Dear Open University,
This query relates to B302/BXY302. As part of changes to your procedures in light of COVID-19. You applied changes to how you calculated students final results because you cancelled the EMA for this module. Therefore the module results panel would have had to rely on more information than just student results. I would like to know how you worked out these final results. Please could you disclose the following:
- any statistical model you used to inform student results and/or the detailed methodology behind this. If a statistical model was used please disclose any quality assurance and/or impact assessments you made.
- any internal documents relating to this. These could be policy documents, internal guidance, emails.
If anything is unclear or you require clarification please do get in touch.
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Request.
Your request is receiving our attention and you will hear from us again within 20 working days.
Freya Austin | Clerical Assistant, Information Rights
Information Rights, University Secretary’s Office
The Open University, Level 5, Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Email: [Open University request email]
Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
Dear Mr Smith,
Request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
We write further to your e-mail dated 30.09.2020 containing a request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) (“your
Request”) to the Open University (the “University”).
Duty to confirm or deny
The University confirms that it holds the information forming your Request
as stated below, although exemptions have been applied. I have addressed
your enquiries as set out in “communications” below.
Under FOIA, the University has an obligation to provide requesters with
information that it holds in a recorded format at the time of the request,
subject to any applicable exemptions. The University is not required to
create information to respond to such requests or answer questions (for
example, such as why a certain approach has not been taken) where it does
not hold the information to enable it to provide such a response.
In line with our obligations to advise and assist, we have where able.
provided you with information to assist you. I have addressed your
questions set out in bold below:
1.Any statistical model you used to inform student results and/or the
detailed methodology behind this. If a statistical model was used please
disclose any quality assurance and/or impact assessments you made.
The detail of the adjustment is set out in the attached spreadsheet and
clarified in the attached word document. A statistical, weighted
adjustment was made based on the difference between EMA/Examination and
the continuous assessment scores over the previous three main
presentations. As this is the first B302 presentation it was agreed that
B301 and B329 would be used as the comparator modules for this purpose. In
the attached spreadsheet the rows for B301 and B329 are the pertinent
The University does not hold single a specific impact and/or quality
assurance document in relation to the methodology used. The impact and
quality assurance considerations for the methodology applied to the
specific module you cite were not considered in isolation but across all
applicable modules and were documented in a diverse range of emails and
meeting notes across a substantive period of time. Unfortunately we have
not been able to supply this documentation and we are exempting the
request under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Section
12 applies where the time taken to extract the data exceeds an 18 hour
time period. In order to provide the data you have requested, this
represents a significant volume of material and will require dedicated
resource and extended timelines to identify where this information is
held. We consequently estimate that this process would take substantially
more than 18 hours to complete.
2.Any internal documents relating to this. These could be policy
documents, internal guidance, emails.”
As set out above in relation to impact considerations, all internal
documentation relating to marking adjustments as a result of the Covid 19
arrangements are diverse and disparate. Unfortunately we have not
therefore been able to supply this documentation as we are exempting the
request under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (as set
out above). However in line with our requirements under the FOIA to advise
and assist enquiries, we would recommended that if you wish to submit a
further request you consider focusing on specific considerations e.g. the
recorded minutes for the Module Results Panel for the specified module
If you have any concerns about the way the University has observed the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act you may apply for your
request to be reviewed. Freedom of Information Reviews are considered by
the University Secretary or his delegate. Your request must be submitted
within 40 working days of receipt of this letter/email. Reviews should be
addressed to the above inbox, entitled “FOIA Review”, and should set out
the reasons for the review. You will have a further right of appeal to
the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Daniel Webb| Senior Manager Information Rights
University Secretary’s Office
The Open University, Level 5 (217), Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: +44 (0) 1908 332871
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now