Racial Equality Considerations in Assessment
#4Does scheduling of assessment take into account religious observances and demonstrate awareness of the needs of students in class as far as possible?
Recently, a Muslim student came to me anxious that he was going to be penalised for handing a piece of coursework in late. His assignment was due in the same date as Eid. He wanted to celebrate his faith but also commit to his study … Staff are aware of Easter and some of the main Christian celebration days but not of other faiths.
academic staff comment
- Students may require time off at certain times during the year as a result of religious observances. Students should feel able to negotiate such needs with their lecturers.
- Lecturers should request access to a multi-faith calendar, which could be provided at corporate level.
- Lecturers could seek student views as to times that may have an effect on their attendance and participation in class: for example, holding additional tutorials regularly on Saturdays might exclude the attendance of Jewish people who practise their faith; holding them on Friday lunchtimes or early afternoon might affect Friday prayer sessions for Muslim students.
- Religious observances can have an effect on the ability to successfully complete assignments, or to attend examinations if they clash with a religious festival. Where possible, care needs to be taken to avoid these occurrences.
- On-line tutorials, providing lectures on podcasts or e-assessment should be explored as appropriate means of helping to avoid clashes with religious observances.