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Dear Students, 

We’re now approaching our eighth week since the switch to online teaching and assessment. I know that many of you will have taken online exams already, while others are preparing for upcoming assessment and we wish you all the best with these. Please do take the time to read through any specific guidance that your course team have provided along with the Statement of Integrity that you each agree to before entering a remote assessment.   

Following comments and questions on Unitu, we’re aware that there have been concerns about the potential for cheating and we would like to reassure you that similarity and plagiarism checks will be applied, and that any identified instances will be followed up as standard procedure. For time-constrained assessments, the Statement of Integrity requires students to confirm that they will not refer to teaching, learning or other material while completing the assessment. 

We’re aware that some students have been using Microsoft teams and other technology to set up your own learning groups, and we would encourage this. You can find guidance via Canvas for setting up student-led virtual spaces using Teams and the Information Governance requirements that you need to comply with when doing this. Further below in this briefing, there is also guidance on the processes that should be followed when distributing surveys.

While current teaching and assessments continue, we are also planning potential scenarios for the next academic year, including how we can accommodate laboratory work and practical skills teaching within social distancing guidelines. Our course teams are sharing their experience and expertise in placement planning and are consulting with placement providers to determine the nature and availability of placements, in both primary and secondary care, as NHS delivery adapts to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic.  

Following the question and answer session on 23 April, we’ll be holding a second event on the 15 May which will focus on research degree students. If you are a PhD or MDRes student and have a question that you’d like to raise, then please send this to one of the research degree student reps. 

As part of my role at St George’s, I work closely with the academic and administrative teams who have delivered all the changes that have come into place over the past few weeks, I would like to thank them for all of their dedicated work. I'd also like to thank the Students’ Union and in particular Beth, who has been a fantastic advocate for your opinions and concerns throughout. Most importantly, I’d like to thank you all for your hard work and obvious dedication to your studies throughout these challenging circumstances. 

Best wishes,  

Rachel Allen 
Director of the Institute for Medical and Biomedical Education

Survey protocol

Throughout the academic year students across the University use surveys to inform their work. In light of this, it is important that all students are up to date with the latest University advice. Below is an update on the tools to help you with this activity.

  • Microsoft Forms - Please use this survey tool if you need to create a survey or questionnaire as part of your work or study.
  • Survey Monkey - We do not recommend this online tool due to data protection concerns.
  • JISC Online Surveys - Where Microsoft Forms does not provide the necessary functionality for your needs, it may be possible to use JISC Online Surveys instead. We will be transitioning to JISC Online Surveys as the preferred tool for 2021/2.

Further guidance on survey tools can be found here.

Please make sure you refer to relevant guidance before setting up your survey, in terms of either data protection or research ethics requirements.

Data protection guidance is available here and more details for researchers can be found here.


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