This policy is currently under review
The following policy determines the outcomes for the final unit results:
In calculating the unit average, marks of students who did not complete at least 50% of the assessment for the unit will be excluded.
The unit averages shall be:
For units with an enrolment of at least 50:
(a) Level 1: A unit average of 62.5% plus or minus 2.5%
(b) Level 2 and above: A unit average of 67.5% plus or minus 2.5%
For units with an enrolment of between 10 and 50:
The same target averages prescribed in 1(a) and (b), but the tolerance is increased to plus or minus [2.5%*square root of (50/n)],where n is the number of students in the unit.
For unit results which do not meet these specifications, the course controller should investigate the cause of the deviation. In the absence of a rigorous explanation for the deviation, the Board of Examiners shall require the school to adjust the marks.
For units with an enrolment of less than 10, marks shall be reported to the Board of Examiners without adjustment.
This Faculty Policy deals with the formal assessment of work contributing to the final marks achieved by candidates for undergraduate and masters coursework degrees, and for postgraduate certificates and diplomas, in the units in which they are enrolled.
Inevitably it also touchs on matters which contribute to sound assessment practice including:
- identification of clear objectives for courses and units,
- good communication between students and their teachers,
- commitment to regular critical review of existing practices, and
- acceptance of the imperative of open and transparent processes.
The policy has been adapted from the University Assessment Practices Working Party Report endorsed by Academic Council in November, 1997.
The Academic Council's 1995 Guidelines on Assessment remain the University's official policy.
- The Head of School ensures that there is a mechanism (whether a committee or an individual) to monitor and coordinate assessment practices and ensure comparability between assessors in a particular unit.
- The unit coordinator, by the commencement of the semester in which the unit is offered, must prepare a document containing a clear statement of the objectives and the assessment procedures and components for the unit including any penalties for late submissions of assessment pieces. This statement must also include explicit mention of the monitoring and assessment requirements with regard to generic skills.
- The document described in 2 must be posted on the unit web site or a written copy given to each student by the beginning of the semester in which the unit is offered. The document must also be available upon request to each student from the School's office.
- The unit coordinator can only change the assessment procedures and components for a unit by agreement with the Associate Dean, through the Head of School, and all students in the unit. These agreed changes must be confirmed in writing or posted on the unit web site.
- A copy of the Faculty Policy on Plagiarism document must be given to every student at the commencement of the academic year.
- Where possible a variety of forms of assessment must be employed in each unit and the final examination be worth no more than 70% of the total mark for the unit.
- In each unit careful consideration must be given to the number of assessment components, to guard against the possibility of over-assessing.
- Schools must ensure that students are made aware of the procedures for appeal against assessment which appear in the University Handbooks.
- Assessor comments on any piece of written work should indicate the strengths and the weaknesses of that work.
- For major pieces of assessment, excluding the final examination, students must be informed of their performance relative to the other students enrolled in that unit.
- All marked assessments, excluding the final examination, must be returned to students within four weeks.
- All examination papers must be countersigned either by the Head of School or by a person nominated by the Head of School.
- Unit coordinators must be prepared to defend the mark awarded for a piece of work in terms of the standards and norms for the unit and be prepared to arrange for students to view their marked examination scripts on request and to discuss them with an appropriate staff member.
- Any student whose attendance at lectures or tutorials or laboratory classes or work in class examinations has not been satisfactory may be refused admission to the final examinations provided this option has been clearly explained in the document described in 2. Such a student must be informed by the end of the 10th week of the semester in which the unit is taught and shall be given a final grade of WE in that unit unless the Associate Dean is satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the unsatisfactory performance.
- New staff members - full-time, fractional and casual staff - must receive all relevant documentation as to the Faculty's and School's assessment policies, practices and procedures.
- A standing agenda item for all School meetings must be "Assessment".
The annual report by the Head of School to the Dean of the Faculty must include a section pertaining to assessment practices/procedures within that School.
- Where a number of staff are involved in the assessment of a single piece of work, the unit coordinator must ensure that the marking criteria are clear and applied uniformly to all students.
- Schools must seek agreements with comparable universities to compare grading levels for honours theses, to exchange marked theses or to pursue other quality assurance mechanisms for the grading of honours theses.
- Schools must report unit pass rates to the Board of Examiners and anomalous unit pass rates will be investigated by that committee.