Guidance for students preparing to sit 28 hour open book assessments
This guidance attempts to answer some of the most common questions from students in relation to open-book assessments. Please ensure that you check the relevant KLE and/or Teams spaces associated with your modules for additional information about open-book assessments. If you have further questions or queries which are not covered in these FAQs, then you should contact your School for advice.
Open-book assessments are completed in your own chosen environment, normally during a 28-hour assessment window, which will commence at 9 am on a set date. During the assessment window you should be able to access the question paper or assessment brief online (normally via the KLE or Teams) and use any resources available (e.g., lecture notes, textbooks, journal articles, internet resources, KLE resources etc.). You should work independently on the open-book assessment, unless specified otherwise. Once you have completed your assessment, you will submit this online via the KLE or Teams.
Open-book assessments are designed to be inclusive and supportive of all students and to allow for all technical and reasonable adjustment requirements. Whilst still time limited in nature, you have the flexibility to complete an assessment at a time which suits you within a pre-defined assessment window. You are also permitted access to learning resources (e.g., notes, textbooks, journal articles, internet resources, KLE resources etc.) during an open-book assessment. This enables more authentic assessment tasks to be set by staff, requiring you to demonstrate skills that go beyond the simple recall of information.
An assessment window is a clearly defined period of time during which students are able to access, complete and submit open book assessments. This is normally 28 hours (from 9 am (local time) on the first working day until 1 pm (local time) on the second working day). Assessment windows are designed to be inclusive and supportive of all students, and to allow for all technical issues and reasonable adjustment requirements
Dates and times for open book assessments are published on the Examination/Assessment timetables here. If your assessment is not listed then you should contact your School for confirmation of the date and time.
Arrangements for the release of open book assessment question papers or briefs will be organised by your School, or, if studying at an Educational Partnership Institution, normally your programme Team, and will be communicated to you in advance via the module KLE and/or Microsoft Teams space. Your School will also provide you with advice and guidance about how to submit your completed work.
You should read the guidance provided by your School, or, if studying at an Educational Partnership Institution, your Programme Team, about what resources are permitted to be used during an open-book assessment. Unless specified otherwise, you can normally access and utilise any resources available during the assessment window, this includes notes, textbooks, journal articles, internet resources, KLE resources etc
No. Unless specified otherwise, you must not take any actions during the assessment that would be classed as academic misconduct. This includes plagiarising the work of others, distributing or sharing questions or other relevant information relating to the assessment during the assessment window, working with their peers, and obtaining or attempting to obtain unpermitted assistance (including the use of AI and associated software), in the creation of an assignment during the open-book assessment window. Further information about academic misconduct can be found here.
Your open-book assessment will have a suggested active-working time. This is the amount of time a typical student should spend working on a specific assessment during the assessment window.
You are not required to remain online for the duration of the assessment window, once you have accessed the assessment paper or brief, you can work offline and then submit your assessment online when you are ready to do so. You are not expected to work continuously for the entire assessment window. The suggested active working time will give you a good indication of how long you are expected to spend in total working on the assessment during the 28-hour assessment window.
You should decide in advance where you will sit your assessments, you will need to find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed and access to a suitable PC or laptop. If you do not have access to a suitable PC or laptop, you should contact your School, or, if studying at an Educational Partnership, your designated contact, as soon as possible. You should check that you have access to a reliable internet connection, if this is not possible at home, you may need to find a place on campus. You should contact your School or, if studying at an Educational Partnership, your designated contact, if you are unsure about what PC space on campus might be available to you.
You are responsible for letting your School know or, if studying at an Educational Partnership, your designated contact, before the assessment of any problems you may have with the arrangements.
If you have any queries regarding the assessment instructions or if you believe there is an error on the assessment paper or brief, you should contact the designated contact for the assessment in the first instance.
The assessment 28-hour window is designed to allow for any temporary loss off access which should help you to work around any temporary technical issues. If you lose connectivity, you should be able to return and access your answers as they were when your connection dropped.
If you experience a network failure during an open book assessment, close the browser or computer and try again. If the issue continues you should take a screenshot of any error message. You will need this if you decide to submit exceptional circumstances claim. Let your School or designated contact know that you have had issues/problems which have prevented you from submitting your assessment.
You should submit your assessment in accordance with the instructions issued to you by your School and by the deadline given.
If you feel ill during an open book assessment and are unable to complete the assessment in the assessment window, you will need to apply for another assessment opportunity via the exceptional circumstances process. More information on exceptional circumstances is available here.
If you miss an open-book assessment due to illness or other unforeseen circumstance, you will need to apply for another assessment opportunity via the exceptional circumstances process. More information on exceptional circumstances is available here.
Late submissions of open-book assessments will not be marked. Extensions to the 28-hour assessment window are not permitted but students can apply for another assessment opportunity if appropriate. More information on exceptional circumstances is available here.
Academic misconduct in open book assessments
Before you sit your first open book assessment you should make sure that you are aware of what is classed as academic misconduct in open book assessments.
Unless specified otherwise, you should work independently on your assessment.
You must not communicate or attempt to communicate with anyone about the content of the assessment during the period when the assessment is taking place.
You must ensure that you do not take any actions during the assessment that would be classed as academic misconduct as this will result in a penalty being given. The types of academic misconduct are listed in Section 5 of the Student Academic Misconduct Code of Practice. In particular, for open book assessments:
You must not plagiarise someone else’s words and ideas;
- You must not distribute the questions or other relevant information relating to the assessment during the assessment window whether this whether this be in person or electronically (including by social media, gaming or other similar platforms);
- You must not work with another person to prepare answers;
- You must not obtain or attempt to obtain unpermitted assistance in the creation of the assignment during an open-book assessment