Policy

Assessment - Policy

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0 Purpose and Scope

  1. The purpose of this policy is to establish key principles and values relating to assessment at The University of Queensland.

  2. This policy applies to all students enrolled in, and all staff involved in the delivery of, undergraduate and postgraduate courses at The University of Queensland.

  3. Details of the University's assessment policies in relation to higher degree by research candidates are found in the policies and procedures under 4.60 Higher Degree by Research Candidates.

2.0 Principles and Key Requirements

  1. Assessment involves making judgements about the extent to which students’ work meets identified standards and confirming from these judgements that students’ have attained the learning outcomes. At The University of Queensland assessment is used to achieve the following purposes:

a. engage students in productive learning;

b. provide feedback to guide improvement;

c. inform teaching and learning decision-making;

d. provide evidence of course- and program-level learning outcomes and graduate attributes;

e. provide comprehensive, accurate, consistent and dependable certification of student achievement; and

f. maintain professional and disciplinary standards.

  1. The University is committed to the provision of high quality, authentic and engaging assessment practices according to the following principles:

Assessment is a developmental learning activity: The assessment process engages students in timely, meaningful learning activities which develop their capacity to make independent judgements about the quality of their own and others’ work.

Assessment involves mutual responsibility: Teachers have a responsibility to provide timely opportunities for students to demonstrate learning through appropriate assessment tasks and to support learning through effective feedback, as well as to orient students new to university study to university assessment methods and standards. Students have a responsibility to demonstrate evidence of learning through their responses to assessment tasks and to reflect and act on feedback to improve their learning.

Assessment is criterion-referenced: Judgements about the quality of students’ performance are made by reference to explicit or predetermined criteria and standards and not by reference to the achievement of other students.

Assessment is transparent: Students and teachers can see that there is an explicit and logical relationship between assessment tasks, the criteria used as the basis of assessment judgements, and the grades associated with different standards of performance.

Assessment is valid and authentic: Assessment measures the intended learning outcomes and provides a consistent and dependable indication of the quality of students’ performance. The outcomes measured represent appropriate, meaningful, significant and worthwhile forms of accomplishment and the kinds of mastery demonstrated by successful practitioners. An assessment task can be considered authentic when the task challenges a learner to demonstrate knowledge or skill that is needed to negotiate the requirements of a real-life setting.

Assessment is fair and equitable: The content, format and conduct of assessment are designed to ensure that no individuals or groups of students are unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged.

Assessment is a purposeful, professional activity: Assessment is integral to course and program design, review and evaluation. There is: quality assurance of assessment at program- and course-level, and within schools and faculties; collaboration with colleagues to provide the whole-of-program approaches that make assessment a coherent experience for students; and ongoing revision and enhancement of assessment practices.

Assessment is sustainable and workable: Assessment is achievable for teachers and students with reasonable effort within the context of a full time workload as described in section 2.2 of the Course Design Policy.

The design and conduct of assessment according to these principles requires effective collaboration between a number of stakeholders associated with teaching and learning including members of academic and professional staff across the University.

  1. Academic integrity forms a central part of an individual’s intellectual and personal development. Students learn how to uphold values, develop proper skills in research, thinking and writing, and how to behave in an ethical manner.

 

3.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The academic roles and accountabilities associated with implementation of this policy are specified in the Teaching and Learning Roles and Responsibilities Policy.

 

4.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

  1. Review of, and compliance with, this policy is overseen by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Academic Board's Teaching and Learning Committee and Assessment Sub-Committee.

  2. The Academic Board's Assessment Sub-Committee undertakes compliance monitoring and submits reports to Teaching and Learning Committee and the senior executive as required.

 

5.0 Recording and Reporting

  1. Details of assessment must be recorded in the Course Profile in accordance with this policy and the Course Design Policy.

  2. Student records including the final grades, applications and University decisions are filed in the student's personal record in SI-net and TRIM.

  3. Records and reports associated with assessment are managed in accordance with the Information Management Policy and in conjunction with the Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal Procedures.

 

6.0 Appendix

6.1 Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Criterion - a property or characteristic by which the quality of something may be judged.

Standard - a definite level of achievement aspired to or attained. Standards specify levels of quality (or achievement, or performance) for each criterion.

Academic integrity - the moral code or ethical policy of academia, including:

i. a commitment to the values of honesty, responsibility, transparency, respect, trust and courage; and

ii. the ethical principles that underpin academia and student life, such as maintenance of academic standards; honesty and rigour in assessment responses, research and academic publishing.

 

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Procedures

Assessment - Procedures

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0 Purpose and Scope

  1. This procedure—
    1. sets out the principles and requirements for—

i. the design and management of summative assessment;

ii. submission of assessment and extensions to due dates;

iii. assessment-remark;

iv. finalisation of grades; and

v. supplementary assessment;

for coursework studies at the University.

      b. applies to all students, and academic and professional staff with responsibility for                  teaching and/or administration of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UQ.

  1. For design and management of examinations this procedure should be read in conjunction with the Examinations Procedure.
  2. Details of the University's assessment policies in relation to higher degree by research candidates are found in the policies and procedures under 4.60 Higher Degree by Research  Candidates.

 

2.0 Process and Key Controls

  1. All assessment at UQ must be designed and implemented in accordance with principles set out in the Assessment Policy and the requirements set out in the procedure.
  2. In conjunction with the Course Design Policy the course profile for each course must include, or specify the location of, all required information about assessment for that course, including but not limited to:
    1. assessment criteria, standards and due dates for each assessment task;
    2. method of weighting and aggregating individual pieces of assessment, the use of any hurdle requirements, and the method used to determine a final grade;
    3. items that are exempt or partially exempt from supplementary assessment; and
    4. in the case of examinations, the format of the examination and permitted materials and equipment (refer to the Examinations Procedure for more information).
  3. Course profiles must be released to students by the deadline specified in the Course Design Policy. No changes are permitted after the assessment lock-down date unless prior approval is provided by the Associate Dean (Academic) (section 3.2.1).
  4. The University’s Grading System is specified in Appendix 7.1. The final grade for a course must reflect the numeric descriptors set out in Table A, Appendix 7.1. The circumstances in which grades can be altered, and the timeframes and responsibilities associated with determination and release of final grades to students, is outlined in section 3.7.
  5. All aspects of assessment including design, delivery and outcomes must be routinely monitored and reviewed (section 3.9).
  6. Academic staff at UQ are supported and encouraged to design authentic, engaging and sustainable assessment and to undertake appropriate professional development on assessment.
  7. Under specific conditions outlined in section 3.6 students may apply for reconsideration of a mark or grade awarded for an item of assessment.
  8. Students may also pursue assessment-related grievances in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Policy.

 

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 Design and delivery of assessment

3.1.1 Program-level considerations

  1. Assessment must provide systematic opportunities for students to demonstrate progress towards or achievement of program level learning outcomes, including development of graduate attributes and professional standards, where appropriate.
  2. Assessment must be mapped against program level outcomes, or in the case of programs with multiple pathways, mapping is to be based on core courses. This is monitored through the Academic Program Review process.
  3. Where feasible, course assessment takes into account the demands (including weighting and scheduling) of assessment in parallel courses within the program.

3.1.2 Course-level considerations

  1. Assessment is designed to maintain high standards, and generate valid evidence, of learning through:
    1. the use of criterion-referenced assessment which makes explicit the relationships among assessment tasks, all learning objectives, the criteria used as the basis of assessment judgements, and the grades associated with different levels or standards of performance;
    2. a focus on the quality of learning outcomes (e.g. the quality of tutorial participation or contribution to a group outcome). Mere attendance (as distinct from attendance and participation) must not be a requirement to pass the course;
    3. the use of a combination of two or more assessment tasks (or a multi-component, staged task such as a thesis or a project) which reflect the range and complexity of the learning objectives, with assessment tasks spread appropriately across the teaching period. No single assessment task (or task component), including examinations but excluding research, project based assessments or thesis, may compulsorily contribute more than 70% to the final grade;
    4. the demands of the combined assessment tasks in a course being commensurate with its nominal unit value; and the relative weightings of tasks within a course being commensurate with the relative importance of the associated learning objectives; and
    5. unless it is a hurdle requirement, assessment that provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate a range of competencies in learning from minimum learning standards to learning of the highest standard.
  2. Assessment is also designed in accordance with the availability of and appropriate allocation of resources for the course.
  3. Criteria and standards must sufficiently distinguish students’ performance over a range of levels. The numeric descriptors listed in Table A, Appendix 7.1 provide university-wide standards for awarding final grades. Course Coordinators may develop criteria and standards for specific assessment tasks aligned with the generic descriptors.

3.1.3 Group work

  1. The ability to work in teams is an essential skill for students to develop. Where group assessment is summative, Course Coordinators must ensure that the assessment is criterion-referenced, linked to the learning objectives of the course, transparent, fair and equitable.
  2. To enable compliance:

i. The need for group work must be necessary to achieve the course objectives, and hence be specified as a learning objective in the course profile; and

ii. Students must have had the opportunity to learn how to work effectively in teams / groups either by way of specific training in the course or pre-requisite course, or an online course; and

iii. Course Coordinators must provide students with resources and support within the course to enable management of cases in which groups are not functioning effectively, with directions to these resources and support given in the course profile. Guidelines on group work are available to Course Coordinators.

3.1.4 Assessment integrity

  1. In designing and conducting assessment, teaching staff must give due regard to assessment integrity and security, and minimise the possibility of impersonation and cheating.
  2. Electronic submission of assignments is strongly encouraged to provide authoritative proof of the date and time of submission and to allow for text matching including the use of plagiarism detection software.
  3. Any form of summative assessment that takes place in a supervised environment at an approved university location, is the work of a single student and for which authentication of the student’s identity is required will comply with a set of examination requirements as outlined in the Examinations Procedure.
  4. Insofar as repetition of previously used assessment items (e.g. examination papers or essay topics) risks the integrity of the assessment process and outcomes, assessment tasks must be substantially different at each offering. For example, in a multiple choice examination, 80% of the questions would differ at each offering.
  5. Any student who enrols in a course must not be given exemption or partial credit from their previous attempt(s) for any individual piece of assessment. Instead, the student must complete all of the learning activities and assessment items within the study period of enrolment.

3.1.5 Reasonable adjustments to assessment

  1. A reasonable adjustment or change to assessment may be made in specified circumstances to ensure all students are able to participate equitably in the academic life of the University.
  2. Adjustments are only made when the student has formal approval under the Academic Adjustments Policy and the adjustment retains the essential learning objectives for the course or program.

3.1.6 Timing and scheduling of assessment

  1. Assessment must not be held or due during a revision period.
  2. Examinations must not be held on a Sunday or public holiday.
  3. Despite clause 2, the President of the Academic Board may permit a variation to scheduling when they consider there are exceptional circumstances.

 

3.2 Communication of assessment requirements

3.2.1 Provision of assessment information

  1. Assessment criteria and standards for each assessment task must be made available to students at the same time as the description and timing of the assessment task.
  2. Course Coordinators must not alter the structure of course level assessment after the assessment lockdown date, which is five (5) days after the start of the relevant teaching period for the course. Any changes after the lockdown date must have prior approval of the Associate Dean (Academic). This approval will be in consultation with the Academic Registrar, with the exception of extensions to the assessment due date.
  3. All changes must be communicated to students promptly. Communication must be by means in addition to notification in the course profile.

3.2.2 Consistency of information

Where more than one tutor/lecturer is involved in providing information to students about assessment requirements, consistent information must be provided.

3.2.3 Student engagement with assessment information

  1. Teaching staff will provide opportunities for students to engage with information about assessment including:
    1. criteria and standards;
    2. permitted materials and equipment for examinations (e.g. approved calculators);
    3. examination formats as provided in past or sample examination papers; and
    4. students’ responsibilities in relation to assessment policies (e.g. on late submission of assessment) as listed in the course profile and in related policies and procedures.
  2. Students will take responsibility for evidencing submission by the due date of all assessments in the required form, e.g. retain evidence, screenshot, email, photo and copy of submitted work.

 

3.3 Submission of assessment

  1. Where feasible, all summative assessment items should be submitted electronically through the University's Learning Management System, with the exception of assessment completed during scheduled classes, written-based examinations, and performance-based assessment.

3.3.1 Extensions to assessment due date

  1. This section applies to assessment items which have a specified due date for submission, as set out in the course profile. It does not apply to examinations (including quizzes and tests) held during scheduled classes, mid-semester Saturday, end of semester examination period or deferred examination periods (as per the Examinations Procedure).
  2. A student may apply for an extension if they are unable to meet an assessment deadline due to unavoidable circumstances (see section 3.3.3).
  3. The Course Coordinator has responsibility to assess the request for extension against the criteria and may:
    1. grant an extension to a timescale that is commensurate with the extenuating circumstances and is not unfair to other students in the course, or
    2. determine the student is ineligible and reject the request.
  4. The Course Coordinator may authorise appropriate decision makers to consider or decide upon applications on specified grounds.
  5. In instances where it is not possible to extend the due date for the assessment item (e.g. a placement), arrangements must be made to provide students with the opportunity to meet the learning objectives of that assessment item, and be stipulated in the course profile.

3.3.2 Applications

  1. Students applying for an extension to an assessment due date must submit a request through my.UQ and provide evidence of their circumstances, as soon as it becomes evident that an extension is needed.
  2. A request for an extension to an assessment due date must be accompanied by supporting documentation corroborating the reason for the request (see section 3.3.3). A scanned image or copy of the supporting documentation is acceptable.
  3. The student is to be notified of the outcome as soon as possible in a manner that gives the student time to consider the implications of the outcome.

3.3.3 Grounds for extensions

A student may be eligible for an extension to the assessment due date on the grounds set out below, and as outlined in the Table of Acceptable Evidence for Extensions to Assessment.

3.3.3.1 Medical reasons

  1. Requests for extensions to assessment due dates based on medical grounds must include a medical certificate provided by:
    1. a registered medical practitioner, registered nurse, or registered pharmacist (see clause 3 below); or
    2. a statement from a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.
  2. An extension granted to a student will not exceed the number of days suffered from a medical condition, as stated on the medical certificate.
  3. A medical certificate from a registered pharmacist must be obtained on the date the submission of the assessment item is due, and will only cover that one day.
  4. Medical certificates must not be provided by a near relative or close associate of the student.
  5. The University reserves the right to check the validity of the medical certificate with the medical practitioner.

3.3.3.2 Student Access Plan

  1. Where a student is applying for an extension on the basis of a Student Access Plan approved by Diversity and Inclusion Team, the Student Access Plan must clearly state the provision for extensions to assessment due dates.

3.3.3.3 Compassionate or extenuating circumstances

  1. If a request for extension is based on compassionate or extenuating circumstances, a statement of reasons why the student was unable to submit the assessment by the deadline and all corroborative evidence must be submitted with the request.
  2. Compassionate or extenuating circumstances could include, but are not limited to:
    1. sudden serious illness of a family member; or
    2. recent death of a family member; or
    3. serious personal or emotional trauma; or
    4. extraordinary and unavoidable work commitments beyond the student’s control.

3.3.3.4 Unacceptable reasons

  1. The following are not grounds for an extension, including but not limited to:
  • computer or internet problems;
  • holiday arrangements;
  • misreading an assignment due date or time;
  • unexpected events causing the loss of a few hours of study time close to the due date;
  • difficulty studying effectively or adjusting to the demands of university life;
  • normal levels of stress or anxiety associated with study;
  • visa or financial problems;
  • ordinary family events or commitments; or
  • normal pressures relating to study or employment.

 

3.4 Provision of feedback on assessment

3.4.1 Feedback for learning

  1. In addition to the mark awarded, feedback must be promptly provided on all assessment tasks, including examinations, to enable students to apply the feedback to further tasks within the course or program and/or plan for supplementary assessment, requests for re-mark, or re-enrolment. The form of feedback provided is appropriate to the task weighting, timing and context, and with reference to criteria and standards.
  2. A student may request further detailed feedback about their performance on an assessment item by lodging a written request to the Course Coordinator. The Course Coordinator will then arrange for the feedback to be provided to the student in a timely manner, typically within 14 calendar days.
  3. In any case, students will be given the opportunity to view their examination script within twenty calendar days of the release of the final grade and within the first two weeks of the following semester (note –  for the purpose of this clause, both semester 2 and summer semester are followed by semester 1).

3.4.2 Student responsibility

  1. Teaching staff are to advise students of their responsibility to incorporate feedback into their learning.
  2. Students will take responsibility for incorporating feedback into their learning in accordance with the Student Charter.

 

3.5 Assessment judgements

3.5.1 The basis of judgements

  1. Assessment judgements must—
    1. be made with reference to criteria and standards and not to the achievement of other students;
    2. reflect the quality of the student’s performance (e.g. the quality of tutorial contribution not tutorial attendance); and
    3. be transparent; negative marking in multiple choice examinations, that is, the practice of deducting marks for providing incorrect answers or formula marking to correct for guessing, is not permitted.

3.5.2 Moderation

  1. Moderation is an important part of quality assurance.
  2. The minimum requirement is that moderation is conducted with reference to criteria and standards to ensure consistency of judgements about the work of:
    1. students within a course/group;
    2. students in different classes/groups within a single course; and
    3. students whose work has been peer-assessed or self-assessed within a course.
  3. Moderation within a course between staff may involve discussion of the way the standards have been applied to assessed work, and/or review of the application of standards prior to marking.
  4. Moderation between students taking the same course in different semesters or years is also an important part of quality assurance processes as outlined in section 3.9.

3.5.3 Avoidance of bias and conflicts of interest

  1. Anonymous marking is undertaken where appropriate and practicable.
  2. When a near relative or close associate is enrolled in a course for which a staff member is involved in the assessment—
  • The staff member is not to participate in the marking of assessment or the determination of a final grade, and must inform their supervisor (e.g. Head of School, Executive Dean) of the potential conflict at the earliest opportunity.
  • The supervisor will determine arrangements for assessment including setting examination questions, marking assessment, and the roles of other staff members involved in the course; an external examiner may be necessary in some cases. If any doubt exists, the supervisor is to contact the President of the Academic Board.

3.5.4 Documentation of assessment judgements

  1. To ensure the integrity of assessment and to enhance feedback on assessment, clear records must be kept of assessment and/or the evaluation of assessment, including when the work does not generate evidence that can be referred to after the assessment. For example, for assessment in the form of a presentation, a supervised placement, or an oral assessment:
    1. two markers are used, or
    2. the presentation is recorded, or
    3. clear records are kept of performance against the criteria and standards.
  2. Where practicable, recordings should be made of oral assessments.

3.5.5 The method of representing and aggregating results

  1. The aggregation of the results of individual tasks to determine a course grade must be a deliberate process that is readily defensible. Only percentages, marks, weighted grades, verbal descriptors, or letter codes are to be used to represent a students' levels of achievement on assessment items. Course Coordinators may develop criteria and standards for specific assessment tasks aligned with the numeric descriptors specified in Appendix 7.1.
  2. The method of weighting and aggregating individual pieces of assessment, the use of any hurdle requirements, and the method used to determine a final grade must be made explicit in the course profile. Profiling of grades, use of weighted grades, or weighted marks and percentages may be used provided that details (including any cut-offs) are published in the course profile. Ad hoc variations are not to be made without the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic) in consultation with the Academic Registrar.
  3. Post hoc variations to grade cut-offs may be permissible where there is justifiable academic reason for the change:
    1. On the approval of the Head of School, grade cut-offs may be lowered where the change does not disadvantage students; and
    2. In exceptional circumstances, with the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic) in consultation with the Academic Registrar, grade cut-offs may be increased.
  4. Deducting marks for failure to undertake a specified task that is not part of the summative assessment is not permitted.

3.5.6 Release of assessment item marks and grades

  1. Students are only provided with their individual marks and grades, and not those of other students. Results must not be displayed in public places or student forums (e.g. physical or online noticeboards).
  2. Results for all summative assessment items are to be made available to individual students through the eLearning Management System on completion of marking, with the exception of the final assessment item which is to be released only after the final grade for the course has been released (refer to section 3.7).
  3. Despite clause 2, the Academic Registrar may approve the early release of marks for a final assessment item.
  4. Staff must not disclose any information to unauthorised persons about the marks or grades of a particular student.

 

3.6 Assessment re-mark

3.6.1 Purpose of a re-mark

  1. The purpose of reconsidering assessment judgements (section 3.5) is to ensure the marking criteria and standards have been applied appropriately.
  2. If the request for a re-mark is approved the work will be re-assessed against the marking criteria and standards.
  3. If the mark is found to be incorrect due to a mathematical error in the calculation of the final result, this is not a re-mark. Amendments to a final result because of (i) a mathematical error or (ii) non-inclusion of the marks from a piece of assessment, are considered a procedural error. 
  4. Reconsideration of a mark that involves review of the academic judgement will in all cases be treated as a re-mark request.

3.6.1.1 Re-mark of Individual assessment

Where a student has completed an individual assessment item and the student believes the judgement of their work and the resulting mark or grade they were awarded for an assessment item does not reflect their performance, as measured against the published assessment criteria, then the student can apply for a re-mark.

3.6.1.2 Re-mark of group work involving peer assessment or individual components marked individually

In the case of a group assessment which includes a peer assessment for each individual student, or there are components of the assessment item that are marked individually, then these items are treated as an individual assessment item.

3.6.1.3 Re-mark of group assessment

In the case of a group assessment item for which only one mark is awarded irrespective of individual contributions, and at least 50% of the group members agree that the resulting mark does not reflect the group’s performance as measured against the published assessment criteria, those group members can apply for a re-mark.

3.6.2 Grounds for consideration

  1. An application for a re-mark is considered only when—
    1. it is feasible to reconsider the original assessment judgement. Assessment that may be excluded from a re-mark may include the performance of a practical task or an oral examination; and
    2. the student, or one or more members of the student group, has sought and received feedback about their performance on the assessment from the Course Coordinator or lecturer concerned (or has viewed the piece of assessment and, where available, model answers/written comments or other feedback); and
    3. after receiving feedback, the student, or at least 50% of members of the student group in the case of group assessment, provides a sound written academic case to demonstrate how the mark or grade awarded for an entire task, or a discrete component of a multi-component task, does not reflect their performance against the advertised criteria and standards for that work. In the case of a course thesis or project, a case must be made with reference to the criteria and standards, not against the examiner’s report per se. Students should reference the published assessment criteria for the assessment item and clearly show where they believe there are grounds for reconsideration of the assessment judgement; and
    4. the request for re-mark is submitted within the timeframe specified in section 3.6.3.

2.    Re-mark requests which do not include a sound academic case will not be approved.

3.    The following reasons are not grounds for approval of an assessment re-mark:

  1. the desire for extra marks to achieve a higher grade for the course;
  2. sound performance in other courses;
  3. comments made by the teaching staff at the time of feedback about the marking;
  4. diminished performance due to ill-health or other circumstances such as inadequate examination conditions; or
  5. the requirement to pass the course to facilitate graduation.

3.6.3 Applications for assessment re-mark

  1. An application for re-mark of assessment is made online through my.UQ.
  2. If the application is for a re-mark of group assessment where only one mark is awarded irrespective of individual contributions, then:
    1. the Group Member Acknowledgement form must be completed by the students and attached with the request; and
    2. if not all group members are a party to the application, the Head of School or Associate Dean (Academic) will send a notification to all group members. The notification is for information purposes only and should refer the students to this procedure such that all group members are aware of the process.
  3. A request for re-mark must be submitted no later than 21 calendar days following the release of the mark for that piece of assessment, with the exception of the mark for the final assessment item, the date of which is no later than the end of week 3 of the following semester (note – for the purpose of this clause, both semester 2 and summer semester are followed by semester 1).

3.6.4 Approval of assessment re-mark

  1. A re-mark may be approved by the Associate Dean (Academic) or Deputy Associate Dean (Academic), in consultation with relevant academic staff members, for re-mark requests submitted prior to or after the finalisation of grades.
  2. Where a re-mark request is approved, the Head of School will arrange for the assessment item to be re-marked, and communicate the outcome of the re-mark to the students with feedback.
  3. Where the outcome of the re-mark results in a change to a final grade, the School and/or Faculty will follow the procedure to change a finalised grade as specified in section 3.7.

3.6.5 Conducting a re-mark

  1. Where possible, the re-mark will be conducted by an independent marker who will be provided with examples of different levels of performance against the criteria and standards.
  2. Where a peer assessment re-mark is approved, then the peer assessment process and peer submissions should be reviewed by an independent marker. If appropriate the marker should interview all peer assessors to enable an academic judgement on the peer mark.
  3. In all cases where a re-mark is approved, the assessment item submitted by an individual student will be re-marked in its entirety. Similarly, for a group assessment item, the item that is completed by the group will be re-marked in its entirety. In exceptional circumstances the Associate Dean (Academic) may permit only a discrete section of the assessment piece be re-marked. Such exceptions may be an examination comprising short answer and multiple choice questions where only the short answer questions are re-marked.
  4. In applying an amended grade on the basis of a re-mark, Faculties and Schools must take into account whether adjusting a condition for one student may have implications for other students in the course. The result of re-marking should not unfairly disadvantage other students in the course.
  5. A re-mark will be conducted once only on the piece of assessment.
  6. In all cases, a re-mark will replace the original mark for the piece of assessment in the calculation of the final grade which could result in a higher or lower grade. The only exception to this applies to a graduated student, where the result will be reviewed by the President of the Academic Board for a final decision.

 

3.7 Finalisation of grades

3.7.1 Final grade in a course

  1. Grades in each course must be awarded in the numeric range of 1–7 using the grade descriptors set out in Table A, Appendix 7.1, unless clause 2 or the other grade descriptor tables in Appendix 7.1 apply.         
  2. If the numeric grades 1-7 are not appropriate (e.g. in competency-based assessment), it is appropriate to use the non-graded pass (P) and the non-graded fail (N), using the grade descriptors set out in Table B, Appendix 7.1. Heads of Schools need to make a case to the Executive Dean to endorse the course being assessed on a pass/fail basis.
  3. Subject to Appendix 7.1, the Enrolment Procedure and the relevant program rule(s), a grade of 4 is the lowest passing grade.
  4. Course Coordinators must ensure that grading outcomes are reliable and are a genuine reflection of student performance against the assessed criteria.

3.7.2 Certification and release of final grades

  1. The Executive Dean is responsible for ensuring that appropriate processes are implemented by the Faculty and Schools to conduct moderation, accurate calculation and determination of grades, in a format and timeframe set by the Academic Registrar.
  2. The Academic Registrar is responsible for the official release of final grades.
  3. If a student’s final grade is unable to be released (e.g. due to the granting of a deferred examination) the final grades for that student will be released at a time determined by the Academic Registrar.

3.7.3 Amendments to grades

3.7.3.1 Prior to release

  1. Before submitting grades to the Executive Dean, the Head of School may adjust a grade to comply with any relevant assessment practices.
  2. A grade may be altered by the Executive Dean and Head of School—
    1. to correct a procedural error, or
    2. if the Executive Dean is satisfied the grade should be reconsidered (for example, after completion of assessment re-mark, or incomplete assessment).

3.7.3.2 After release

  1. Once a grade is released it becomes a final grade.
  2. A final grade may be changed only in the following circumstances—

a.      to correct a procedural error, if—

i.       the Executive Dean or Associate Dean (Academic) is satisfied the error was identified within one year of the grade being finalised; or

ii.      at any time, the Academic Registrar is satisfied the change is needed to correct the error.

b.      before the re-mark finalisation date (see clause 4 below), if the Executive Dean or Associate Dean (Academic) is satisfied—

i.       the original final grade reflects a marking error; and

ii.      the assessment re-mark processes (section 3.6) have been followed.

c.      the President of the Academic Board approves a request to change a final grade for withdrawal from the course without academic penalty, provided—

i.       the application was made by the student—

A.     within thirty (30) calendar days of the release of the final grade to be changed; or

B.     after thirty (30) calendar days but before six (6) months of the release of the final grade to be changed where the Deputy Director, Academic Services is satisfied the student has demonstrated that it was not possible to have applied for the change of grade within the thirty (30) calendar day period; and

ii.      the President of the Academic Board is satisfied that—

A.     the student has demonstrated exceptional circumstances warranting the change exist; and

B.     the student could not have sought a change earlier; and

C.     if the change is made, academic standards will not be lowered; and

D.      making the change would not be unfair to another student.

  1. In clause 2, where a deferred examination or supplementary assessment has been granted and undertaken, the date of release of the final grade will be regarded as the date of release of the grade recorded following that assessment.
  2. In clause 2 the re-mark finalisation date means—

i.        for first semester grades — the final day of second semester; and

ii.       for second semester grades — the day after the end of the mid-semester recess in the first semester in the next year; and

iii.      for summer semester grades — the final day of first semester.

  1. Actions that should be taken by faculties and central administration when amending grades are specified in the Amendments to Grades Guideline.

3.7.4 Non-finalised and incomplete grades

  1. Despite clause 1 in section 3.7.3.2 (After Release), where a student has been granted—
    1. a deferred examination, or
    2. an extension,

the grade released will be classified as 'non-finalised' (in the case of (i)) or 'incomplete' (in the case of (ii)) until approved by the Head of School, and submitted to the Executive Dean or Academic Registrar for certification.

  1. If a grade for a course, other than a course undertaken as the thesis component of a PhD or MPhil or Professional Doctorate, is listed as incomplete in the final grades, that grade must be finally recorded as though no assessment was received from the student as follows —
    1. for first semester grades — on the first day after the second semester mid-semester recess;
    2. for second semester grades — on the first day of first semester of the next year; and
    3. for summer semester grades — on the first day after the first semester mid-semester recess.
  2. Clause 2 does not apply if before the day set out in that section—
    1. the Head of School submits a new grade to the Executive Dean; or
    2. the Executive Dean approves the grade remaining incomplete for an additional period.

The additional period must end on or before the date set by the Academic Registrar for the certification of final grades in the semester immediately following the semester in which the incomplete grade was first notified.

3.7.5 Audit of grade changes

  1. The Associate Dean (Academic) and the Academic Registrar must put procedures in place to ensure that the processed grade changes are accurate, and that Grade Change Reports from SI-net are checked and sent to Examinations section on a regular basis.
  2. The UQ Change Grade Report must be generated by the Faculty on a fortnightly basis, and include all grade changes processed within the period.
  3. A staff member, who did not perform the grade changes in the system, must check and reconcile the report against the grade change requests.

 

3.8 Supplementary assessment

  1. In particular conditions as specified in this section, a student may be awarded supplementary assessment only after receiving a failing final grade of 3 or N for a course.
  2. Supplementary assessment is designed to provide a second opportunity for a student to demonstrate that they have achieved all the required learning outcomes for a course.
  3. A grade of 4 (or P) is the highest grade that can be awarded in a course where supplementary assessment has been granted.

3.8.1 Determining appropriate supplementary assessment

  1. Supplementary assessment may not be available for all courses, or for some of the assessment items for a course because the relevant learning objectives assessed by the course/assessment item cannot be validly reassessed in other ways. For courses which are supplementary-exempt, or partial supplementary-exempt, the Course Coordinator must identify this clearly in the course profile. This must be based on sound academic judgement and have the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic).

Examples:

a. Supplementary assessment will not be available in the course because:

i.     Assessment is based on the successful development of professional competencies over a 10 week practicum;

ii.    Assessment is based on the process of a semester-long group project.

b. Supplementary assessment will not be available in part of this course because assessment of the practical component is based on the laboratory notebook which records laboratory work undertaken throughout the semester.

  1. Supplementary assessment can take any form (e.g. oral, written, examination etc.). For example one approach is to set supplementary assessment that tests all learning objectives of the course. Another is to set supplementary assessment that tests specific learning objectives tailored to the individual student and is administered as School-based assessment. 
  2. In determining appropriate supplementary assessment, the Course Coordinator must consider which learning outcomes have not been met.
  3. The Associate Dean (Academic) must approve the form of supplementary assessment to ensure that the minimum requirements of the course are met (section 3.8.2 below). Where the Associate Dean (Academic) is unavailable or it is not reasonably practicable for them to approve relevant supplementary assessment, the Associate Dean (Academic) may authorise the relevant Course Coordinator to act in their place.

3.8.2 Eligibility and approval of supplementary assessment

  1. Subject to clause 2, the Associate Dean (Academic) will only grant supplementary assessment in a course in which supplementary assessment is available and the student gains a grade of 3 (or N subject to clause 3 below).
  2. The Associate Dean (Academic) will grant supplementary assessment to a student for—
    1. up to 4 units in each semester (to a maximum of 8 units in an academic year); or
    2. a single course worth more than 4 units in the final semester of a program when a higher grade would complete the program requirements.
  3. Supplementary assessment on a grade of N will only be awarded where, in the judgement of the Associate Dean (Academic), the student has marginally failed to attain the level of competence required for a passing grade.
  4. The provisions in clauses 1 and 3 have precedence over program rules unless the program rules are more generous to students.

3.8.3 Application for supplementary assessment

  1. Supplementary assessment is only awarded after the finalisation of the grade for the course.
  2. All requests for supplementary assessment must be made no later than the end of the fourth calendar day after release of the final grade for the course in which the supplementary assessment is being requested.
  3. Requests for supplementary assessment must be submitted through the online facility. This process will be available to all students who are eligible for supplementary assessment.
  4. Students are notified of the outcome of their request by email. The status and outcome of requests submitted will be accessible to students through the online facility.
  5. Once submitted, a supplementary assessment request cannot be rescinded by the student.

3.8.4 Timing of supplementary assessment

  1. Students will be advised in a timely manner of the composition, format and duration of the supplementary assessment.
  2. Supplementary examinations must be held during the following periods —
    1. for first semester courses – July and August of the same year;
    2. for second semester courses – December of the same year and January of the following year; and
    3. for summer semester courses – the following March.
  3. Supplementary assessment undertaken other than by examination must be submitted by the end of the period specified in clause 2.
  4. Despite clauses 2 and 3—
    1. if a supplementary assessment is unable to be held within the period listed in clause 2, the supplementary assessment must be held no later than 4 weeks after the Associate Dean (Academic) grants a student supplementary assessment;
    2. supplementary assessment cannot be deferred; and
    3. the President of the Academic Board may vary the timing of supplementary assessment for any or all courses, but not for an individual student.

For example-

A student is awarded a supplementary examination after the relevant scheduled supplementary examination period specified in clause 2 because of late finalisation of their grade following a deferred examination held during that period, or following finalisation an incomplete grade.

3.8.5 Finalisation of grades for supplementary assessment

  1. Unless the course profile states otherwise, where a student has been granted supplementary assessment and the form of assessment is a written examination held during the University's designated deferred and supplementary examination period—
    1. the final grade awarded will be based on the results of the supplementary examination only, and a passing grade for the course will be awarded only if the student receives a passing grade or mark on the supplementary examination/s; and
    2. their grade for that course will typically be finalised within—
      1. 10 calendar days of the examination date for first semester supplementary examinations;
      2. 21 calendar days of the examination date for second semester supplementary examinations; or
      3. 10 calendar days of the examination date for summer semester supplementary examinations.
  2. Where a student has been granted supplementary assessment and the form of assessment is NOT a written examination held during the University's Deferred and Supplementary examination period, grades will typically be finalised within 10 calendar days of the supplementary assessment submission date. The course profile will specify how the post-supplementary grade will be calculated.
  3. The grade will be shown on the student record as xSy (with ‘x’ being the original final grade awarded for the course, and ‘y’ being the grade achieved following the supplementary assessment).

3.9 Quality assurance and quality enhancement

3.9.1 Monitoring the effectiveness of assessment

  1. Evidence of assessment outcomes and the effectiveness of assessment is collected and monitored to quality assure course-level and program-level considerations (see sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2).
  2. In addition:
    1. students are provided with the opportunity to evaluate the quality of teaching, courses and programs, including assessment, and students are expected to provide fair and honest feedback on the quality of teaching, courses and programs, including assessment (as per the Student Charter); and
    2. data on assessment outcomes and the effectiveness of assessment are collected from other sources (e.g. peer reviews, professional accreditation processes, and audits).
  3. Course Coordinators will make available to the Faculty and School, on request:
    1. the final component marks and/or grades in the course for all students; and
    2. the distribution of grades in the course and the process used to determine grade boundaries.

3.9.2 Program-level considerations

  1. Assessment practices at the program level are monitored systematically through the 5-yearly Academic Program Review (APR) process, which requires each program and sequence of study to be reviewed inter alia in terms of assessment.
  2. Assessment at the program-level must be consistent with best practice guidelines:
    1. Assessment tasks, when viewed across a program, are selected, timed, sequenced and weighted in ways that promote achievement of the program's desired learning outcomes and development of the University's graduate attributes; and
    2. There should be evidence of various forms of assessment in the program, tailoring of assessment to year-level, and opportunity for the development of independent judgement.
  3. Program Directors are to respond to the outcomes of the APR process in ways that enhance assessment and assessment outcomes for the program.

3.9.3 Course-level considerations

3.9.3.1 Course evaluations and Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal (CTQRA)

  1. Assessment practices at the School level are monitored on a semester-by-semester basis through the review of assessment outcomes, Student Evaluation of Course and Teaching (SECaT) and course grades.
  2. Each time a course is offered, students enrolled in that course are invited to evaluate their course using one of the instruments in the SECaT. Course evaluations include the items: assessment requirements were made clear to me and I received helpful feedback on how I was going in the course.
  3. The annual Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal (CTQRA) process requires evidence-based reflection on the overall quality of the School's teaching. This includes review of student satisfaction for undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by the School, including review of responses to the SECaT items: assessment requirements were made clear to me and I received helpful feedback on how I was going in the course and student success (e.g. pass rates, completions and grade distributions).
  4. Teaching staff are to respond to student performance on assessment, student evaluations of assessment and reviews of assessment and assessment outcomes (including student grades) in ways that enhance assessment and assessment outcomes for their course.

3.9.4 Chief Examiners

  1. Chief Examiners play an important role in ensuring quality assurance in summative assessment. 
  2. It is mandatory that Heads of Schools appoint an academic staff member as Chief Examiner for a School, discipline or a program, as appropriate.
  3. Chief Examiners report to the Head of School, and in consultation with the School Teaching and Learning Committee, ensure:
    1. School compliance with University policies and procedures related to assessment; and
    2. that appropriate records of all assessment results, and component parts, are kept in accordance with University policy.
  4. In addition, the Chief Examiner will work with the School Teaching and Learning Committee to ensure quality assurance in assessment in the School, including:
    1. setting of assessment tasks;
    2. moderation;
    3. feedback; and
    4. compilation and review of grades.
  5. Chief Examiners are responsible for ensuring all examinations set by Course Coordinators have been checked, and undertaken by a discipline peer where practicable. This process is to enable the minimisation of errors in examination content and provide assurance that the length of the examination is appropriate. If it is not practicable for a discipline peer to undertake the examination, then the School must ensure there is a process to enable the minimisation of errors.

3.9.5 Institutional support for assessment

Academic staff are supported and encouraged to design authentic, engaging and sustainable assessment and to undertake appropriate professional development on assessment. They are also recognised for excellence in assessment (e.g. through annual staff review and promotion processes and through University awards for teaching (refer to the Teaching and Learning Awards Policy)).

 

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The academic roles and accountabilities associated with implementation of this procedure are specified in the Teaching and Learning Responsibilities Policy.

 

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

  1. Compliance monitoring is conducted in conjunction with section 3.9 of this procedure and the Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal Policy.
  2. The School Teaching and Learning Committee reports to the Head of School and the Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee, and is responsible for monitoring all aspects of assessment including assessment design, compliance with examination processes, moderation of results, and finalisation of grades.
  3. Review of, and compliance with, this procedure is overseen by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

 

6.0 Recording and Reporting

  1. Student grades are recorded in SI-net.
  2. Schools must keep appropriate records of all assessment results, and the evaluation of assessment, in accordance with the Records Management Policy. Guidelines on Protecting Grade Integrity are available to academic and professional staff.
  3. Unless authorised by the Academic Registrar, course material containing assessment, completed examination scripts and uncollected student assignments must be retained for a minimum of 12 months from the date of certification of grades. For the requirements associated with the release of examination papers see section 3.10 of the Examinations Procedure.
  4. Records and reports are managed in conjunction with the Curriculum and Teaching Quality and Risk Appraisal Procedure.

 

7.0 Appendix

7.1 Grading system

7.1.1 Numeric grade descriptors

Grade descriptors for numeric grades 1-7 are:

Table A: Grade Descriptors

Final Grade

Generic Descriptor

Example Criteria

7

 

 

 

High Distinction.

Demonstrated evidence of exceptional achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

 

 

 

Mastery of content

Expert and critical evaluation of data, cases, problems and their solutions, and implications

Significant and sophisticated insights in identifying, generating and synthesising competing arguments or perspectives

Original, novel and/or creative application of knowledge and skills

Exploits the conventions of the discipline to communicate at an expert level

6

 

 

 

 

 

Distinction.

Demonstrated evidence of advanced achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

Substantial knowledge of fundamental concepts of the field of study

Critical evaluation of data, cases, problems and their solutions, and implications

Perceptive insights in identifying, generating and synthesising competing arguments or perspectives

Extensive application of knowledge and skills

Uses the conventions of the discipline to communicate at a professional level

5

 

 

 

 

 

Credit.

Demonstrated evidence of proficient achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

Good knowledge of fundamental concepts of the field of study

Considered evaluation of data, cases, problems and their solutions, and implications

Develops or adapts convincing arguments and provides coherent justification

Effective application of knowledge and skills

Uses the conventions of the discipline to communicate at an effective level

4

 

 

 

 

 

Pass.

Demonstrated evidence of functional achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

 

 

 

Adequate knowledge of fundamental concepts of the field of study

Identifies data, cases, problems and their solutions, and implications

Develops routine arguments or decisions

Acceptable application of knowledge and skills

Uses some of the conventions of the discipline to communicate appropriately

3

 

 

 

Marginal Fail.

Demonstrated evidence of developing achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

Superficial understanding of the fundamental concepts of the field of study

Attempts to identify data, cases, problems and their solutions, and implications

Presents undeveloped arguments

Emerging ability to apply knowledge and skills

Communicates information or ideas with limited clarity and inconsistent adherence to the conventions of the discipline

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fail.

Minimal evidence of achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deficiencies in understanding the fundamental concepts of the field of study

Inability to identify data, cases, problems and their solutions, and implications

Presents inappropriate or unsupported arguments

Inability to apply knowledge and skills

Communicates information or ideas in ways that are frequently incomplete, confusing and not appropriate to the conventions of the discipline

1

 

 

 

 

Low Fail.

Absence of evidence of achievement of course learning outcomes.

 

Some engagement with the assessment tasks; however no demonstrated evidence of understanding of the concepts in the field of study

 

 

In addition to Table A the following grade descriptors may also apply under specific circumstances:

7.1.2 Grade descriptors for non-graded pass and fail

  1. Grade descriptors in Table B apply to non-graded pass and fail:

Table B: Grade Descriptors for Non-Graded Pass and Fail

Grade

Description

Criteria

N

Non-graded fail

Insufficient evidence of competency in meeting course learning objectives

P

Non-graded pass

Demonstrated evidence of competency in meeting course learning objectives

  1. If a grade of P or N is awarded and it is necessary to calculate a student’s GPA—
    1. subject to clause 3 below, a course in which P is awarded must be excluded from the calculation; and
    2. N must be regarded as a grade of 2.
  2. If applying clause 2 above results in a student becoming a warned student or being required to show cause under the Academic Progression Procedure, the course must be included in calculating GPA and P must be assigned a grade of 4.

7.1.3 Grade descriptors for supplementary assessment

  1. The grade descriptors listed in Table C apply to when supplementary assessment has been awarded:

Table C: Grade descriptors for supplementary assessment

Grade

Description

xS

Supplementary assessment granted (where x = 3, N)

3S3

Fail following supplementary assessment 

3S4

Pass following supplementary assessment 

NSN

Fail following supplementary assessment on a grade of N

NSP

Pass following supplementary assessment on a grade of N

3S-, NS- 

Fails to undertake supplementary assessment

  1. The maximum grade available for a course in which a student is granted a supplementary assessment is a grade of 4 (or P).
  2. The final grade for a student who has undertaken a supplementary assessment in a course is the higher of the grades obtained from either the original assessment or following the supplementary assessment. The GPA will be calculated on the basis of the higher of the two grades.

7.1.4 Other grade descriptors

  1. In certain circumstances, the following grade descriptors in Table D may also apply:

Table D: Other grade descriptors

Grade

Description

G

Credit cancelled or refused (generally on disciplinary grounds) [refer to the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy]

INC

Incomplete: additional work required before grade can be awarded [Note that a deadline for submission must be given to the student in writing and be consistent with the deadlines set out in section 3.7and the due date recorded in SI-net]

IPR/IP

In progress: completion of course expected in a later semester and only used when a course spans more than one semester

K

Course cancelled with academic penalty by the student after the relevant Census Date

M

Senate determined that credit for course be cancelled or refused

SP

Deferred examination approved

RW

Results withheld: normally granted pending payment of fee or fine, failure to produce identification during an examination or pending disciplinary action

T

Course credit transferred

W

Course cancelled without academic penalty

X

No assessable work received

THS

Thesis submitted

  1. For grades of G, M, K or X, an equivalent numerical grade of 0.00 will be applied for the purpose of GPA calculation.

 

7.2 Definitions, terms and acronyms

Associate Dean (Academic) – the relevant Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty administering the award. For non-award students, the Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty administering the course.

Academic integrity – the moral code or ethical policy of academia, including:

  1. A commitment to the values of honesty, responsibility, transparency, respect, trust and courage; and
  2. the ethical principles that underpin academia and student life, such as maintenance of academic standards, honesty and rigour in assessment responses, research and academic publishing.

Assessment – how students demonstrate both what they are learning and what they have learned. It requires the teacher to make judgements about the ongoing and cumulative learning of each student against criteria and standards.

Criterion – a property or characteristic by which the quality of something may be judged.

Course Coordinator – a member of academic staff responsible for coordinating the development, preparation, delivery and assessment of a course.

Deferred examination – an examination (sat at a specified later date) that may be approved where extenuating or exceptional circumstances affected attendance on the day of the original examination (such as illness or unexpected personal circumstances).

Executive Dean – the Executive Dean of the Faculty administering the award. For non-award students, the Executive Dean of the Faculty administering the course.

Formative assessment – guides ongoing learning and provides feedback that can be used by students to support and develop their learning techniques, and by teachers to understand student progress and improve teaching. Formative assessments usually contribute little or nothing towards the final grade.

GPA – Grade Point Average (GPA) is defined as the average of the grade of results obtained by the student in all courses in which the student is enrolled, weighted by the unit value of each course in accordance with the following formula—

∑(GP)/∑(P) 

where:

G = the grade of result in a course; and

P = the unit value of that course.

If a student is enrolled in a course but gets no result, G=0.

Head of School – for the purpose of these procedures only, Head of School includes the Chief Examiner for the MD and MBBS programs.

Hurdle requirement – an assessment component that must be satisfied in order to pass the course.

Moderation – a process for developing consistency or comparability of assessment judgements and applies in a range of assessment contexts.

Partial supplementary-exempt course – a course where supplementary assessment may not be available because it is not possible to re-assess some of the minimum learning requirements, for example, those involving peer collaboration and interaction.

Reasonable adjustments for students – measures taken to enable students to participate on the same basis as a student without a disability in areas of the University’s operations, including:

  • admission and enrolment,
  • academic activities,
  • curriculum development, assessment and certification requirements,
  • physical access to buildings and facilities,
  • information access, and
  • support services.

Reasonable adjustments are to be provided in consultation with the student, within a reasonable time after notification of the need for adjustments. When making an adjustment it is reasonable for the University to maintain the academic requirements of the course that are inherent in or essential to its nature (in accordance with the Disability Standards for Education 2005), however, this does not mean that all assessment or activities must be the same for all students.

Re-mark – reconsideration of a mark or grade awarded for an item of assessment against the marking criteria and standards.

Semester - for the purpose of this procedure, semester includes trimesters.

SECaT – Student Evaluation of Course and Teaching.

Supplementary assessment – assessment offered after a failing final grade of 3 or N that is designed to provide a second opportunity for a student to demonstrate that they have achieved all the required learning outcomes for a course.

Supplementary examination – supplementary assessment that takes the form of an examination.

Supplementary-exempt course – a course where supplementary assessment is not available under any circumstance because it is judged as academically inappropriate – it is not feasible to reassess the learning outcomes for the course. This may include for example courses involving professional experience, or peer collaboration and interaction, or requiring the demonstration of certain professional capabilities and competencies.

Standard – a definite level of achievement aspired to or attained. Standards specify levels of quality (or achievement, or performance) for each criterion.

Student Access Plan – the document that sets out the reasonable adjustments that have been agreed by the Faculty. This plan is drafted by the Diversity and Inclusion Team and is then communicated to those UQ staff members who need to know, in order to put the adjustments in place.

Study period – a semester, trimester, research quarter, or teaching period.

Summative assessment – evaluates the student’s performance against specified criteria. Summative assessments contribute towards the final grade.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Amendments to Grades - Guidelines

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0 Purpose and Scope

This guideline outlines the actions and considerations to be taken by faculties and central administration staff when processing amendments to finalised and non-finalised grades. These guidelines supplement Section 3.7 of the Assessment Procedure.

 

2.0 Process and Key Controls

This guideline ensures the following compliance requirements are met in assessing requests for deferral of examinations:

  1. Semester grades are officially released to students on a date specified by the Academic Registrar.
  2. At that time, grades are final grades, with the exception of non-finalised grades as a result of:
    1. The granting of a deferred examination
    2. Incomplete results in assessment; or
    3. Where the grade for a course is withheld, for example pending the outcome of a misconduct allegation.
  3. Grades may be changed or finalised in the following circumstances:
    1. On completion of incomplete assessment;
    2. Following result of deferred examinations;
    3. Following result of supplementary assessment;
    4. To correct a procedural error;
    5. After completion of assessment re-marks;
    6. Resolution of results withheld;
    7. Change to a finalised grade on approval of withdrawal without academic penalty by the President of the Academic Board.
  4. Once approved, amendments to grades are processed in SI-net by authorised administrative staff in faculties and Examination section, and a reason for the change is included as ‘comments’ in SI-net.
  5. Once an amendment to a grade is made in SI-net, an email is automatically sent to the student to advise them of the change.
  6. Staff are required to assess the areas of impact of the amendment to grade in accordance with the sections below.

 

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 Areas of impact - amendments to grades

  1. Finalising or changing grades after the release by the Academic Registrar can impact a student’s academic standing, graduation eligibility, place in a program, and scholarship or award eligibility.
  2. Amendments to grades processed by Examinations section will appear on the UQ Change Grade Report generated by faculties. Faculty staff should check the report to identify these grade changes, and determine the impact the grade change may have on other processes.

3.2 Incomplete (INC) and non-finalised grades

  1. Faculties are responsible for ensuring that incomplete and non-finalised grades are finalised in accordance with the times specified in Section 3.7.4 of the Assessment Procedure.
  2. To assist staff in managing incomplete and non-finalised grades, an Outstanding Grades Report is available via the UQ Reportal.

3.3 Supplementary assessment

  1. Supplementary assessment cannot be awarded until a grade has been finalised.
  2. On granting supplementary assessment, the grade becomes a non-finalised grade.
  3. Faculty staff should check whether an amendment to a grade affects a student’s eligibility for supplementary assessment (ie if a grade changes to a 3).
  4. The final grade for a student who is granted supplementary assessment, but does not undertake it, is recorded as a 3S-.

3.4 Academic standing

  1. Finalising or amending a grade may impact a student’s academic standing. For example, a lower grade could trigger an academic warning or show cause.
  2. Student Progression section monitors changes to academic standing as a result of an amendment to grade for the current semester and all relevant terms within the previous 12 month period, and notifies students of any consequent requirements.

3.5 Graduation status

3.5.1 Eligibility to graduate

  1. Faculty staff should check whether a finalised or amended grade affects the student’s eligibility to graduate. Faculties should make no change to a potential graduand’s record, where such a change will result in a change to graduation eligibility, following the advertised graduation checking deadline and up until the conclusion of the graduations period. Academic Registrar approval must be sought and Student Progression notified immediately.
  2. If the amendment to grade will not result in a change to graduation eligibility during this period, faculties may update the student’s grade and must notify Student Progression immediately to ensure the student’s Academic Transcript and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) are corrected.
  3. If the graduation period has passed, faculty staff should update the academic record to ensure that the student’s record will be considered in graduations checking for the next graduation period.

3.5.2 Honours

  1. Faculty staff should check whether a finalised or amended grade affects the student’s eligibility for a class of honours.
  2. Faculty staff should make no change to a potential graduand’s record, where such a change will result in a change to graduation eligibility, following the advertised graduation checking deadline and up until the conclusion of the graduations period.
  3. Once the graduation checking deadline has passed, Academic Registrar approval must be sought for a change in class of honours for a graduating or graduated student. Both the Academic Registrar and Student Progression section should be notified immediately. The necessary steps will be taken by Student Progression to facilitate the change in class of honours and arrange for replacement graduation documents where required.

3.6 Progression / Place in the program

  1. An amendment to grade may affect whether a student is able to progress, or retain a place in their program.

3.7 Scholarships

  1. Each semester Student Fees and Scholarships section undertakes checks of grade point averages for all equity scholarship holders to ensure they meet ongoing eligibility requirements for the scholarship.

3.8 Other achievements

3.8.1 Dean's Commendation for Academic Excellence

  1. Faculty staff should check whether a finalised or amended grade will result in a change to the student’s eligibility for a Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence.
  2. Where applicable, the administering faculty will process the Dean’s Commendation in accordance with SI-net established practice.

3.8.2 Other awards

  1. Faculty staff should check whether a finalised or amended grade will result in a change to the student’s eligibility for other faculty or school awards.

3.9 Audit of grade changes

  1. An audit of processed grade changes must be undertaken by Faculties and Examinations section on a fortnightly basis. The UQ Change Grade Report is to be generated and the results checked against the approved grade change notifications.
  2. The Grade Change Report generated by faculties will also include any grade changes relevant to the faculty which have been processed by Examinations section.
  3. A copy of the UQ Change Grade Report generated, checked and signed, is forwarded to Examinations section for record-keeping.
  4. Examinations section generates reports for changes processed within Examinations section, which are also, checked, reconciled and filed.

 

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  1. Faculty staff are responsible for:
    1. ensuring amendments to grades are accurately processed in SI-net through reconciliation of notification of amendments to grades with the UQ Change Grade Report;
    2. checking the impact of an amendment to a student’s grade, and taking appropriate action where needed;
    3. ensuring fortnightly Change Grade Reports are submitted to Examinations section.
  2. Examinations section is responsible for record-keeping of all amendments to grades.

 

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

  1. Amendments to grades are processed in SI-net and audited against the UQ Change Grade Report.
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Group Work - Guideline

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0 Purpose and Scope

This guideline outlines the main points to consider in order to meet the three areas of requirements when implementing summative group assessment as specified in PPL 3.10.02 Assessment – Policy and Procedures.

Resource materials for Assessing teams and groups are available at: https://itali.uq.edu.au/resources/assessment/assessing-teams-and-groups.

 

2.0 Process and Key Controls

This guideline ensures the following compliance requirements are met in designing group assessments:

  1. The need for group work must be necessary to achieve the course objectives and hence be specified as a learning objective and outcome of the course in the course profile.
  2. Students must have had the opportunity to learn how to work effectively in teams/groups; either by way of specific training in the course, a prerequisite course, or an online course.
  3. Students must have the resources and support available from the course coordinator to enable students to manage cases in which groups are not functioning effectively, and be directed to these resources through the course profile.

 

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 ECP Learning Objectives

Where group work is assessed, it is necessary to explicitly state the need for group work as its own learning objective. It may be group or team work is the best way to develop and assess collaboration, communication or other important abilities, which may be incorporated into the learning objective. Clear specification of the learning objective communicates to the students that they will be assessed against this learning objective and makes the assessment process transparent. However, it is important to further discuss the purpose of the group activities with students throughout the course.

3.1.1 Method of assessment

Consider whether group work is the most suitable method of assessment to meet the course objectives, and if the assessment item will give suitable evidence of students’ performance in regards to the learning objectives. Ask yourself: Has the assessment task been specifically designed for group work? And is there enough task complexity to ensure that all group members meet the required learning objectives in completing the task together?

3.1.2 Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are defined as what you want the student to know, to achieve, to be capable of, and/or to be able to do when they have completed the course. If students are required to work in groups to complete an assessment task, this needs to be specified as its own learning objective.

Sample learning objectives

After successfully completing this course you should be able to:

  • Team Work: work effectively in an engineering team, identify the characteristics of effective team work and critically evaluate personal and peer contributions to team processes (e.g. ENGG1100);
  • Develop skills and attributes of collaborative team work (e.g. EDUC2716); and
  • Work effectively in teams to make informed team decisions and demonstrate interpersonal, leadership and communication skills (e.g. MGTS1301).

Further information is available at: ITaLI Teaching Toolkit Series - Learning Outcomes

3.1.3 Assessing group work

For marking purposes, distinguish between the product and process of group work. In group work, there are usually two methods to grade students within each group: students get either (i) the same mark as everybody else in the group because the ‘product’ assessed (e.g. a presentation or report) represents the whole group’s contribution, or (ii) an individual mark based on one’s contribution to the group work and ‘product’ assessed. The second method of individual assessment is justifiably regarded as more equitable.

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) gives some advice and examples for assessing group work (HEA Assessing Group Work). Three possible ways of assessing whether a student has met the required learning objectives of working as a group, these techniques can be used individually or in combination:

  • Observe in class - teaching team to use a rubric and/or a checklist for making judgements with regards to a student demonstrating the required criteria for working in a group.  (PETS Process PDF, Team Assessment Mark - TAM p. 20)
  • Collect and grade individual evidence - a separate individual assessment item (e.g. report or responses to questions) can be used in combination with the group assessment to determine individual input and whether learning objectives have been met. 
  • Peer assessment - A Peer Assessment Factor (100 points divided equally amongst group members) can be applied to a group score to determine an individual score for the group assessment. Support is available on using the Peer Assessment tool at: https://elearning.uq.edu.au/guides/group-peer-assessment

 

3.2 Teaching effective group work

When implementing group work it is important to consider students’ prior experience of working in teams, which may be evident from their prior courses and/or year level of their degree program. It is important however not to assume that all students know how to work effectively as a member of a team. Therefore, when designing any type of group work tasks, take into account the time needed to educate students around the principles of teamwork including communication, organisation, time management, task management, conflict resolution, reflection and collaboration.

3.2.1 Timing

Allow sufficient time to make how to work in teams/groups explicit to students.

3.2.2 Supporting material

Incorporate support materials for students to learn how to work more effectively in teams.

Sample support material

The Working in Teams: A Practical Guide MOOC explores ways in which to learn how to build effective teams, be a great team player and manage team conflict. Consider incorporating this MOOC into your course or sections of it, scaffold/debrief content with students. Refer to Teams101x MOOC.

 

3.3 Ongoing student support

Team dysfunction needs to be identified as early as possible and appropriate strategies put into place to manage any issues as they arise. Unfortunately, most of the time dysfunctional teams only become apparent at the end of the semester when it is too late to rectify the problems. Processes need to be put into place and communicated to the students so that they can identify and raise issues at all stages of team/group work.

3.3.1 Support resources

Ensure that the ECP has links to relevant student resources and an outline of the escalation process with relevant contact details for the teaching team that are responsible for mediating team conflict as it arises.

3.3.2 Strategies

Put strategies into place for the identification of team dysfunction to be dealt both proactively and/or reactively. Formative peer assessment or individual student reflection can be used to proactively identify any team conflict and/or dysfunction. The teaching team can identify any causes of concern through observation and deal with these as they arise (reactively). 

 

3.4 Other support materials

 

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Refer to PPL 3.30.01 Teaching and Learning Roles and Responsibilities.

 

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Academic Registrar is responsible for implementation and communication of this procedure, including ensuring that faculties and schools are informed of their obligations under this procedure.

Assessment Sub-Committee is responsible for monitoring university-wide compliance with, and review of this policy for its effectiveness and ongoing relevance.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Protecting Grade Integrity - Guidelines

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0 Purpose and Scope

These guidelines outline approaches to help reduce the risk of unauthorised grade manipulation, to ensure grades are protected, and to maintain grade integrity. The guidelines supplement the Assessment Procedure. The guidelines apply to academic and professional staff involved in the recording, storage and maintenance of assessment marks and grades awarded to students.

 

2.0 Process and Key Controls

  1. Ensuring the accuracy of final grades is critical as final grades have a significant impact on, and value to, our students, employers and reputation.
  2. Unauthorised manipulation of grades at the University is rare but does happen. While we cannot remove every chance of unauthorised changes to University grades, we can reduce the risk.
  3. Students engage in a range of assessment practices across the diverse disciplines and activities at the University. This diversity is reflected in the breadth of systems to manage student submissions, record students’ outcomes and support the determination of course grades. These systems range from Excel files to iMark and learn.UQ (Blackboard) grade centre. As a result, course staff have more responsibility to understand any risks of grade manipulation and use appropriate procedures to maintain grade integrity.

 

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 Staff responsibility

 Staff members have responsibilities to:

  1. Ensure marks and grades are secure, ideally:
    • Assessment, marks and grades are password protected (or physical artefacts are locked securely).
    • Changes to marks and grades are recorded with details as to who made the change and when.
    • Verifiable with links to the assessment documents (student submissions and marking).
    • Reviewed to identify potential manipulation and errors.
  2. Manage records of assessment tasks, items, moderation and grading that are accessible by other staff and address the University’s record keeping policy (see Records Management – Policy) and responsibilities (see University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule).
    • Keep assessment submissions completed by students until at least the end of the appeal period.
    • Store records of the grade/mark of individual assessment and review, moderation and confirmation of results for two years.
    • Retain assessment instructions (master set of examination papers, assignment outlines or other assessment instructions) for 15 years.
  3. Keep assessment systems secure:
    1. Use strong passwords (see UQ password guide) that you do not reuse and are changed regularly (consider a password manager).
    2. Secure your computer and workspace when you are away.
    3. Take care when logging into institutional systems on free WiFi and on public or untrusted computers.
    4. Consider a secure repository for sharing draft and final assessment documents to minimise the potential for security breaches.
    5. Consider using encrypting data (you can do this by adding a password to your word and excel documents) (see Microsoft Office Help > Password protect documents, workbooks and presentations.
    6. Ensure computer software is up to date.
    7. Only install software from trusted sources (see ITS Services and guides > Software and web apps
    8. Use anti-virus protection on your computer (see ITS Services and guides > Antivirus software.
    9. Be aware of phishing attacks (see Email Scams).
    10. Keep data backed up on University systems.
    11. If you feel something may be suspicious in a system contact ITS help@its.uq.edu.au, phone +61 7 336 5600.

3.2 Examples of good practice

Provided below are three examples of possible good practice at the University, however there are many other ways grades can be appropriately managed.

3.2.1 Manage marking and grading in learn.UQ (Blackboard) grade centre

Advantages:

  • All records are protected by University passwords and backed up.
  • Student feedback, grade calculations, moderation and confirmation all handled in one system.
  • Original copies of all assignments submitted online, and marking are linked to grades.
  • ITS provide logging and monitoring of grade centre data.
  • Records are stored and managed centrally.

Challenges:

  • Some assessment types cannot be submitted in these systems (eg. central examinations and models); however, the marks, artefacts (video recordings, photos, etc.) and even the marking and feedback may be handled in these systems (see eLearning > A-Z Guides > Turnitin > Create a Turnitin assignment (no file submission)
  • The rubric and scoring systems available in Turnitin and Blackboard do not support all assessment practices used at UQ.

3.2.2 Manage marking and grading in Excel

Advantages:

  • All types of marking and grading are supported.
  • Encryption can be used.
  • Track changes can record document history.
  • Custom formulas, mail merge and other functionality are available.

Challenges:

  • Can be difficult to link to original assessment documents to confirm grade integrity.
  • Manual entry of results and copying between files increases the risk of grade errors.
  • No institutional back-up if the excel file or password is lost.
  • Burden on course staff to manage assessment records, ensure appropriate access and check for errors and manipulation.

3.2.3 Manage marking with Excel and in learn.UQ (Blackboard) grade centre

Advantages:

  • All types of marking and grading enabled.
  • Custom formulas, mail merge and other functionality are available.
  • Online records are protected by University passwords and backed up.
  • ITS provide logging and monitoring of grade centre data.
  • Marks and grades recorded are managed centrally.

Challenges:

  • Can be difficult to link to original assessment documents to confirm grade integrity.
  • Higher administrative overload than using just the grade centre including security of local files.
  • Manual entry of results and copying between files increases the risk of errors.

 

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  1. Academic and professional staff are responsible for:
    • Ensuring assessment follows the principles in assessment policy.
    • Ensuring the protection and security of assessment documents and student marks and grades.
    • Ensuring assessment records are stored and retained in accordance with University Policy and Retention and Disposal Schedule.
  2. ITS is responsible for UQ system back-ups.

 

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

As set out in the Assessment Procedure.

 

6.0 Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Blackboard Grade Centre – provides an area within the Blackboard course to store student marks.

iMark – online grade book and extensive performance and comparative statistics.

Learn.UQ – the Learning Management System for most University courses.

Phishing – describes the use of email and fraudulent web sites to perform a confidence scam so as to steal usernames and passwords, and other valuable information.

Retention and Disposal Schedules – defines the status, minimum retention periods and consequent disposal actions authorised for specific classes of records. The University is subject to two mandatory retention and disposal schedules:

Turnitin – a software tool that has functions for online assignment submission, text matching, online marking and peer marking.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Forms

Printer-friendly version

Extension of Assessment Due Date Application - Form

Extension of Assessment Due Date Application - Form

Printer-friendly version
Body
Description: 

Students must complete the Application for Extension of Assessment Due Date Form to apply for an extension to assessment due date.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson