Learning contract recommendations

As we've said, a learning contract is the University's way of recording the adjustments you need as a result of your disability or condition. You can only get these if you have a learning contract. Most recommendations are fairly self explanatory but here's a little more detail about how they work.

Please select the category listed in your learning contract:

Roaming profile

A roaming profile means that your preferred desktop settings will follow you to any SHU computer that you log into. This could include your preferred resolution, icon size, or colour scheme.

When your learning contract is published IT Help will contact you with information about setting this up.

You can meet with a member of staff from IT Help if you would like help to set up your roaming profile or if you would like to discuss your requirements further.

Disability Related Absence from University

A disability related absence is when you are unable to attend University for reasons connected to a disability. Examples are being absent due to: having an epileptic seizure, experiencing severe migraines, experiencing significant pain and fatigue, experiencing significant anxiety, having a chronic bowel condition, having a low immune system due to a medical condition or medication, and having scheduled hospital appointments. There are many more possible examples.

If you do need to be absent there are many options for catching up on missed work. How suitable the following options are will depend on your course. You can discuss with your Student Support Officer and teaching staff what the best ways are for you to catch up:

  • Meet with your Student Support Officer/teaching staff to discuss the best methods of catching up, and to get an idea of what areas are essential.  It is very important that you do this early on in your course if there is a chance you will be absent for disability related reasons. 
  • If you have a mentor or a study skills tutor you can also discuss methods of catching up with them. 
  • Use Lynda.com for support with software: You can access Lynda  24/7 from any PC, smartphone, tablet or laptop. Choose to view bite-sized chunks or watch entire courses at a time…There are videos on absolutely everything you can think of on Lynda, from basic Office applications to advanced programming.
  • Visit The Bridge for support with study skills: You can book workshops, appointments, drop in sessions, and can look up information online. A variety of areas are covered including writing skills, assignment planning, maths and statistics and referencing.
  • Check Blackboard for notes and regularly check your emails for other information.  If it looks like teaching staff are not putting notes on Blackboard get in touch with them to ask for copies.
  • Get in touch with other people on your course to see if they can help you out with missed teaching. 
  • Attend any catch up/refresher sessions
  • Use the Library Gateway for journal articles and books.  If you think you need the Distance Learner Support Service, which means that books can be posted out to you, please contact Disabled Student Support to ask for a guidance appointment. 
  • It may be that you can change groups for some parts of your course (e.g. if you are more likely to feel unwell in the morning there may be a group in the afternoon that you can change to).  Contact your Student Support Officer/teaching staff to see what's possible. 

Oral presentations marked for content and ideas 

Oral presentations will be marked for ideas, knowledge and ability, unless presentation skills are a specific learning outcome of the module. Any obvious disability related difficulties are discounted (for example difficulties with body language, eye contact, memory, concentration or speech).

If you have a recommendation for 'oral presentations marked for content and ideas' in your learning contract you do not need to do anything further.Tutors will be aware of this when marking your oral presentations and marks will not be deducted for any obvious disability related difficulties.

Oral presentations to a smaller audience

You have the option to make your presentation to a smaller group of students or the marker/s only, rather than the whole group.

If you have a recommendation for 'oral presentations to smaller audience' in your Learning Contract, your tutors will be aware of this and will ask you if you want to present to a smaller group of students or the marker/s only.

Alternative to presentations

Your tutor will consider, and may consult with the course leader, whether an alternative to a presentation meets module learning outcomes. Depending on the learning outcomes, alternatives to presentations may include:

  • A presentation via audio recording rather than face to face.
  • A presentation via Skype or other online application used for video conferencing.
  • A written paper of equivalent length to presentations given by other students.
  • Use of voice software; the text could be read aloud using text-to-speech (TTS) technology.
  • A PowerPoint presentation, without having to deliver it orally.
  • Reading from a script you have written.
  • Someone else reading out a text version of the presentation you produce.

Where some oral interaction is required, options to reduce the need to speak (as described above) could still be used as far as possible, e.g. to get the main information and issues over, and could be followed by oral discussion if required.

If you have a recommendation for 'alternative to presentations' in your learning contract, your tutors will discuss this with you and where possible, a suitable alternative will be negotiated.

Extended coursework deadlines

Contact your Faculty Student Services team to request the extended deadline as soon as you are sure that you will not be able to submit your work before the original deadline date, and with at least 24 hour's notice. They will ask you about:

  • the progress you have made so far with the assignment (you should bring your work to date to any appointments)
  • how you may be using any support you have been recommended
  • how much extra time you need
  • your overall workload, relating to all the modules you are taking.

You can discuss the length of time you need to complete your work; this will normally be up to 2 weeks after the original deadline. Find out more.

What is a phase test?

A phase test is a time-bound assessment, often like an exam. You complete the assessment in your regular timetabled sessions, and not in the main exam period. Your module tutor will make the arrangements, and you should have the same adjustments in phase tests as you would have in your exams.

How do I know what support is in place for my phase tests?

You should check your learning contract to see what has been recommended. You can view your learning contract by logging in to My Student Record and clicking on the Disability Support tab.

You should then contact your module tutor to check what arrangements they have made for you. If you think the phase test support is incorrect, you should speak to your tutor and/or contact Disabled Student Support as soon as possible.

I think my phase test support needs changing, what should I do?

If you think the phase test support in your learning contract is incorrect, you should contact Disabled Student Support as soon as possible, and also speak to your module tutor to let them know of your concerns. Last minute requests for changes cannot always be accommodated. Where it is not possible for arrangements to be made in time and you have to sit the assessment without the required support, you should read the guidance on shuspace and contact your student support officer.

My phase test support was not sufficient and it affected my performance, what should I do?

If you feel you have underperformed in a phase test for disability-related reasons, you should read the guidance on shuspace and contact your student support officer. Your student support officer can advise you on the correct process to follow. You should also contact Disabled Student Support to discuss updating your learning contract.

Extra time and/or rest breaks in my phase tests

If you have extra time or rest breaks in your phase tests, you will take your test in a smaller room, with no more than 20 other students (unless a different recommendation has been made).

Unless you are in one-to-one accommodation for your phase tests, you will not be able to leave the room during a rest break. You should alert the invigilator when you wish to start a rest break and when you are ready to start working again. The invigilator will adjust the finish time of the exam to ensure you do not lose any writing time.

I have specific seating requirements for phase tests. How do I know where to sit?

If your learning contract recommends a seat in a specific part of the room, this should have been arranged for you. If you cannot find your seat, you should ask your tutor or the invigilator to help you. You should tell your tutor or the invigilator if there are any problems with your allocated seat. If you have been recommended an office chair or ergonomic chair, please check that the chair provided is suitable for you, and tell your tutor or the invigilator as soon as possible if there are any problems.

I have a computer in my phase tests. How does this work?

Your phase tests will be scheduled in a PC room, and you will complete your exam using a SHU networked computer. Any written answers must be typed in Notepad, and not Word - you will not be able to use any other software unless this is a requirement for the test or it is recommended in your learning contract. You cannot use a spelling or grammar checker.

You will also be given a hard copy of the test paper and answer booklet. You can choose to complete some or all of the paper by hand if you wish to, but should clearly mark which questions you have typed and which are handwritten on the paper, so your tutor can easily find your answers when marking.

I have been recommended a room with no more than 20 other students for my phase tests.  What can I expect?

You will take your tests in a room with other students who also need a smaller room. This will be a standard teaching room, and not a large exam hall.

I have been recommended a room with no more than 5 other students for my phase tests.  What can I expect?

There will be no more than 5 other students in the room when you take your tests. Please note there is no minimum number, so it is possible that there may be no other students in the room with you, depending on timetabling requirements. If you would be uncomfortable taking a test with no other students present, please contact Disabled Student Support.

I have been recommended a room on my own (one-to-one accommodation) for my phase tests.  What can I expect?

You will take your tests in a separate room, with just you and an invigilator (and any support workers you have been recommended). If you have been recommended rest breaks and wish to use them, you will be able to leave the room during your breaks. The invigilator or your tutor will go with you.

Requesting another exam sit

Contact your Faculty Student Services team within 5 working days of your exam(s) if you think that your disability has significantly affected your exam performance. They will talk with you about the option to have another opportunity to sit your exam(s) without penalty. Find out more.

I have extra time and/or rest breaks in my exams. How does this work?

If you have extra time or rest breaks in your exams, you will sit your exams in a smaller room, with no more than 20 other students (unless a different recommendation has been made). The room number on your exam timetable will be different to the main exam hall. You need to check your timetable carefully. If you choose to attend your exam at the main venue, you will not be given any extra time or rest breaks.

If you have recommendations for rest breaks or extra time in your learning contract, the finish time of your exams on your timetable will reflect this. The finish time on the timetable is the latest your exam would finish if you used all the extra time and rest breaks allowed. You will not be given any further additional time after the end time on your timetable.

Unless you are in one-to-one accommodation for your exams, you will not be able to leave the room during a rest break.

I have specific seating requirements for exams. How do I know where to sit?

You should check the seating plan outside the exam room to find your allocated seat. If your learning contract recommends a seat in a specific part of the room, this should have been arranged for you. You should tell the invigilator if there are any problems with your allocated seat.
If you have been recommended an office chair or ergonomic chair, please check that the chair provided is suitable for you, and tell the invigilator as soon as possible if there are any problems.

I have a computer in my exams. How does this work?

Your exams will be scheduled in a PC room, and you will complete your exam using a SHU networked computer. Any written answers must be typed in Notepad, and not Word - you will not be able to use any other software unless this is a requirement for the exam or it is recommended in your learning contract. You cannot use a spelling or grammar checker.

You will also be given a hard copy of the exam paper and answer booklet. You can choose to complete some or all of the paper by hand if you wish to, but should clearly mark which questions you have typed and which are handwritten on the paper, so your tutor can easily find your answers when marking.

I have been recommended a room with no more than 20 other students for my exams. What can I expect?

You will sit your exams in a room with other students who also need a smaller room. This will be a standard teaching room, rather than a large exam hall.

Some students in the room may be sitting a different exam to you, so do not be alarmed if their papers look different or they have additional materials or answer books.

I have been recommended a room with no more than 5 other students for my exams. What can I expect?

There will be no more than 5 other students in the room when you sit your exams. Please note there is no minimum number, so it is possible that there may be no other students in the room with you, depending on timetabling requirements.
If you would be uncomfortable sitting an exam with no other students present, please contact Disabled Student Support.

I have been recommended a room on my own (one-to-one accommodation) for my exams. What can I expect?

You will sit your exams in a separate room, with just you and an invigilator (and any support workers you have been recommended). If you have been recommended rest breaks and wish to use them, you will be able to leave the room during your breaks. The invigilator will go with you.

How do I know what support is in place for my exams?

Your exam timetable will not state what reasonable adjustments are in place for you. You should check your learning contract to see what has been recommended. You can view your learning contract by logging in to My Student Record and clicking on the Disability Support tab.

You can also contact the exams team to check what arrangements they have made for you, by calling 0114 225 3079, or email exams@shu.ac.uk

I think my exam support needs changing, what should I do?

If you think the support in your learning contract is incorrect, you should contact Disabled Student Support as soon as possible. There is a cut-off date for guaranteeing that new exam recommendations can be put in place, and last minute requests for changes cannot always be accommodated. Where it is not possible for arrangements to be made in time and you have to sit the assessment without the required support, you should read the guidance on shuspace and contact your student support officer.

My exam support was not sufficient and it affected my performance, what should I do?

If you feel you have underperformed in an exam for disability-related reasons, you should read the guidance on shuspace and contact your student support officer. Your student support officer can advise you on the correct process to follow. You should also contact Disabled Student Support to discuss updating your learning contract.

Do I need to confirm my attendance at exams?

The exams team will email you and ask you to confirm that you are planning to attend your exams. It is really important that you reply. If you respond to say that you are not planning to attend an exam, any adjustments put in place for you will be cancelled.

Extended library loans

When your learning contract is published your library account will be updated and extended library loans will then be available to you.

Normally, library loans are for a week and books automatically renew for up to 52 weeks unless the book is required by another student. However if you have been recommended extended library loans then a book will automatically be issued to you for 2 weeks and it will auto renew for 2 weeks at a time (for a maximum of 52 weeks) unless it is required by another student.

If your book is recalled by the library (e.g. if it is required by a different user) you will have 5 days to return it to the library. If the book is returned on the 6th day or later you will receive a fine of £2 per day.

Assistive technology resource (ATR) 

The assistive technology resource or ATR areas in the library provide a range of specialist equipment and adjustable furniture including ergonomic chairs, height adjustable tables, foot rests, large monitors and CCTV magnifying units. The library also has a range of equipment which can be borrowed such as ergonomic keyboards, laptops with Dragon software and document holders. Check where the ATR areas are located and what is available or ask a member of staff in the library to show you.

If you have been recommended access to the ATR you will be able to log in to the computers in the assistive technology resource (ATR) areas with your normal username and password once your learning contract has been published.

Nominated borrower service

The nominated borrower service allows you to nominate up to two people e.g. family members or friends to borrow library items for you. It may be recommended for students who have difficulty accessing the library.

When your learning contract is published the library will be informed that you require the nominated borrower service. The library will then contact you with more information about the service and toask who you want to nominate to borrow items from the library. A library borrowing card with your details and the name of the nominated borrower will then be issued which you can give to the nominated borrower. Distance learner support service The distance learner support service is a postal loan service and may be recommended for students who have difficulty accessing the library. When your learning contract is published the library will be informed that you require the distance learner support service. The library will then contact you with more information about how to use the service.

Total votes: 9
How useful was this page?