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Guidance on programme delivery and assessment of learners in light of disruption due to Covid-19

The information presented here will be updated as additional resources and detail become available. Please continue to check back in.

 EmailLogo If you require any support or advice about online delivery and/or assessment, please e-mail remoteteachingandlearning@fess.ie with your query. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

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To access information and resources relating to giving learners feedback on summative assessment tasks click here 

 

To access the latest information in relation to the national response to COVID-19 click here 

To access information for providers from QQI click here, updated information from the 16 April is available here

To access information on some considerations relating to programme delivery click here

To access information on some considerations relaing to assessment of learners (summative assessment) click here

To access information on devising open book (take home) examinations click here.

To access information on some considerations relating to the authentication, results approval and requesting certification processes click here

To access other useful information and resources click here

To access information regarding eCollege click here

 

Teaching & Learning Online Courses

A suite of online courses is available to GMIT staff and higher education institute guests, to access anytime.

The courses aim to develop and support lecturers and learning facilitators and aid programme design and delivery.

Topics include:

  • Online teaching and learning skills
  • Peer learning
  • First steps in teaching
  • Designing assessment strategies
  • Programme design

Register for access at www.cpdlearnonline.ie

 

 NewMoving Teaching Online

Russell Stannard, from Teacher Training Videos provides a range of free videos to assist teachers in moving their teaching online, including useful videos on using Zoom, Padlet, Edmodo, Adobe Connect and Screencast-o-matic. It also includes useful information on assessing students using online quizzes for formative assessment, getting learners to create videos and the use of e-portfolios.

 

Additional Resources to support FET staff and learners

ResourceWordartJWFESS have an extensive range of module specific resource lists available that may include useful links to support online delivery of programmes. These resource lists are available across a range of modules from level 1 to level 6.

ResourceWordartJWFESS have a range of thematic specific resources lists that may include links to resources that may support online delivery of programmes. In particular the Technology Enhanced Learning section may provide some useful links and resources for online delivery during the current crisis.

ResourceWordartJWFESS also have resources in the area of Well-Being in the FET Environment which may be useful in the current Covid 19 crisis, there are resources available both for staff and learners in this section

 

 

Programme Delivery 

Some Considerations for Providers / Centres

  • Can classes be deferred to a later date?
    ResourceWordartJWDetail regarding QQI certification dates for 2020 is available here.

  • Have you explored alternative quality assured delivery modes and methods, e.g. online webinars supported with online resources and discussion fora?
    ResourceWordartJW This FESS resource identifes some useful TEL tools that may support online teaching and learning and also explains how the tools work, as well as suggesting contexts for which the tools may be appropriate.

    ResourceWordartJW This FESS video has been developed using Screencast-O-Matic, to assist teachers/tutors/instructors in planning how to deliver programme content online, monitor learner progress and facilitate learner assessment.

    EmailLogo If you require any support or advice about online delivery and/or assessment, please e-mail remoteteachingandlearning@fess.ie with your query. We will respond to your query as soon as possible.

    ResourceWordartJWThis Online Teaching: Do This, Not That resource, developed by Alison Yang is a useful and practical document. FESS has been thinking about the key points made in the resource, in the context of providers supported by FESS, and have added, in italics, some comments that might be of use to you here.

  • Is technical support available to ensure consistency of service to learners on an online platform?

  • Is accessible support available to delivery staff on the creation of alternative material for learners, e.g. online webinar, a discussion forum etc.?

  • Are systems in place to allow for continuity and consistency of service to students across programmes e.g. online meeting space for delivery staff?

  • Is support and guidance available for learners who have difficulty accessing online content? In addition, some learners may not be able to engage in teaching, learning and assessment activities online.

    ResourceWordartJW A resource entitled 10 Points to Remember when Learning Online has been compiled by the Union of Students in Ireland, in partnership with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is available to view here.

  • Do learners know who to contact if they are experiencing difficulty with online materials?

  • Do delivery staff know what to do if learners have difficulty in engaging with online materials? What arrangements are in place for such learners? What other resources can they direct learners to? Can content be posted? etc.

  • Can work placements be postponed until a later date?

 

Information to Learners – Some Considerations

  • Is clear information for learners available in accessible format(s) on all planned changes to programme delivery and assessment activities?

    • How will contact with learners be maintained over this period?

    • Who will be the main point of contact?

    • What mode of communication will be used e.g. centre website, email, SMS, letter, via PLSS, etc.?

  • Is support and guidance available for learners that have difficulty accessing online content?

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Assessment of Learners (Summative Assessment) 

Some Considerations

ResourceWordartJWQQI Quality Assuring Assessment, Guidelines for Providers, Revised 2013 (Version 2 - revised 2018*). The purpose of these guidelines is to assist providers in the development and implementation of quality assured processes and procedures for the fair and consistent assessment of learners. They set out best practice with regard to assessment, authentication, results approval and processing appeals. Providers may find it useful to refer to these guidelines when considering alternative approaches to the assessment of learners, so as to ensure that continguency plans continue to adhere to best practice.

ResourceWordartJW A resource entitled Selecting Online Alternatives to Common Assessment Methods - Supporting those who Teach and Learn in the Context of Covid 19 Coronavirus has been published by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is available to view here.

When considering the following, providers and centres must ensure that the alternative processes and procedures put in place do not compromise the integrity of the QQI award. 

  • Can assessment instruments be made available to learners on a VLE e.g. moodle, or can they be emailed or posted to learners?

    ResourceWordartJW This FESS video has been developed using Screencast-O-Matic, to assist teachers/tutors/instructors in planning how to deliver programme content online, monitor learner progress and facilitate learner assessment.

    EmailLogo If you require any support or advice about online delivery and/or assessment, please e-mail remoteteachingandlearning@fess.ie with your query. We will respond to your query as soon as possible.

  • Can revision plans including past-papers, where appropriate, be available to learners on a VLE, by email or post to prepare students for final submissions or final examinations?

  • Can summative assessment activities be re-scheduled for some learner groups, where June certification is not absolutely necessary?

    ResourceWordartJWDetail regarding QQI certification dates for 2020 is available here.

  • Where it is vital for learner results to be processed at the QQI June certification period e.g. for CAO applicants, have you considered:

  • Can an examination, where learners would be in close proximity, be changed to another assessment technique e.g. an assignment, under your provider’s programme management and quality assurance structures? If so, the alternative assessment would have to allow the learners to demonstrate achievement of all the relevant learning outcomes, otherwise demonstrated in the examination.

    ResourceWordartJW This FESS resource explains the key points to remember when moving from using a theory examination to an alternative assessment technique to assess learners.

    ResourceWordartJW A resource entitled 10 Points to Consider in Choosing Alternative Assessment Methods for the Online Environment has been compiled by Prof Geraldine O’Neill, UCD, who led the National Forum Enhancement Theme 2016-18, focused on Assessment Of/For/As Learning. The resource is adapted from UCD’s Guidance for Designing Alternative Assessment Methods and is available to view here. This resource is made available by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: www.teachingandlearning.ie.

  • Can a skills demonstration be evidenced by digital recording by learners and submitted online?

  • Have you considered how learner assessment evidence will be submitted by learners? Can learners be facilitated to submit assessment work online, by email or by post?

  • How will security issues be addressed e.g. ensuring the work is that of the learner, safe storage of assessment materials, etc.?

  • What steps can be taken to ensure that assessments are accessible to and inclusive of all learners?
    ResourceWordartJW A resource entitled 10 Ways to Ensure Online Assessment is Accessible and Inclusive - Supporting those who Teach and Learn in the Context of Covid19 Coronavirus has been compiled by AHEAD, in partnership with the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is available to view here.

Assessing learners using open book (take home) examinations 

Assessors are used to assessing learners by using an examination that is administered in an examination-centre controlled by the centre/college, at a scheduled time, and under examination conditions. An open-book (take home) examination is where the learner will be provided with the examination paper and asked to complete it away from the centre/college, most likely in the learner's home. When using an open book (take home) examination it is important to consider the questions posed in the examination paper so as to ensure that the learner will be able to demonstrate not just the recall and understanding of information but also the interpretation, application and/or evaluation of the information. The following resources may be useful for assessors who will now use an open book (take home) examination for the first time to assess the learner's achievement of the learning outcomes mapped to the examination:

  • ResourceWordartJWThe University of Newcastle, Australia, has a short guide for academics on devising open book examinations, which can be accessed here.

  • ResourceWordartJWThe Centre for Academic Practice (CAPSL) at Trinity College Dublin has an academic practice resource on open book examinations which can be accessed here

  •  ResourceWordartJWA resource entitled Selecting Online Alternatives to Common Assessment Methods - Supporting those who Teach and Learn in the Context of Covid 19 Coronavirus has been published by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is available to view here.

Information to Learners – Some Considerations

  • Is clear information for learners available in accessible format(s) on all planned changes to programme delivery and assessment activities?

    • How will contact with learners be maintained over this period?

    • Who will be the main point of contact?

    • What mode of communication will be used e.g. centre website, email, SMS, letter, via PLSS, etc.?

  • Is support and guidance available for learners that have difficulty accessing online content?

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5. The Authentication, Results Approval and Requesting Certification Processes – Some Considerations 

  • Have you considered how Internal Verification will be conducted? Can small groups of staff be facilitated to do this in centres? Can some of this work be conducted online?

  • Are there back-up external authenticators available?

  • How will results approval happen? Who will be able to attend and how will the results approval panel meet? Can this be a facilitated by Skype, Microsoft Teams?

  • Does more than one staff member know how to request QQI certification for learners?

  • Does more than one staff member have access to the QQI QBS system for uploading learner results?

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ResourceWordartJWOther useful information and resources 

  • The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education has a number of very useful resources, some of which are referenced here on this page, on their website

  • The CDETB Curriculum Development Unit has useful information to support remote teaching and learning activities here.

  • Online teaching resources listed by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education can be accessed here.

  • The DCU National Institute for Digital Learning has a resource bank entitled Swiftly Moving to Teaching Online that provides links to a number of useful resources that have been produced over the past few weeks to support institutions and individual educators to respond to the spread of the Coronavirus.

  • The Data Protection Commission has uploaded some information regarding protecting personal data when working remotely and this can be accessed here.

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Information for Providers from QQI

QQI updates are available here.

QQI has also created a dedicated page on LinkedIn. 

QQI’s advice to providers is that they now need to implement local contingency plans to cover programme delivery and assessment. While these plans may involve changes to approved programme schedules, providers must ensure that they maintain full academic governance and quality assurance principles; and remain within their approved scope of provision.

It is important that providers send QQI a document (to this email address qqiqa@qqi.ie) setting out the overarching contingency plans/arrangements that they are implementing. It is also important that the detail relating to these contingency plans is communicated to relevant staff.

Covid 19 Update 2

Contingency Planning – Covid-19

FESS has put together some guidance for providers and centres offering programmes leading to QQI Awards. 
The information presented here will be updated as additional resources and detail become available.

Accessing the latest information relating to the national response to Covid-19

QQI updates are available here

QQI has also created a dedicated page on LinkedIn 

Specific updates on the education and training sector are available on the DES website

General government updates are available here 

The latest HSE updates are available here 

Covid19 Update 1

COVID 19 Public Information Screen PosterAll FESS CPD events are postponed until further notice. 

FESS will continue to post updates as events evolve in relation to the Covid 19 situation.

Please click on the link below from DES. 

https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/12-march-2020-statement-from-the-department-of-education-and-skills.html

Please check back regularly for further updates in the coming days.

If at all concerned about your health, contact with your GP or the HSE helpline on 1850 24 1850.