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Policy: Student assessment (coursework)

Purpose

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

Definitions

Day means a day shown on the calendar that starts at 12:00.00am (midnight) and finishes at 11:59.59pm (23:59.59) on the same day, including Saturdays, Sundays and a public holiday in the Australian Capital Territory or a University holiday as declared by the Vice-Chancellor. The term “day” shall mean calendar day whether or not expressly identified.

Working day means a day that starts at 12:00.00am (midnight) and finishes at 11:59.59pm (23:59.59) on the same day and is not a Saturday, a Sunday, a public holiday in the Australian Capital Territory or a University holiday as declared by the Vice-Chancellor.

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:
  1. align with the strategic directions of the University;
  2. align with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards;
  3. are consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards); and
  4. 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, the assessment criteria for each assessment task, the word limit penalties that apply (where relevant), 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 ten per cent of a teaching period has elapsed. Teaching staff respond to student comments and suggestions.
  4. Student participation in specific course activities is assessed if the skills and abilities at work in that participation are reflected in the course learning outcomes. Marks and/or grades are not given merely for attendance at course activities.
  5. Completion of specified class activities are 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 class summary.
  6. Where the total sum of assessment of non-written activities (e.g. oral presentations, musical performances) exceeds ten per cent of the overall assessment in a course, Colleges put in place appropriate procedures, which allow subsequent validation of the assessment, such as recording of the assessment tasks.
  7. Group assessment tasks provide students with at least some opportunity to demonstrate their skills as individuals.
  8. All students enrolled in coursework who follow the confirmed assessment system for the respective courses are eligible to present work/sit any examination required for final assessment. Course examinations are conducted according to the Coursework Awards Rules and the Assessment Rule.
  9. A student achieving a final course result of N45%-N49% is offered supplementary assessment, which is conducted according to the procedures described in the Assessment Rule.
  10. A student receiving a final course result of N44% or below is not offered a supplementary examination unless a student fails what would otherwise be the final session of their program and the student is able to evidence exceptional circumstances with documentation, an Associate Dean (Education) may approve a supplementary assessment for a student receiving a final course result of N44% or below. All such approvals are reported annually to AQAC 3 and Academic Board in a format that complies with Clause 72 of this policy and in accordance with Clause 73 of this policy.
  11. Hurdle assessments are identified in class summaries on Programs and Courses and is used in the following circumstances, a:
  1. student is required to pass all assessment components in the course to be eligible to sit in the final exam; or
  2. student is required to pass the final exam to pass the course; or
  3. minimum/pass mark in a particular assessment(s) task (assignment or exam) is required to pass the course, regardless of performance in other items; or
  4. student is required to pass all assessment tasks to pass the course (competency and/or grade based); or
  5. student is required to attempt all assessment tasks to pass the course.
  1. The hurdle assessment is approved by the College Education Committee or the Associate Dean of the relevant College.

Assessment task submission: Assignments

  1. Where appropriate and possible, students submit assessment tasks 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 Convenor and approved by the Associate Dean on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students submit assessment online via the Learning Management System (LMS) outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean. The submission method is published in the class summary.
  4. If a student does not:
  1. 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
  2. agree to the terms of the Software end user agreement;

students submit assessment online via the LMS outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as agreed with the Course Convenor.

  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 Academic Integrity Rule;
  • is original, except where collaboration (for example group work) has been authorised in writing by the course convener in the class summary and/or LMS course 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.

I acknowledge that I am expected to have undertaken Academic Integrity training through the Epigeum Academic Integrity modules prior to submitting an assessment, and so acknowledge that ignorance of the rules around academic integrity cannot be an excuse for any breach.”

  1. Assessment is anonymous where appropriate and possible.
  2. The University takes academic misconduct seriously and takes action under the University Academic Integrity Rule.
  3. All assessment task submissions submitted via Turnitin require agreement to the following declaration by the student:
  1. “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.”
  2. If students do not agree to these terms, students are not able to submit their assignment in to Turnitin. Students need to contact their lecturer to discuss alternative submission methods.
  3. 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 task itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment task.
  2. Hard copy submissions utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet form.

Late assessment task submission

  1. Penalties for late submission of assessment where an extension is not approved are consistently applied across all students enrolled in a coursework course.
  2. For coursework courses, the Course Convenor 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
  1. tenth (10th) working day after the due date; or
  2. date specified in the class summary for the return of the assessment task.
  1. Late submission of take home examinations is not permitted.

Word limit penalties

  1. Penalties for exceeding the word limit on assessment tasks are consistently applied to all students undertaking the assessment task enrolled in a coursework course and can only be applied when they are described against the assessment task in the class summary.

Assessment task extensions and other adjustments

  1. Where an assessment task is worth less than 20% of the overall course mark the Course Convenor or nominee considers applications for assessment task extensions or adjustments.
  2. Where an assessment task is worth 20% or more of the overall course mark:
  1. the Course Convenor or nominee considers applications for an assessment task extension or adjustment when both:
    1. the extension period requested is less than 10 working days from the published due date in the class summary; and
    2. the new due date falls before the return of the marked assessment, as specified in the class summary.

  1. an Extenuating Circumstances Application is submitted when either:
    1. the extension or adjustment is for 10 or more working days from the published due date in the class summary; and/or
    2. the new due date falls on or after the return of the marked assessment, as specified in the class summary.
  1. Assessment extensions and adjustments are not used in lieu of repeating a course in a future study period.
  2. Extensions of take home examinations are not permitted.

Extenuating Circumstances Application

  1. An Extenuating Circumstances Application (ECA) is the process whereby students notify the University they have experienced extenuating circumstances which seriously impact their ability to complete assessment tasks as specified in the class summary.
  2. Students may not apply for more than one ECA for the same assessment task. Where a deferred examination is granted as a result of the ECA and the student experiences exacerbated or different extenuating circumstances at the scheduled date and time of the deferred examination, one final ECA may be considered.
  3. Accepted grounds for an ECA will in most instances be previously unknown and unavoidable incidents that have a demonstrable and significant impact on the student’s ability to study or undertake assessment. Categories for grounds are:
  1. Medical: e.g. significant illness/injury and/or significant exacerbation of a condition registered in Education Access Plan (EAP);
  2. Hardship: e.g. victim of significant crime including family and domestic violence; financial hardship; significant car accident or widespread public transport issues; significant broad spectrum IT issues; sudden, unavoidable primary caring responsibilities;
  3. Compassionate: e.g. death/sudden serious illness of an immediate family member or close friend;
  4. Elite: e.g. athlete registered with the ANU Elite Athlete Program or performer;
  5. Duties: e.g. essential, military, emergency/volunteer emergency services;
  6. Disaster: e.g. significant natural disaster/geo-political event;. flood; fire; pandemic; earthquake; tsunami; war; terrorism; cyber-attack;
  7. Indigenous cultural duties: consistent with the ANU Reconciliation Action Plan.
  1. Circumstances are not considered as extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control, in addition to those detailed in clause 31 of the Procedure, if the:
  1. condition or circumstances are the intended or reasonably foreseeable consequence of a student’s own action or inaction and could have reasonably been avoided;
  2. illness or event and their impact are not severe or relevant to the assessment type and/or the deadline;
  3. 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 contains all relevant documentation, and the University does not consider documentation provided to the University for other reasons as part of a separate request.
  2. Adjustments from an ECA are:
  1. Approved: altered assessment due date (except for take home examinations, where this is not a permitted outcome);
  2. Approved: deferred examination;
  3. Approved: alternative assessment;
  4. Approved: modified assessment weighting;
  5. Not Approved.
  1. ECA adjustments are only made if all course learning outcomes are still summatively assessed.
  2. Referral to support services may be included, where appropriate, as part of the outcome of the ECA.
  3. Adjustments for an approved ECA should be comparable across Colleges where possible, and adapted and appropriate to the relevant assessment task.
  4. A student may apply for late withdrawal where they exhaust possible arrangements for recognition of extenuating circumstances under the ECA, or such arrangements under the ECA did not aid the successful completion of the course(s). Applications for late withdrawal are assessed in accordance with the ANU Late Withdrawal due to special circumstances policy and procedure.
  5. A student may request a review of decisions made in relation to an ECA for:
  1. a deferred examination within ten working days of receipt of the ECA outcome;
  2. all other requests are made via the assessment appeal process as per clause 67.

Falling ill during an examination

  1. Where a student falls ill during an examination, the student completes the examination if possible and submits an ECA, if they have grounds as detailed in clause 35.
  2. Where a student abandons the examination after falling ill during the examination, and they have seen the examination paper, they lodge an application for further assessment through an ECA. The timing of the abandonment and the amount of assessable work completed by the student is considered in conjunction with the ECA.

Assessment arrangements for students from language backgrounds other than English

  1. Students in their first year of study can apply for concessional arrangements for timed assessments conducted in English.
  2. Timed assessment tasks (such as exams and tests) are those where students would generally devote the whole time between the release and the return of the tasks to the assessment.
  3. Concessional arrangements include extra time to complete the assessment, or use of a dictionary that is English language/language spoken by the student at home.
  4. Concessional arrangements are not available in ANU courses delivered wholly overseas as part of off-campus ANU programs.
  5. To be eligible to apply for concessional arrangements in timed assessments, students have been:
  1. educated in a country where English is not the first language and who speak a language other than English at home; or
  2. born outside Australia and arrived in Australia up to ten years prior to the date of application and speak a language other than English at home; or
  3. born in Australia but before enrolling at ANU lived in a country where English is not the first language and who speak a language other than English at home;

and,

  1. are in their first 12 months of enrolment, either full-time or part-time; and
  2. are able to 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
  3. 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. This arrangement is applicable only from the start to the end of the academic year 2022, or until alternative English language training arrangements are in place, whichever is later.

Feedback, grading and marking

  1. Students receive timely, constructive and actionable feedback on their performance in assessment tasks to assist with their learning.
  2. The mark for each assessment task is recorded in the LMS Gradebook and, is visible to students, except for the final assessment that is not visible to students, for all courses commencing after 1 July 2021 (excluding Winter Session 2021 courses).
  3. Despite clause 52, the mark for assessment tasks submitted for a course may not be recorded in the LMS Gradebook:
  1. If the mark for the assessment task is for a course that is only available as a part of a transnational program that is entirely taught in a language other than English and for which there are no English language requirements for admission, or
  2. Where the Associate Dean approves a case that demonstrates that the proposed grading scheme for the course cannot technically be implemented in the LMS Gradebook.
  1. All granted exemptions under 53(b) including the case, are reported to AQAC 2 of each year in a format that complies with Clause 72 of this policy and in accordance with Clause 73 of this policy.
  2. Exemptions granted under clause 53 remain in place for the calendar year in which they are granted.
  3. 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 approves an exception to this arrangement on the basis of the teaching model being employed. This clause does not apply to thesis or project courses.
  4. Students 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.
  5. Student performance is assessed against defined assessment criteria published in the class summary for each assessment task. The overall judgement is expressed as a grade and or a mark, as outlined in Table 1.
  6. A mark of 0-100% with appropriate grade is 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 a Not completed/Fail (NCN) result.
  7. A result of NCN is awarded if the student has:
  1. attempted none of the assessment components of the course; or
  2. 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
  3. failed a hurdle requirement and been offered a supplementary assessment under 15(2) of the Assessment Rule, and fails the supplementary assessment (an NCN is applied in accordance with 17(6) of the Assessment Rule).

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 of students in the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery is classified higher level pass, pass, and fail.
  2. Table 2 outlines the honours grades and graduate coursework exit standards that are 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 need to 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:
  1. students enrolled in these programs do not receive a GPA: a research program; Doctor of Medicine and Surgery, Medicinae ac Chirurgiae Doctoranda (MChD); a non-award program;
  2. courses that are graded on a pass/fail basis are not included in calculating the GPA;
  3. courses with interim or unresolved grades are not included in calculating the GPA (refer to Table 4 below);
  4. courses with a KU grade are included in the formula when the grade is a part of a series of courses, once the final course is awarded a final grade;
  5. courses with an IP grade are 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 are 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 are included when the IP grade is a part of a series; and
  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

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 Rule.
  2. Students are permitted, with University staff supervision, to inspect non-returnable assessment tasks 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.

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. The Academic Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC) monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates, 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. The Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) monitors grade distribution.
  5. All personal information is handled in accordance with the ANU Privacy policy and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Personal information is only used or disclosed for the purpose(s) it was collected or where the University has express consent from the individual(s).

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Student assessment (coursework)
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_004603
Version
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 15 May 2024
Next Review Date 14 May 2029
 
Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration
Approved By: Academic Board
Contact Area Division of Student Administration and Academic Services
Authority: Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021
Australian Qualifications Framework
Coursework Awards Rule 2020
Academic Integrity Rule 2021
Australian National University (Governance) Statute 2023
Delegations 30, 31, 59, 60

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.