All Semester Two exams will be online, as announced by the University earlier this month.
This comes as Auckland returns to Alert Level One for the first time since the Level Three restrictions were put in place on Sunday 28 February, and Level Two restrictions on Sunday 7 March.
In an email addressed to students, Vice Chancellor Dawn Freshwater recognises the “importance of clarity and predictability for both students and staff in preparing for examinations and tests.” She wants “to ensure that there is fairness across time, so that future alert level changes do not disadvantage some courses over others.”
Prior to the semester commencing, it was also announced that the Semester One examinations will take place online. Invigilated tests will take place in person if Auckland is in Alert Level One, and online in Alert Level Two if possible. Exemptions will apply if necessary.
In 2020, Semester One exams were placed online due to the initial predictability of COVID-19, and the country’s first lockdown resulting in an entire shift to online learning and research activities. They were available for 24 hours and worked alongside the University-wide grade bump.
However, Semester Two was only partially online, with a shorter Auckland-specific Level Three lockdown resulting in a few weeks’ disruption and online learning. The University had planned in-person examinations in anticipation of and alongside the Level One guidelines, but a case of COVID-19 located close to campus threatened the general student population with an unknown risk. Following outcry from students, the University announced a rapid move to online examinations on November 13th, 2020. This resulted in some students sitting exams in person, while others had last-minute transitions to online.
The move this year to have all exams online prevents any overlap or unfairness, and the clarity allows for students and staff to have a seamless transition should Auckland enter a higher alert level.