As we’ve come to expect during this global disruption, the situation around us continues to change drastically week by week. The last seven days brought us a three-week extension on the UK lockdown, TEF has been postponed and GCSE and A-Level Results Days have been announced to remain on 13 and 20 August. So are the attitudes and thoughts of students nationwide changing too? Here’s what week 4 of the tracker found:
1. Current students want their universities to be clearer about how, when, and if exams will be taking place.
Students are falling in line to adjust to this new mode of learning, but they’re still in the dark about what assessments and exams will actually look like (and most importantly right now, how to prepare for them). They’re calling universities to set the record straight with structure and guidance.
“Very low frequency of communication - exam timetables still not released. Pitiful guidance on virtual assessments and how to prepare for these.”
“Gave no details to students until the last possible moment, only four weeks until our exams. Groups are already being formed of people planning to cheat the current system. There needs to be a fair, no-detriment policy.”
2. 2 out of 3 students are very concerned about how this is going on for.
And we know that students are not alone in feeling that. Many of us can resonate:
“One of the most difficult elements of this crisis is not knowing - not knowing how long it will go on for. Also lots of pressure to be very productive, e.g. coming out of lockdown a new, skinny, smart person.”
While institutions and governing bodies may not have all the answers, some worries can’t be relieved at this stage. And that’s okay to admit. However, what can be done from universities is transparent communication, giving students as much information as you currently know. Don’t wait weeks to update, keep the lines of communication open. And whether it’s through study guides to online assessments, announcements on the latest developments, or mental health resources to keep students healthy, one thing is for sure, students are looking for any guidance they can.
If you’d like to know more about student worries and attitudes during the global lockdown, you can sign up for the full report from the COVID-tracker here, which offers weekly insights to help inform your pandemic strategy and messaging.