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Grade Appeal Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines the expectations and requirements involved in a review of the final grade for a coursework unit of study.

Background

(2) The University is committed to promoting excellence in its learning and teaching. The final grade a student is awarded through this learning and teaching is a reflection of their performance against the stated aims and objectives of a unit of study. It is a permanent record of the performance of the student. It is imperative that the University has in place policies and procedures to ensure that the grade that is awarded is appropriate and correct. The emphasis is on procedural fairness – that is, on the procedures used in the grade appeal process, rather than the actual outcome of the appeal. It requires a fair and proper procedure be used when making a decision.

(3) The University expects students to take an active role in their learning and to assimilate and incorporate feedback received throughout their studies. Students are encouraged to discuss their progress with relevant teaching staff and to reflect on their expectations against the stated learning outcomes of each unit they attempt.

(4) In promoting excellence in its learning and teaching, the University is committed to ensuring it continuously improves. It has therefore built-in a requirement for a review of the grade appeal process as part of its quality assurance processes.

Scope

(5) This Policy applies to any student enrolled in a Macquarie University or Macquarie University International College (the College) coursework unit.

(6) It is relevant to all Foundation, Diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students; research students enrolled in coursework units; academic and professional staff involved in the teaching, assessment, management and review of units.

(7) It applies to the final grade a student receives for a unit of study. It is does not apply to results received for individual assessment tasks.

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Section 2 - Policy

(8) The University will operate a quality assured system for the recording and awarding of a final grade for each student officially enrolled in a coursework unit of study.

(9) A student who has been awarded a final grade for a unit has the right to appeal that grade.

Feedback

(10) Coursework units involve continuous assessment. A student is expected to seek feedback on individual assessment tasks prior to the award of a final grade. In particular, a student is expected to view their final examination paper in advance of submitting a grade appeal, if this is relevant to their case.

(11) Students also have the right to request feedback from the Unit Convenor / Macquarie University International College Teacher on their overall performance in the unit, including in a final examination. This can be done at any time in the six (6) month period starting from the day on which the final grade of the relevant unit is published.

Grounds for Appeal

(12) A formal Grade Appeal must be supported by evidence. Grounds for a Grade Appeal are limited to:

  1. a clerical error occurred in the determination of a final grade;
  2. the Unit Guide was not in accordance with the Assessment Policy Schedule 6: Unit Guide Requirements and / or the Unit Guide Procedure;
  3. due regard was not paid to an illness or misadventure that had been found to be eligible for special consideration;
  4. the student had been disadvantaged in some way due to the conduct of an assessment task; and / or
  5. the student had been disadvantaged by variation of the assessment requirements or feedback provisions laid out in the Unit Guide.

Process

(13) Requests based on a suspected clerical error will be processed administratively.

(14) An appeal will not be reviewed by an individual who has been involved in the assessment processes or the determination of the final grade of the relevant unit.

Appealing the Outcome of a Grade Appeal

(15) Where a student believes there has been a procedural irregularity in the consideration of their grade appeal, they may appeal the outcome in accordance with the Academic Appeals Policy.

Systems and Deadlines

(16) The absolute deadline for submission of a Grade Appeal will be 20 working days from the published result date for the relevant unit. Any exceptions to this requirement will require documented exceptional circumstances and approval by the Registrar.

(17) A Grade Appeal must be submitted via the University’s approved Grade Appeal system.

(18) The successful submission of a Grade Appeal will be acknowledged.

(19) The student will be notified of the outcome of their Grade Appeal.

(20) Executive Deans / the Director, Macquarie University International College and English Language Centre will ensure that Grade Appeals are reviewed in a timely manner.

(21) Each Grade Appeal will be considered on its own merits.

Outcome

(22) A Grade Appeal may result in no change, an increase or a reduction to the awarded grade.

(23) The notification of the outcome of a Grade Appeal will detail the grounds upon which the reviewer came to that finding.

(24) The University will ensure the absolute minimum number of staff will have access to the documentation related to a Grade Appeal.

Report

(25) The University’s approved Grade Appeal system will have reports available for use by Executive Deans / Director, Macquarie University International College and English Language Centre, Heads of Department / MUIC Program Managers, and the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC), in which de-identified data is provided on:

  1. the number and type of Grade Appeal submissions during the last calendar year, by unit and Faculty;
  2. the outcome of each application;
  3. the grounds upon which these decisions had been made; and
  4. a comparison of this information with that from previous years.

(26) Executive Deans / Director, Macquarie University International College and English Language Centre will also report to the SLTC on the operation of the Grade Appeal process within their Faculties by 1 April each year. The reports (see Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma) will detail issues that arose in the operation of these processes and the strategies to be implemented to address them.

(27) The Director, Macquarie University International College and English Language Centre will report to the MUIC Sub-Committee of ASQC on the operation of the Grade Appeal process within MUIC by 1 April each year.

(28) The University will implement quality enhancements strategies to reduce the number of Grade Appeals received.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(29) Refer to the Grade Appeal Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(30) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(31) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.