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Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Assessment Policy by stating detailed requirements for conducting assessment and examinations in coursework subjects.

Scope

(2) This procedure applies only to assessment in coursework subjects, including coursework subjects in higher degree by research courses. Within that scope restriction, it applies to the same range of staff and students as the Assessment Policy.

(3) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states requirements for reasonable adjustments for disability, extensions of deadlines for submission of assessment work, special consideration, deferred exams and alternative exam arrangements.

(4) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure states the requirements for research topic proposal, supervision and examination of research components in coursework courses.

(5) The Higher Degree by Research Policy states the requirements for supervision and assessment of research component subjects in higher degree by research courses.

References

(6) Where a supporting document is referred to in this procedure, it will be listed on the associated information tab.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(7) Most of the terms in this procedure are defined in the glossary section of the Assessment Policy. For the purposes of this procedure, the following additional terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Exam centre – a place where exams are held, other than a campus of the University or Study Group Australia study centre.
  2. Exam paper – means the content of the actual exam i.e. examination coversheet and questions. 
  3. Exam room – this may be a physical venue or an online platform for the purposes of conducting and invigilating exams.
  4. Final exam – an exam held in the exam period at the end of a session.
  5. Question bank – a digital repository of questions for an exam, from which individual students are presented with questions selected by an algorithm, so that each student’s set of exam questions is different yet tests the same learning outcomes.
  6. Rubric – a table of marking criteria that sets out for each grade, or for the range of marks equivalent to the level of performance of a final grade, the criteria the assessment task must meet to receive that grade or a mark in that range.
  7. Work integrated learning (WIL) – any learning activity in which students engage in realistic work activities or activities closely related to work.
    1. WIL activities include workplace learning and simulated work activities such as simulated workplaces, role-plays and case studies.
    2. A WIL learning activity must involve partnership between the teaching school and an employer, industry or community organisation representative to design, delivery and/or assess students’ performance in the activity.
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Section 3 - Policy

(8) This procedure supports the Assessment Policy and should be read alongside it.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Responsibilities in assessment

(9) Both staff and students have responsibilities in assessment, as follows.

Student responsibilities

(10) The University expects students to be responsible for their own learning and achievement of required standards in subjects and courses. This includes:

  1. reading instructions for assessment tasks (including final exams) carefully, and following these instructions;
  2. meeting deadlines for assessment tasks and attending scheduled assessment tasks;
  3. reading feedback on assessment tasks carefully;
  4. seeking support to improve their performance where feedback and marks or grades indicate they need to improve; and
  5. retaining copies of submitted assessment work.

Staff responsibilities

(11) Staff responsible for conducting assessment will:

  1. mark in accordance with the stated assessment criteria and standards;
  2. provide timely, constructive feedback to students on assessment tasks other than final exams, which indicates what they did well and how the work could be improved;
  3. refer students who need support to the relevant academic and/or other support services;
  4. record student marks in Grade Centre, release these marks to students progressively through the teaching session, and submit final grades by the published deadline; and
  5. meet university timelines and requirements for submission of exam papers.

(12) The Course and Subject Information Procedure states detailed requirements for

  1. assessment information in subject outlines;
  2. checking of subject outlines before each delivery; and
  3. approval of changes to a subject outline for a session after it has been published to students.

Academic integrity and academic misconduct

(13) The Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Integrity Procedure state:

  1. the University's expectations of staff and students to practise and maintain academic integrity; and
  2. their responsibilities in relation to this, including:
    1. students’ responsibility not to enable others to copy or misuse their assessment work; and
    2. the responsibility of academic staff to report instances of suspected academic misconduct for investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule.
  3. The Academic Integrity Procedure also states requirements for staff to maintain academic integrity in designing and conducting assessment.

Improper supervision and editing

(14) The Academic Integrity Policy states that improper supervision and/or editing of a student’s work by a supervisor or teaching staff member is a form of academic misconduct.

(15) Improper supervision or editing is supervision or editing to such an extent that the staff member becomes an unacknowledged co-author of the student’s assessment work, so that it is no longer possible for an assessor to identify the student’s level of knowledge and skills.

(16) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure provides guidelines to help supervisors and teaching staff understand the difference between legitimate supervision or constructive comments on a student’s draft assessment work to aid learning, and improper supervision and editing.

Detailed assessment rules

Use of rubrics

(17) For each assessment task, the Subject Coordinator will publish a rubric to students in the subject outline and ensure that assessors apply the rubric in marking the task.

  1. This requirement does, however, not apply to tests and quizzes weighted at 10% or less of the overall subject mark.

Marking scales

(18) The marking scale for each assessment task in a subject will be either a numerical value or a satisfactory (SY)/unsatisfactory (US) mark.

  1. A subject that uses the grading scale HD/DI/CR/PS/FL or the grading scale H1/H2a/H2b/H3/FL may include an assessment task marked SY/US, provided this task does not contribute to calculation of students’ final overall mark in the subject. This may be necessary where the assessment task is a hurdle assessment to ensure students cannot pass the subject without being competent in a safety procedure or essential practical skill.

Optional assessment not permitted

(19) Subjects will not offer optional assessment (that is, extra assessment tasks students may choose to undertake, to improve their marks).

(20) See, however, the ‘Further assessment’ clauses in this procedure for students who have marginally failed a subject, or who have gained an overall pass mark but failed to gain the mark in a hurdle assessment that is required to pass the subject.

Group assessment work

(21) Group assessment work will only be used where a learning outcome of the subject requires students to demonstrate collaboration or teamwork skills.

(22) As far as possible, each student will receive an individual mark for their contribution to group assessment work. Students will receive a group mark (where the assessor gives a single mark to the group assessment work, and all students receive that same mark) where it is impossible to distinguish the contribution of different group members.

(23) Group assessment work should contribute no more than 50% of the total subject mark.

  1. Up to 30 of the 50% can be a group mark.
  2. Up to 10 of the 50% can be for:
    1. peer assessment of a student’s work by other members of the student group; and/or
    2. the student’s self-assessment of their own work.
  3. Work integrated learning subjects that involve realistic work team activities can go beyond these limits, but the University Learning and Teaching Committee may scrutinise the subject’s:
    1. rationale for the use of group assessment work; and
    2. arrangements to ensure that students have a good experience of the group assessment work.

(24) The Subject Coordinator will moderate any peer assessment and self-assessment to ensure these are fair.

(25) For a group assessment task, the Subject Coordinator will provide the following information to students:

  1. how the task will be assessed and the extent to which students will receive individual marks, a shared group mark and/or a peer assessed mark;
  2. how the criteria for assessment will be determined;
  3. how groups will be formed;
  4. what support will be available to the group as it carries out the work;
  5. the process for raising and resolving issues with the way a group is functioning and/or disputes between group members; and
  6. how groups will agree the work is ready to submit.

(26) Where a student taking part in group assessment work experiences adverse circumstances that prevent them from performing their part of the group work in time, they must inform the Subject Coordinator and either seek an extension or apply for special consideration. It may be necessary for the extension or special consideration outcome to apply to all students in the group.

(27) The guidelines section in this procedure provides guidance on managing group assessment work.

Restriction on assessment in last teaching week of session

(28) To ensure that students have time to prepare for final exams, a subject that has a final exam will not schedule in the last teaching week of the session a test, faculty-run exam or due date for an assignment weighted at 20% or more of the final overall mark for the subject.

Indigenous Australian assessment components in Indigenous Australian studies hybrid subjects

(29) Where a hybrid Australian Indigenous Studies subject includes a distinct assessment component that is assessed by the School of Indigenous Australian Studies, students must pass that component to receive a passing grade in the subject. The Indigenous Australian Content in Courses and Subjects Policy defines this type of subject.

Confidentiality of students’ assessment work

(30) The teaching faculty or teaching school may share examples of a student’s assessment work, for internal or external assurance of assessment quality. For external quality assurance activities the assessment work will be shared in such a way that it does not identify the student. 

(31) Other than for the purpose in the previous clause, staff will not show assessment work by a student to anyone other than staff involved in processing or marking it, without the student’s permission.

(32) Where an assessment task is public in nature (e.g. seminar presentations, group activities, performances to an audience, artworks submitted for exhibition), staff must not make it more widely available as a recording or by publishing it, without the student’s permission.

(33) Once marked, submitted assessment work will not be returned to students in any way that risks others seeing it without the student’s permission, such as by leaving work for collection in a public area.

Retention and disposal of assessment work

(34) Where assessment work, such as exam papers, is not returned to students or where students do not collect assessment work:

  1. the work must be retained for 12 months after the end of the session in which the assessment occurred, after which
  2. it must be disposed of in accordance with the disposal requirements of the Record Management Policy.

Conscientious objection

(35) The Course and Subject Conscientious Objection Procedure states the process for a student to raise a conscientious objection to a learning activity or assessment task, for example where the activity/task involves a use of animals that offends a conscientious belief held by the student.

Submitted assessment work

Submission of assessment work in online learning mode

(36) Where students are studying in online learning mode, they must submit assessment work by:

  1. the online assignment submission system;
  2. the relevant online tool as instructed in the subject outline;
  3. following other instructions on assessment work submission in the subject outline.

(37) The Division of Information Technology (DIT) will record in its database the date of receipt of each piece of assessment work. The receipt date is the date the work is received by the online assessment submission system.

(38) In exceptional circumstances, the Head of School may agree to a staff member receiving online learning mode assessment work directly. In these cases, the staff member or relevant office must provide assessment work receipt dates to the DIT to record.

Submission of assessment work in on-campus learning mode

(39) Where students are studying on campus, they must submit assessment work by:

  1. the online assignment submission system;
  2. the relevant online tool as instructed in the subject outline; or
  3. following other instructions on assessment work submission in the subject outline.

(40) The receipt date is the date the assessment work is received by the online assessment submission system, or the date the assessment work is received by the submission method specified in the subject outline.

Return of assessment work and feedback

(41) The Assessment Policy states the requirement that staff provide prompt, constructive feedback on assessment work to enable students to improve their performance.

(42) Marked submitted assessment work will normally be returned to students, at latest:

  1. 15 business days after the assessment due date (where students submit by the due date); or
  2. 15 business days after the assessment work receipt date (where students submit late, or where they can choose the submission date).

(43) Where an assessment task is directly relevant to an exam, staff will normally return assessment work that was submitted by the due date at least one week before the exam is held, if this will be sooner than the time-frame stated in the previous clause. 

Return of assessment work in online learning mode

(44) Where a subject is delivered online, the return date of submitted assessment work published in the subject outline is the latest date by which the work will be returned to students who have submitted it on time.

(45) Marked assessment work will be returned to students studying in online learning mode by teaching staff via:

  1. the online assessment submission system; or
  2. other Charles Sturt online tool used to submit the assessment, such as a journal or forum.

(46) The Division of Information Technology (DIT) will record in its database the date of return of each item of assessment work returned.

(47) In exceptional circumstances, the Head of School may agree to a staff member returning assessment work to students directly. In these cases the staff member or relevant office must provide the dates they returned assessment work to the DIT to record.

Return of assignments in on-campus learning mode

(48) Where a subject is delivered on campus, the return date of work submitted for an assessment task published in the subject outline is the date by which the work will be available for collection, if the student submitted it on time.

(49) Teaching staff will return marked assessment work in on-campus learning mode subjects to students:

  1. via the online assessment submission system;
  2. via another Charles Sturt online tool used to submit the assessment work, such as a journal or forum; or
  3. directly in class, provided that other students will not have an opportunity to see a student’s mark, grade or feedback without the student’s permission.

(50) Where students do not collect assessment work for on-campus learning mode subjects, these may destroyed after 12 months have passed since the end of the relevant session: see the student records disposal schedule.

Late return of assessment work

(51) Where marked assessment work cannot be returned to students within 15 business days after the due date, but will be returned within 25 business days, the Subject Coordinator will advise students of the delay and the reason for it.

(52) Where marked assessment work cannot be returned to students within 25 business days of the due date, the Subject Coordinator will notify the head of the teaching school. The Head of School will, within five business days of that notification, write to the students informing them of the delay and of actions being taken to return the assignment to them.

Student enquiries and concerns about late return of assessment work

(53) A student enquiring about return of assessment work should contact the Subject Coordinator.

(54) Where marked assessment work has not been returned to the student within the normal time-frame stated in the Assessment Policy, and the student asks Student Central about this, Student Central may consult the Subject Coordinator and/or Head of School.

(55) Where assessment work was not returned to the student within 25 business days after the assessment due date or (if the student submitted late) within 25 business days of the assessment submission date, the student may contact the head of the teaching school. The Head of School will investigate and advise the student of the reason for the delay and actions being taken to return the assessment work to them.

Reporting of assessment work return performance

(56) The Office of Planning and Analytics (OPA) will provide an annual collated report to Executive Deans and to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on schools’ performance in meeting the normal time-frames for return of submitted assessment work.

(57) The OPA will also provide a confidential report to each Head of School, at the end of each session, on the school’s performance in meeting normal return time-frames for online learning mode assignments.

(58) These reports will provide data on numbers of items of assessment work whose return dates were:

  1. within 15 business days after the assessment due date or (where the student submitted late) within 15 business days after the assessment work receipt date; or
  2. more than 15 business days after the due date or (for late assignments) receipt date, broken down into the numbers of assessment items for which:
    1. the Head of School has reported what they consider a reasonable explanation for the lateness;
    2. no explanation was reported or the Head of School did not consider the explanation reasonable; or
    3. the cause of lateness was an administrative delay on the part of the DIT. 

Recording marks

(59) Subject Coordinators will ensure that there is an auditable record of all events in the marking of all assessment tasks for the subject.

(60) Staff who assess students’ assessment work will record all marks for all assessment tasks (including final exams) in Grade Centre as soon as any checking and/or moderation of the marks has been done.

(61) Where, however, the student is alleged to have committed academic misconduct in relation to an assessment task, recording of the marks and subject grade will be delayed until the academic misconduct allegation has been decided and any resubmission, mark or grade penalties are known.

(62) Subject marks and grades published in Grade Centre are not final until the grades have been approved by the Faculty Assessment Committees.

Review of a mark for an assessment task

(63) A student may seek a review of a mark for an assessment task if they have not already received a final grade for the subject.

(64) The Student Misconduct Rule, however, states that a penalty for academic misconduct of a reduced assessment mark or fail in an assessment task, overrules other assessment decisions such as a review of the mark.

(65) If a student has received a final grade for a subject, their request for review of a mark for an assessment task in the subject must be handled as a review of the grade: see the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure.

(66) Where a student wishes to seek a review of a mark for an assessment task, they should first consult their Subject Coordinator.

(67) If the Subject Coordinator is unavailable or the student has consulted the Subject Coordinator but still wishes to seek a review, they may submit a request for a review of the mark. To do this:

  1. the student(other than students in subjects delivered by the School of Policing Studies) must:
    1. complete the review of mark form on the student forms web page, following the instructions on the form; and
    2. submit the form within seven calendar days after they received the marked assessment item; or
  2. students enrolled in subjects delivered by the School of Policing Studies may submit a request for review of a mark by applying directly to the school.

(68) If the application is for review of a passing mark, the student must pay the prescribed fee, which will be refunded if the decision is to change the mark. No fee is required for review of a failing mark.

Grades and their approval

(69) The Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure states the process for recording and approval of final grades in subjects.

Failure before the end of the session

(70) The Assessment Policy authorises the head of the teaching school, under certain circumstances, to decide that a student should not be permitted to finish a subject, practicum, placement, project or thesis.

(71) In such cases, the following process will occur:

  1. In considering the decision, the Head of School will consult the Subject Coordinator.
  2. Where the decision is to fail the student early, the Head of School will arrange for one of the following grades to be submitted via the online change of grade functionality, and will provisionally approve it:
    1. FNS (fail non-submission) if the student has not undertaken or submitted any assessment task in the subject; or
    2. FL (fail) or US (unsatisfactory), depending on the grading scale for the subject, if the student submitted or sat at least one assessment task for the subject.
  3. Before the Head of School provisionally approves the fail grade, they will notify the student:
    1. that it has been decided to fail them in the subject before the end of the session;
    2. the reason for the decision;
    3. the fail grade that will be recorded against the student’s subject enrolment at the end of the session; and
    4. that they have the option of applying for a review of the grade.
  4. Where the subject has a final centrally run exam, provisionally approving the fail grade will have the effect that the student will be removed from the list of students to sit the exam.
  5. The school will include the fail grade and the reason for it in the grades recommended for approval to the next meeting of the School Assessment Committee.
  6. Endorsement and final approval will then occur as for other grades.

(72) Students who receive a FNS, FL or US grade in this manner may apply for a review of the decision: see the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure.

(73) The Student Misconduct Rule states the process by which a student may, if necessary, be suspended from an activity such as workplace learning.

Refusal of permission to undertake workplace learning

Refusal of permission where the student is insufficiently prepared

(74) The Assessment Policy authorises the Executive Dean or their nominee to refuse a student permission to undertake workplace learning if they have failed to meet pre-placement requirements and/or would pose a risk to others if they undertook the placement.

(75) The criteria for such a decision are that the student:

  1. has failed prerequisite workplace learning;
  2. may not have maintained currency of clinical/professional practice skills and knowledge;
  3. has failed to complete pre-placement preparation successfully such as immunisations, police checks or first aid training, or has not provided evidence that they have done this;
  4. does not meet the requirements for successfully completing workplace learning as set out in the relevant course information and/or subject outline and any requirements specified for the placement; or
  5. has been identified as posing a risk to people in the workplace learning setting because of the nature of the student’s physical or mental health condition.

(76) The student may be approved to undertake the workplace learning once they no longer have any of these impediments.

(77) The Assessment Policy authorises the Executive Dean or the officer they nominate to make such decisions to exclude the student from the course if:

  1. the student cannot remove the impediment; and
  2. the workplace learning is a core requirement to complete the course.

Refusal of permission where the student cannot meet the required professional standard

(78) The Assessment Policy authorises the Executive Dean or their nominee to refuse a student permission to undertake workplace learning if the decision-maker is satisfied that the student will not be able to achieve the standard of professional practice required to undertake the workplace learning successfully.

  1. Such a decision will be based on a written report and recommendation from the Sub Dean (Workplace Learning) of the faculty.
  2. The decision-maker will provide the report to the student and offer them the opportunity to respond and a reasonable time-frame in which to respond, before making the decision.
  3. If the workplace learning is a core requirement of the course, the decision-maker will consult with the relevant Course Director to ensure the student receives academic counselling to help them consider their further study options.

Moderation

(79) The Assessment Policy states the requirement that marking of at least one major assessment task be moderated in each session’s delivery of each coursework subject.

  1. Moderation will involve checking the consistency of marking against the marking guide (including criteria and related standards) within and across deliveries of the subject in different locations and by different modes.
  2. Where two assessment tasks are both equally weighted, and are the most heavily weighted, the Head of School will decide which is moderated in each session, in consultation with the moderator.

(80) The Head of School or their nominee will appoint moderators, who will be experienced staff with relevant skills.

  1. A staff member cannot moderate their own marking. 
  2. The moderator can be a staff member from the team teaching the subject, another staff member, or someone not employed by the University.

(81) The Division of Learning and Teaching:

  1. provides training for moderators;
  2. provides training on quality assurance and post-delivery subject reflection in each session; and
  3. will organise group training for staff of a school or faculty on request.

(82) The Course and Subject Quality Assurance and Review Procedure states requirements for subject reflection after each delivery of a subject, and for reporting on subject reflection and resulting improvements.

Further assessment

(83) The Assessment Policy authorises:

  1. a Head of School, in consultation with the Subject Coordinator, to offer a student further assessment in a subject under certain circumstances; and
  2. the Subject Coordinator to determine the form of the additional assessment, in consultation with the Head of School.

(84) No further assessment will be offered to a student who has passed a subject.

(85) The further assessment task(s) need not be the same type of assessment item as the task(s) failed.

(86) The original exam paper may not be re-used for an additional exam unless the paper was made available to all students before the original exam.

(87) Where a student is granted further assessment, the grade AA (additional assessment) or AE (additional exam) will be submitted for release with the other grades: this will alert the student that they are to be offered further assessment task.

  1. An additional assessment may be an exam administered by the school of faculty, where it is necessary for the student to have the exam before the next scheduled centrally administered additional exams. In such cases, however, the temporary grade AA must be used. The temporary grade AE signals to the Examinations Office that the student has been granted an additional exam that will be administered by the Examinations Office.

(88) After the release of grades:

  1. for an additional assessment, the teaching school will notify the student of:
    1. the work to be submitted for assessment and the deadline for this; or
    2. the date and time on which the student will undertake the assessment task and the relevant location; or
  2. for an additional exam, the Examinations Office will notify the student of the date and time of the exam, and will administer the exam.
    1. The Examinations Office will give the student at least 10 business days notice of the additional exam; but
    2. the student may waive this period of notice if there is an opportunity to sit the additional exam sooner, and they want to sit it sooner.

(89) Where the student does not submit an additional assessment by the submission deadline, or does not sit an additional assessment or additional exam, the school will submit a change of grade request to the Division of Student Administration to convert their AA or AE grade to the appropriate fail grade.

(90) However, students who are prevented from submitting/sitting a further assessment, or impaired in submitting/sitting it, by illness or other circumstances outside their control may apply for special consideration: see the Assessment Flexibility Procedure.

(91) A student who submits or sits a further assessment but is awarded an FL or US grade may seek a review of the grade: see the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure.

(92) In these cases the faculty will not offer the student yet another assessment as an outcome of the review, but will decide whether the FL or US will stand or be replaced with a PS or SY.

(93) Students who do not submit/sit the further assessment (as relevant), cannot have their FL or US grade reviewed.

(94) Where a student passes the further assessment, they will be awarded the subject achievement grade of PS or SY, depending on the subject’s grading scale, regardless of their final overall mark in the subject. AA and AE grades must not be converted to a CR, DI or HD.

Faculty-run examinations and tests

(95) The relevant faculty subjects team administers any faculty-run exam. 

(96) When a faculty or school administers an exam or test, the staff responsible will ensure its integrity as follows:

  1. The exam paper, regardless of format (e.g. online or paper-based), is securely prepared and stored, and where necessary circulated securely between staff until it is time to administer the exam or test to students.
  2. Where the University printer is asked to print materials, the staff responsible must instruct the printery to do so securely.
  3. Students are given instructions for the exam or test that make clear:
    1. what resources they are permitted to use during the exam or test sitting, and
    2. the extent to which they can collaborate to answer the exam or test question.
  4. If invigilation of the exam or test is required then the sitting is supervised throughout by staff to ensure that students:
    1. cannot use resources or access information other than as permitted by the instructions for the task; and
    2. cannot collaborate to answer the exam or test questions beyond the extent of collaboration permitted by the instructions for the task.

Examinations scheduling and timetables

Scheduling of examinations

(97) Exams may be scheduled at any time during the final exam period in a session, including evenings, on days other than Sunday or New South Wales public holidays.

(98) Where an exam, regardless of format (e.g. online or paper-based), for the same subject will be held both in New South Wales and at an exam centre in a different time-zone, wherever possible it will be held simultaneously or at times so close together that students will not have a chance to communicate between the sittings.

(99) Where it is necessary to run the same exam at different times, the requirements to ensure academic integrity are stated in the section in this procedure on running of examinations.

Preparing examination timetables

(100) Subject Coordinators who require a centrally-run final exam for their subject in a session must complete the online exam request form by the deadline specified by the Division of Student Administration. Requests received after the deadline will be accepted at the discretion of the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration. 

(101) Based on the forms submitted, the Examinations Office will publish a draft exam timetable on or about the sixth week of the session/term and invite staff objections to the draft.

(102) A student should not normally have to sit more than six exams in one exam period. Where the draft exam timetable would require a student to sit more than six exams (including alternative or deferred exams) in the exam period, the Examinations Office will inform the relevant teaching school/s so that school staff can consider replacing some of the exams with an alternative assessment.

(103) Staff must submit any objections to the draft exam timetable to the Examinations Office within five working days of the draft timetable’s publication. Requests received after the deadline will be accepted at the discretion of the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration.

Final examination timetable

(104) The Examinations Office will publish the final exam timetable on or about the seventh week of the session/term.

(105) Once the final exam timetable has been published, the following details of timetabled exams must not be changed:

  1. the published exam date and time;
  2. the amount of reading time allowed;
  3. the length of the examination;
  4. the materials to be supplied by the University;
  5. the materials students may provide themselves;
  6. the type of exam (online or paper-based); and
  7. the platform of the exam. 

(106) Notwithstanding clause 105, in exceptional circumstances that make it impossible or unsafe to hold a scheduled exam, the exam may be rescheduled to a different date and/or at a different time as determined by the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration in consultation with the relevant school/faculty.

(107) Students must sit each exam at the published venue, date and time, unless given permission to sit at a different venue, date and/or time by the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration or their nominee.

Examination locations and centres

(108) Students who are required to sit a paper-based exam or attend an exam in-person and:

  1. are studying on campus will attend their exam/s at the campus at which they are enrolled, unless course requirements necessitate their being elsewhere at the time of an exam; or
  2. are studying in online learning mode and who live within 120 kilometres of a Charles Sturt University exam centre,
must attend exams scheduled at that centre, unless course requirements necessitate their being elsewhere at the time of the exam.

(109) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure provides for adjustments to exam arrangements for students with a disability or long-term physical or mental health condition.

(110) Students who live outside Australia may be required to pay a service fee to help cover the extra costs of running exams outside Australia.

Changes of examination centre

(111) A student may request a change of exam centre at any time up to the deadline specified by the Division of Student Administration.

(112) Students who change their address on university systems must nevertheless submit a separate request to change their exam centre if they need it changed.

(113) Exam centre change requests received by the Examinations Office less than six weeks before the start of the relevant exam period will incur an administration fee.

(114) Exam centre change requests received by the Examinations Office less than two weeks before the start of the relevant exam period will only be processed if the Manager, Examinations Office or their nominee approves their processing.

Examination papers

School quality assurance of examination papers

(115) The school will store draft exam papers securely in a single repository and, when it is necessary to circulate them among staff, ensure their security.

(116) Before each exam paper is provided to the Examinations Office in the required format, it must be checked by another academic staff member than the person who drafted the exam paper. The checking will ensure that:

  1. the questions assess the subject contents as described in the subject outline;
  2. the questions assess the subject learning outcomes at the appropriate level of difficulty;
  3. the instructions and questions are clear;
  4. the allocation of marks to questions is appropriate for the proportion of the exam time it will take students to answer them; and
  5. questions are numbered correctly, the formatting is correct and any diagrams, graphs or formulae are correct and readable.

Submission of examination papers

(117) The school will upload a master copy of the exam paper for each subject that has a centrally-run exam to the secure Examinations Office in the format, manner and by deadline advised by the Division of Student Administration. 

(118) The Examinations Office may reject a master copy of inferior quality.

(119) The Examinations Office will hold the master copies until after the end of the exam period.

(120) Staff involved with preparation of an exam paper can inspect the master copy held by the Examinations Office on request.

Responsibility for examination papers and answer books

(121) The Division of Student Administration is responsible for providing exam paper templates. For online exams, the templates will be developed in collaboration with the Division of Learning and Teaching.

(122) The Division of Student Administration is responsible for printing exam papers and providing exam answer books and materials, where relevant. 

Running examinations

Arrangements where a student needs to sit an examination at a different time

(123) It may be necessary for a student to sit an exam at a different time from other students in the same subject, for a range of reasons, including:

  1. to resolve a timetable clash;
  2. where the student would otherwise have to sit three exams in the same day;
  3. as a condition of an alternative examination arrangement;
  4. because the student must sit the exam at an exam centre that does not operate at the same time as the other exam centres where the exam is being administered; or
  5. where the student is in a time zone where the exam is scheduled between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am, local time. 

(124) In these cases, to ensure integrity of the exam, either:

  1. the student will be supervised for the time between their sitting of the exam, and the time when the other students in the subject sit the exam;
  2. the school will provide an alternative exam paper for the student who sits at a different time to the other students; or
  3. the exam paper will be administered online using a question bank.

Examination materials

(125) Students may bring into the exam any materials they are permitted to use in the exam as set out in the exam instructions. 

(126) For in-person exams, the University provides only exam question papers and answer booklets, the students must provide their own writing instruments and materials permitted.

(127) Students cannot bring the following materials into the exam sitting unless the instructions for the exam specifically allow it:

  1. textbooks and other reference material;
  2. highlighters;
  3. calculators;
  4. electronic devices including diaries, organisers, dictionaries, laptop or palmtop computers, fitness trackers, watches or tablets; or
  5. mobile telephones or other communication devices.

(128) Where any of the above materials are allowed in an exam, the following conditions apply:

  1. Calculators must be portable, silent, self-powered and fit on a standard examination table; they must be used for numerical calculations only.
  2. Texts and references must not be e-books. They must be limited to those specified for the examination and may be subject to further restrictions imposed by the Subject Coordinator. Such restrictions will be listed on the examination paper.

(129) Students may use multi-lingual or bilingual general dictionaries in any examination other than those where such dictionaries are specifically prohibited. Dictionaries must be in printed not electronic form. The dictionaries must contain no notes or other annotations.

(130) Multi-lingual or bilingual dictionaries can be prohibited from any examination where:

  1. the subject is a language subject;
  2. it can be shown that a student will derive an unfair advantage that outweighs any possible disadvantage arising from the prohibition;
  3. the subject outline gives students notice of the prohibition; and
  4. the relevant Head of School has approved the prohibition on the advice of the relevant Subject Coordinator.

(131) Exam invigilators will check that students have not brought unauthorised materials into the exam. 

(132) Where exam invigilators believe that a student has had access to unauthorised materials in an exam: 

  1. they will retain the materials after the exam for in-person exams; or
  2. make detailed notes about the use of unauthorised materials, including evidence where relevant,
and refer the student to an appointed officer for investigation for academic misconduct: see the Student Misconduct Rule for the processes to report and decide academic misconduct allegations.

Verifying students’ identity

(133) Students sitting an exam must bring proof of their identity, namely:

  1. their Charles Sturt University student ID card; or
  2. another currently valid, government-issued form of ID that shows their full name (written in English), photograph and signature. 

(134) Exam invigilators will verify students’ identity against their ID before the exam starts. They may instruct a person who does not provide satisfactory identification to leave the exam venue.

Reading time

(135) Before the start of an exam there will be 10 minutes reading time.

(136) The Executive Dean of the teaching faculty or their nominee may approve a longer reading time where this is required for professional accreditation.

(137) Students may, if they wish, begin writing in the reading time. 

Technology allowance

(138) For online examinations, the Subject Coordinator may nominate the inclusion of a technology allowance of no longer than 30 minutes. 

Examination conditions

(139) Students sitting an exam must obey exam invigilators’ verbal instructions and any instructions on the exam question paper or other materials provided by the University.

(140) Students must not talk or communicate with other students when in the exam room.

(141) The lead exam invigilator may direct a student who disrupts or disturbs the exam to leave the exam room.

(142) No-one other than the listed students, exam invigilators, and Examinations Office and Division of Learning and Teaching staff is permitted to enter an exam room while the exam is in progress.

(143) Children (other than a student who is younger than adult age) are not permitted in the exam room.

(144) Students who arrive late to an exam room for an exam may not be given extra time in which to finish the exam.

(145) Students who arrive more than half an hour late for an exam will only be permitted to sit it where their lateness has been caused by an error on the part of the University. Where the lateness is caused by other exceptional circumstances outside the student’s control they must apply for special consideration to gain an opportunity to sit a deferred exam.

(146) The Executive Director, Division of Student Administration approves detailed exam instructions for students and exam invigilators, which cover:

  1. forms of instructions to candidates;
  2. detailed instructions for exam invigilators on each stage of running an exam;
  3. maintaining order in the exam room;
  4. detecting academic misconduct;
  5. preventing disruption, particularly at the start and end of the exam;
  6. processes to be followed where students arrive late;
  7. conditions under which students may be permitted to leave the exam room and return;
  8. processes where a student falls ill or requires first aid; and
  9. processes where an exam has to be interrupted or ended early.

(147) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states the conditions on which students may apply for and be granted alternative exam arrangements.

(148) Where it is necessary, for reasons of safety, to cancel an exam or end it early, students will not be required to submit individual requests for special consideration. The head of the teaching school will decide, on the recommendation of the Subject Coordinator, what action will be taken. Actions may include:

  1. marking answers students completed before the exam was ended, with consideration for the time lost by the early ending;
  2. grading the students affected on the basis of other assessment work submitted for the subject;
  3. requiring affected students to sit a deferred exam; or
  4. requiring affected students to submit some other form of assessment work in place of the exam or the portion of the exam lost to the early ending.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

Group assessment work

(149) Group assessment work should be managed by staff experienced in managing group assessment work. Where the staff member is still gaining experience in managing group assessment work, they should be supported and mentored by a staff member who is experienced in this.

(150) Where group assessment work is required, the Subject Coordinator should: 

  1. ensure that groups are formed in a way that ensures diversity of gender, culture and ethnicity (recommended methods are that either students self-select into pairs, and the teaching staff member combines the pairs into groups; or the teaching staff member allocates students to groups);
  2. ensure that the students in each group form a written contract on who will do what part of the assessment work, before they begin the work. Such an agreement is needed to help resolve any dispute that may arise as to whether each student is doing their share of the work;
  3. where students may not already know one another from previous classes, provide ‘icebreaker’ activities so that students can get to know one another a little before groups are formed;
  4. where students may be new to group assessment work, ensure they are supported to develop the teamwork and leadership skills needed for the work; this may involve introducing them to meeting skills, project planning, ways of resolving conflict and how to provide constructive feedback;
  5. ensure students have the necessary communication tools and a system for storing their work in progress and resources online so that they all have access to these;
  6. provide students with opportunities to reflect on the group’s process and how they are contributing to its success;
  7. ensure that teaching staff monitor groups’ functioning, including checkpoints during the period of the group work; a process for balancing team numbers if students drop out; and feedback to students on how they can improve their group work skills;
  8. ensure that there is a clear process for students to raise concerns about group functioning or conflict that the group does not succeed in resolving itself; and
  9. explain to students how assessment flexibility may be provided (that is, an extension or special consideration) if any member of the group experiences unforeseen adverse circumstances outside their control.