Changes to equipment provision to support online management of assessment

The findings from our recent consultation have informed the development of a new University-wide equipment strategy to meet academic staff needs in a sustainable way, supporting the implementation of the new Policy for Summative Assessment and the work of the Assessment Journey Programme.

What you told us:

  • Academic staff place a high value on the ability to work flexibly when managing assessments and technologies that allow mobility and facilitate flexible working practices would be extremely beneficial.
  • Some academic staff are concerned about the use of display equipment for longer periods of time as they move to managing assessment online.

How are we responding?
The University is changing its Equipment Policy to facilitate mobile and flexible working and to enable staff to adopt more efficient and effective online marking and feedback methods. The following principles have now been agreed for all teaching staff on full academic contracts:

  • There will be a choice of either a desktop PC and monitor or laptop without the need for a business case
  • Laptop users will be provided with a docking station, keyboard, mouse and screen to comply with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) needs and enable use of two screens as required
  • Desktop users will be able to request a second or larger screen

In addition to this, a second strand of work will commence shortly to develop a loan service for mobile devices including iPads and other tablets.

What are the timescales for the changes?
Staff needs will start to be fulfilled at the start of academic year 2016/17 and the roll-out is expected to be complete by May 2018. Further details about sequencing and prioritisation will be made available in advance of September. Timescales for the roll-out of a loan service for mobile devices is still to be confirmed and again, further information will be published in due course.

What other support is available?
Please remember that other support is currently in place, including:

Print to Mark –  this service offered by the Print Shop will continue to be available to support staff making the transition to online management of assessment. Please read the guidance on how to use this service for full instructions.

DSE Assessments – these should be completed so that any mitigating actions can be put in place. Read about the University’s DSE Policy and training here.

How will this be financed?
Laptop and screen requests will be paid for in the IS&T budget over the next two years. The loan service for mobile devices will be made up of existing stock within the University.

How do I access further information?
If you have a question about this, please contact the Assessment Journey Programme Team in the first instance ! Assessment Journey Programme.