Students had their exams randomly rescheduled after being unable to access the online linkLouis Ashworth

The Modern and Medieval Languages (MML) oral exam has been labelled “a shambles” by students after a series of technical difficulties on Monday (25/4) left students with their exams rescheduled to “random” times.

The oral exam uses a passage which students access 20 minutes before the assessment. When students went to click the link to these passages on Moodle, the page read “unavailable to students”.

These pages were only made available at random times during the day; some students waited for up to 10 minutes, whilst others had their exam rescheduled all together.

Students’ stress was worsened by a slow response from the Faculty. While exams started at 9.15 am, an official email was circulated three hours later, at 12.10 pm.

The oral exam, taken by first and second year students, counts towards their final grade.

The Faculty told Varsity: “As soon as examiners realised there was an issue, staff began to send out the passages by email. Due to short staffing, it was very difficult for staff to keep on top of the 120+ emails that flooded the Oral Examinations Inbox.”

Students were furious with how the exams were handled, labelling it “a shambles” in various languages group chats. The situation has also inspired posts across Camfess, with one post showing the oral exams as a building on fire.

Most exams this term are online. The Moodle hub for assessments says: “Please note that there is no mechanism available to raise a query during the assessment and therefore no support will be provided by UIS, Departments, or Exams Office.”

Faculty chair, Professor Geoffrey Kantaris, told Varsity: “The MMLL Faculty would like to apologise unreservedly to students who were affected on Monday morning by the failure in the system.

“Faculty staff in fact undertook several tests of the Moodle links in advance, but the links nevertheless failed on the morning of the examinations. Because they failed in an intermittent manner, we believe that they were due to a failure in the Moodle scheduling system. Examiners ensured that all students had enough time to read the passages, or else a reschedule was offered in every case.”


Mountain View

Dismay as Biology exams suddenly moved in-person

The Faculty declined to comment on how the disruption will impact the final grading.

This article was corrected on 28/4 to clarify that the Faculty tested links beforehand and ensured students had enough time to read the exam passages.