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Unit of Study Monitoring and Grade Ratification Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy supports the assurance, enhancement and improvement (QAE&I) of the quality, integrity and relevance of the University’s suite of units of study (‘units’).

(2) The Policy documents the processes through which units are subjected to monitoring, and grade ratification after every offering.

(3) This Policy is part of Stage 4 Monitoring of the Curriculum Lifecycle Framework and should be read in conjunction with all policies and procedures specific to this Stage and in particular the Assessment Policy and Student Experience Surveying Policy.

Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all units that are available for credit.

(5) The Policy does not apply to learning products that are not available for credit.

(6) This Policy applies to the Masters of Research courses units but does not apply to other Higher Degree Research units.

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Section 2 - Policy

(7) Unit of study monitoring and grade ratification assists the University to meet its commitment to providing its students with an exceptional academic experience that meets their needs and those of the course.

(8) Unit of study monitoring and grade ratification builds a meaningful body of data which can be called upon to support the Unit Periodic Review process.

(9) Unit of study monitoring and grade ratification is designed to ensure that all units:

  1. are subject to regular and rigorous review throughout the period in which they are warranted by the University;
  2. remain fit for purpose and continue to meet the required levels of quality as set against agreed institutional standards and policies; and
  3. can be the subject of targeted intervention if a risk to the quality of the unit is identified.

(10) Unit of Study grade ratification is designed to ensure that all units:

  1. produce final student results that are fair, transparent, and objective;
  2. are subject to systematic, rigorous, and reliable inspection and finalisation of grades; and
  3. produce reporting that can assist Faculty Boards in certifying results with high levels of confidence.

(11) Unit monitoring and grade ratification is informed by:

  1. transparent and coherent institutional processes;
  2. institutionally agreed and independently compiled data points;
  3. a risk-based approach to decision making and escalation of action;
  4. the feedback of students; and
  5. the judgements of academic staff.

(12) A unit will be subject to monitoring and grade ratification after every offering.

(13) Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meetings will be organised for specific jurisdictions. Faculties or other approving bodies will determine such jurisdictions. A jurisdiction may contain:

  1. all or some of the units that make up a course’s core zone;
  2. the units offered within a specific course component;
  3. the units offered by a specific discipline;
  4. the units offered by an academic Department or School.
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Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Process

(14) The unit monitoring and grade ratification process will be conducted through the approved University system.

(15) The Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting is conducted at the end of the study period and before the scheduled meeting of the Faculty Board, MUIC Sub-Committee of ASQC or other approving authority, at which results are certified.

(16) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) will conduct a standard learner experience of unit student survey (LEUS) for the unit during the study period unless the study period is the last before the unit is subject to periodic review (see Unit of Study Periodic Review Policy).

(17) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) will finalise student feedback and engagement data for the unit.

(18) The Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting Coordinator will be appointed from the professional staff who support the administration of units in that jurisdiction.

(19) The Unit Convenor will finalise their grades in the approved University system.

(20) The Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting Coordinator will enter all grades for units in their jurisdiction  into the approved University Student Management System.

(21) The Unit Convenor will complete the Unit Monitoring Report on the approved template.

(22) The Course Authority for the jurisdiction will examine the grade data, student feedback and engagement data, and the Unit Monitoring Report to determine whether they will direct that an Action Plan be completed for a unit.

(23) The Unit Monitoring Reports and any trends or observations across the unit suite of the jurisdiction will be discussed at the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting.

(24) The Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting may also identify units that require an Action Plan.

(25) The Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting will ratify the final grades for all units in its jurisdiction.

(26) In exceptional circumstances the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting may act to consider whether a cohort of students or all students have been disadvantaged by the unit’s assessment-based moderation activities or another external factor (Unit Grade Investigation). Such an investigation may recommend to the Faculty Board or other approving authority an adjustment to the marks tabled at the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting.

(27) The Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting Coordinator will submit the outcomes of the meeting for their jurisdiction to the Faculty Board or other approving authority.

(28) The Faculty Board (or a nominated sub-committee) or other approving authority will review the results and reports of each jurisdiction and certify the final grades.

(29) The Faculty Board may refer a unit back to the Course Authority for an Action Plan if, in its judgement, such a decision is justified.

(30) The Unit Convenor will complete the Action Plan supported by designated colleagues and with the assistance of either the Course or Faculty Authority.

(31) Upon the implementation of the Action Plan a final report will be completed.

(32) Based on the Final Report the Course Authority will make a recommendation. This recommendation will:

  1. endorse the final report; or
  2. return the final report for further action; or
  3. call for a full Periodic Unit Review.

(33) The Faculty Authority or other approving authority will endorse the recommendation of the Course Authority for submission of the final report to the Faculty Board or other approving authority.

(34) The Faculty Board or other approving authority will:

  1. approve the final report, or
  2. return the recommendation, or
  3. call for a full Periodic Unit Review.

(35) For units offered through the Macquarie University International College, the MUIC Sub-Committee of ASQC will approve the recommendation, and the Academic Standards and Quality Committee will endorse the Macquarie University International College decision.

(36) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) will conduct an Extended LEU at the next offering of the Unit after the Faculty Boardor approving authority has approved the final report.

(37) The Academic Standards and Quality Committee will annually consider Faculty decisions to ensure institutional consistency and identify any issues that may be deserving of recommendation to Academic Senate for thematic review.

Part B - Responsibilities

(38) Responsibilities related to these Procedures are as follows:

  1. Business Intelligence and Reporting is responsible for:
    1. finalisation of results data and maintenance of the Monitoring and Grade Ratification Dashboard.
  2. the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) is responsible for:
    1. conducting of student surveys (LEU) for all units for all offerings before Periodic Review;
    2. finalisation of student feedback and engagement data;
    3. providing support as required to the Unit Convenor in implementing a unit Action Plan; and
    4. conducting extended learner experience of unit student survey (LEUX) for a unit at the first offering after the implementation of an Action Plan.
  3. the Unit Convenor is responsible for:
    1. finalising results;
    2. completing the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification template; and
    3. completing an Action Plan and final report if required.
  4. the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Coordinator is responsible for:
    1. oversight of the entry of unit results into the designated university IT system;
    2. providing secretariat support for the conduct of the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification meetings; and
    3. ensuring grades are available for certification by Faculty Boards.
  5. the relevant authorised Course Authority is responsible for:
    1. identifying units requiring an Action Plan and recommending the results to the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting;
    2. chairing the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification meeting;
    3. finalising the Action Plan with unit convenor(s)as appropriate;
    4. reviewing implementation of the Action Plan and the final report; and
    5. making recommendations to Faculty Board.
  6. the Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting is responsible for:
    1. endorsing final grades for the units within its jurisdiction;
    2. conducting a cohort grade investigation, if required;
    3. examining unit moderation reports; and
    4. endorsing the Course Authority’s identification of unit’s requiring an Action Plan.
  7. the relevant authorised Faculty Authority is responsible for:
    1. finalising the Action Plan with unit convenor(s) as appropriate; and
    2. endorsing the Course Authority’s final Action Plan report and recommendation.
  8. the Faculty Board or other approving authority is responsible for:
    1. endorsing Course Authority’s Unit Monitoring report;
    2. certifying final results from ratified grades; and
    3. approving unit Action Plan reports.
  9. the MUIC Sub-Committee of ASQC is responsible for certifying results from grades ratified by the MUIC Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification Meeting.
  10. the Academic Standards and Quality Committee is responsible for:
    1. approving the grade certification report supplied by the MUIC Sub-Committee of ASQC; and
    2. the ratification of grades and the certification of results for a unit where neither a Faculty nor Macquarie University International College is the designated custodian.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(39) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(40) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Action Plan means the plan developed by the authorised unit authority to address issues highlighted as a result of the unit monitoring or unit periodic review processes.
  2. Course Authority is the person assigned by a Faculty or equivalent to perform certain roles within the Curriculum Lifecycle processes at a course level, for example Course Director, Head of Department, Program Director.
  3. Curriculum Lifecycle Framework charts the journey of an award course, course component or unit from idea to disestablishment, including the processes and policies for their accreditation, revision, monitoring and review, and reaccreditation. It can also be applied to non-award educational products that still require institutional oversight such as short courses including not for credit microcredentials.
  4. Faculty Authority is the person assigned by a Faculty or equivalent, to perform certain roles within the Curriculum Lifecycle processes at a Senior Leadership level, for example: Deputy Dean, Associate Dean, Associate Director.
  5. Final Report means the report created by the Unit Convenor or Course Authority outlining the outcomes of the implementation of an Action Plan or Success Plan.
  6. Grades are the ratified statement of a student's overall performance in meeting the learning outcomes of a unit.
  7. Recommendation means an action resulting from a review process where a panel or other authority provide a course of action based on the evaluation of the submission against domains, data and/or other supporting resources.
  8. Results are the collective name for a unit’s ratified grades which are then certified by a Faculty Board or other approving authority.
  9. Unit Monitoring means the process through which the performance of a unit is assessed at the conclusion of each study period.
  10. Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification meeting coordinator is a professional staff member appointed by a Faculty or Department to coordinate the preparations for and conduct of the Unit Monitoring and Ratification Meeting on behalf of the designated cohort, for example Department, Course, Course Component.
  11. Unit Monitoring Report means the information collated in the Unit Monitoring template in the MQCMS Review section as a result of the Unit Monitoring process.
  12. Unit Periodic Review means the process through which the performance of a unit is assessed at least once during the Accreditation cycle of the Course for which it was designed and will usually be conducted in Years two (2), three (3) or four (4) of the Accreditation cycle according to the steps stipulated in the Curriculum Management System.