View Document

Assessment Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this document to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to support the implementation of the Assessment Policy.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Policy

(2) Refer to the Assessment Policy in force from 1 July 2021.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Assessment Design

(3) Assessment forms a key part of our students’ learning journey. Careful design and purposeful development of assessment tasks provide the foundation for a positive and successful experience of students and staff in University learning and teaching.

Designing for Academic Integrity

(4) Academic Integrity underpins all of our endeavours. Students and staff are expected to abide by the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

(5) Academic integrity in assessment will be promoted through careful task design and scaffolding, clear explanations as well as regular review and renewal of assessments.

(6) Student submissions for assessment tasks are subject to plagiarism detection software, for example, Turnitin or similar software approved by the University.

Curriculum Alignment

(7) Assessment tasks must be aligned to the appropriate Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level and should follow any requirements stipulated for professional accreditation (if applicable). Assessment tasks must be aligned to the unit learning outcomes and relevant course learning outcomes.

(8) Assessment tasks must provide all students with a fair opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes of the unit and, where applicable, of the course. Assessment tasks should not address material outside the scope of the relevant learning outcome.

(9) Staff should develop assessment tasks in advance of the teaching period to ensure sufficient time can be dedicated to key design processes including moderation [see clauses 37 to 40], and for a unit, including its assessment details, to be approved by the relevant bodies as specified in the Delegations of Authority Register.

Design of Assessment Criteria and Standards

(10) Assessment task design is inclusive, with the resources required for completion of the assessment accessible and available to all students.

(11) The task questions and any associated instructions will be clearly worded and contain no ambiguities as to what students are expected to do.

(12) Each assessment task must have a clear marking scheme or rubric and, if applicable, directions concerning where and how marks are to be apportioned according to performance in specific questions or against specific assessment criteria and standards.

(13) Assessment criteria and standards must be aligned to the grading descriptors specified in clause 128.

Task Weighting, Timing, and Volume

(14) Volume of Learning in a standard unit of 10 credit points equates to 150 hours (overall learner time spent on a unit, including on assessment). When setting an assessment task, careful consideration should be given to:

  1. the time required to complete the task in relation to the learning outcomes and the overall volume of learning for the unit;
  2. the relative weighting of the assessment task;
  3. the relative timing and due dates of tasks; and
  4. the impact on staff and student workload.

(15) Some assessment tasks - for example, to meet requirements for Work Health and Safety, Academic Integrity, or accreditation bodies - will not receive marks and will not receive a weighting. See also clause 29 regarding hurdle tasks.

(16) No single assessment task can be worth more than 60 percent of the total assessment of the unit.

(17) Faculty Boards may grant an exception to clause 16 for a particular assessment task on the basis of a sound pedagogical argument or accreditation requirements. These exceptions will be recorded in Appendix D: Record of Exceptions and must be noted in the Unit Guide. Exceptions will be reviewed by the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee on a regular basis, as specified in clause 151.

Course-based Design

(18) The majority of units serve relevant course learning outcomes as either a core or an elective unit. As a result, when designing assessment, it is vital to consider the role of the unit and its assessment tasks within the relevant course(s).

(19) Course Directors / Course Teams are responsible for ensuring that assessment across a course enables students to demonstrate the attainment of both unit and course learning outcomes.

(20) A variety of assessment types should be used and embedded strategically throughout a course in alignment with the course learning outcomes.

(21) Assessment workloads and the relative timing of assessment tasks of essential units within a course must be taken into consideration throughout the design process to ensure that they are reasonable and sustainable for students, staff, and organisational support units.

Group Tasks and Groupwork

(22) Assessment must be aligned to learning outcomes. As a result, the quality and process of group tasks should only be assessed when groupwork forms part of the learning outcomes.

(23) Group tasks must be structured in such a way that all students will be able to demonstrate attainment of all the learning outcomes mapped to the task.

(24) Appropriate guidance and support for working in groups should be provided to students when setting group tasks.

(25) Seventy percent of the total available mark for a unit must be attributable to individual student performance. That means a group task/s weighted 30 percent or less can be assessed as a group and assigned a group mark only. However, if a group task is weighted more than 30 percent, or there are multiple group tasks that sum to more than 30 percent, sufficient marks must be attributable to the individual student to ensure that 70 percent of the total available mark for a unit remains attributable to individual student performance.

Hurdle Assessment Requirements

(26) A hurdle assessment mandates a minimum level of performance as a condition of passing the unit in which the assessment occurs.

(27) Hurdle assessments must be clearly specified in the Unit Guide including the requirements for performance.

(28) Hurdle assessments may only be used for:

  1. assurance of learning to ensure fulfilment of unit and course learning outcomes;
  2. accreditation or fitness to practice purposes;
  3. Work Health and Safety purposes; and / or
  4. Academic Integrity purposes.

    and must be specified in the Unit Guide in that context.

(29) Hurdle assessments that are not allocated marks - for example, to meet requirements for Work Health and Safety, Academic Integrity, or accreditation bodies - are still regarded as assessment tasks for the purposes of the Assessment Policy.

(30) In the case where students have made a serious first attempt at a hurdle requirement but have failed to meet it, they must be given one further opportunity to meet that hurdle requirement - if their performance in the unit is otherwise satisfactory.

(31) Faculty Boards may grant an exception to clause 30 for a particular assessment task on the basis of a sound pedagogical argument. These exceptions will be recorded in Appendix D: Record of Exceptions, must be noted in the Unit Guide and will be reviewed by the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee on a regular basis, as specified in clause 151.

(32) The second attempt at a hurdle assessment will be graded on a pass / fail basis.

(33) A student who has obtained a raw mark over 50 yet failed all available attempts of at least one hurdle assessment as described in this Procedure, fails the unit.

Supplementary Assessment

(34) Supplementary assessment tasks should be administered in the following circumstances only:

  1. the provision of a further opportunity to successfully complete a hurdle assessment; or
  2. where an application for Special Consideration has been approved and an outcome of supplementary assessment has been granted in accordance with the provision of the Special Consideration Policy.

(35) If a supplementary assessment task is required, the item/s will take the form of the original as closely as possible.

Reasonable Adjustments

(36) Applications for reasonable adjustments to assessment tasks will be considered in accordance with the University’s Student Disability Support Policy.

Moderation during Assessment Design

(37) Assessments must be reliable, that is, they should consistently and accurately measure learning. This involves making judgements about student learning that are based on a shared understanding of standards of learning and should not be dependent on the individual teacher, location, or time of assessment.

(38) Moderation is an important mechanism throughout the assessment cycle to ensure that assessments are well-designed and reliable. Moderation should therefore occur at all stages of the assessment lifecycle, including design of assessment tasks and rubrics.

(39) Moderation will confirm that the assessment criteria and standards:

  1. relate to the demonstration of the knowledge, understanding, and skills set out in the unit learning outcomes, achievement of which is being assessed;
  2. are clear and sufficient to differentiate levels of achievement; and
  3. can be understood by students and staff involved in the grading of assessments.

(40) Moderation should include the input of an academic not currently involved in the teaching of the unit.

Part B - Communication of Assessment Requirements

(41) Clear communication around assessment between staff and students is important across the lifecycle of a unit. Information available in the Handbook and Unit Guide may inform students’ enrolment decisions. Communication during the teaching period is important for effective completion, delivery, and submission of assessments.

(42) Assessment setting should include timelines: when the task is set, when it is due, when, and how feedback will be provided.

(43) It is key to help students understand the method by which results in the assessment are determined. Assessment criteria and performance standards (ideally in the form of a rubric) should be made available to students at the beginning of the teaching session and must be available no later than the point at which the task is given. The task is given when instructions for the task are posted online (e.g., iLearn) or explained in class.

(44) Students are responsible for their learning and are expected to actively engage with all assessment tasks, including carefully reading the guidance provided, understanding criteria, spending sufficient time on the task, taking the initiative where appropriate, and submitting work on time.

Late Changes to Assessment Requirements

(45) Where exceptional circumstances require a substantive change to an assessment task or assessment criteria after the information has been made available to students [also refer to clause 52-55], the Unit Convenor or Program Manager (MUIC) must:

  1. advise the Head of Department / School, and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching or Associate Director Learning and Teaching, MUIC as soon as this issue is identified; and
  2. advise the students in writing as to what happened and indicate the implications of these circumstances.

Unit Guide Requirements

(46)  Unit Guides provide a consistent, reliable, and public source of information to students about coursework units offered by the University. All coursework units, including seminar and zero-credit point units, must have their own Unit Guide.

(47) Each Unit Guide is managed via workflows within the Macquarie University Curriculum Management System (MQCMS), and iTeach. This must be the only available Unit Guide, it must be written in English and made available no later than two (2) weeks before the start of the teaching period.

(48) System requirements for Unit Guides are published in Appendix C: Requirements for Unit Guide System.

(49) All Unit Guides remain the property of Macquarie University.

Publishing Unit Guides

(50) Unit Guides must be approved and published within iTeach at least two (2) weeks prior to the start of the teaching period. Approval is by one of the following:

  1. Head of Department / School;
  2. Course Director;
  3. Program Manager (MUIC); or
  4. Department Manager (as nominated in iTeach).

(51) In accordance with the University’s record management obligations, past Unit Guides will be maintained in an archive and made available on request.

Late changes to Published Unit Guides

(52) Any late changes to units after Unit Guide publication (excluding editorial amendments) must be submitted via the MQCMS, and will follow the prescribed workflow within the MQCMS.

(53) The Unit Convenor or Program Manager (MUIC) must notify students as soon as possible where a substantive late change to a unit is approved.

(54) Where exceptional circumstances prevent one or more of the specified Unit Guide requirements from being met, the Unit Convenor or Program Manager (MUIC) must:

  1. advise the Head of Department / School, and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching or Associate Director Learning and Teaching, MUIC as soon as this issue is identified; and
  2. advise the students in writing as to what happened and indicating the implications of these circumstances.

Part C - Delivery and Submission of Assessments

Submission and Retention

(55) Unless otherwise approved by the Faculty Board, all text-based assessment tasks will be submitted electronically using the University’s electronic learning management system (iLearn).

(56) All assessment tasks worth 20 percent or more must be archived for benchmarking, calibration, or grade review, for a period of six (6) months unless otherwise approved.

Late Submission 

(57) Faculties are encouraged to develop a standard approach to late penalties. Late submission for a task will only be permitted when specified in the unit guide. Such specifications must include an explanation of penalties that will be applied to late submissions.

(58) Penalties for late submission are to be applied consistently and equitably to all students enrolled in the unit. Where short-term, unexpected, serious and unavoidable circumstances have affected their ability to submit an assessment task, a student must submit a formal application for Special Consideration as per the Special Consideration Policy. Students should not request an informal arrangement from their tutor, lecturer or Unit Convenor.

(59) Where an application for Special Consideration is approved and the outcome is an extension to the due date of a task, submissions that are received after the new due date will be subject to late penalties that are calculated from the new due date. This only applies where the outcome is an extension to the due date – see the Special Consideration Policy for a schedule of all possible outcomes.

Part D - Feedback and Grades During Teaching Period

(60) Feedback is an important process that provides information to enable learning and improvement. Feedback is a shared responsibility between students and staff.

Moderation of Grades within a Teaching Period

(61) Moderation ensures that the marking process and the marks awarded have been determined accurately, consistently, and fairly in accordance with the assessment criteria and standards determined when the task was designed. All summative assessment must be subject to moderation.

(62) Grading decisions for each assessment task will be moderated against the set criteria and standards before task results are released.

(63) All markers must be familiar with and have a shared understanding and application of criteria and standards for assessment, provision of feedback and marking processes. The work of all examiners, including those external to the University are subject to the internal moderation processes of the University.

(64) Common forms of assessment moderation may include:

  1. checks for the consistent application of standards between different markers; and
  2. for a sample of submissions:
    1. checking that the mark or grade awarded by the first marker is appropriate in accordance with the assessment criteria / marking scheme;
    2. second marking (also referred to as double marking) the work in order to confirm the first mark, where the first mark is known to the second marker; or
    3. blind second marking which means that the first mark is not known by the second marker.

(65)  Evidence of moderation should be recorded / retained until the next unit review. Insights from the moderation process should ideally feed forward into the next assessment cycle. Faculties are responsible for ensuring a continuous feedback loop.

(66) The Unit Convenor should address areas for improvement in curriculum and assessment design in time for modification for the next unit offering. Modifications should be documented, and further review may be undertaken as part of the University’s unit review cycle and quality assurance processes.

Feedback within a Teaching Period

(67) The timing of when feedback is delivered, and the quality of feedback have significant impact on student learning. In accordance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 1.3.3, feedback must be timely and assist students in their achievement of learning outcomes. To achieve this, feedback should:

  1. be constructive and specific in order to identify areas where students performed well and where improvements can be made; and
  2. relate the given grade to the stated assessment criteria and standards.

(68) Students must receive some feedback in each unit prior to the census date in every teaching period to allow students to assess their academic progress and potentially identify needs for additional support. This feedback may be formal or informal, directed to individuals or to a group.

(69) Where feedback on a task would allow students to improve their learning on a subsequent task (i.e., the tasks cover the same learning outcomes) some feedback on the earlier task must be provided prior to the due date of the subsequent task, so that students have an opportunity to assess and improve their learning before completing the subsequent task. This feedback may be formal or informal, directed to individuals or to a group.

(70) Students are expected to read, reflect and act on feedback provided in a timely manner, including feedback provided generally to all students in the unit and feedback provided individually. Self-regulation and responsibility in the learning process is a key factor for student success. 

(71) If the feedback is not clear or does not explain the grade given against the stated assessment criteria and standards, students may request clarification and further feedback.

(72) Students are expected to provide constructive feedback on assessment processes and tasks through feedback mechanisms including but not limited to student surveys, suggestions for future offerings and student representation on committees.

Grades and Marks within a Teaching Period

(73) Assessment tasks are graded consistently across the University. Grading involves using the rubric developed during the design of the assessment, as per clause 12. The criteria and standards for specific assessment tasks must be aligned with the grading descriptors specified in clause 128. Grades must be standards-based and clearly linked to the stated assessment criteria.

(74) Grades and / or marks for all individual assessment tasks will be released to students. Where a grade has been provided without a mark, feedback must be provided to the student to help them understand their performance within the range for the grade.

(75) In a unit with a final exam, grades and / or marks for tasks conducted within session should be released prior to the commencement of the exam period.

(76) Wherever possible, steps should be taken to reduce or eliminate any forms of implicit and explicit bias in marking and providing feedback. Mechanisms such as de-identification of students’ work should be used when appropriate.

Weighted Average Mark (WAM) and Grade Point Average (GPA)

(77) Students studying at Macquarie University from 1 January 2020 will receive a Weighted Average Mark (WAM), which is a calculation that reflects the overall performance of a student in their course. Students who completed their studies prior to 1 January 2020 will have received a Grade Point Average (GPA). For the formula for WAM and GPA calculations see Appendix B: WAM and GPA Calculations.

Part E - Examinations

Use and Types of Examinations

(78) The University does not prescribe the use of an examination. Staff are actively encouraged to explore alternative assessment tasks which may provide valid means of determining whether students have met learning outcomes. If an examination is set, it must be conducted in accordance with this Procedure.

(79) A take-home examination will be listed as an assessment task in the unit guide; it will not appear in the Final Examination timetable.

(80) Where a Final Examination is held, it will normally be invigilated and conducted on the University campus. Where a student is studying externally, arrangements may be made to host the examination in an external examination centre.

(81) Unit Convenors must follow processes and timelines set by the Examinations Office for submission of Final Examination papers. These processes will be communicated at least two (2) weeks prior to any deadline.

Final Examination Timetable

(82) The University will publish the Final Examination timetable in advance of the Final Examination period as follows:

  1. MUIC Final Examination Period: a minimum of two (2) weeks before the commencement of that period; and
  2. all other Final Examination Periods: a minimum of four (4) weeks before the commencement of that period.

(83) The University will notify external students of the location of external Final Examination centres.

(84) Students are responsible for checking the Final Examination timetable and the unit guide for details of examinations in the units in which they are enrolled. Misreading the Final Examination timetable does not meet the grounds for Special Consideration as stipulated in the Special Consideration Policy.

(85) Students will be available for the duration of the Final Examination period in case arrangements are made to reschedule a Final Examination.  Unavailability during the exam period does not meet the grounds for Special Consideration as stipulated in the Special Consideration Policy.

(86) Students will be notified by the Examinations Office of arrangements that will be made if their exams clash. Clash means two Final Examinations overlapping for any period of time, or with less than one-hour break between two Final Examinations on the same day. In the event of a clash, Final Examinations take precedence over take-home examinations.

(87) The Unit Convenor or their nominee will be available for contact by telephone by the Examinations Office for at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled commencement time and for the full duration of the Final Examination.  The Unit Convenor or their nominee must make themselves available for the full duration of the examination period in case a Final Examination needs to be rescheduled.

(88) The last day of the Final Examination period will be used for Final Examinations that need to be rescheduled (e.g., due to a disruption or emergency on the day of the examination).

Disruption of Examinations

(89) If an examination is disrupted for any reason, the Unit Convenor or their nominee will determine the best course of action to ensure all students have been given an opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes. This may include considering whether:

  1. the students had sufficient time to attempt the examination paper such that the completed examination scripts can be marked, with adjustments if necessary;
  2. it is appropriate to reschedule the examination (where possible to the final day of the scheduled examination period); or
  3. an alternative assessment task would be more appropriate.

(90) If not all students in the unit were affected by the disruption, the Unit Convenor or their nominee must ensure that neither group is advantaged nor disadvantaged.

(91) Where an examination has been disrupted, the University will communicate with students via their student email account within two (2) working days of the original date of the final examination and advise of the consequences of the emergency and any alternative arrangements that will be made.

Duration of Timed Examinations

(92) The maximum duration of a timed examination will be two (2) hours per unit (excluding reading time).

(93) Faculty Boards may grant an exception to clause 92 on the basis of a sound pedagogical argument or other requirements e.g., by professional bodies.

(94) Ten (10) minutes of reading time will be allowed at the beginning of each Final Examination. Students must not commence writing until advised by the supervisor at the conclusion of reading time. Alternative arrangements may be required for online exams.

Examination Conduct

(95) Students will check in advance of the time and date of the examination to determine if any additional materials are able to be brought into the examination venue. Where permitted, ensure the additional materials (e.g., calculator) comply with the stated requirements.

(96) Students will bring photographic identification in the form of their University Student ID card to the examination venue. If this is not possible, students must bring an alternative valid form of photographic identification for example a current Australian driver's licence, a current Australian Proof of Identity card or a current passport.

(97) There will be a Final Examination Supervisor in charge at every Final Examination.

(98) Examination supervisors must not permit any student to attempt a Final Examination without adequate photographic identification.

(99) Students will comply with:

  1. all instructions that are given by a staff member involved in the conduct of an examination;
  2. any written instructions, including those on the examination paper; and
  3. any instruction that is given in the event of an emergency.

(100) Students who do not comply with any instructions from any staff member can be required to cease their attempt at the examination paper and leave the room.

(101) Students are not permitted to:

  1. enter a Final Examination venue once one (1) hour from the time of commencement (excluding any reading time) has elapsed;
  2. leave a Final Examination venue before one (1) hour from the time of commencement (excluding any reading time) has elapsed;
  3. leave a Final Examination venue during the last fifteen (15) minutes of the examination;
  4. be readmitted to a Final Examination venue unless they were under approved supervision during the full period of their absence;
  5. obtain, or attempt to obtain, assistance in undertaking or completing the examination script; and
  6. receive, or attempt to receive, assistance in undertaking or completing the Final Examination script (unless an application for reasonable adjustment has been approved).

(102) Students will familiarise themselves with the ‘fit to sit’ model specified in the Special Consideration Policy.

(103) Examination supervisors ensure that:

  1. students are not permitted to talk to any other student whilst in the examination venue;
  2. instructions are given to students on how they will be notified regarding time remaining; and
  3. evacuation processes are followed in the event of an emergency.

Communication of Examination Details

(104) Staff will make available to students details of the structure and format of the examination paper prior to the start of the Final Examination period. This detail will include:

  1. a copy of all information that will be present on the examination coversheet, giving the conditions under which the examination will be held, including if any aids are permitted into to the examination room;
  2. information on the types of questions the examination will contain;
  3. an indication of the unit content the paper may examine; and
  4. if the style of previous examination papers will not be representative of that of the examination paper for the current offering.

(105) If a supplementary examination is offered, the examination will take the form of the original as closely as possible. Students will be informed of the details in clause 104 adjusted to the timing of the delivery of the supplementary exam.

Materials in Examinations

(106) It is a student's responsibility to make themselves aware of the information provided in clause 104, including whether an examination is an open book or closed book examination; if any aids are permitted; and to obtain and bring aids if permitted – as they will not be supplied.

(107) Authorised materials can be taken into the examination. This includes:

  1. bottled water; however, it must be in a clear, unlabelled and unmarked bottle;
  2. a watch; however, it must be removed and placed at the top of the examination desk, where they can be seen clearly and easily by supervisors and must remain there for the duration of the exam. All alarms, notifications and alerts must be switched off; and
  3. a wallet and valuables including electronic devices (for example computers, tablets, phones); however, they must be switched off, and placed face-down under the student's examination desk throughout the examination.

(108) Unauthorised items cannot be taken into the examination room. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. bags;
  2. pencil cases;
  3. notes written on pencils, objects, clothing or persons;
  4. blank paper or note pads; and
  5. electronic recording devices.

(109) Aids are only permitted in examinations rooms where they have been expressly authorised by the Unit Convenor in the information provided in clause 104. This information will also be listed on the examination paper. Aids include but are not limited to:

  1. hardcopy written reference material (such as a textbook);
  2. calculators;
  3. rulers and other drawing instruments; and
  4. dictionaries (paper-based or electronic).

(110) Any unauthorised material detected will be confiscated by the supervisor. Cases of alleged academic misconduct will be handled under the provisions of the relevant University policies.

Application for Reasonable Adjustments for Examinations

(111) Applications for reasonable adjustments for examinations will be considered per the University’s Student Disability Support Policy.

Examination Security

(112) All staff involved in the development or delivery of examination papers will take all necessary measures to ensure that all copies, whether in draft form, final form, or completed scripts are stored and managed in a secure manner.

Handling of Examination Scripts

(113) A marker is required to annotate each page of an examination script to indicate that it has been marked.

(114) A student is entitled to view their annotated examination script. The viewing will be conducted in a secure location. The Unit Convenor (or nominee) will be present at all times. The student is not entitled to copy, destroy, alter or annotate the script in any way. The script will remain the property of Macquarie University.

(115) Each examination script will be kept by the University for a minimum of six (6) months, or longer if deemed appropriate by the relevant Executive Dean. The six (6) months starts from the end date of the relevant Final Examination period. Where an appeal has been lodged, the examination script is to be kept for a minimum of six (6) months following the outcome of the appeal.

(116) Completed examination scripts will be disposed of via confidential waste or deleted if electronic.

(117) The Final Examination paper for each unit will be made available by the University and published on the University Library website after the official end date of the scheduled Final Examination period.

(118) Academic Senate may grant an exception to clause 117. These exceptions will be recorded in Appendix D: Record of Exceptions, must be noted in the Unit Guide, and will be reviewed by the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee on a regular basis, as specified in clause 151.

Other Assessment during the Final Examination Period

(119) Any other assessment scheduled during the Final Examination period must be approved by the Faculty Board.

(120) The Faculty Board must ensure that the conduct of the assessment will not adversely affect those students taking other Final Examinations in the examinations period.

Part F - Feedback and Final Grades after Teaching Period

Moderation of Examinations

(121) Where there is an examination, grading decisions for the examination will be moderated against the standards for the examination before final grades are calculated.

(122) All examination markers must be familiar with the assessment standards and ensure that they have a shared understanding and application of criteria and standards for assessment and of any marking processes.

(123) Examination moderation ensures that the marking process and the marks awarded have been determined accurately, consistently, and fairly in accordance with the assessment criteria and standards determined when the examination was designed.

(124) Common forms of examination moderation may include:

  1. checks for the consistent application of standards between different markers; and
  2. for a sample of submissions:
    1. checking that the mark or grade awarded by the first marker is appropriate in accordance with the assessment criteria / marking scheme;
    2. second marking (also referred to as double marking) the work in order to confirm the first mark, where the first mark is known to the second marker; or
    3. blind second marking which means that the first mark is not known by the second marker.

(125) Evidence of moderation should be recorded / retained until the next unit review. Insights from the moderation process should ideally feed forward into the next assessment cycle. Faculties are responsible for ensuring a continuous feedback loop.

Final Grades

(126) Final grades are reported consistently across the University. Reporting is by:

  1. grade and mark which must correspond to the grading descriptors specified in clause 128; or
  2. grade only: the grade should be either Satisfactory or Fail.

(127) Moderation will take place for individual assessments as detailed throughout this Procedure. The outcome of the result of individual assessments will form the final grade.

Grade Descriptors

(128) Assessment criteria must be aligned to the standards described in the grade descriptors specified in the table below. These are common to all coursework units offered by or on behalf of the University.

GRADE
RANGE
STATUS
DESCRIPTION
High Distinction (HD)
85-100
Pass
Provides consistent evidence of deep and critical understanding in relation to the learning outcomes. There is substantial originality, insight or creativity in identifying, generating and communicating competing arguments, perspectives or problem-solving approaches; critical evaluation of problems, their solutions and their implications; creativity in application.
Distinction (D)
75-84
Pass
Provides evidence of integration and evaluation of critical ideas, principles and theories, distinctive insight and ability in applying relevant skills and concepts in relation to learning outcomes. There is demonstration of frequent originality or creativity in defining and analysing issues or problems and providing solutions; and the use of means of communication and the audience.
Credit (CR)
65-74
Pass
Provides evidence of learning that goes beyond replication of content knowledge or skills relevant to the learning outcomes. There is demonstration of substantial understanding of fundamental concepts in the field of study and the ability to apply these concepts in a variety of contexts; convincing argumentation with appropriate coherent justification; communication of ideas fluently and clearly in terms of the conventions of the discipline.
Pass
(P)
50-64
Pass
Provides sufficient evidence of the achievement of learning outcomes. There is demonstration of a certain level of understanding and application of fundamental concepts of the course; routine argumentation with acceptable justification; communication of information and ideas adequately in terms of the conventions the discipline. The learning attainment is considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the specified outcomes.
Fail
(F)
0-49
Fail
Does not provide evidence of attainment of learning outcomes. There is missing or partial or superficial or faulty understanding and application of the fundamental concepts in the discipline; missing, undeveloped, inappropriate or confusing argumentation; incomplete, confusing or lacking communication of ideas in ways that give little attention to the conventions of the discipline.
Final Grades not receiving a mark
S
No mark
Pass
To be awarded in units of study where the student achievement is measured as a pass or fail only without a mark. To pass, students must, in their performance in assessment tasks, demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard.
SC
No mark
Not recorded
Mark not recorded due to special circumstances.
F
No mark
Fail
The student has not met the defined standards at an appropriate level within a specified time.
FW
No mark
Fail
Awarded when a student withdraws from a unit or units after the Census Date, and when academic and/or financial penalties have been applied.
W No mark Grade Not Submitted Awarded when a student withdraws from a unit or units after the Census Date and on or before the Last Date to Withdraw Without Fail. Academic penalties do not apply but financial penalties may apply.

(129) Where a student has failed for non-submission, non-attendance or has failed all available attempts of at least one hurdle assessment, the following grades may be used:

Fail Absent (FA)
0-49
Fail Absent
The student has failed for non-submission of an assessment task or non-attendance at a required assessment
Fail Hurdle (FH)
49
Fail Hurdle
The student has obtained a raw mark over 50 yet failed all available attempts of at least one hurdle assessment (as described within clause 33).

(130) The process of awarding final grades in accordance with the standards will be transparent to students, staff and moderators.

Holding Grades

(131) Where a grade has not yet been submitted, a holding grade will be used. For a list of holding grades and their descriptions see Appendix A: Holding Grades.

Ratification of Results

(132) The process for ratification of results is specified in the Ratification of Results Quality Assurance Framework (see the Curriculum and Planning Resources webpage). Faculties must produce a Ratification of Exam Results Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma D, signed by the Executive Dean, for submission to the Academic Standards and Quality Committee within seven (7) days of the release of student results.

Final Grade Appeal

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

(134) It is not possible to appeal the result for an individual assessment task completed during the teaching period. An appeal is only possible once the final grade has been released.

Grounds for Appeal

(135) A final grade appeal must be supported by evidence. Grounds for a final grade appeal are limited to:

  1. an administrative error occurred in the calculation of the final grade;
  2. the outcome of an approved Special Consideration application was not correctly applied; or
  3. the student did not receive the same opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes as their cohort due to the conduct of their assessment task or examination being different from that of the cohort.

(136) Students must ensure they provide sufficient supporting documentary evidence demonstrating one of the grounds for appeal listed above.

Submitting a Final Grade Appeal

(137) A final grade appeal must be submitted via the University’s approved grade appeal system (AskMQ - Grade Appeal Form).

(138) A student is expected to view their examination paper in advance of submitting a final grade appeal if the examination is relevant to their application for a final grade appeal.

(139) The successful submission of a final grade appeal will be acknowledged.

Process

(140) A final grade 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.

(141) Each final grade appeal will be considered on its own merits.

(142) The student will be notified of the outcome of their final grade appeal.

Deadlines

(143) The deadline for submission of a final grade appeal will be fifteen (15) working days from the published result date for the relevant unit.

(144) Late applications will not be considered unless supported by valid reasons for the delay. Late applications will require documented exceptional circumstances and approval by the Registrar.

(145) Executive Deans / the Director, MUIC or their nominee will ensure that final grade appeals are reviewed in a timely manner.

Outcome

(146) A final grade appeal may result in no change, an increase or a reduction to the awarded final grade.

(147) The notification of the outcome of a final grade appeal will detail the grounds upon which the reviewer came to that finding.

(148) The University will ensure the absolute minimum number of staff will have access to the documentation related to a final grade appeal.

Appealing the Outcome of a Final Grade Appeal

(149) Where a student believes there has been a procedural irregularity in the consideration of their final grade appeal, they may appeal the outcome to the Academic Appeals Panel via the University’s online system (AskMQ - Academic Appeals Form) per the Academic Appeals Policy. The appeal must include details of the procedural irregularity.

Part G - Quality Assurance and Reporting

Clause Exceptions

(150) Where a clause has allowed a Faculty Board to grant an exception, the exception must state the duration it is granted for, which must not exceed three (3) years.  It is permissible to re-apply for an exception if it is nearing expiry.

(151) The Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) will review the list of exceptions, which are listed in Appendix D: Record of Exceptions on an annual basis, in collaboration with Faculties.

(152) The Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) will monitor the implementation of the Assessment Policy and this Procedure on an ongoing basis, including requesting and reviewing data on implementation as necessary.

Final Grade Appeals

(153) Executive Deans / Director, MUIC, or their nominee, are required to provide a biannual report to the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) / MUIC Sub-Committee of ASQC using the Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma which will detail issues that arose in the operation of these processes and the strategies to be implemented to address them.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Guidelines

(154) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Definitions

(155) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the Assessment Policy and below:

  1. Course-based assessment means a holistic, coherent and integrated approach to assessment design and implementation, where students develop and demonstrate their achievement of course learning outcomes.
  2. Essential Unit refers to a specific compulsory unit that all students enrolled in the course must complete.
  3. Examination script means the student’s attempt at the examination paper.
  4. Examination paper means the digital text or physical paper containing the examination task/s.
  5. Final Examination means an examination held within a specified examination period that is defined by the University and administered centrally.
  6. Formative Assessment: monitors student progress against agreed standards and provides them with feedback comparing their progress to the standards with a view to helping them to achieve the standards. The goal of formative assessment is to map and monitor learning progress and to provide ongoing feedback to students and teachers.
  7. Hurdle assessment means an assessment task mandating a minimum level of performance as a condition of passing the unit in which it occurs.
  8. Mark means a numerical representation of a student's performance in meeting the requirements for a task or for a unit. A mark or range of marks will correspond with a grade as specified in the Assessment Procedure.
  9. Moderation means a quality review and assurance process that occurs at all stages of the assessment lifecycle. It involves collaborating with other academics and qualified staff to confirm that the assessment design, tasks, and marking are valid and reliable.
  10. Rubric means a grading tool that specifies the task expectations and assessment criteria. It may be accompanied by more detailed marking guidelines or performance descriptions that specify expected achievement at different standards / level.
  11. Serious attempt means the student has made an effort to address the set task but has failed to reach the required standard of performance. For example, in a written examination, students are required to attempt a range of question types throughout the paper; simply attempting the multiple-choice questions is not sufficient for an attempt to be considered serious. Responses that contain only frivolous or objectionable material will not be considered serious.
  12. Substantive change means any change that is substantial enough to affect the nature or delivery of an assessment, for example the scope, volume, timing, marking criteria. Corrections to spelling, links, and other typographical changes are not substantive.
  13. Summative Assessment: is an assessment the result of which is used to determine a final mark or grade. The goal of summative assessment is to document the level of achievement on a task, which contributes to the final mark or grade.
  14. Take-home examination means a special type of open examination where students are provided with the exam paper and complete it away from the University without the help of others over a set period of time.