In recent years, inclusive assessments have been at the forefront of the course design debate. While some universities had adopted 24-hour exams as alternative assessments for disabled students, most implemented 24- or 48-hour exams for the first time in April/ May 2020 following the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This required students to take exams online, so they could progress with their studies.
This paper presents and discusses feedback gathered in three surveys designed to capture experiential feedback following use of online assessments/exams during the COVID-19 lockdown. Responses from 23 academic staff (survey 1) and 32 students (survey 2) from the University of Westminster precedes responses gathered from 21 National Association of Disability Practitioner (NADP) colleagues from different UK universities. Results are presented according to themes identified in responses, highlighting aligned discussions focusing on concerns as well as blessings/benefits associated with use of online assessments/exams. Exploration of whether 24-hour online assessments/exams can (and should) become embedded in the course design of university courses in the future follows, facilitating an informed choice of integrating inclusive assessments more routinely from hereon.
The unprecedented COVID-19 circumstances brought an opportunity to bring the wider utility of 24/48 online assessments/exams to the forefront of the higher education ‘inclusive assessments’ agenda. Results presented here suggest that they should be retained: embedding inclusivity within future course designs.