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Policy: Student assessment (coursework)

Purpose

To describe standards underpinning the University’s assurance of student learning outcomes through assessment activities.

Overview

This policy sets out principles designed to support the design, application and review of assessment tasks to support the achievement of student learning outcomes.

Scope

This policy applies to all ANU staff and coursework students across the University.

Policy statement

  1. ANU develops and reviews assessment activities that:
  • align with the strategic directions of the University;
  • align with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards;
  • are consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards); and
  • are equitable across cohorts of students.

Assessment design principles

  1. Assessment tasks are designed to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate attainment of course and Award learning outcomes. Those tasks are consistent with the University’s standards for academic integrity and reflect institutional and disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards for Award learning outcomes.
  2. Students are provided with two or more assessment tasks per course to demonstrate attainment of all of the course learning outcomes, unless it is a College-approved thesis or project course.
  3. Teaching staff inform students of the assessment tasks required in a course, the relationship of those tasks to the learning outcomes, and the timing of those assessment tasks and feedback. Students enrolled in a course have the opportunity to request changes to the form and timing of course assessment and feedback before 10% of a teaching period has elapsed. Teaching staff respond to student comments and suggestions.
  4. Student participation in specific course activities can be assessed if the skills and abilities at work in that participation are reflected in the course learning outcomes. Marks and or grades cannot be given merely for attendance at course activities.
  5. Completion of specified class activities can be a requirement of passing a course if this can be justified to College Education Committee on the basis of the teaching model being employed (e.g. group experiments in science or case study teaching) and is stated in the Course Outline.
  6. Where the total sum of assessment of non-written activities (e.g. oral presentations, musical performances) exceeds 10% of the overall assessment in a course, Colleges must put in place appropriate procedures which would allow subsequent validation of the assessment, such as recording of the assessment items.
  7. Group assessment tasks must provide students with at least some opportunity to demonstrate their skills as individuals.
  8. All students enrolled in coursework who have followed the confirmed assessment system for the respective courses are eligible to present work/sit any examination required for final assessment. Course examinations must be conducted according to the Graduate Coursework Awards Rules and the Assessment Rules (Final Assessment).
  9. A student achieving a final course result of N45%-N49% must be offered supplementary assessment, which must be conducted according to the procedures described in the Assessment Rules.
  10. Hurdle assessments can be used in the following circumstances:
  • all assessment components must be passed in the course to be eligible to sit in the final exam; or
  • a student must pass the final exam to pass the course; or
  • a minimum/pass mark in a particular assessment(s) item (assignment or exam) is required to pass the course, regardless of performance in other items; or
  • a student must pass all assessment items to pass the course (competency and/or grade based); or
  • a student must attempt all assessment items to pass the course.

Assessment task submission: Assignments

  1. Where appropriate and possible, students submit assessment items in a form which allows assessment to take place anonymously, in order to ensure that judgments are being made, and are perceived to being made, fairly and free of bias.
  2. The University prefers students to submit assignments online using the University approved text-matching software (Software).
  3. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible, or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed, students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is published in the course outline.
  4. If a student does not:
  • consent to submitting their assessment into the Software source database (and providing the Software owner with a licence to use and permanently store the assignment into the Software source database); or
  • agree to the terms of the Software end user agreement
  • students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as agreed with the Course Convener.
  1. All assessment task submissions, regardless of mode of submission, require agreement to the following declaration by the student:

“I declare that this work:

  • upholds the principles of academic integrity, as defined in the University Academic Misconduct Rules;
  • is original, except where collaboration (for example group work) has been authorised in writing by the course convener in the course outline and/or Wattle site;
  • is produced for the purposes of this assessment task and has not been submitted for assessment in any other context, except where authorised in writing by the course convener;
  • gives appropriate acknowledgement of the ideas, scholarship and intellectual property of others insofar as these have been used;
  • in no part involves copying, cheating, collusion, fabrication, plagiarism or recycling.”
  1. Assessment is anonymous where appropriate and possible.
  2. The University takes academic misconduct seriously and may take action under the University Academic Misconduct Rules.
  3. All assessment task submissions submitted via Turnitin require agreement to the following declaration by the student:
  • “By checking this box I confirm that I have read and understood the information available relating to Turnitin and I am aware that unless I choose to opt-out from using Turnitin, I agree to submit my assignment to Turnitin for the purposes of text-matching. I also agree to provide Turnitin with a perpetual, irrevocable licence (and right to sub licence) to store and use my assignment for the purposes of text-matching. I also agree that my use of the Turnitin service is subject to agreeing to the Turnitin User Agreement.”
  • Should you not agree to these terms, you will not be able to submit your assignment in to Turnitin. Please contact your lecturer to discuss alternative submission methods.
  • For additional information regarding Turnitin please review the Turnitin Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  1. Students who elect not to submit an assessment task through Turnitin are required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.
  2. Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet form.

Late assessment task submission

  1. Penalties for late submission of assessment where an extension has not been approved are consistently applied across all students enrolled in a coursework course.
  2. For coursework courses, the Course Convener determines whether late assessment is accepted for a course.
  3. For coursework courses, where late assessment is accepted, assessment tasks are not accepted after the earlier of the following:
  • the tenth (10th) working day after the due date; or
  • the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.
  1. Late submission of take home examinations is not permitted.

Assessment task extensions

  1. Approval for an extension of the due date for an assessment task is the responsibility of the Course Convener.
  2. Assessment extensions are not used in lieu of repeating a course in a future study period.
  3. Extensions of take home examinations are not permitted. If circumstances exist that are beyond a student’s control and could not have been reasonably anticipated, avoided, or guarded against a student may be eligible for further examination under the appropriate clauses in this policy.

Assessment arrangements for students from language backgrounds other than English

  1. Students who:
  • have been educated in a country where English is not the first language and who speak a language other than English at home; or
  • were born outside Australia; arrived in Australia up to 10 years prior to the date of application; and speak a language other than English at home; or
  • who were born in Australia but who have lived permanently in a country where English is not the first language and who speak a language other than English at home;

And,

  • are in their first 12 months of enrolment, either full-time or part-time; and
  • can demonstrate a mix of both linguistic and cultural factors, which disadvantage them in timed assessment tasks such as exams or tests conducted in English; and
  • have evidence that they are undertaking formal English language training courses or are engaged in activities that can be expected would improve English language skills
  • can apply for concessions in courses that the Associate Dean (Education) determines as eligible on the basis of the teaching model, activities and assessment tasks involved.
  1. Applicants who are deemed eligible are given an appropriate level of support and case-by-case arrangements are made according to the following formula:
  • In the first year of enrolment, a standard upper limit of one-third extra time set by the Course Convenor for the assessment in one or more of the courses undertaken by the student in the semester. This time may be used for writing and/or reading in written examinations, other written assessment tasks, oral examinations, certain task-oriented assessment tasks or online examination or assessment tasks. However for non-examination assessment tasks, this extra time does not exceed the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.
  • Beyond the transitional year, there are no allowances.
  1. Where the Course Convenor determines that access to a suitable language dictionary during an assessment is appropriate, that dictionary is available as a supplementary aid. The type of dictionary is determined by the Course Convenor.
  2. In making a decision, the Course Convenor must address a student's disadvantage while maintaining standards for learning outcomes and consistency in eligibility, application and action.
  3. Applicants deemed ineligible for support are notified in writing by the relevant ANU College Office. Appeal procedures must follow the guidelines set out in the Student Assessment Procedure.

Feedback, grading and marking

  1. Students receive timely, constructive and actionable feedback on their performance in assessment tasks to assist with their learning.
  2. Students have the opportunity to undertake at least one formative or summative assessment task and receive feedback on their performance before 50% of a teaching period has elapsed. In rare cases a relevant Associate Dean may approve an exception to this arrangement on the basis of the teaching model being employed. This clause does not apply to thesis or project courses.
  3. Students should have the opportunity to undertake assessment tasks and receive feedback on performance which does not contribute to their final grade. This can take such forms as self-assessment, peer-assessment, in-class feedback or the provision of examples of high standard work. This does not apply to College-approved thesis or project courses.
  4. Student performance is assessed against defined assessment criteria published in the course outline for each assessment task. The overall judgement is expressed as a grade and or a mark, as outlined in Table 1.
  5. A mark of 0-100% with appropriate grade must be given where the student has attempted any assessment task in a course, and there are no outstanding hurdle assessments to be completed that would otherwise result in the awarding of an NCN result.
  6. A result of NCN may only be awarded if:
  • The student has attempted none of the assessment components of the course; or
  • The student has failed or not attempted a hurdle assessment component for the course and the student has not been offered a supplementary assessment as their final result for the course is less than N45; or
  • The student has failed a hurdle requirement and been offered a supplementary assessment under 13(2) of the Assessment Rules, and fails the supplementary assessment (an NCN is applied in accordance with 15(7) of the Assessment Rules.

Table 1: Grades, numerical marks and standards for coursework courses

Grade

Letter Grade

Numerical Mark (%)

Standards

High Distinction

HD

80-100

Work of exceptional quality, as demonstrated in the attainment of learning outcomes at or above the relevant qualification level

Distinction

D

70-79

Work of superior quality, as demonstrated in the attainment of learning outcomes at or above the relevant qualification level

Credit

C

60-69

Work of good quality, as demonstrated in the attainment of learning outcomes at or above the relevant qualification level

Pass

P

50-59

Work of satisfactory quality, as demonstrated in the attainment of learning outcomes at or above the relevant qualification level

Pass at Supplementary Examination

PS

50

Fail

N

0-49

Work in which the attainment of learning outcomes at or above the relevant qualification level has not been demonstrated

  1. The performance students in the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery may be classified higher level pass, pass, and fail.
  2. Table 2 outlines the honours grades and graduate coursework exit standards that may be awarded.

Table 2: Honours grades and graded graduate coursework exit standards

Numerical Mark (%)

Honours or Masters Advanced Grade

Honours or Masters Advanced Letter Grade

Graduate Diploma*

Masters (Coursework)*

80-100

First Class Honours

H1

Awarded the Diploma with Distinction

with Distinction

70-79

Second Class Honours Division A

H2A

Awarded the Diploma with Merit

with Merit

60-69

Second Class Honours Division B

H2B

Awarded the Diploma

Awarded the Masters

59 and below

Third Class Honours

H3

Awarded the Diploma

Awarded the Masters

*For students who commenced their program prior to 1 January 2016. Students who commenced their program on or after 1 January 2016 should refer to the Coursework Awards Rule.

  1. These two grade scales provide a common framework for the University.
  2. Students receive a Grade Point Average (GPA) that is calculated based on their academic career. The GPA is calculated on a 7 point scale using the values in table 3 and the following formula:

GPA = ∑ (grade point value x units) / ∑ units

  1. A GPA is not calculated in the following circumstances:
  • Students enrolled in these programs will not receive a GPA: A research program; Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS); Doctor of Medicine and Surgery, Medicinae ac Chirurgiae Doctoranda (MChD); Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice; A non-award program;
  • Courses that are graded on a pass/fail basis are not included in calculating the GPA;
  • Courses with interim or unresolved grades are not included in calculating the GPA (refer to Table 4 below);
  • Courses with a KU grade will be included in the formula when the grade is a part of a series of courses, once the final course is awarded a final grade;
  • Courses with an IP grade will be included in the formula when the IP grade is a part of a series of courses, once the final course is awarded a final grade.
  1. Where a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) is required, it is calculated using the following formula: Σ (mark x units) / Σ units:
  1. No weighting other than units is used;
  2. Courses with a grade of NCN or WN are included with a nominal mark of zero;
  3. Courses that are graded on a pass/fail basis are not included;
  4. Courses with interim or unresolved grades are not included (refer to Table 4 below);
  5. Other courses specified in the relevant Rule, Policy, Procedure or Order as excluded are not included;
  6. Courses with a KU grade will be included when the grade is a part of a series courses, once the final course is awarded a final grade;
  7. Courses with an IP grade will be included when the IP grade is a part of a series
  8. of courses, once the final course is awarded a final grade.

Table 3: Grade Point Values

Grade

Description

Grade Point Value

HD

High distinction

7

D

Distinction

6

CR

Credit

5

P

Pass

4

PS

Pass at a supplementary exam

4

N

Fail

0

NCN

Not completed/Fail

0

WN

Withdrawn with failure

0

H1

First Class Honours

7

H2A

Second Class Honours Division A

6

H2B

Second Class Honours Division B

5

H3

Third Class Honours

4

Table 4: Exclusions from GPA and WAM calculation

Grade

Description

WD

Withdrawn without failure

CRS

Course requirement satisfied

HLP

Higher level pass

DA

Deferred assessment

PX

Offered supplementary assessment

RP

Result pending

WA

Withheld for administrative reasons

WF

Withheld for fees reasons

EE

Enrolled elsewhere

STI

Status internal (internal credit)

STE

Status external

Special assessment arrangements

  1. Special assessment arrangements must be made in accordance with the University Assessment Rules. Students must provide evidence and arrangements must be formally documented and officially approved by the Registrar.

Deferred examinations

  1. The Assessment Rules permit a student who was unable to attend an examination to undertake a deferred examination.
  2. An application for deferred examination is to support students with an unexpected short term condition which occurs:
  • before the scheduled examination date, but worsens on that date; or
  • before the scheduled examination date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent until on that date; or
  • on the date of a scheduled examination and impacts a student’s ability to attend the examination; or
  • during a scheduled examination.
  1. The consideration of an application for deferred examination takes into account all previous applications, including applications over multiple semesters without registration with the Access and Inclusion Office.
  2. Causes that prevent a student from attending an examination include extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control and which could not have been reasonably anticipated, avoided, or guarded against such as:
  • An unexpected illness or exacerbation of an existing illness
  • The illness/death of a family member
  • Trauma
  • Misadventure
  • Being a victim of crime
  • Where it is impractical to attend the scheduled examination due to commitments as a registered elite athlete
  1. Illness or other causes are not considered as extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control if:
  • The condition or circumstances are the intended or reasonably foreseeable consequence of a student’s own action or inaction and could have reasonably been avoided.
  • The illness or event and their impact are not severe or relevant to the examination conditions and the scheduled examination date
  • The independent professional assessment and opinion of the student’s illness or event do not support the student’s claim to adversely affect the student’s capacity to undertake the examination concerned.
  1. Deferred examinations are approved only where the granting of a deferred examination rectifies a disadvantage. Deferred examinations are not approved where the granting of a deferred examination would create an unfair advantage for the applicant.
  2. The onus is on a student to provide evidence to substantiate the claim. An application contains all relevant documentation and the University does not consider documentation provided to the University for other means as part of a separate request.
  3. No deferred examination is scheduled more than two times. No student completes more than two deferred examinations for a single course.
  4. Students have a right to appeal the original decision in relation to their eligibility for a deferred examination.

Special consideration

  1. The Assessment Rules permit a student to submit a statement of circumstances that may have adversely affected their academic performance in a course.
  2. Circumstances that may have adversely affected a student’s academic performance are those circumstances beyond a student’s control and could not have been reasonably anticipated, avoided, or guarded against such as:
  • An unexpected illness or exacerbation of an existing illness
  • The illness/death of a family member
  • Trauma
  • Misadventure
  • Being a victim of crime
  1. Circumstances are not considered as extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control if:
  • The condition or circumstances are the intended or reasonable foreseeable consequence of a student’s own action or inaction and could have reasonably been avoided.
  • The illness or event and their impact are not severe or relevant to the assessment type and/or the deadline
  • The independent professional assessment and opinion of the student’s illness or event do not support the student’s claim to adversely affect the student’s capacity to undertake the assessment concerned.
  1. The onus is on a student to provide evidence to substantiate the claim. An application must contain all relevant documentation and the University does not consider documentation provided to the University for other means as part of a separate request.

Supplementary assessments

  1. Supplementary assessments must be granted in accordance with the University Assessment Rules.

Assessment review and appeals

  1. The University recognises the right of students to seek a review of, and to appeal against, a result for an assessment task within a course, or their final result in a course. Appeals against a result for an individual assessment task are considered as a component of the final grade, after the final grade is released. Appeals against assessment outcomes are conducted according to the Assessment Rules.
  2. Students are permitted, with University staff supervision, to inspect non-returnable assessment items such as examination scripts, up to four months after the completion of the course assessment. The University cannot charge fees for inspections, other than the cost recovery associated with the reproduction of any relevant documents requested by the student.

Further examinations

  1. Where a student falls ill during an examination, the student is to complete the examination and apply for Special Consideration, if possible.
  2. Where a student abandons the examination after falling ill during the examination, and they have seen the examination paper, they can lodge an application for further examination through the deferred examination procedure and form.

Monitoring student assessment outcomes

  1. The assessment tasks and the judgements made of student learning in a course are reviewed before the final mark or grade is approved to ensure that the judgements of student performance are appropriate, consistent, transparent, reliable and valid.
  2. Colleges monitor, review and report on the outcomes of the assessment of student learning in all undergraduate and graduate coursework courses and maintain, monitor and act on trend data and ensure that activities reflect national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
  3. Records of assessment processes and course assessment outcomes in terms of marks/grades are kept in accordance with the University Policy: Records and Archives Management.
  4. University Education Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Student assessment (coursework)
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_004603
Version 23
Purpose To describe standards underpinning the University’s assurance of student learning outcomes through assessment activities.
Audience Students-Undergraduate, Students-Graduate-Coursework, Prospective Students, Staff-Academic
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Students
 
Effective Date 2 May 2017
Review Date 24 Jul 2020
 
Responsible Officer Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Division of Student Administration
Authority Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
Assessment Rule 2016
Coursework Awards Rule 2016 (No. 2)