Apr 21, 2020

Students Will Be Asked to Sign ‘Honour Declaration’ Ahead of Summer Exams

Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell told students that ‘it is essential that you submit your own original work for all assessments’.

Orla MurnaghanEditor-At-Large
Sinéad Baker for The University Times

Trinity students will be asked to sign an “honour declaration” promising to submit their own original work in this year’s summer assessments, which start next Monday.

In an email to students today, Senior Lecturer Kevin Mitchell wrote that “in fairness to all students, and to protect the integrity and value of the qualifications you will earn, it is essential that you submit your own original work for all assessments” this summer.

The move comes amid concerns that exams and assessments that take place remotely could be open to cheating or plagiarism.


Earlier this month, The University Times revealed that the College will use Turnitin to combat “plagiarism and collusion” in this year’s exams.

Mitchell also admitted that the release of exam and assessment timetables took place “much later than we would have liked”, but said that “circumstances obviously required wholesale changes to assessment methods and the complex and novel task of scheduling different kinds of assessment events over varying time periods”.

He said Trinity is “in the process of resolving” clashes and timetabling errors where they have occurred.

Last week, this newspaper reported on the issues students in courses across the College were facing as a result of timetabling issues and assessment pile-ups, with a number of students criticising the way the exam timetable was communicated.

In the email, Mitchell laid out new details on some of the measures Trinity has put in place – after rejecting a no-detriment policy, a decision first revealed by The University Times – to “recognise and substantially mitigate the difficulties faced by students”.

Students who apply to defer their assessments must do so for all modules, and can’t pick and choose the ones they want to put off doing, he said.

And those who opt to retrospectively defer modules – another option put forward by the College – have to defer all remaining assessments after the assessment they apply to retrospectively defer, and must apply within 24 hours of sitting the assessment.

“It is not possible to arbitrarily defer only some assessments and attempt others”, said Mitchell.

These are extraordinary times with extraordinary challenges for you as students and for us as your lecturers,” Mitchell said. “Our sincerest hope is that the work we have all been doing to prepare for these assessments will allow you all to complete this academic year and graduate or progress in your studies.”

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