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Unit Assessment Procedures

Parent Policy

Assessment in Coursework Units Policy

These procedures must be read in conjunction with Statute 6.1.5. Assessment, Assessment Regulations, and Assessment in Coursework Units Policy.

Definition of terms

Academic Year: is the calendar year.
Alternative Arrangements for Assessment: are any variations in the duration, structure, format or venue of an academic assessment to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions and short term injuries.
Assessment hurdles: are compulsory tasks within individual units that must be completed successfully in order to fulfil the assessment requirements of the unit.
Assessment regime: of a unit is the set of essays, assignments, tests, examinations or other assessment tasks that comprise the assessment for a unit and the percentage contribution of these to the final result for the unit.
Course-managing faculty: is the faculty responsible for managing the course.
Chief Examiner: is responsible for the implementation of the unit assessment regime and must recommend the final result for each student. A faculty board must appoint a chief examiner for each unit taught by the faculty.
Degree faculty: is the faculty that is responsible for the degree. In double degree programs there are usually two degree awarding faculties.
Deferred examination: is a final examination that has been delayed to a later date, normally resulting from a successful application for special consideration.
Disability: is defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and “in relation to a person", means: please refer to Note 1 immediately below for additional information.
Disability Liaison Unit: is the campus unit or office responsible for supporting students with disabilities undertaking studies on that campus.
Final result: is the final mark and/or grade awarded to a student on completion of assessment for a unit.
Final Examination: is an examination held after the end of the teaching period and the results of which are wholly or partly used to determine the final result for the unit concerned.
Interim result: is a grade awarded to a student in a unit when assessment for that unit has not been finalised by the results publishing date.
Moderator: is a person appointed to moderate part of or the overall assessment of a unit to ensure accuracy and/or alignment with the intended learning objectives.
Supplementary assessment: is additional assessment given to students who have completed all required assessment for a unit but failed to obtain a pass grade. This may include an examination or any other form of assessment.
Teaching period: means a period of the academic year within which a unit is offered. The two standard teaching periods are Semester One and Semester Two (referred to as standard semesters), but some units are offered in a summer or winter teaching period, over the whole year, in an intensive format at any time, or during other predefined periods.
Unit: is the basic component of a course in which a student will enrol to undertake study in a particular discipline.
Unit offering: is the delivery of a unit in a particular teaching period, in single or multiple modes and/or locations.
Unit Coordinator: is the academic staff member assigned to coordinate all unit academic and administrative activities for each mode and/or location. The unit Chief Examiner may also be the Unit Coordinator; when this is not the case the Unit Coordinator works under the direction of the Chief Examiner.
Unit-teaching faculty: is the faculty responsible for teaching the unit.
Unit assessment: is the assessment of student performance in a unit.

Note 1. Definition of Disability

(a) total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or
(b) total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
(c) the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
(d) the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
(e) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's body; or
(f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
(g) a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;and includes a disability that:
(h) presently exists; or
(i) previously existed but no longer exists; or
(j) may exist in the future; or
(k) is imputed to a person."

Responsibility

N/A

Index

A. Assessment Regime
B. Implementation of the Assessment Regime
C.Dissemination of Information to Students
D. Examinations
E. Alternative Arrangements for Assessment
F. Managing Scheduling of Deferred Final Assessment
G. Feedback to Students 
H. Marking, Grading and Results 
I. Assessment and Results Record Keeping and Security

Responsibility

N/A

A. Assessment Regime

1. Design and Approval: The assessment regime for a unit is designed by the faculty teaching the unit having regard to the principles of good assessment practice outlined in the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy. The assessment regime of a unit is approved by the Faculty Board owning the unit at the time that it approves the unit as a whole. Any amendments to the assessment regime must also be approved by the Faculty Board.

2.  Multi-offerings: When a unit is offered in a particular teaching period in multiple modes and/or locations, the unit assessment regime will be identical in all modes and/or locations.

3.  Multi-level units: When a unit is taught at more than one level, a qualitative distinction must be made in relation to the assessment required at each level.

4.  Assessment load: The design of the assessment regime must take into account the workload requirements of the unit which are indicated by credit points associated with the unit, as outlined in the Course Design Policy.

5.  Feedback: The design of the assessment regime must take into account the feedback to be given to students, and in particular the desirability of students receiving feedback on submitted work before the next assessment is due.

6.  Weighting of assessment tasks: Unless impractical, there must be at least two assessment tasks for any given unit, with no single task being worth more than 80% of the total unit assessment.

7.  Hurdle requirements:

7.1. Where a unit has compulsory hurdle requirements that must be met in order to achieve a satisfactory result in the unit, these requirements must fulfil one or more unit learning objectives.

7.2. Hurdle requirements may include activities that are class-based or that need to be undertaken outside regular scheduled class times.

7.3. Failure to meet a hurdle requirement must have a clearly defined outcome for a student's final result.

Responsibility

Faculty Boards
Associate Deans (Education)
Associate Deans (Research Training)
Faculty Education Committee
Graduate Research Committee

B. Implementation of the Assessment Regime

1. The implementation of the assessment regime of a unit is a coordinated process under the direction of the Chief Examiner or nominee who must ensure that all assessment tasks are aligned with unit objectives, content and learning methods and those criteria by which the student work will be judged are defined and applied.

2. Faculties should have procedures in place to ensure the integrity of assessment is maintained across different teaching periods for each of their units.  The procedures will depend on the nature of the discipline, but should adhere to the following principles:

2.1   In assessment tasks worth 30% or more, no substantial part can be copied verbatim from previous assessment, including examination papers, to which students may have access.  This includes papers that have been copied to students upon request.

2.2   Previous questions can be adapted for re-use, provided that the formulation of the factual situation and/or the questions themselves have been significantly altered.

3. The Chief Examiner must ensure that all major assessment tasks are scrutinised by one or more other relevant members of academic staff who will validate compliance with the principles of good assessment practice outlined in the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy.

4. External examiners must be appointed for each unit taught and/or assessed in a language other than English (other than units taught to develop proficiency in a language).  These individuals must be fluent in both English and the language of teaching/assessment, as well as competent in the discipline area of the unit or course.

5. Unit offerings involving multiple modes and/or locations:

5.1  Unit coordinators must be appointed for each mode and/or location of a unit offering.

5.2 The Chief Examiner must establish a unit management group comprising the coordinators from all modes and/or locations involved in offering the unit to ensure that the assessment tasks and standards are equivalent across all modes and/or locations.

5.3 The unit management group must work collaboratively, under the guidance of the Chief Examiner, to agree on the design and content of all assessment for the unit offering and the respective marking criteria.

5.4 Where in-semester assessment is equivalent but not identical across all modes and/or locations, the Chief Examiner must approve equivalence and keep records of variations.

5.5 The final examination must be identical for all students enrolled in the offering of the unit, unless an exception to this rule is granted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education).

6. The scheduling of assessment tasks:

6.1 The following principles need to be considered in relation to the scheduling of assessment tasks: 

  • Tasks should be scheduled at an appropriate time to assess student achievement against learning outcomes and to provide feedback that is constructive and supportive of further learning.
  • The scheduling of assessment tasks should be conducted with an awareness of the overall coursework load of students.
  • Communication to students about the nature and timing of assessment tasks should occur as early as practicable in the teaching period.

6.2. Chief Examiners of first year units offered in a standard semester are encouraged to ensure that at least one assessment task in the unit is submitted and returned by the end of teaching week six of the semester in order to provide timely and constructive feedback that is supportive of further learning.

6.3. During the teaching weeks of a standard semester, due dates for distinct items of assessment worth 20% or more each must be at least two weeks apart. This does not apply where there is a portfolio of related assessment tasks that contribute to a broader project - for example, a project consisting of a written assignment and a related practical demonstration.  

6.4. No assessment task may be due within the SWOT-Vac period. Exceptions may be made by the Associate Dean (Education) for major research projects or theses; assessment tasks that involve a practical component, such as computer simulations or laboratory work; those which students are required to present in person; or where the final assessment tasks are not examinations across the majority of units in a course in that teaching period.

7. Group work. Where a unit involves group assessment, the Chief Examiner must ensure that explicit procedures are made available to students that indicate:

7.1. The proportions of the mark for the assessment that will be allocated to the outcome of the group work, and to the process followed to obtain the outcome;

7.2. How the group will be formed and managed;

7.3. How the contribution of the individual students to group work will be assessed, and who will determine the criteria to make this assessment (group, teaching staff or both);

7.4. Who will assess the contribution of the individual students (peers, teaching staff or both);

7.5. The requirements for timely notification and resolution of disputes among group members; and

7.6. The requirements for all members of the group to sign off on the submitted work.

Responsibility

Chief Examiners
Unit coordinators
Teaching staff
Moderators
Associate Deans (Education)
Associate Deans (Research Training)

C. Dissemination of Information to Students

1. Chief Examiners must ensure that students are provided with assessment details in the unit guide by the end of the orientation week of a standard semester or, for all other teaching periods by the end of week one, including:

1.1. The assessment regime;

1.2. Topic release dates (where relevant);

1.3. Word limits (where applicable);

1.4. Contribution of each assessment task to the final result;

1.5. Submission and presentation requirements;

1.6. Duration of tests and examinations (where applicable);

1.7. Criteria by which performance will be judged. Only broad criteria are required at the start of the teaching period; further details can be provided at the time of handing out the individual assessment tasks (see also Marking, Grading and Results, G1);

1.8. Submission dates;

1.9. Estimated dates for the return of assessment tasks;

1.10. Instances of assessment tasks where some aspects can be negotiated (for example, allowing students to nominate topics). The procedures for this negotiation must be clearly stated;

1.11. Details of any hurdle requirements including the number of attempts allowed, and the consequences for the final result if these are not achieved;

1.12. Where there are group-based tasks, details of how the individual and group performance will be judged (see Implementation of the Assessment Regime, Group Work);

1.13. When a unit is listed as being taught at more than one level, the distinction between the assessment at each level;

1.14. A description of the types of feedback the students can expect in relation to their performance in the unit.

Responsibility

Chief Examiners
Unit Coordinators
Teaching staff

D. Examinations

1. When preparing the examination(s) for a unit to be administered by the Examination Services Unit, the Chief Examiner must ensure that:

1.1.  The examination paper is prepared in the form and at the time required, and thoroughly proof read.

1.2.  The Monash Examination Paper Template as adapted for each faculty or department must be used.

1.3.  Where a unit is offered on campuses in different time zones, and where this precludes the simultaneous timetabling of examinations, appropriate steps are taken to ensure that while the content, question formats and difficulty of the examination papers remain consistent, there is sufficient variation in the papers to maintain security.

1.4   Similarly, for deferred or supplementary examination papers, while the content, question formats and difficulty of the examination papers should remain consistent, there must be sufficient variation in the papers to maintain the integrity of the examination.

2. Official Examination Periods

2.1 The final examination in any Semester One unit will be held in the period between the end of Semester One and the beginning of Semester Two.

2.2 The final examination in any Semester Two unit will be held after the end of the semester and before the end of the academic year.

2.3 The final examination for any unit taught across two semesters will be held in one, or partly in one and partly in another, of the periods specified above.

2.4 The final examination for a summer semester unit will be held before the beginning of Semester One.

2.5 The final examination dates for teaching periods other than those listed above must be published in the unit guide, with the exception of deferred and supplementary examinations.

2.6 Deferred and supplementary examinations for summer semester or Semester One units will be held in the August - September period, or prior to that period at the discretion of the unit teaching faculty.

2.7 Deferred and supplementary examinations for any Semester Two units will be held in the January - February period, or prior to that period at the discretion of the unit-teaching faculty.

2.8 Deferred and supplementary examinations for units taught over two-semesters will be held in the August - September or January - February period, whichever occurs first, or prior to that period at the discretion of the unit-teaching faculty.

3. Examination sessions conducted by the Examination Services Unit

3.1 Examinations will be held from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30am-9:30pm. A maximum of three examination sessions will be scheduled daily. The option of scheduling evening examinations on Monday to Thursday, or between 8:30am-6:30pm on Saturday and Sunday during the Semester One and Semester Two examination periods will only be considered as a contingency in extraordinary circumstances, as indicated in section 7 below.  Any request by the Manager of the Examination Services Unit to hold an evening or weekend examination must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education).

3.2  The Chief Examiner or delegated staff member must be available for telephone communication with staff of the Examination Services Unit at all times throughout the duration of an examination. The Chief Examiner or delegated academic staff may be present at any examination venue, provided communication with students occurs only where necessary to resolve issues relating directly to the conduct of the examination.

4. Duration of examinations conducted by the Examination Services Unit

4.1.  Examination durations will be a minimum of two hours, with finishing times in 30 minute blocks thereafter, and normally not more than three hours.

4.2.  In all examinations, students must be given either a 10-minute preliminary reading period or a 30-minute preliminary reading and noting period. These periods are in addition to the examination duration.

5. Timetable composition for examinations conducted by the Examination Services Unit. The composition of the examination timetable will make provision for the following priorities:

5.1. Accommodating special timetabling requests made with the approval of the Dean of the unit teaching faculty, based on priorities other than those listed below.

5.2. Placing the units with large enrolments (more than 400 students) within the first ten days of the examination period, to provide adequate time for the marking process. This does not apply to multiple choice examinations, which may be placed later in the examination period.

5.3. Scheduling examinations of core units offered on multiple campuses at the same time.

5.4. Minimising the number of students with more than one examination in the same session.

5.5. Minimising the number of students with two examinations in one day or three or more examinations in two consecutive days.

5.6. Placing examinations with off campus learning enrolments within the first 12 days of the examination period.

5.7. Placing examinations for units taught at multiple campuses, which include at least one overseas campus, within the first 12 days of the examination period.

5.8. Allocating earlier dates according to the size of the enrolment.

6. Use of calculators and other electronic devices in examinations

6.1. Unless specifically permitted, students are not allowed to use in the examination venue electronic devices capable of communication, or storage and retrieval of data.

6.2. Before allowing the use of calculators or other electronic devices in a unit examination, the Chief Examiner must give consideration to

- the importance of their use to assess the learning objectives of the unit;
- equity in student access to permitted devices; and
- the security or integrity of the examination process.

6.3. If after giving consideration to 6.2, the Chief Examiner decides that a particular type of electronic device is permitted in an examination, then a detailed description of the approved device must be included in the relevant unit guide given to students at the start of the semester.

6.3.1. If only specific models of the permitted type of electronic devices can be used, then

- Where a security sticker system is used to identify a device as a permitted device, the unit guide must also include clear instructions about the place and timeframe for obtaining the security sticker.
- If security stickers are not used, then the Chief Examiner or nominee(s) must be present at the examination venue(s) to determine the appropriateness of the electronic devices.

7.  Postponement or Cancellation of Examinations

7.1  In extraordinary circumstances, the conduct of scheduled final examinations may be postponed or cancelled in the interest of safety, or where an examination venue may no longer be available for a set or undefined period.

7.2  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), or in his/her absence, the Chief Operating Officer, will:

i.   approve the postponement of examinations, in consultation with the Executive Director, Student Services or the Manager Examination Services.

ii.  notify Deans of teaching faculties of units for which scheduled final examinations will be affected.

iii. authorise notification to all affected students via email and notices will be placed on the Monash website.

7.3  Dependent upon the severity of the event, the decision to postpone examinations may activate the Student Services Division Exams Crisis Management Team who will have responsibility for assessing alternative options and implementing a recovery process.  Possible rescheduling options include - but are not confined to rescheduling examinations to: 

  • the last week of the examination period.
  • evening examination sessions within the examination period.
  • weekends within the examination period.
  • a later date after the examination period.
  • the Deferred/Supplementary examination period.
  • recommend the cancellation of examinations.

7.4  When assessing recovery options, the Student Services Division Exams Crisis Management Team will take into consideration:

  • impact on students
  • adequate timeframes for student and staff communication
  • availability of alternate examination venues and resources - and the set up times required.

7.5  Deans, or nominees, will notify relevant staff members.  The Executive Director, Student Services will liaise with faculties to arrange for the Board of Examiners (BOE) process and the release of results to be delayed, if necessary, and advise all relevant stakeholders of any modifications to the schedule, such as Monash Residential Services, Graduations Unit, etc.

Student attendance at rescheduled examinations

7.6  Students who are unable to attend a rescheduled examination due to scheduled travel plans, or other exceptional circumstances beyond their control may be eligible for Special Consideration.

Cancellation of Final Examinations

7.7  If final examinations cannot be rescheduled, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), or in his/her absence, the Chief Operating Officer will recommend the cancellation of examinations to the Dean or nominee of a faculty.

7.8  The Dean or nominee of a faculty may make a decision to cancel the scheduled final examination(s).  In such cases, alternative assessment options may be considered, e.g. a take home exam.  Students will be awarded a grade based on their completed assessment.  Existing policies governing the approval of grades will apply.

Responsibility

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
Chief Operating Officer
Deans or nominees
Executive Director, Student Services
Manager Examination Services
Chief Examiners
Students

E. Alternative Arrangements for Assessment

1. A student with a disability or long-term medical condition may apply for alternative arrangements for assessment to the Director of the Equity and Diversity Centre. Advice should be sought from the Disability Liaison Unit.

Alternative assessment arrangements for a final examination

2. Applications for alternative assessment arrangements for an examination must be submitted to the Disability Liaison Unit at least one month prior to the commencement of the examination period. Exceptions to this timeline may be made when injuries or illnesses are sustained within one month of the exam.

3. The applicant must lodge an application for alternative assessment arrangements on the form provided by the Disability Liaison Unit with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation must include a written report from a registered health professional qualified to assess the relevant disability. The report must include an assessment of the impact of the disability on the student's ability to complete the assessment. Further details of what is required, are available in the Disability Liaison Unit documentation guidelines.

4. Applications that are based on short term injury/conditions will be processed on an individual basis and will be dependent on resources available at the date of application.

5. The Disability Liaison Unit will seek approval from the Chief Examiner when a change to the time or substance of assessment is required.

6. Alternative arrangements for assessment for an examination may include:

6.1. Variation in the time of the examination.

6.2. Splitting the examination across two or more sessions.

6.3. Variation in the structure or format of the examination, including the use of Braille, large print, audio examination papers.

6.4. Variation in the duration of the examination, including extra time or rest breaks.

6.5. The use of an alternative examination venue, including a separate examination venue and/or ergonomic furniture.

6.6. The assistance of a scribe, reader or Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) Interpreter.

6.7. The use of a computer.

6.8. The use of other adaptive technology provided or approved by the Disability Liaison Unit.

7. The Disability Liaison Unit will publish the guidelines for the implementation of these arrangements.

8. Where an application for alternative assessment arrangements is refused, the Director of the Disability Liaison Unit will notify the student.

9. The student is required to comply with any conditions determined by the Director of the Disability Liaison Unit and notified to the student. Failure to comply with any conditions may breach the Examinations rules and may result in action under Statute 4.1 Discipline.

10. Where alternative arrangements are granted:

10.1. The Disability Liaison Unit will provide the Examination Unit with the details of accommodations and conditions of alternative assessment arrangements for all approved applications three weeks prior to the commencement of the examination period.

10.2. The Examinations Unit will notify each student in writing of the accommodations and conditions not less than two weeks prior to the commencement of the examination period.

10.3. In the case of a late application, the Examinations Unit will notify the applicant as soon as possible.

Alternative arrangements for assessment conducted by faculties

11. Students must provide the Disability Liaison Unit with the date, time, unit code, Chief Examiner's name and the location and name of the assessment task no later than two weeks before the assessment.

12. The Disability Liaison Unit will seek approval from the Chief Examiner when a change to the time or the substance of assessment is required.

13. The Disability Liaison Unit will forward a signed form stating the accommodations required to the student and the Chief Examiner or appropriate faculty contact person responsible for administering the arrangements as outlined on the form no later than one week before the assessment. The student and the Chief Examiner/faculty contact person must liaise concerning these arrangements.

Responsibility

Disability Liaison Unit
Chief Examiners
Students

F. Managing Scheduling of Deferred Final Assessment

Refer to paragraphs 7 and 7A of Assessment Regulations

1. Where a student has been granted a deferred final assessment but has failed to undertake or complete it due to:

  • an ongoing disability, where the student is registered with the disability liaison unit; or
  • the circumstances for which the deferred final assessment task was granted are unresolved,

the student may apply for re-scheduling of the deferred examination or an extension of time for submission of the assessment task, as the case requires, on one further occasion. This rescheduled assessment must occur within 12 months.

2. The student must apply in writing within two working days of the day of their deferred final assessment task, providing supporting documentation that relates to their circumstances.

3. The application must be considered by the Associate Dean (Education) or equivalent of the managing faculty or his or her nominee ("the responsible officer"). The responsible officer must seek a meeting with the student to enable consideration of the application and active case management of the student's enrolment. Students may take a support person to that meeting.

4 The responsible officer must consult with the Associate Dean (Education) or nominee of the student's teaching faculty, if the student's managing faculty differs to that of the teaching faculty, to consider scheduling of final assessment.

5. The responsible officer may make whatever enquiries are deemed necessary to make a decision including:

  • consulting other parties - such as the faculty manager or manager student services and relevant members of academic staff; and
  • requesting further evidence from the student - such as an impact statement from a health professional.

6. The responsible officer must recommend a study plan to manage the students' progression through the course.

7. The responsible officer may also:

  • recommend to the relevant Board of Examiners (BOE) one further deferred assessment opportunity (timing based on supporting evidence); and/or
  • approve a Withdrawn Incomplete result; and/or
  • impose conditions on study load until the deferred assessment has been completed; or
  • recommend that no further action be taken and that the relevant BOE finalise the result.

8. Where the student is on a student visa the implications of placing conditions on the study load must be considered by the responsible officer.

Responsibility

Associate Dean (Education)
Associate Dean (Research Training) or nominee
Student applicants

G. Feedback to Students

Feedback on in-semester assessment tasks

1. Feedback must be conducted according to the principles stated in the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy.

2. Depending on the nature of the assessment task, feedback may take the form of:

- written comments on student work; and/or
- oral comments from teaching staff to commend and/or correct the student's learning; and/or
- oral comments in group sessions; and/or
- provision of sample answers for the assessment tasks; and/or
- marks provided for student work.

3. Feedback must address the assessment criteria of the task, and include marks and/or comments about the student's performance on each criterion.

4. Consistent with the general principle stated in Assessment Regime, Feedback, faculties shall nominate a period of time within which work is normally returned to students, and inform students of this commitment in unit guides.

5. Where a student is not satisfied with the adequacy of the feedback about his/her work and requires further comment, the student must ensure that she/he avails him/herself of all forms of feedback available, as outlined in the Unit Guide.

5.1 If after this, the student is still dissatisfied, then she/he may seek further detailed feedback by making a written request to the Chief Examiner, which outlines:

  • what feedback has been received thus far and why it is considered inadequate to support the student’s learning;
  • the steps that she/he has taken to obtain additional feedback; and/or
  • any exceptional circumstances that have prevented the student from accessing all available feedback.

Feedback on end-of-semester assessment tasks

6. Chief Examiners must ensure that students are informed of the arrangements made for them to obtain feedback on their performance in examinations and other end-of-semester assessment. This may take the form of feedback classes, provision of the examination questions with marking guides or sample answers, or other forms of group feedback. Chief Examiners may require students to take advantage of the group feedback opportunities provided to them before requesting individual consultations with staff.

7. Faculties must inform students of the procedures for them to access their examination script or other assessment material submitted by them and held by the faculty.

Responsibility

Chief Examiners
Unit Coordinators
Teaching staff
Students

H. Marking, Grading and Results

1. Grading and Marking. The Chief examiner must specify an assessment rubric for each assessment task. The rubrics must describe, for each marking criterion, the level of performance required for the different grades, and must be consistent with the following Monash University Grade Descriptors:

High Distinction

80-100 HD

Distinction

70-79 D

Credit

60-69 C

Pass

50-59 P

Fail

0-49 N

Exceptionally clear understanding of subject matter and appreciation of issues; clearly and logically organised with excellent presentation. Addresses all of the assessment criteria to a very high standard. Evidence of insight and originality where appropriate.

Strong grasp of subject matter and appreciation of key issues; addresses all the assessment criteria, with several to a high standard; clearly and logically organised with good presentation. Evidence of solid work.

Competent understanding of subject matter and appreciation of most of the main issues; addresses most of the assessment criteria reasonably well. Competent organisation and presentation.

Satisfactory. Demonstrates appreciation of subject matter and issues. Addresses most of the assessment criteria adequately but may lack in depth and breadth. Often work of this grade demonstrates only basic comprehension or competency. Work of this grade may be poorly structured and presented.

Unsatisfactory. Evidence of lack of understanding of subject, minimal or inadequate comprehension and does not address the assessment criteria. Work is often inadequate in depth and breadth and sometimes incomplete or irrelevant; lack of care and thought in organising, presenting and structuring work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ensuring Consistency in Marking and Grading. The Chief Examiner must put in place quality assurance mechanisms that will ensure that all assessment items are marked fairly, reliably and consistently. To this end:

2.1. the Chief Examiner must provide clear instructions to all examiners about the allocation of student marks and grades;

2.2 for a unit offering involving multiple modes and/or locations, the marking and results of each assessable task must be reviewed across the different cohorts of students taking the same offering of the unit to ensure equivalency and consistency. Possible approaches to ensure consistency will depend on the nature of the assessment task and the discipline, and must include one of the following:

- using the same assessor to mark all assignments;
- using one assessor or assessment team for each assessment item across all modes, streams and locations;
- second-marking by a different assessor of a selected sample of assessment, including borderline assignments/examinations (Pass/Fail, Credit/Distinction, etc) to validate assessment standards and interpretation of the marking guide across all modes and/or locations;
- exchanging samples of graded items of assessment between assessors for the purpose of standardisation of marking.

When making a recommendation for student results to the Board of Examiners, the Chief Examiner must provide a report detailing the following: 

  • Description of equivalence of all unit assessment tasks, including a justification where identical tasks were not used across modes and/or locations.
  • Methods used in marking across all locations and/or modes to ensure consistency.

2.3. The Chief Examiner must ensure that the final result for each student is accurately calculated and verified.

2.4. The Chief Examiner is responsible for ensuring that all assessment items are marked within the Faculty timeframe for the return of results to students enrolled in the unit.

2.5. Faculties must have processes in place to verify that the results uploaded on Callista are consistent with the results recorded and held by the Chief Examiner.

3. The marking of examinations

3.1. Blind Marking of examination papers. Where the final examination for a unit is written, scripts must be marked blind following the procedures below.

3.1.1. Final examination scripts must not hold any personal information about the student other than the student identification number. Students sitting examinations must be advised by the supervisor in charge not to place their name on script books or examination papers. Students will be requested to record their student ID, desk number and unit code.

3.1.2. For each final examination there must be an attendance list that will contain the following student details:

- Student ID
- Student full name
- Desk number
- Present / absent indicator

3.1.3. At the conclusion of each examination, the attendance list is placed inside a sealed bag containing the completed script books and returned to the academic or teaching faculty as indicated on the delivery instructions provided by the teaching faculty.

3.1.4. Prior to marking, the attendance list must be removed from the script book bag and stored separately to ensure that it is not available to markers.

3.1.5. Markers must not refer to the attendance list or any other method of identifying a student's name during the marking process.

3.2. Blind marking is not required for multiple choice examinations, class tests, assignments and for off-campus learning students (where there is no desk number, and the student name is crucial to administrative procedures at an external examination venue).

3.3. Where the form of a final examination is not written, such as an an oral examination, artistic performance or practical demonstration, or laboratory-based examination, blind marking is not required. In these circumstances, other measures must be taken to ensure that the risk of unintentional bias is kept to a minimum. Examples include double marking or panel marking, and could involve audio or visual recording of the examination

4. Assessment of oral and performance-based tasks. For units in which oral communication or performance is assessed, and in which this assessment is worth more than 30% of the total mark, quality assurance, verification or re-marking of work must be provided through:

- sound and/or video recording, or
- initial assessment by more than one examiner, or
- other defensible form of verification.

5. Marking and grading of theses for research track coursework degrees

5.1 A thesis corresponding to a research project unit worth 12 credit points should be marked by two examiners, one of which could be the supervisor.

5.2  A thesis corresponding to a research project unit worth 18 credit points or more should be assessed by a minimum of two examiners other than the supervisor. The supervisor may be allowed to mark or contribute a mark for non-thesis components worth up to 20% of the overall assessment of the unit. In awarding these marks, the supervisor should be limited to assessing the research process and not the research product (ie. the thesis itself).

5.3  Wherever possible, the use of external examiners should be encouraged for theses corresponding to research project units worth 18 credit points or more.

5.4  The unit Chief Examiner appoints the thesis examiners in consultation with supervisors, taking into account subject expertise, examining experience and availability.

5.5 Thesis examiners must report potential conflicts of interest to the unit Chief Examiner.

5.6 If there is a difference in the marks awarded by the thesis examiners:

5.6.1     Where the difference of marks is less than 10 percentage points, the final mark is calculated as the average of the marks.

5.6.2     Where the difference of marks is 10 percentage points or higher, the Chief Examiner must determine the final mark by:

  • Arranging a conference of the examiners to agree on a mark and grade, or, failing agreement,
  • Appointing an adjudicator who will review the student thesis and examiner reports and recommend a final mark and grade.

6. Distribution of grades

6.1. Each Faculty Board will approve grade distribution guidelines for their Board of Examiners, to benchmark the distribution of marks of the units against relevant faculty data (eg course, discipline and unit level benchmarks, etc) having regard to the size and selectivity of the unit cohort.

6.2. Where the distribution of marks within a unit falls outside the relevant faculty guidelines, the Chief Examiner must provide to the Board of Examiners, together with the recommended marks, an explanation for the variance.

6.3. When a Chief Examiner determines that scaling of marks is required to ensure equality of outcomes and consistency across different cohorts of students, he/she must provide to the Board of Examiners, together with the recommended marks, a justification for the scaling and the method used to adjust the marks.

7. Verification of fail grades. In addition to quality assurance requirements of these procedures, and rule 2.2, each faculty must have a specified procedure for verifying all fail grades of a unit. This may include:

- double marking of failed assignments and exam scripts of the student concerned; or
- double marking the final assessment item; or
- double marking all borderline pass/fail assessment items; or
- other defensible form of verification.

8. Upload and amendment of results

8.1. Each semester the Examinations Unit must publish information for faculties regarding the date by which all final results will be uploaded to Callista.

8.2. The Faculty Manager will set internal dates by which all student results recommended by Chief Examiners will be uploaded to Callista, so that Board of Examiners meetings can proceed. After Board of Examiners meetings, the Faculty Manager must ensure that all final and interim results recorded in Callista are correct by the date set for results publication.

8.3. Any amendments to student results made after the Board of Examiners meeting must be approved by the Chair of the Board of Examiners of the unit-teaching faculty using the Post BOE Result Amendment form detailing the reason for the amended result completed. The form must be retained for audit purposes. When supplementary assessment is granted to a student, the degree awarding faculty must approve the amendment and inform the unit-teaching faculty.

8.4. An audit of all amended results must be performed at least twice per year by each faculty. Post BOE Result Amendment Forms are to be checked against amended records extracted from Callista.

9. Quality verification of assessment across locations and teaching periods

9.1 Every two years, Chief Examiners must conduct benchmarking to verify the comparability of unit assessment standards across the different locations and teaching periods of the unit offering. This should involve the work of a small number of students and be representative of all grade ranges.

9.2 At the conclusion of this exercise, Chief Examiners must report the findings and any recommendations to the Board of Examiners.

Responsibility

Chief Examiners, Unit coordinators, Teaching staff, Faculty Managers, Administrative staff

10. Remarking of assessment due to an error

Requests for remarking

10.1   Subject to the fail mark verification procedures, there is no automatic right for students to have a piece of assessment remarked.

10.2   If a student believes that an error has been made in the assessment of their work, then in the first instance, the student should follow the unit feedback process as set out for the unit.

10.3   If after following the unit feedback procedures, the student is still concerned that her/his work has been incorrectly assessed, then he/she may follow faculty procedures for review of student marks.

Faculty procedures for review of student marks

10.4   Each faculty must have a specified procedure for review of student marks where a student complains of error in the assessment of their work.  The procedures must specify:

10.4.1     Types of assessment to which the procedures apply

10.4.2     Time limits for applying for a review

10.4.3     Method of application for a review

10.4.4     Grounds for review

10.4.5     Responsibilities for and timing of a response

10.4.6    A process for recording decisions to alter marks under these procedures for audit purposes.

10.5   In all circumstances, where a student's work is remarked because of an error, the last mark must stand.

11. Use of Withdrawn Incomplete Grade

11.1 These procedures (section H, sub-section 11) apply only to units with a census date on or after 31 August 2013.

11.2 The Withdrawn Incomplete (WI) grade is a compassionate response for students who are prevented from completing unit assessment due to extreme circumstances beyond their control. It is not a passing grade as it is awarded where the student has not completed the requirements of the unit.

11.3 A student can be awarded a Withdrawn Incomplete (WI) grade through one of two ways:

11.3.1 Where the relevant unit teaching faculty judges that a student was or will be prevented from completing unit assessment due to extreme circumstances beyond the student's control, occurring or having effect after the commencement of the relevant withdrawn fail period, the relevant Board of Examiners of the faculty may award the student a WI as a final grade.

11.3.2 Where the relevant course managing faculty judges that a student has received a fail grade (N or WN) as a result of failing to complete unit assessment due to extreme circumstances beyond the student's control, the Dean of the faculty or nominee may alter the grade to WI.

11.4 A student may only apply for a WI either:

11.4.1 Prior to the finalisation of the unit grade, if the student has been granted deferred final unit assessment but has been unable to complete that assessment due to extreme circumstances beyond the student's control; or

11.4.2 After the finalisation of the unit grade, if the student has received an N or WN. Applications to have a final unit grade altered to WI must be lodged within four weeks of the date of finalisation of the grade in question. In exceptional circumstances, the Chair of Academic Board may grant a longer period of time for lodgement, such as where the student or their nominee was not physically capable of lodging an application for a WI.

11.5 Applications must be in writing, and must be lodged with the relevant course managing faculty.

11.6 The acceptable grounds for a WI are: 

- A serious medical condition necessitating hospitalisation;
- Death of a person with whom the student had a significant relationship;
- Death of the student;
- Obligations to emergency or military service; and
- Extreme circumstances of comparable gravity and severity.

11.7 Applications must provide evidence that the circumstances resulting in the failure to complete unit assessment were beyond the student's control, and either:

- Arose during the withdrawn fail period or later of the relevant semester; or
- Did not have their full impact until the commencement of the withdrawn fail period or later of the relevant semester, and this impact was not foreseeable earlier; or
- Prevented the student from withdrawing from the unit prior to the commencement of the withdrawn fail period of the relevant semester.

11.8 Applications must provide evidence that the circumstances affecting the student's ability to undertake or complete unit assessment were so extreme as to render undertaking or completing that assessment impracticable.

11.9 If the application concerns a unit for which the student was granted deferred final assessment, the application must provide evidence that the circumstances resulting in failure to complete the deferred final assessment either:

- Occurred after the deferred final assessment was granted; or
- Prevented the student from undertaking or completing the assessment in ways that could not have been foreseen when the deferred final assessment was granted.

11.10 A student who sits but cannot complete a deferred examination due to extreme circumstances beyond his or her control should acknowledge that the exam is final and that no further deferral of the examination is possible by signing the Examination Cancellation Request Form.

11.11 Faculties will assess applications to ensure that they are properly supported by evidence, that they meet the relevant criteria, and that they have been submitted within the eligible time period, and will advise applicants accordingly.

11.11.1 Acceptable forms of evidence include a death notice, records of hospital admission, police reports, notifications of obligations to emergency or military services, and an impact statement from a health professional as appropriate.

11.11.2 WI grades may be awarded to allow students to deal with both the immediate aftermath and ongoing issues following the death of a person with whom the student had a significant relationship.   In the case of the former, a death notice is appropriate documentation.  In such circumstances, the timeframe in which the death occurred should be no more than 3-7 days prior to the date of the final assessment task.  In the case of extreme and ongoing grief, appropriate evidence is a document from the student's family doctor or counsellor that substantiates the claim.

11.12 If no final grade has yet been recorded for the student for the unit, then the course managing faculty will recommend an outcome to the unit teaching faculty's Board of Examiners within five University working days of receiving the application.

11.12.1 The recommendation must be accompanied by copies of the application and supporting evidence provided by the student. The recommendation may be accompanied by any additional evidence drawn from the student's record that is deemed by the course-managing faculty to be relevant. Such relevant material may include details of special consideration applications made by the student and any academic progress processes underway.

11.12.2 The Board of Examiners will consider the recommendation, and determine an outcome for the application. The Board of Examiners will communicate this outcome to the course-managing faculty, which will communicate it to the student or the student's estate. The course managing faculty will upload the final result.

11.13 If a final grade has already been recorded for the student for the unit, then the Dean of the course managing faculty or nominee will determine the outcome of the application within ten University working days of receiving the application.

11.13.1 If the application concerns a unit taught by a faculty other than the course managing faculty, the course managing faculty must inform the Chair of the unit teaching faculty's Board of Examiners of the application. Any comments on the application made by the Chair should be considered by the Dean or nominee when deciding the outcome of the application.

11.13.2 In deciding the outcome of the application, the Dean or nominee may consider any additional evidence drawn from the student's record that is deemed by the faculty to be relevant. Such relevant material may include details of special consideration applications made by the student and any academic progress processes underway.

11.13.3 If the application is approved, the course managing faculty will upload the amended result.

11.13.4 The course managing faculty will inform the student or student's estate of the outcome of the application.

Responsibility

Associate Deans (Education) or nominees
Associate Deans (Research Training) or nominees
Deans
Boards of Examiners
Faculty Managers
Administrative staff
Student applicants

I. Assessment and Results Record Keeping and Security

1. Preparation of examination papers and other assessment tasks. The Chief Examiner, moderators, markers and members of the teaching team of a unit must ensure the security of examination questions and marking guides, and of all other assessment questions and instructions until the Chief Examiner authorises their release. In particular, they must:

1.1. Keep the documents, whether in hard copy or in electronic form, secure at all times against access by unauthorized persons.

1.2. Store electronic copies in a university password protected network area. If copies are held on portable storage devices, they must be held securely in a locked drawer in a locked room until the Chief Examiner authorizes their publication.

1.3. Take care to prevent casual observation of computer screens, print jobs or passwords by unauthorized persons.

1.4. Dispose of all unwanted printed drafts and copies using the university's confidential waste service.

1.5. Comply with the university IT policy of keeping all passwords secure.

1.6. Take precautions when circulating drafts via networked computers, by protecting documents with passwords which are communicated to the recipient in a separate transmission.

2. Custody of examination scripts and other work for assessment submitted by students

2.1. All academic and administrative staff must take care to ensure that examination scripts and other student work submitted for assessment are held securely at all times to ensure that these are not accessed by unauthorized persons.

2.2. Subject to 2.3, examination scripts and uncollected student work for assessment must be retained for six months after the final result is published.

2.3. Examination scripts and uncollected student work for assessment on the South Africa campus must be retained for twelve months after the final result is determined.

2.4. Subject to 2.2 and 2.3, examination scripts and uncollected student assessment tasks must be destroyed using the university's confidential waste service available on the relevant campus.

3. Publication of examination papers via the university library

3.1. Examination papers will only be released to the University Library upon approval of the Chief Examiner.

3.2. The Examinations Unit will provide copies of examination papers to the University Library only after the relevant deferred examination period has concluded for the semester.

4. Record keeping

4.1. Faculties must have processes in place to keep records of student attendance at class tests and examinations, and submission of student work.

5. Security and storage of results

5.1. Subject to 5.2, the Chief Examiner must ensure that records of all individual assessment marks for all students enrolled in a unit are kept for at least six months after the final result is determined, or as long as required for another purpose such as disciplinary or grievance proceedings.

5.2. For units taught on the South Africa Campus, the Chief Examiner must ensure that records of all individual assessment marks for all students enrolled in the units are kept for at least twelve months after the final result is determined, or as long as required for another purpose such as disciplinary or grievance proceedings.

5.3. All academic and administrative staff must ensure the security of marks to ensure that these are not accessed by unauthorized persons.

5.4. Suspected breaches of security must be reported to the Chief Examiner and the Head of School (or the Associate Dean (Education) in the faculties with no schools).

Responsibility

Chief Examiners
Unit Coordinators
Teaching staff
Moderators
Administrative staff

Content Enquiries: Education Policy Unit

University Policy Use Only:

Version Number: 1.5Effective Date: 04-February-2014Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu