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 have thrown the usual exam strategies into disarray, the issues of student equity and access have also been thrust into the spotlight.

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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.

I encourage educators to think about active learning activities and to use digital teaching platforms to create engaging and effective learning experiences. As schools began to respond to the pandemic by moving classes online, it became essential to help educators ensure the continuity of their courses. In recent weeks, these efforts have expanded to providing advice on options for delivering assessments remotely.

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About the Author:

Mike Di Gregorio is the Manager of Customer Education at Top Hat and holds a PhD in Political Science from McMaster University.


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