How will teaching and learning work this year?
To help you make the most of learning this year, we’ve developed our Student Handbook in collaboration with our students. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about studying online at DMU, including:
- A glossary of the types of online sessions you’ll experience
- Top tips for learning online
- Where to go for support
- Self-assessment tools to help you reflect on your skills
How will exams and assessments run this academic year?
Given the ongoing restrictions and physical distancing requirements needed to reduce the transmission risk of Covid-19 locally and nationally, and after consulting with the student community, DMU has decided that we will not be running any face-to-face exams during the 20/21 academic year. Therefore, exams (including resits) are to be held online.
Earlier in the year, the system we had in place was for 24-hour exam periods. However, following lessons learned in the spring and summer, student engagement and feedback and ongoing dialogue with De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU), we are currently reviewing our approach this time round.
We are currently working with faculties and module leaders to determine the optimum mode and process for online exams and assessments for their respective courses. A number of academic, structural and technical issues are also being considered to ensure all of our students receive a fair and robust mode of assessment. It’s our firm commitment you will all get the opportunity to achieve the outcomes you deserve.
Once arrangements are finalised we will communicate the final plans through our regular student channels and issue guidance to support you on the exams webpage. As normal, examination schedules will be published on MyDMU and your module leader or module tutor on Blackboard can also provide information on when you are expected to take your examinations.
I’m worried I don’t have all of the IT software to study effectively, how will you support me?
We have reviewed our teaching to consider the IT requirements that are necessary for students to successfully complete their studies. We have expanded the provision of software that we provide to students and developed technical solutions, such as remote access to laboratories. We recognise that some students may have difficulties in accessing an appropriate computing device to enable them to complete their studies. We have worked with colleagues in student support to identify those students with greatest need, and where necessary will work to provide students with access to computing resources.
As lots of my learning is online, why do I have to pay full tuition fees?
We know that university is a significant investment in your future and for you personally, so we work extremely hard to ensure we offer value for money in all that we do.
We have been determined to ensure that, while observing the national restrictions required by the Government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and following government guidance, we are still offering students the teaching they require to provide the opportunity to achieve learning outcomes and progress in their studies.
Central to our planning are two important principles: firstly, the health and safety of our staff and students is paramount, and secondly, a strong commitment to ensuring that the teaching, learning and support we offer is broadly equivalent to our usual offering, so that our students are able to receive high-quality education.
Through a combination of pre-recorded online lectures, live online teaching, and on-campus teaching where this is possible (considering social distancing and lockdown requirements), all students still have a full portfolio of teaching. We have worked to make sure that students have as much access as possible to the expertise of our highly-skilled academic staff and technicians, within the government restrictions.
This has involved the hard and dedicated work of our lecturers and support staff – including librarians, student advisers, welfare officers, ITMS, security, estates management, lab technicians, student recruitment officers, international student support and many more.
We’re also working hard to ensure all our students have the opportunity to access a wide range of specialist resources and subject-specific software, collaborative tools and digital platforms, student support around careers and placements, health and wellbeing, finance and library and learning resources. We have invested in additional resources, including extra electronic databases, LinkedIn Learning provision and writing support via Studiosity. We have also significantly increased the number of computers and other IT equipment that we have available to students, including those in hardship.
We have also invested heavily in making sure our campus is as safe as possible for the thousands who have returned to campus from 5 January.
Our central priority is to ensure that the highest-possible quality of the student experience we can offer is made available to all students whatever wider restrictions are in place, and to give students value for the fees that they pay.
On this basis, all tuition fees will be as advertised on our website.
We, of course, continue to support the work of Universities UK, the representative organisation for universities, who are trying to a keep dialogue with Government open on this issue on behalf of the sector.
In addition, we continue to comply with the requirements of the Office for Students in offering broadly equivalent provision of a high quality, with reliable standards and the opportunity for positive outcomes for all students. We also continue to focus on maintaining the quantity and accessibility of the provision we have been able to offer during the pandemic.
In line with recommendations from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), if you have any concerns around the provision we have offered, in the first instance we would encourage you to raise your initial concerns with your module or programme lead, or your personal tutor to try to find a resolution that is acceptable to all. If you have trouble contacting the person you wish to speak to please ask your Student Advice Centre for help.
If this is not possible, you can access the university complaints process. Students who wish to raise a complaint should in the first instance complete the complaint webform on our website. There is more information about this process on our student complaints procedure page.
If you remain dissatisfied with the decision of the university once the complaints process has been completed, you can seek a review by the OIA. The OIA has useful guidance on tuition fees on its coronavirus FAQ section.
What is happening with DMU Global?
While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, the university will review Government advice, and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the early summer of 2021.
Provided this is possible and that you are eligible, you will be able to apply the DMU Global High Flyers Award to one of these trips, as it is valid for your entire first year of study. Further information is available on the DMU Global FAQs page.
From term one, students will be able to participate in our full range of campus-based activities. You can learn a foreign language, including Mandarin, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Arabic. Students can also participate in other opportunities such as Teach English as a Foreign Language Training (TEFL) and the DMU Global Intercultural Awareness Certificate.
New for the 2020/21 academic year, we will also be launching DMU Global Online Learning which will offer students the chance to engage and learn about a range of global topics in a virtual environment, without the need to travel.
What is happening with placements?
Please liaise in the first instance with your placement tutor.
If you are on a placement year, your main point of contact is your placement tutor. You will already have received communication directly from them. Stay in touch with them if you have questions or need advice. You can also contact the placement team based in your faculty.
Students on HLS placements should look out for information sent by their link tutor or usual placement academic contact, and the HLS placement team.
If you are looking for a placement, we recommend seeking the help of your faculty-based placement team, which can help you with identifying placements you could apply for, writing a good application, and preparing for the specific types of interviews and assessments used by different employers.
It is important to get this personalised and specialist support, rather than try to apply on your own. Employers have moved their application processes onto virtual platforms and therefore you will benefit from preparation and guidance on how to succeed in these online processes.
To get in touch with your faculty-based placement team, contact:
I’d like to make a complaint, how can I do this?
We’re sorry if you feel dissatisfied or disadvantaged by anything in light of the current situation. If you’d like to make a complaint about anything relating to Covid-19, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will look into this for you as soon as possible. You can find out more on our student complaints procedure page