In Lappeenranta and Lahti, the pandemic’s situation has significantly worsened in recent weeks and the number of infections has increased, therefore LUT has also tightened corona restrictions to ensure the safety of our community. The safe opening of campuses is something we have also been grateful for, as it has helped students cope with this challenging situation. However, the situation must now be taken seriously and long term decisions must be given. A year ago, we switched entirely to distance learning on a very fast schedule, and there were failures of which we all wanted to learn from. Still this spring, we woke up to the fact that not all paper exams have been made electronic or safe enough, and certain points have been brought up in the quality of teaching. Such exceptional times place particular emphasis on cooperative decisions, communication and ways of informing.
At the end of the third period, the campus was again closed to students and only necessary activities were allowed on the campus. It is understandable that laboratories won’t move, but we do question the necessity of exams that require attendance. We have received numerous concerned inquiries from students regarding the subject. We were confident that through open and confidential discussion and cooperation between LTKY and LUT, we would reach an agreement. Despite several of our requests, we received no explanation or justification for the necessity of the remaining paper exams. LUT’s internal communication in our direction has failed. Currently, our students take health risks by participating in paper exams, and we at LTKY do not have answers to give about participating.
Last spring, the situation was completely new to everyone, and it was still understandable that various experiments took place at the expense of the quality of studies. The situation is no longer comparable to that and lessons should have been learned from the spring. We assumed that over the past year, it would have been possible to develop various methods to implement high-quality distance learning at LUT, and students could demonstrate their skills without paper exams. Digital leap has enabled us a lot, but there is still room for improvement. At LUT, we have seen very successful, applicable solutions before, which we now expect from every course. LUT has dedicated resources specifically for this need, so now is the time to use their full potential.
In our opinion, emphasizing learning in one exam only is no longer the case today. Continuous monitoring of progress and applied assignments are always praised in the surveys and help students master the main content of the courses. Could the exam itself also be a learning situation? Already, many teachers are developing exams where students can take advantage of all the material available. At the same time, students are prepared for academic writing, in which the use of sources and referencing is an essential part. Today’s working life does not require all from memory, but the application of available knowledge and problem-solving ability. An exam question, to which an answer can be found directly in the lecture slides or the first search on Google, does not support learning.
In this prolonged epidemic situation, we expect to look to the future as well. One day notices and unreasonable response times are no longer enough for us. The necessary organization of paper exams was discussed during Christmas and now again in the third period. We ask LUT to fully follow with the assembling restrictions the rest of the spring. We now demand that the exams for the fourth period exam week will be held entirely electronically and that LUT continue to show responsibility, foresight and ability to cooperate. We are ready for an open discussion, to offer more solutions and to hear the justified reasons for the necessary paper exams.
Chair of the Board
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