As we approach the end of the school semester in the midst of a pandemic, institutions and instructors have been forced to break from the long-held rituals of summative assessment season. But just as the speed and enormity of the COVID-19 crisis has thrown the usual exam strategies into disarray, the issues of student equity and access have also been thrust into the spotlight.
The pandemic has done much more than simply shutter campuses. For many students, the closures have disrupted access to vital non-academic resources such as housing and counselling services, as well as the technology they depend on to complete their studies. Taking into account the complexities of the student experience is arguably more important than ever, especially as instructors explore their options for end of semester assessments.
Here at Top Hat, we have been supporting instructors as they navigate the need to balance student equity and access with individual course requirements. Some guidance we’re providing on options for summative assessments include remote proctored tests and exams, asynchronous projects, and ‘epic finales,’ among others.