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3. Assessment Protocols

3.1 Assessment Review Committees
3.2 Assessment tasks
3.3 Assessment schedules
3.4 Unit outlines
3.5 Minimum essential requirements in a unit
3.6 Group work and collaborative assessment
3.7 Personal circumstances affecting assessment
3.8 Submission, collection and retention of assessment tasks
3.9 Resubmission of assessment tasks


3.1 Assessment Review Committees

An Assessment Review Committee will be established by a Head of School to review assessment outcomes for the School. The role and responsibilities of the Assessment Review Committee will be specified by the Head of School at the time of its establishment and should be reviewed annually. Responsibilities so delegated by the Head of School may include the following:

  1. review the performance of students undertaking units offered by the School, paying particular attention to results that are borderline between grades;
  2. monitor the appropriateness of allocation of final result grades in accordance with the Academic Regulations. Evidence to substantiate recommendations regarding grades may be requested from Lecturers-in-Charge;
  3. advise the Head of School, who ratifies the final result grades prior to submission;
  4. monitor the effectiveness of assessment practices in units offered by the School using, amongst other means, statistics on grade distribution;
  5. make recommendations to the Head of School regarding assessment policy, procedures and outcomes.

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3.2 Assessment tasks

Assessment tasks are the single components of an assessment schedule and should be of different types to address students’ differing learning styles. Within any one assessment task, there may be several aspects of assessment.

Assessment should be both formative and summative. The assessment tasks should be appropriate to the discipline and explicitly reflect the learning outcomes for the unit, including graduate attributes and marking criteria. Assessment tasks should be designed to minimise the risk of plagiarism.

Assessment tasks in all units will be developed so that, typically the following proportions of students will achieve the stated final grades:

Distinction (DI) or better 20%
Credit (CR) 30%

Fail (NN)
Interim Fail (NF)
Fail in an ungraded unit (NN)
Pass Conceded (PC)

no more than 10%

Where the final grades significantly deviate from these standards, the Lecturer-in-Charge will provide to the School Assessment Review Committee relevant evidence to substantiate the decision. Assessment tasks in a unit will be moderated by an independent moderator (external to the unit) prior to implementation with students [refer: Principles for moderation of assessment.

Assessment and/or other learning tasks in coursework units that involve students and/or lecturers in projects with human participants require ethics clearance in advance. The Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans application form and guidelines are available on the Research Services website.

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3.3 Assessment schedules

The learning outcomes in a unit should be assessed through a variety of tasks so students have a number of opportunities to demonstrate their learning. A recommended assessment schedule for any one unit would include two or three assessment tasks, none of which is worth more than 65 percent of the total marks: for example, an essay, seminar and formal examination each worth between 30-40 percent. Learning contracts, projects or similar assessment tasks may in total be worth more than 65 percent but, in these instances, it is recommended that the assessment task be managed so that students receive feedback on successive stages of the task. The number of unweighted assessment tasks (hurdle requirements) for a unit must be taken into account in relation to assessment load for the unit.

First year students need to be provided with feedback on their progress early in the unit offering. For units with the numeric code 1xx feedback should be provided to students on their progress in the first half of the unit offering. This may be provided by feedback on an assessment task, but may also be the feedback on a draft or portion of an assessment task or a self-assessment task where feedback is provided.

For units with a final examination in the central examination period, assessments should not be due in study week or at any time during the central examination period1. The scope of in-class tests or School examinations should be related to the scheduling of the assessment. Class time used for in-class tests or examinations should be justified in relation to pedagogy not on scheduling issues.

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3.4 Unit outlines

A unit outline is an official document that represents the formal understanding between the University and the students in relation to the unit in that study period. It is based on the original Academic Board approved unit outline and prepared by the Lecturer-in-Charge of the unit. Teaching and assessment tasks in the unit must be conducted as specified in the unit outline provided to students.

The assessment schedule may not normally be changed after distribution to students, except under exceptional circumstances as approved by the Head of School. A written revised schedule should then be made available to students either in class, via an online noticeboard or by mail, according to the mode of delivery of the unit.

Based on the Academic Board-approved requirements, the unit outline provided to students contains relevant information as per the University approved Unit Outline template.

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3.5 Minimum essential requirements in a unit

3.5.1 Attendance requirements

Marks are not to be awarded for attendance.

If there are specific attendance requirements for a unit, such requirements must be clearly stated in the unit outline, along with consequences for not meeting the requirements.

Thus, students cannot be failed for non-attendance unless the unit outline clearly stipulates that failure is the consequence of not meeting specified minimum attendance requirements and/or attending particular compulsory classes.

The Lecturer-in-Charge must keep attendance records for all classes in units with a minimum attendance requirement or for specified compulsory classes.

3.5.2 Assessment tasks

Students are not usually required to pass individual assessment tasks in a unit unless the task is related to required discipline specific competency standards. The weighting of such tasks must reflect their significance.

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3.6 Group work and collaborative assessment

Group and/or collaborative work should account for no more than 30 percent of the total assessment in a unit, unless specific learning outcomes for the unit require collaborative work; in such cases, no more than 50 percent is permissible unless justified and approved by the Executive Dean or nominee.

The responsibilities of each individual group member in completing each such assessment task and the degree of collaboration required should be clearly stated in the unit outline.

The assessment task should allow for the recognition of individual contribution (such as learning journals).

Students should notify the Lecturer-in-Charge in a timely manner and provide substantiating documentation of any problems in relation to group work. Students should not be penalised or disadvantaged by the actions of other group members over whom they have no control.

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3.7 Personal circumstances affecting assessment

3.7.1 Circumstances which warrant consideration

Students may apply for consideration of circumstances, which significantly hamper their participation or performance in an assessment task. Such circumstances include:

  1. permanent disability and/or long term chronic illness;
  2. exceptional and unforeseen situation/s beyond the student’s control;
  3. temporary medical condition ;
  4. activities covered by the Student Defence Reserves and Emergency Services Support Policy2.

3.7.2 Permanent disability and/or long term chronic illness

Students with a permanent disability and/or long term medical condition should consult a Disability Adviser within the Equity and Disability Unit as soon as possible (preferably at the time of enrolment) to register for appropriate adjustments. The Disability Adviser will discuss disclosure issues and will work with the student to develop an Education Inclusion Plan (EIP) that sets out the necessary adjustments3.

Such students can also apply for adjustments and/or Special Consideration under the circumstances outlined in the table below, over and above any adjustments that may already have been approved in an EIP if the circumstances are relevant.

3.7.3 Exceptional and unforeseen situations or temporary medical condition

Students with a temporary medical condition or who are affected by exceptional and unforeseen circumstances or activities covered by the Student Defence Reserves and Emergency Services Support Policy can apply for adjustments or Special Consideration according to the criteria and processes set out in the table below.

Circumstances

Application

1. Submission
2. Approval

Unable to attend or attempted but did not complete a scheduled central examination/s

Prior to or up to five working days after the relevant scheduled examination/s: Application for Deferred Examination/s (DE) form [See Section 4.1 of this Policy]

  1. Student Centre
  2. Manager Timetabling, Examinations and Results

Unable to attend or attempted but did not complete a scheduled deferred examination/s

Prior to or up to five working days after the relevant scheduled deferred examination/s: Application for Special Consideration (SC) form

  1. School Office
  2. Course Coordinator

Unable to attend or attempted but did not complete a School-based examination/s

Prior to or up to five working days after the relevant examination/s: Application for Special Consideration (SC) form

  1. School Office
  2. Head of School

Completed a scheduled central or School-based examination (would require extraordinary circumstances to warrant any consideration)

Up to five working days after the relevant examination: Application for Special Consideration (SC) form

  1. School Office
  2. Head of School

Unable to submit an assessment task by due date

Prior to the due date: Application for Extension of time for an Assignment (EX) form

  1. School Office
  2. Lecturer-in-Chargel

Up to five working days after the relevant due date: Application for Special Consideration (SC) form

  1. School Office
  2. Lecturer-in-Charge

Unable to submit multiple assessments tasks (within the same study period) by due dates

Prior to or up to five working days after the first due date: Application for Special Consideration (SC) form

  1. School Office
  2. Course Coordinator or Head of School

Affected by recent occurrence which has caused a temporary medical condition, requiring an examination adjustment for a central examination/s

24 hours or more prior to scheduled examination/s: Application for Special Adjustment/s – Central Examinations (SA) form

Less than 24 hours prior to and not more than five working days after scheduled examination/s: Application for Deferred Examination/s (DE) form

  1. Student Centre
  2. Manager Timetabling, Examinations and Results

Affected by recent occurrence which has caused a temporary medical condition, requiring an examination adjustment for a School-based examination/s

Prior to or up to five working days after the due date of the relevant examination/s: Application for Special Consideration (SC) form

  1. School Office
  2. Head of School

3.7.4 Assessment of an application

Students are required to follow prescribed procedures in applying for such consideration/s, including relevant timelines and provision of documentary evidence of their circumstances, as outlined on each of the application forms and in the table above. Applications submitted after the relevant due date will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Applications will be assessed taking into account a student’s individual circumstances and how they may affect academic progress.

3.7.5 Advice regarding the outcome of an application

When a recommended outcome requires higher authority, as identified in the table above, it is the responsibility of the person taking receipt of the relevant form to forward it, along with all supporting documentation, to the appropriate person in a timely manner. It is then the responsibility of the authorising officer to ensure the applicant is notified of the outcome of his/her application within the required timeframe.

Students will be advised of the outcome of their application within 10 working days from the date the application was lodged.

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3.8 Submission, collection and retention of assessment tasks

Unit outlines should include a statement regarding students’ responsibility for submission and collection of assessment tasks, including:

  • instructions on how, where, when and to whom tasks are to be submitted;
  • whether faxed, emailed or posted assignments are acceptable;
  • collection of assignments, eg during class, from a secure location such as the School Office, by email or other specified arrangements.

Prior to submitting assessments, students are required to sign a statement that the work is original. This may be on the official University Assignment Coversheet or electronically in the case of a fully online unit.

Students are required to retain both hard and electronic copies (where appropriate) of all work submitted for assessment, except in the case of tests and/or examinations.

On-campus students are normally expected to collect their assignments but, in exceptional circumstances, can delegate such authority to another person, provided that they give that person written authority to do so. Schools should keep a copy of any authority submitted.

Under no circumstances should marked assessments be left at an unsupervised collection point as the confidentiality of results and the security of the assignments may be compromised.

Assessment tasks that are not normally returned to students (eg examination scripts, multiple-choice answer sheets) and marked tasks that students have failed to retrieve are retained by the School for at least one standard semester after release of final results.

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3.9 Resubmission of assessment tasks

Submission of work in progress in order to gain feedback to improve that work is acceptable and appropriate when that process is clearly provided for in the description of an assessment task in a unit outline and is equally available to all students in that unit.

In other instances, after an assessment task is submitted, there will be no provision for a student to improve his or her standing in the unit by attempting to improve the quality of the work and then resubmitting it.

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1 This includes an extension of time granted for submission of assessment tasks.
2 In the case of a Defence Reservist or Emergency Services personnel, written confirmation from the Defence Reserve or recognised Emergency Services organisation regarding the nature (compulsory or voluntary) and duration of the service or other activity is required.
3 Visit http://www.acu.edu.au/10320 for further information.

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