted, you should ensure you submit your own ISoAP form.
The ISoAP notification should NOT be used to:
• Inform the University of a generalised impact on your studies overall. It should be focussed on the impact in relation to specific pieces of assessed work or exams;
• Inform the University of how the strike action impacted your assessed work due to your own very personal circumstances, e.g. if an underlying clinically diagnosed condition was exacerbated by the strike action. If you are in this situation you should use the Extenuating Circumstances (EC) system so the appropriate adjustments can be made that is correct for your own personal circumstance. Please be aware that you will be required to provide evidence of your condition or circumstances and the specific impact of the industrial action on that condition or circumstances as is normal in the EC process.
1.3 Timing for submission through the ISoAP process
In order to enable proper investigation and scope for potential remedial actions around marks, it is essential that an ISoAP notification is submitted promptly after an assessment to allow consideration within the usual marking and approval of marks process.
• In the case of in-class tests/assessments, students should submit the ISoAP notification no more than 2 working days after the assessment has taken place. ISoAP notifications submitted before the in-class test/assessment takes place will NOT be considered;
• In the case of coursework, students should submit the ISoAP notification on or before the due date.
• In the case of dissertations, students should submit the ISoAP notification at the point when their supervisor has not provided supervision which is in line with the School guidance (e.g. missed a planned supervisory meeting). This should be before the submission deadline.
• In the case of exams, students should submit the ISoAP notification no more than 2 working days after the examination finishes. ISoAP notifications submitted before the exam takes place will NOT be considered;
1.4 How to submit an ISoAP notification
Students should complete and submit the ISoAP online form found at: https://reading.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/notification-of-impact-of-strike-on-academic-performance-2021
Students should submit a notification only on their own behalf not on behalf of others. If others feel there has been an issue they should submit their own ISoAP notification.
ISoAP Notifications will be collated within the Support Centres (and equivalents in HBS, ISLI and Graduate School) who will bring them to the attention of the appropriate School Director of Teaching and Learning (SDTL), or nominated other.
1.5 When ISoAP notifications are received
The notification will be investigated:
- Identifying any teaching that was not delivered due to strike action and mapping it to the assessment identified in the ISoAP notification;
- Assessing the adequacy of any alternative means of delivering the content;
- Reviewing communications sent to students.
On the basis of this investigation a judgement will be made about the likelihood of negative impact on the individual and/or the whole cohort of students’ grades.
Appropriate action will be identified and taken in consultation with external examiners and students will be informed as soon as possible. Examples of appropriate action could include: rescheduling essential teaching that relates to a specific assessment, rescheduling an in-class or practical assessment, extending the deadline for an assessment or exempting students from an assessment where it isn’t critical to the learning outcomes of the module/programme
a) Agree to exempt students from the affected elements of the module assessment, provided that a mark can be determined from the remaining assessment elements of the module, which, taken together, represent a fair assessment of the module learning outcomes;
b) Agree other appropriate mitigation, which would result in a fair module mark being awarded to the cohort;
c) Reject on grounds that there is no connection between known strike action and the impact cited;
d) Reject on grounds that appropriate alternative arrangements were or are being made to mitigate the strike action and these can be demonstrated;
e) Where there are no marks available from other assessed elements from the module, modules may need to be exempt from classification/progression, but this would be rare.
The selected action should be applied to all students who may be judged to have been disadvantaged.
In the case of ISoAP notifications that indicate missing dissertation supervision, prompt action is required. A number of immediate courses of action (singly or combined) are available to Schools, including:
- Instruct staff to prioritise dissertation supervision following the period of action and before the submission deadline
- Replace supervisor
- Offer students an appropriate extension to the submission deadline
- Inform students that reduced supervision will be factored into the marking of the dissertation
Note: Students have the right to appeal a module result through the ‘appeals for a review of marks’ process However, using the ISoAP process will allow mitigating action to be applied more swiftly and ensure that students are awarded the correct overall result in the first place.