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Assessment Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy sets out the requirements for assessment in subjects offered by Charles Sturt University (the University).

(2) It is intended to ensure that assessment will:

  1. operate in a culture of academic integrity shared by students and staff;
  2. be conducted so as to guide and encourage students, evaluating them and assigning grades fairly and reliably;
  3. identify areas of strength and weakness in a student’s knowledge and skills, providing feedback that enables them to improve their performance;
  4. prepare students for life-long self-assessment and exercising their professional judgment;
  5. identify students who have achieved excellence, for example for purposes such as awarding scholarships and prizes;
  6. ensure that students maintain their academic progress and complete their course within a short enough period that their knowledge and skills as graduates will be current;
  7. measure and certify performance at the end of a course against established standards so that students’ level of skills and knowledge is clear to others such as employers and accrediting bodies;
  8. ensure that the University's awards comply with the qualification specifications of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and that assessment demonstrates the level of attainment required for an award of the University; and
  9. be conducted with reasonable flexibility to accommodate students living with a disability or who have unexpected adverse circumstances.

(3) The Academic Integrity Policy states:

  1. the University’s expectations of staff and students to practise and maintain academic integrity; and
  2. their responsibilities in relation to this including the responsibility of academic staff to report instances of suspected academic misconduct for investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule.

(4) The Higher Degree by Research Policy states requirements for assessment of higher degree by research theses, including proposal of research topics, confirmation of candidature, submission, examination and appeals.

Scope

(5) This policy applies to all staff involved in assessment, all staff who support assessment processes and record-keeping, and all students, in all subjects, including those delivered by partner institutions, other than research component subjects of higher degree by research courses.

References

(6) Where a supporting document is named in this policy, it will be listed in the associated information tab.

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Section 2 - Glossary 

(7) For the purposes of this policy, the following terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Academic integrity – acting with honesty, fairness and responsibility in learning, teaching and research.
  2. Academic misconduct – the breach of academic integrity by engaging in dishonest or unethical practices such as cheating, contract cheating, collusion, plagiarism or self-plagiarism.
  3. Alternative assessment – another assessment task that assesses the same learning outcomes.
  4. Assessment – the process of attributing value to the outcome of a task undertaken by a student to demonstrate their achievement of skills or knowledge.
  5. Assessment task – a task set for assessment in a subject such as an essay, test, assignment, report, exam; laboratory, field or clinical work; workplace learning task, dissertation, portfolio, project, production, presentation or performance.
  6. Business days – days when the University is open; excludes weekends and other days when the University or the relevant campus of the University is closed.
  7. Constructive alignment – an approach to course and subject design whereby course learning outcomes are demonstrably constructed from subject learning outcomes, which are demonstrably constructed from the subject learning activities and measured by the assessment tasks.
  8. Course-based residential school – see Residential school.
  9. Course Director – includes both the role titled ‘Course Director’ and the role titled ‘Course Coordinator’ where this title is still used.
  10. Coursework course – a course leading to a qualification at Australian Qualifications Framework level 8 or below, or a masters course with no research component or with a research component weighted at less than 66% of the total credit points required to complete the course. Coursework courses lead to the award of an undergraduate certificate, undergraduate diploma, associate degree, bachelor degree, bachelor (honours) degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, or a master by coursework as defined in the previous sentence.
  11. Coursework subject – a subject on a specified topic for which students engage with texts, learning materials and/or resources, and complete assessment; not a research component.
  12. Criterion-referenced assessment – uses predetermined criteria and performance standards in assessment rather than referring to other students’ achievement and/or a scaled distribution of marks/grades.
  13. Disability – as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).
  14. Elite athlete or performer – includes anyone who has been registered by the University as an elite athlete, pre-elite athlete, elite sports support person or elite performer, which are defined as follows.
    1. Elite athlete – a person competing at the highest level of their sport, either as a national representative or as a professional sportsperson. To be considered an elite athlete, a person will normally have been recognised as such by a national sporting body or professional sports organisation.
    2. Pre-elite athlete – a person who has been recognised by a regional academy or state or national sporting organisation for their potential to attain high honours in their sport, and has been placed in the academy’s or organisation’s program to develop this potential.
    3. Elite sports support person – a referee, coach, official or someone in another support role, working at the national representative level of a sport or in a professional sports organisation, with travel and training commitments similar to those of an elite athlete.
    4. Elite performer – someone who has performed in extensive or significant productions or performances at a state, national or international level.
  15. Formative assessment – an assessment task on which students receive feedback as to how they can improve their work, and which does not contribute to their final grade in the subject.
  16. Grade - a series of two or three letters recording a student’s final overall result in a subject, or an interim administrative status until a final overall result is decided.
  17. Grades distribution – the distribution of percentages of each grade in a grading scale, across the total number of grades awarded in a subject, course, discipline, academic unit or the University as a whole, in a given session or period of time.
  18. Group assessment work – an assessment task requiring a group of students to work collaboratively to produce the work that will be assessed.
  19. Higher degree by research course – a course leading to a qualification at Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 or level 10 in which a research component makes up 66% or more of the course volume of learning. Higher degree by research courses lead to the award of a master by research, professional doctorate or doctor of philosophy.
  20. Honours component subjects – the subjects in an integrated bachelor (honours) degree that are considered part of the bachelor (honours) degree that has been integrated into the course.
  21. Hurdle assessment – an assessment that students must pass or in which they must gain at least a specified result, to pass the subject.
  22. Marginal fail – an overall mark in a subject of 45, 46, 47, 48 or 49.
  23. Moderation – comprises activities to control assessment, assure its quality and review it, to ensure:
    1. consistency, comparability, appropriateness and fairness of assessment judgements;
    2. validity and reliability of assessment tasks, criteria and standards; and that
    3. assessment tasks are credibly capable of valid assessment of the learning outcomes.
  24. Pre-elite athlete – see Elite athlete or performer.
  25. Research component – one or more subjects for a higher degree by research course, a master by coursework and dissertation, or a bachelor (honours) course, in which students undertake a substantial piece of research and produce a thesis, dissertation, portfolio or project.
  26. Residential school – any learning activity or set of learning activities held at a single physical location for students enrolled to study a course or subject online.
    1. Course-based residential school– where the residential school is not part of the assessment for a subject, but is required for completion of the course.
    2. Subject-based residential school– where the residential school is part of the assessment requirements for a subject, or attending it is a requirement to pass the subject.
  27. Session – includes any session, term or other teaching period in which subjects are delivered.
  28. Subject-based residential school – see Residential school.
  29. Subject Coordinator – includes both the role titled ‘Subject Coordinator’ and the role titled ‘Subject Convener’.
  30. Summative assessment – an assessment task the mark for which contributes to the final grade in a subject.
  31. Supervisors register – a register maintained by the Research Office of people who are qualified to supervise research projects for higher degrees by research and coursework professional doctorates.
  32. Teaching faculty – the faculty to which the teaching school belongs, or that manages the course in question.
  33. Teaching school – the school that teaches the subject in question.
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Section 3 - Policy 

Academic governance and management of assessment

(8) Academic Senate oversees the quality of assessment in subjects offered by the University, and the compliance of assessment with the relevant standards of the Higher Education Standards Framework and other relevant regulatory frameworks.

(9) Academic Senate has delegated responsibilities for assessment quality assurance as follows.

  1. University Learning and Teaching Committee (ULTC) oversees:
    1. implementation of policies and procedures relating to assessment, grades and the approval of grades;
    2. academic integrity and academic misconduct; and
    3. student appeals in relation to assessment.
  2. Faculty Boards:
    1. oversee assessment and awarding of grades in the faculty, and by partners and third parties;
    2. ensure compliance with the Assessment Policy;
    3. monitor grade distributions in subjects offered by the faculty; and
    4. make recommendations on faculty assessment practice to ULTC, the Executive Dean or Faculty Board.
  3. Faculty Assessment Committees approve final grades.
  4. School Assessment Committees:
    1. oversee assessment and awarding of grades in the school, and by partners and third parties;
    2. ensure compliance with the Assessment Policy; 
    3. recommend final grades to the Faculty Assessment Committee for approval;
    4. receive reports on moderation of assessment; and
    5. make recommendations on faculty assessment practice to the Deputy Dean and Faculty Assessment Committee.

(10) The terms of reference of these committees provide more detail on these responsibilities.

(11) The Course and Subject Policy states the arrangements for academic governance and decisions under academic policies, for courses and subjects that are managed by administrative divisions of the University.

(12) The Indigenous Australian Content in Courses and Subject Policy states the role of the Indigenous Board of Studies in:

  1. approving changes to assessment in designated Indigenous Australian studies subjects; and
  2. advising on design of assessment of Indigenous Australian content in other subjects. 

(13) The Course and Subject Policy states the role of the Head of School in approving subject assessment changes.

Management oversight

(14) The Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure lists the roles responsible for academic leadership of courses and subjects.

(15) Academic leadership includes leading quality assurance of assessment and ensuring that assessment practices comply with this policy and its procedures.

Assessment design

(16) The Course and Subject Design (Coursework) Procedure states requirements for design of assessment within courses, including:

  1. early diagnostic and/or formative assessment tasks; 
  2. constructive alignment of assessment with subject and course learning outcomes and course standards; and
  3. sequencing assessment so that students develop knowledge and skills progressively.

(17) The Course and Subject Information Procedure states requirements for assessment information in subject outlines.

(18) When assessment tasks are changed, Subject Coordinators and Heads of School will ensure that assessment in subjects continues to comply with the requirements for assessment in courses and subjects, and for assessment information to students, stated in the Course and Subject Policy and its supporting procedures.

(19) In designing assessment within subjects, staff will ensure the following.

  1. Assessment is criterion-referenced, so that there are no constraints on the percentage of students in a subject or class who will fail or achieve each passing grade.
    1. Where, however, a course is required to use norm-referenced assessment as a condition of external professional accreditation, it may do so.
  2. Assessment tasks are consistent with the total of student engagement hours for the subject points value: see the Course and Subject Design (Coursework) Procedure.
  3. Assessment tasks with a range of marks will allow students to demonstrate their level of capability and achievement.
  4. Assessment tasks will as far as possible avoid disadvantaging students from some backgrounds or entry pathways, including:
    1. those who identify as Indigenous Australians;
    2. those from low-income backgrounds and/or who are first in their family to attend university;
    3. those of mature age;
    4. those who have entered the course from alternative entry pathways such as TAFE; or
    5. those from culturally diverse backgrounds, such as international students.
  5. Marks are not awarded merely for attendance (whether online or face to face).
  6. Assessment tasks minimise the potential for academic misconduct.

Group assessment work

(20) University Learning and Teaching Committee will oversee the use of group assessment work to ensure that it is:

  1. used only to the extent necessary to achieve collaboration skills as a course learning outcome; and
  2. managed and supported to ensure that as far as possible students have a positive experience of group assessment work.

(21) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure states detailed requirements for group assessment work.

Hurdle assessments

(22) A subject may include a hurdle assessment where:

  1. this is necessary to ensure students can do something safely;
  2. this is necessary to meet external professional accreditation or professional registration requirements;
  3. the assessment is the last assessment task in a course to assess whether students have achieved a course learning outcome; or
  4. the use of the hurdle assessment is approved by the deputy dean of the teaching faculty for another reason than those above.

Conduct of assessment

(23) Academic staff will assess students’ assessment work in subjects.

(24) Staff will:

  1. give students timely, supportive feedback on assessment tasks during delivery of a subject, to enable them to improve their performance; and
  2. where a student’s assessment performance suggests the need for study skills support, English language support or other types of support, refer them for support.

Submitted assessment work

(25) To ensure students receive timely feedback, assessors will return submitted assessment work promptly, with a grade or mark and enough feedback for the student to understand the reasons for the grade or mark.

(26) By prompt return of assessment work is meant, for assessment work submitted by the submission deadline:

  1. within 15 business days after the assessment due date; or
  2. in a subject with a final exam, where students need the feedback to prepare for the exam, by seven calendar days before the exam date.

(27) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure states detailed requirements for submission and return of assessment work, including:

  1. expected return times for assessment work submitted late;
  2. arrangements for advising students when, in exceptional circumstances, the normal timeframes for return of assessment work cannot be met; and
  3. reporting of schools’ performance in meeting expected assessment return times.

(28) 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.

Review of marks

(29) A student may request a review of a mark for an assessment task.

(30) The head of the teaching school or their nominee for such decisions will allocate the assessment work for which the mark is to be reviewed, to a reviewer other than the original marker.

(31) The outcome of the review of a mark may be the same mark, a higher or a lower mark. The new mark will be used to calculate the student’s final grade in the subject, in place of the original mark.

(32) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure states the processes for applications for review of marks, including the conditions under which students will be charged a fee for these applications.

Failure before the end of the session

(33) The head of the teaching school may decide that a student should not be permitted to finish a subject, practicum, dissertation, portfolio or project.

(34) The Head of School may make such a decision where the student has:

  1. failed to submit work;
  2. submitted work of an inferior quality such that they will fail the subject no matter what quality of work they submit for the remainder of the subject, and/or no matter how they perform in a final exam; or
  3. failed a hurdle assessment in the subject, and the head of school is not willing to approve a further assessment.

(35) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure states the process for such decisions.

Failure to attend a residential school

(36) Where a student fails to attend a compulsory residential school without having been exempted from attending through the special consideration process, the following roles may decide that the student will be withdrawn from the subject and awarded, as relevant, a withdrawn non-submission (FNS), fail (FL) or unsatisfactory (US) grade:

  1. for a course-based residential school, the Course Director; or
  2. for a subject-based residential school, the head of the teaching school, on the recommendation of the Subject Coordinator.

Refusal of permission to undertake workplace learning

(37) The Executive Dean of the teaching faculty, or their nominee for such a decision, may refuse a student permission to undertake workplace learning for any of the following reasons:

  1. The student has not attained an acceptable standard in meeting pre-placement requirements.
  2. The student has a physical or mental health condition such that their undertaking the placement would pose a risk to others.
  3. The student’s performance in a previous attempt at the workplace learning is such that the decision-maker is satisfied that the student will not be able to achieve the standard of professional practice needed to undertake the workplace learning successfully.

(38) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure states in more detail the process for decisions to refuse a student permission to undertake workplace learning.

(39) The Executive Dean of the teaching faculty, or their nominee to make such decisions, may decide to exclude the student from the course, where:

  1. the student is unable to remove the impediment to their going on workplace learning; and
  2. the workplace learning is a core requirement to complete the course.

Examinations

(40) The Executive Director, Division of Student Administration is responsible for timetabling and managing exams run centrally for the University in the exam period at the end of each session.

(41) The Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure states requirements when exam periods will occur in standard sessions of the academic calendar.

(42) Deliveries of courses with third parties may have non-standard academic calendars and exam periods. Students in these deliveries will be notified of their exam schedule by the process agreed with the partner.

(43) The Academic Integrity Procedure states requirements to ensure academic integrity of exams in subjects delivered with a third party.

(44) The Executive Director, Division of Student Administration may arrange for:

  1. an external agency to run an exam on behalf of the University; or
  2. an exam to be administered and supervised online.

(45) A faculty may run an exam such as a practical exam during the final exam period in a session in consultation with the Division of Student Administration to avoid clashes with centrally run exams.

(46) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure states detailed requirements for:

  1. scheduling exams and production of the exam timetable;
  2. preparation and dispatch of exam papers;
  3. students to attend exams at specific locations, and processes for students to request a change of exam location;
  4. ensuring the integrity of exams run by a faculty;
  5. ensuring the integrity of exams where some students in a subject have to sit the exam at a different time from other students;
  6. the student exam experience and conduct of exams;
  7. materials students can and cannot have in exams; 
  8. referral of a student to the student misconduct process if they disrupt the exam, or exam supervisors believe they have cheated or colluded in cheating; and
  9. actions that a Head of School can take when it has been necessary, for reasons of safety, to cancel an exam or end it early.

(47) The Executive Director, Division of Student Administration maintains and approves detailed instructions for students and exam supervisors to ensure the integrity and smooth running of exams.

Grades

(48) The following grades may be used:

  1. to record a student’s level of academic and/or professional achievement in a subject;
  2. to provide feedback on a student’s level of academic and/or professional achievement in an individual assessment task; or
  3. to record the grant of graded credit to a student in a coursework subject.

(49) The Credit Policy states the conditions on which students may be granted graded credit.

(50) The faculty board of the teaching faculty may approve higher ranges of marks for grades than those stated in this table, to be used in a course where this is required for external professional accreditation of the course.

Grade Description Definition and ranges of marks
HD High distinction Outstanding level of achievement (mark of 85-100%)
D Distinction High level of achievement (mark of 75-84%)
CR Credit Better than satisfactory level of achievement (mark of 65-74%)
PS Pass Satisfactory level of achievement (mark of 50-64%)
FL Fail Unsatisfactory level of achievement; must be based on assessment of at least one summative assessment task (mark of 0–49%)
FNS Fail non-submission Student was enrolled in the subject but was not assessed on any of the summative assessment tasks
SY Satisfactory Satisfactory level of achievement using satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading scale
US Unsatisfactory Unsatisfactory level of achievement using satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading scale; must be based on assessment of at least one summative assessment task

(51) The following grades can be used to record a student’s level of academic and/or professional achievement in a research component subject for a bachelor (honours) degree.

Grade Description Definition
H1 Class 1 The faculty defines the standard required for this grade. It need not be the same as the class of honours awarded for the degree.
H2a Class 2, division 1 As for H1 above
H2b Class 2, division 2 As for H1 above
H3 Class 3 As for H1 above

(52) The following grades may be used to record that a student:

  1. has been granted ungraded credit towards a coursework subject; or
  2. has been granted graded or ungraded credit in advance, towards a coursework subject, for a subject in which they are currently enrolled or intend to enrol.

(53) The Credit Policy states the conditions on which students may be granted ungraded credit.

Grade Description Definition
TCR Transfer credit The student has been granted transfer credit for the subject.
PCR Proficiency credit The student has been granted proficiency credit for the subject.
FCR Forward credit The student has been granted forward credit for the subject. This grade will be replaced with TCR or graded credit (as relevant) once the student has passed the subject for which forward credit was approved.

(54) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may approve:

  1. grades to record students’ withdrawal from courses; and
  2. grades used for administrative purposes pending the award of a final grade in a subject.

(55) The Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure states detailed requirements for:

  1. rounding of overall subject marks in converting them to grades; and
  2. confidentiality of students’ grades.

Use of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading scale

(56) The Satisfactory (SY)/Unsatisfactory (US) grading scale may be used in the following types of subject:

  1. coursework subjects that are workplace learning subjects or include workplace learning components;
  2. coursework subjects that are industrial experience components of a course; and
  3. theses or other research component subjects in higher degree by research courses.

(57) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) may approve use of this grading scale in other subjects on the recommendation of the Associate Dean, Academic of the relevant faculty.

Assessment flexibility

(58) The University provides reasonable assessment flexibility to:

  1. support students to maintain their level of academic performance when they have unexpected illness, carer responsibilities or other unexpected adverse circumstances;
  2. accommodate students who are living with a disability or a long-term physical or mental health condition, so they can study on an equal basis with other students; 
  3. support students who are elite athletes or performers, or elite sporting personnel, to maintain their academic progress alongside their sporting or performance commitments;
  4. support students who are Defence Force reservists to maintain their academic progress alongside their Defence Force commitments.

(59) To these ends, the University provides:

  1. reasonable adjustments to accommodate disability;
  2. discretion for Subject Coordinators to provide extensions of deadlines for in-session assessment tasks, where the extension will not delay release of the student’s grade;
  3. special consideration; and
  4. alternative exam arrangements.

Reasonable adjustments

(60) A Subject Coordinator may provide reasonable adjustments to in-session assessment tasks for:

  1. a student living with a disability or long-term physical or mental health condition, or
  2. a student who has ongoing carer responsibilities for an immediate family member with such a disability or condition.

(61) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states the process for a student to request reasonable adjustments and typical adjustments that may be available.

Extensions of deadlines for submission of assessment work

(62) Subject Coordinators have discretion to extend a deadline for submission of an assessment work by up to seven days, without requiring the student to apply for special consideration, if satisfied that unexpected circumstances will prevent the student from meeting the deadline.

(63) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states the process for applications for extensions of deadlines for submission of assessment work.

Special consideration

(64) Special consideration may be available to support students who have:

  1. short-term illness or injury;
  2. unexpected carer responsibilities;
  3. unexpected employment commitment; or
  4. other unexpected unavoidable commitments or adverse circumstances outside their control.

(65) To be eligible for special consideration, the student must provide evidence of circumstances that:

  1. prevent them from meeting a deadline for assessment work;
  2. prevent them from attending an exam, test or other assessment activity that involves attendance;
  3. prevent them from attending a placement or practical learning activity on which they will be assessed later; or
  4. significantly impair their performance in an assessment task.

(66) Students who have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or ongoing difficult circumstances should seek advice from the Disability Liaison Officers about how the University can provide adjustments in learning activities and assessment to accommodate them. Special consideration is not intended to be used repetitively for those circumstances.

(67) Such students are not, however, prevented from applying for special consideration.

(68) The relevant Subject Coordinator will decide the outcome of a student’s special consideration application for:

  1. an extension of time to submit assessment work, or
  2. another opportunity to undertake an assessment task other than a final exam
where this will not delay the decision on the student’s final grade in a subject.

(69) The head of the teaching school will decide a student’s special consideration application for an extension of time to submit assessment work beyond the last day of the exam period in the relevant session.

(70) Where the student is applying for special consideration in relation to a final exam, the application will be considered by the Subject Coordinator, who may recommend to the Head of School that:

  1. the student be granted a deferred exam;
  2. the student be withdrawn from the subject without failing it (resulting in an approved withdrawal (AW) grade); or
  3. no action be taken and the student’s exam result remain as it is.

(71) The following positions can decide whether, as an outcome of special consideration, the student may withdraw after the census date without failing the subject:

  1. for a student in a coursework course, the head of the teaching school on recommendation of the Subject Coordinator; or
  2. for a student in a higher degree by research course, the Director, Research on the recommendation of the Sub Dean (Graduate Studies).

(72) Where a student studying a subject or course online applies for special consideration seeking an exemption from the requirement to attend a compulsory residential school:

  1. for a subject-based residential school, the head of the teaching school will decide the outcome on the recommendation of the Subject Coordinator; or
  2. for a course-based residential school, the Course Director will decide the outcome.

Outcomes of special consideration applications

(73) The possible outcomes of a special consideration application are:

  1. an extension of time;
  2. a deferred exam;
  3. an alternative assessment task;
  4. exemption from attending a compulsory residential school in a subject or course delivered online;
  5. exemption from attending a compulsory practical session in a subject delivered on campus;
  6. the location or timing of a workplace learning placement is changed;
  7. approved withdrawal from the subject without failure (AW – approved withdrawal grade); or
  8. the special consideration application is declined.

(74) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states detailed requirements for special consideration eligibility, supporting documents, applications and decisions.

Deferred examinations

(75) A deferred exam is only available as the outcome of a special consideration application.

(76) Where a student is prevented from sitting a deferred exam by circumstances outside their control, the head of the teaching school may, on the recommendation of the Subject Coordinator (who may consult the Course Director):

  1. in exceptional circumstances, grant the student a further, alternative assessment opportunity before the end of the following teaching session, or
  2. award the student an approved withdrawal (AW) grade in the subject.

(77) Where the student sits a deferred exam but is impaired in their performance in the exam by circumstances outside their control, the head of the teaching school may:

  1. grant the student an approved withdrawal;
  2. award the student a grade based on their performance in the deferred exam and any other assessment they have completed; or
  3. in exceptional circumstances permit the student to complete an alternative assessment task.

(78) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states requirements to ensure that granting a deferred exam to a student does not unfairly advantage them over other students.

Alternative arrangements for examinations and in-session tests

(79) The University provides alternative arrangements for exams and in-session tests to students who request them to accommodate a disability or a long-term physical or mental health condition.

(80) The following roles may grant the types of alternative exam or test arrangements stated:

  1. a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) may grant an arrangement that is not a major change to the exam or test format;
  2. the head of the teaching school may grant an arrangement that is a major change to the exam or test format, in consultation with a DLO.

(81) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure provides guidance on typical adjustments to exam conditions and which of these can be approved by a DLO or must be approved by the head of the teaching school.

(82) Where a student is dissatisfied with the decision on their request for an alternative exam arrangement, they can request a review of the decision.

(83) Where a review is requested, the decision will be reviewed by a panel comprising the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration; the Executive Director, Division of Student Services; the University Ombudsman; and a faculty academic staff member. 

Alternative examination arrangements for breastfeeding mothers 

(84) The University provides alternative exam arrangements for breastfeeding mothers.

(85) The Examinations Office will accommodate requests for alternative exam arrangements to breastfeed, subject to the facilities available at exam venues.

Moderation

(86) The teaching school will carry out moderation of marking during delivery of every coursework subject to ensure that:

  1. all academic staff involved in course and subject delivery and assessment have a shared understanding of assessment and how to make assessment judgements; and
  2. subject assessment tasks are equivalent, and are marked consistently, across all locations and modes of delivery, and across multiple sessions.

(87) Moderation of marking will be carried out for at least one assessment task in each session’s delivery of each coursework subject. The only exceptions to this requirement are as follows:

  1. Where a coursework subject requires each student to undertake their own project on a different topic for assessment, the assessment work will be double marked.
  2. Where a coursework subject requires students to submit an artwork or portfolio of artworks, the head of the teaching school will decide the school’s processes to ensure fairness and consistency of assessment.
  3. Where a coursework subject involves assessment of a student’s performance in workplace learning, the sub-dean, workplace learning of the teaching faculty will decide the process to monitor and ensure fairness and consistency of assessment.

(88) The Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure requirements for:

  1. which assessment tasks are to have their marking moderated;
  2. appointment of moderators by schools; and
  3. training of moderators.

(89) The Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure states detailed requirements for delivery and management of workplace learning, including assessment aspects.

Further assessment

(90) The head of the teaching school may, in consultation with the Subject Coordinator, decide to offer a student further assessment in a subject where they have:

  1. gained a marginal fail grade for the subject; or
  2. failed a hurdle assessment but achieved an overall subject mark that would otherwise be a passing mark.

(91) If the Head of School decides to offer the student further assessment, the Subject Coordinator will decide the form of the assessment, in consultation with the Head of School.

(92) Further assessment may take the form of an additional exam or other additional assessment task.

(93) A student who passes an additional assessment or additional examination can only receive a bare pass grade (PS or SY) in the subject.

(94) A Faculty Board may specify subjects in which further assessment will not be offered, and the subject outlines for these subjects will state this fact.

Approval of grades

(95) The Faculty Assessment Committee approves all final grades in subjects taught by schools of the faculty or partner institutions on behalf of the faculty, on the recommendation of the School Assessment Committee.

(96) The Head of School or (where the Head of School delegates such approvals) Associate Head of School may provisionally approve late grades, changes to grades and conversion of temporary grades to permanent grades, to expedite publication of these grades to students.

  1. Provisionally approved grades will, however, be subject to the same process for final approval as other grades, and may be changed in that process.

Release of grades

(97) Students will be able to view their results online as soon as possible after:

  1. the end of the exam period; or
  2. a change to a grade.

(98) Grades are grades of the University if they are notified to students on university systems with the authority of the Executive Director, Division of Student Administration.

(99) The Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure states detailed requirements for approval and release of grades.

Monitoring of grades distributions

(100) University Learning and Teaching Committee and Faculty Boards will monitor grades distributions in subjects and courses, to ensure that grading is consistent and that unusual grades distributions can be explained satisfactorily.

(101) Where the grades distribution of a course or subject has changed significantly without a satisfactory explanation, the Faculty Board or University Learning and Teaching Committee may ask the teaching school to develop a plan to correct the grade distribution in future and report back on the plan’s implementation.

Review of grades

(102) A student may request a review of their final grade in a subject on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. The subject outline was not published by the start of the relevant session.
  2. After the session started, the assessment requirements stated in the subject outline were changed without consultation with students or in an unreasonable way.
  3. The assessment requirements stated in the subject outline were applied to the student unreasonably or prejudicially.
  4. A clerical error occurred in the calculation, recording or publication of the grade.
  5. Evidence of the student’s adverse circumstances that they provided during the session was not duly considered.
  6. The student is seeking a review of the mark for a specific assessment task but the mark was received by the student after the final grade for the subject was notified to them.

Review of grade process

(103) Other than in the circumstances stated in clause (104), the head of the teaching school will assign each review of grade request to an academic staff member to make a recommendation, as follows:

  1. A reviewer cannot be a person who decided any of the student’s original marks in the subject.
  2. Where the request is in effect a request for second marking of an assessment task, it can be assigned to a single reviewer.
  3. Where the request relates to a grade for a workplace learning placement, the Head of School will be the reviewer, in consultation with the Sub Dean (Workplace Learning).
  4. Where the request relates to a grade for a research component in a coursework course, the head of the school that offers the subject will be the reviewer, in consultation with:
    1. the Sub Dean (Graduate Studies) or Course Director; and
    2. if the student’s principal supervisor is in a different school, the head of that school.

(104) Where, however, a student has been failed in a subject before the end of the session, and requests a review of the grade, the deputy dean will decide who will be the reviewer. (In such cases, the reviewer cannot be the head of school, as they will have made the original decision.)

(105) The School Assessment Committee will consider the recommended outcome of an application for review of a grade and may endorse or vary this before forwarding it to the Deputy Dean for decision.

(106) The Deputy Dean's decisions on review of grade outcomes will be submitted to the Faculty Assessment Committee for ratification at its next meeting.

Grade review outcomes

(107) The possible outcomes of a grade review application are that:

  1. the original grade stands;
  2. another grade is awarded. This can be a higher or lower grade;
  3. the student is withdrawn from the subject without failing it, receiving an AW grade; or
  4. a further assessment is needed before a final decision is made. In this case the head of the teaching school will decide the nature and time of the further assessment, in consultation with the Subject Coordinator.

(108) The Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure states the process for applications for review of grades.

No further assessment flexibility after grade review

(109) Once a student has applied for review of a grade, no further application for special consideration or other forms of assessment flexibility will be considered.

Academic progress

(110) This section of the policy, on management of students’ academic progress, exclusion of students for unsatisfactory academic progress, and appeals against such exclusions, will take effect in sessions that begin on or after 1 January 2021. Until that date, the Academic Progress Policy and International Full Fee-Paying Students - Monitoring Course Progress Policy will continue to apply.

(111) The academic progress requirements in this policy, and its provisions for decisions to exclude a student for unsatisfactory academic progress, and for appeals against these decision, apply only to students in coursework courses.

(112) The Higher Degree by Research Policy states the requirements for academic progress in higher degree by research courses.

Criteria for assessing students’ academic progress (coursework courses)

(113) The Division of Student Administration will monitor and assess students’ academic progress by the following criteria. To maintain satisfactory progress, a student is expected to:

  1. complete course requirements within the earlier of:
    1. the maximum time for course completion stated in the Course and Subject Design (Coursework) Procedure; or
    2. if the student is studying on an Australian student visa, the duration of their confirmation of enrolment;
  2. pass more than 50% of their enrolled subject points (counting all subjects for which they have been awarded an achievement grade or FNS – fail non-submission) in each session of study;
  3. pass subjects that are identified as key subjects for academic progress in the course on the first attempt; and
  4. in a bachelor (honours) course, pass all subjects on their first attempt; or in an integrated bachelor (honours) course, pass all honours component subjects on their first attempt.

(114) The Assessment: Academic Progress Procedure states in detail how these criteria will be applied in decisions to classify students in one of the following stages of academic progress and take the relevant actions:

  1. Stage one: offered support. The student is informed of relevant support services and offered the option of an academic advice interaction.
  2. Stage two: support required. The student must participate in an academic advice interaction to be permitted to continue their studies.
  3. Stage three: considered for exclusion. The student has an opportunity to make a written submission of reasons why they should not be excluded for sustained unsatisfactory academic progress, and to attach evidence of their circumstances. Depending on the student’s record and whether they have been excluded before, any exclusion may be:
    1. for one or more years, and/or
    2. from the course in which the student has made unsatisfactory progress or from all courses.

(115) Where a student who is at one of the academic progress stages in the previous clause is admitted to a different course, they will remain at that academic progress stage in their new course.

(116) Where a student fails a subject in a bachelor (honours) degree or a subject in the honours component of an integrated bachelor honours degree, they will at once be classified at stage two – support required. A further failure of such a subject will mean that the student is classified at stage three - considered for exclusion.

(117) Where a student will exceed the maximum time for course completion, they will at once be classified at stage three – considered for exclusion.

(118) Students must also perform safely and professionally in workplace learning: see the sections in this policy on:

  1. ‘Refusal of permission to undertake workplace learning’ (above); and
  2. ‘Termination of a student’s workplace learning’ (below).

(119) The Course and Subject Information Procedure states requirements for informing students, when they begin study in a course, of the academic progress requirements that will apply to them.

Exclusion for unsatisfactory academic progress

(120) The faculty academic progress committee of the teaching faculty will decide whether to exclude a student who is at the third stage of academic progress.

  1. The membership of the faculty academic progress committee will comprise:
    1. as the chair, either the deputy dean, an associate dean or a sub-dean; and
    2. at least two other senior academic staff members.
  2. A quorum of the committee will be the chair and two other members.
  3. The committee may decide not to exclude a student where it considers that they will have a reasonable likelihood of success in the course.

(121) Where a faculty academic progress committee decides not to exclude a student, the student will be classified as at the second stage of academic progress.

Readmission after exclusion

(122) The Admissions Procedure states the conditions on which students who have been excluded for unsatisfactory academic progress can be readmitted to their course or admitted to a different course.

Appeals against exclusion for unsatisfactory academic progress (coursework courses)

(123) Students may appeal against a decision to exclude them for unsatisfactory academic progress and/or the period of exclusion.

(124) Such appeals can be considered where the student provides evidence that establishes one or more of the following grounds:

  1. Requirements of the Assessment Policy or its supporting procedures have not been met, and this has been a significant factor in the exclusion decision.
  2. There was a conflict of interest which contributed to the decisions that led to the student’s exclusion.
  3. There is new evidence of factors outside the student’s control that impaired their academic progress in the relevant session(s), which: i. the student could not reasonably have been expected to provide at the time the exclusion decision was made, and ii. would have been a significant factor in the exclusion decision.

(125) The University’s student appeals committee will decide a student’s appeal against a decision to exclude them for sustained unsatisfactory academic progress.

(126) The Assessment: Academic Progress Procedure states detailed requirements for this appeal process.

Termination of a student’s workplace learning

(127) The Student Misconduct Rule 2020 states:

  1. the conditions under which a student may be restricted from attending workplace learning, or suspended from attending workplace learning, to prevent or minimise risk; and
  2. the processes for such decisions and officers of the University who may make them.

Research components in coursework courses

(128) The Higher Degree by Research Policy states requirements for assessment in research component subjects in higher degree by research programs.

(129) The Research Policy states requirements to ensure that research by staff and students of the University (including coursework students) is conducted ethically and responsibly.

Appointment of supervisors

(130) For each student’s work for a research component subject, the Executive Dean or their nominee will appoint an appropriately qualified principal supervisor and, where relevant, one or more co-supervisors, as follows:

  1. All supervisors will:
    1. have the level of qualification required for supervision in the course: see the Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure;
    2. have expertise relevant to the proposed research; and
    3. expect to be available to supervise the research for its likely duration.
  2. The principal supervisor of a student’s research project for a bachelor (honours) course or a master by coursework and dissertation will be a research-active (according to current university criteria) academic staff member of the University.

(131) Any change of supervisor or co-supervisor must be approved by the same authority who approved the appointment of the original supervisor or co-supervisor.

(132) The Associate Dean, Academic of the teaching faculty, in collaboration with Course Directors and/or Sub Dean (Graduate Studies) of the relevant courses, will oversee activities to ensure a high, consistent quality of supervision of students’ research for research components of coursework courses.

(133) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure states:

  1. the responsibilities of supervisors; and
  2. further requirements for changes to supervisors and approval of these.

Research proposals

(134) Students in a research component subject must submit a proposal of their research, and cannot begin work on the research until the proposal is approved.

(135) Once approved, neither the research topic nor the methodology can be changed without the approval of the same approving authority that approved the original proposal.

(136) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure states detailed requirements for research proposals and the process for their approval.

Submission of work for examination

(137) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure states the requirements for dissertations, portfolios and project submissions.

Submission deadlines

(138) Faculties determine the submission deadlines, submission process, penalties for late submission or for going over word-limits, and whether resubmission is permitted, in relation to the research components of coursework courses.

(139) Where a student is permitted to resubmit the work they submitted for examination, they cannot receive a grade higher than, as relevant, Pass or H3 (Class 3).

Appointment of examiners

(140) The executive dean or their nominee to make such decisions will appoint two examiners to examine each student’s work submitted for examination in a research component subject for a coursework course.

  1. No-one who has been a supervisor of the student’s research project can be an examiner of the work submitted.
  2. One or both examiners may be academic staff of the University.
  3. Examiners will have:
    1. the level of qualification required to supervise students in the course: see the Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure; and
    2. expertise relevant to the research.

(141) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure sets out detailed requirements for:

  1. appointment of examiners;
  2. criteria for examination of work submitted;
  3. examiners’ recommendations on the work submitted;
  4. appointment of an arbiter when examiners’ recommendations vary; and
  5. recommendation of grades.
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Section 4 - Procedures

(142) The following procedures support this policy and should be read alongside it:

  1. Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure;
  2. Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure;
  3. Assessment Flexibility Procedure;
  4. Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure; and
  5. Assessment: Academic Progress Procedure [to take effect from 1 January 2021: see Academic Progress Policy].
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(143) Nil.