Assessment is a core academic activity and an essential component of the learning and teaching process.
- design and specification of activities or tasks that students undertake to support their learning;
- provision of feedback as guidance for students' learning;
- moderation of assessment activities;
- award of marks or grades; and
- determination and award of final result grades.
This policy sets out the principles that underpin ACU’s approach to assessment.
This policy applies to:
- all coursework units offered by ACU, including professional experience units, off-shore units and those coursework units completed as part of an honours or research degree;
- students undertaking such units;
- academic and/or professional staff with responsibility for designing, administering or making decisions relating to assessment.
The Policy does not apply to examination of research theses to which the High Degree Research Regulations apply.
Terms used in this policy and the associated procedures are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. In addition, the following words and expressions have the meanings listed below:
Assessment: Assessment is the process of evaluating students’ performance to ascertain the extent to which they have met the prescribed learning outcomes of the task (and thus contribute to the achievement of the learning outcomes of the unit and the course). Assessment enables students to monitor their progress and determines the academic results in a unit of study.
Assessment schedule: The series of assessment tasks comprising the total assessment for a unit.
Assessment tasks: The single components of an assessment schedule.
Criterion-referenced assessment: Assessment based on pre-determined and clearly articulated criteria which are directly drawn from the unit learning outcomes.
Due date: The date and time by which an assessment task must be submitted.
Hurdle task: A task or activity that is marked on a pass/fail basis and is required to pass the unit but does not contribute to the final grade.
Learning outcomes: Learning outcomes are the expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of learning.
Moderation (of assessment): A quality review and assurance process which supports assessment design and marking activities. It involves confirmation that the assessment tasks and marking are valid, equitable and reliable.
Rubric: A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly represents the performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work.
Standards: A framework which explains what can be expected at different levels of achievement of a learning outcome.
Assessment must be designed to contribute to high quality student learning and underpin the development, delivery and quality assurance of units and courses. Assessment should both help students learn (assessment for learning) and measure explicit evidence of their learning (assessment of learning).
- must be standards-based and provide evidence of the level of achievement with respect to learning outcomes and graduate attributes;
- must be a transparent process carried out with honesty, integrity and confidentiality in line with the Mission of the University;
- is integral to pedagogically informed learning and teaching;
- must comprise a variety of tasks which are reasonably achievable by students; and
- must be fair, inclusive and equitable for all students.
5.1 Standards based, criterion-referenced assessment
Assessment marking and grading will be criterion-referenced and will use standard-based grading. Criteria and standards of achievement are set in advance of teaching and assessment. Student performance is evaluated according to those criteria and set standards.
5.2 Number and weighting of assessment tasks
The assessment schedule for any one 10 credit point unit must be limited to a maximum of three assessment tasks. Unless justified and approved by the relevant Committee, no individual assessment task should have a weighting of more than 50 percent of the total assessment in a unit.
5.3 Hurdle tasks
Hurdle tasks may be included within individual units as compulsory requirements that must be met in order to pass the unit. Hurdle tasks need to be pedagogically justified.
5.4 Requirements to achieve a pass
Achievement of a pass in all individual assessment tasks in a unit (other than hurdle tasks) is not normally a prerequisite for passing in the unit overall. Exceptions are when the task is related to an otherwise unassessed learning outcome and/or required discipline specific competency standards. In such cases the requirement to pass specific individual items of assessment in order to pass the unit must be clearly stated in the Unit Outline.
Quality assurance of assessment should occur at both the course and the unit level. Faculties are responsible for establishing a quality assurance regime for the assessment in courses and units. This will include both internal and external moderation and benchmarking of assessment.
6.1 Quality assurance of assessment must be maintained at every stage of the assessment cycle.
6.2 Assessment tasks must be subject to routine assessment moderation processes and review through consensus moderation practices, including peer review, to ensure that they reflect appropriate assessment design and grading.
6.3 As part of the ACU Quality Assurance Framework professional development opportunities that are related to design, implementation and moderation of assessment should be provided to staff.
7.1 Assessment tasks, including marking criteria, must be clearly communicated to students in the Unit Outline at the commencement of the study period in which the unit is being undertaken.
7.2 Changes to the assessment tasks after a Unit Outline has been published are only permitted with the written permission of the National Head of School or their delegate. Students will be notified via LEO and/or student email by the National Head of School or delegate.
8.1 Marks are not awarded for attendance.
8.2 Compulsory or minimum levels of attendance may be prescribed for any professional experience or community experience program or any practical, laboratory or skill-based classes in which attendance is integral to achievement of the learning outcomes of the unit.
8.3 In any case where compulsory or minimum levels of attendance are prescribed in accordance with Section 8.2, the attendance requirements must be clearly stated in the Unit Outline, together with the reasons why attendance is required, the consequences of not meeting those requirements and the procedures to be followed should a student fail to attend any required class due to illness and/or personal circumstances beyond their control.
8.4 The Lecturer in Charge must keep attendance records for all classes in units where a compulsory or minimum attendance level is prescribed.
9.1 Students must be advised of submission requirements for assessment tasks via the Unit Outline.
9.2 Following formal submission, students may not resubmit an assessment task in an attempt to improve the result in that assessment task.
9.3 Penalties will be applied for late submission of assessment tasks.
10.1 Special provision may be made in cases of disability, long and short term illness, chronic and temporary illness or other major disruptions to study which affect a student’s ability to submit an assessment task.
10.2 Special provisions may include extension of submission date, supplementary assessment, special examination arrangements, deferred examinations or other special adjustments.
10.3 Applications for special provisions must be made using the prescribed form and include any required supporting evidence in accordance with the Assessment Procedures.
Refer to Assessment Procedures (Table 2) for further details.
Any appeal against an assessment decision will be dealt with in accordance with the Policy on Student Appeals.
Faculties may develop faculty-level protocols on assessment to further define expectations relevant to professional accreditation or disciplinary practices or to clarify normal operational parameters.
Any such Faculty assessment protocols must be:
- consistent with and subordinate to the University Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures; and
- published and communicated to students prior to the commencement of the study period in which the unit is being undertaken and must remain in place for the study period in which the unit is being offered.
The following table (Table 1) represents the University final grade descriptors for units in a course of study. They represent the overall achievement of the student in that unit.
Table 1. University final grade descriptors for units
| Final Result|
|Grade Point Value||Descriptors|
|High Distinction||HD||85-100||7||The student provided an exceptionally high quality of performance and through this demonstrated an exceptionally high standard of learning achievement in relation to the unit learning outcomes.|
|Distinction||DI||75-84||6||The student provided a high quality of performance and through this demonstrated a high standard of learning achievement in relation to the unit learning outcomes.|
|Credit||CR||65-74||5||The student provided a sound quality of performance and through this demonstrated a sound standard of learning achievement in relation to the unit learning outcomes.|
|Pass||PA||50-64||4||The student provided an acceptable quality of performance and through this demonstrated an acceptable standard of learning achievement in relation to the unit learning outcomes.|
|Pass Ungraded||PS||The student provided a quality of performance that demonstrated thorough achievement of the unit learning outcomes.|
|Fail Hurdle||NH||49||0||The student provided a quality of performance that demonstrated achievement of some of the learning outcomes, but did not demonstrate achievement of a hurdle requirement.|
|Fail Ungraded||NU||0||The student failed to provide a quality of performance that demonstrated thorough achievement of the unit learning outcomes.|
|Fail||NN||0-49||0||The student did not provide a quality of performance that demonstrated an acceptable standard of learning achievement in relation to the unit learning outcomes.|
- Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy, Academic Misconduct Procedures
- Academic Regulations
- Assessment Procedures
- English Language Policy
- Examination Policy
- Graduate Attributes
- Human Research Ethics
- Policy on Students with Disabilities
- Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Conduct and Discipline Policy and Procedures
- Supplementary Assessment Guidelines and Information for Students and Staff
Page last updated: 2019-09-25
Short url: https://handbook.acu.edu.au/1421574