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Assessment Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To implement the University's Assessment Policy by detailing operational activities and assigning responsibilities.

To find the version of the Assessment Procedure (and associated instruments) in force up to and including 13 February 2022, click here.

2 Scope

This Procedure applies to all Assessment in all Courses and Coursework Programs (including higher degree Courses) delivered by or on behalf of the University.

This Procedure does not apply to the Assessment of the research components of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Programs. See the Research Policy and the Higher Doctorates Procedure for the Assessment of the research components of HDR Programs.

3 Procedure Overview

This Procedure sets out the practices and processes for Assessment in Coursework Programs at the University. Roles and responsibilities regarding this Procedure are summarised in the Assessment and Grades - Roles and Responsibilities Schedule.

3.1 Exemption and variation

An exemption from, or variation to, any aspect of the Procedure will require endorsement by the relevant executive and approval by the Provost. Any request must be supported by a sound argument that is consistent with the principles set out in the Assessment Policy.

Students will be informed of any approved exemption from, or variation to, this Procedure in the Course Specification.

4 Procedures

4.1 Assessment design

Assessment design is directed by the principles set out in the Assessment Policy. It considers program and Course requirements. Program level Assessment design is addressed by the Coursework Curriculum Design Policy.

Assessment is designed so that Students can demonstrate the achievement of Course Learning Outcomes and are supported in achieving those outcomes. All Assessments will meet the parameters set out in the Assessment Types Schedule and the Assessment Pattern Schedule.

Program Learning Outcomes, Course Learning Outcomes, and Assessment are constructively aligned, and Assessments are mapped against the Course Learning Outcomes. Assessments in a Course are reviewed regularly and moderated.

Assessments are designed to minimise the risk to Academic Integrity. The Student Academic Integrity Policy details the University's requirements regarding Academic Integrity.

4.2 Communication

Assessment information will be accurate, relevant, timely, and capable of supporting Students to plan, draft, review, finalise and submit Assessment artefacts. This includes information about how feedback will be provided and how Marks will be allocated.

High level Assessment information is published in the Course Specifications. This includes the Assessment Type, and Weighting, as well as other relevant information as outlined in the Assessment Types Schedule. Course Specifications also document the relationship between each Assessment Item and the Course Learning Outcomes.

Detailed information is published by the end of week one of the Teaching Period under the Assessment page on StudyDesk. For each Assignment in the Course this includes a task sheet and an Assessment Rubric.

Once Assessment information has been published and the Teaching Period has commenced, changes may only be made in exceptional circumstances and require approval.

4.2.1 Task sheets

The Assessment task sheet summarises key information for each Assessment Item. The task sheet includes:

  1. an explicit statement of the Course Learning Outcomes that the Assessment Item addresses;
  2. an explanation of the scope and relevance of the Assessment Item to knowledge, skills and theory, and their application;
  3. contextual information (e.g. case study or other background) if applicable;
  4. clear, comprehensive, and succinct instructions for the task, including submission requirements; and
  5. an explicit statement that contextualises Academic Misconduct.

4.2.2 Assessment Rubrics

An Assessment Rubric is an explicit set of criteria that describes how artefacts are addressed. Rubrics clarify the standards required for performance at each level for Markers and Students.

Assessment Rubrics are used for all Assessment Items.

4.2.3 Clarification and support

A Student may ask questions, seek clarification, or request an interpretation of any aspect of an Assessment Item. Students who are uncertain about the requirements of an Assessment Item should contact the Course Examiner so that any issues can be clarified.

To ensure fairness and transparency in the Assessment process, where clarification and support has been provided to a Student and the feedback is relevant to all Students in the cohort, it will be communicated through a StudyDesk forum post. Feedback will be de-identified.

4.2.4 Corrections

Corrections to published task sheets require approval as set out in the Assessment and Grades - Roles and Responsibilities Schedule.

A strategy must be implemented to ensure that Students are not disadvantaged where they may have commenced work on the Assessment.

All Students are notified of any changes as soon as practicable. Details are communicated via StudyDesk.

Corrections are made across all sources including Course Specifications, where applicable, to ensure that the information is consistent.

4.3 Late submission of Assessment

Unexpected situations may occur that impact the ability of Students to complete Assessments. Where exceptional circumstances prevent a Student from submitting an Assessment by the submission deadline, Students may apply for an extension via their Student Centre. The application must be supported by documentary evidence.

Requests are assessed against the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure. Decision-making is informed by relevant guidelines. Where an application is unsuccessful, Students may request a review of the Decision in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure.

Requests for extensions normally need to be submitted by the Assessment submission deadline. Extension requests submitted after the deadline are only accepted where a Student can provide evidence in accordance with the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure that it was not possible to submit a request prior to the submission deadline.

Unless otherwise defined in the Course Specification, the submission deadline may be extended by one week. Students may submit requests for longer extensions in accordance with the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure. Longer requests may result in a Deferred Assessment. If the extension date is after the last teaching day of the Teaching Period, the Assessment will be considered a Deferred Assessment.

Examiners make academic judgements regarding Assessment extension timeframes at the beginning of the Teaching Period and these Decisions are administratively applied during the Teaching Period, Where there are Special Circumstances, requests may be escalated to Examiners during the Teaching Period.

If an Assessment is submitted after the published deadline without an approved extension of time, the available Mark will be reduced consequently.

In this case, the available Mark is reduced by 5% (of the original available Mark) for each Calendar Day or part day that the Assessment is late. An Assessment submitted more than one (1) week after the submission deadline will have a Mark of zero recorded.

A zero Mark will be awarded for an Assessment if it is submitted after an approved extension date.

In some instances, such as examinations, placements or non-replicable Assessments, late submission is not possible. If late submission of Assessment Items in a Course is not an option, details are clearly communicated to Students through the Assessment section on StudyDesk. This will be outlined in the Course Specification. Students can still apply for a Deferred Assessment under the Special Circumstances provision outlined above.

4.4 Reasonable adjustments

The University will provide Students with equitable opportunities to successfully complete their Assessments. The Students with a Disability Policy and Procedure provides details on possible support and adjustments.

4.5 Deferred Assessment

A Student may be eligible for a Deferred Assessment where exceptional circumstances beyond their control have either significantly impacted their preparation and performance or prevented the Student from attempting or submitting an Assessment Item.

Students may request a Deferred Assessment via their Student centre. The application must be supported by documentary evidence. Requests are assessed in accordance with the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure and relevant Guidelines and administratively applied. Requests may be escalated to Associate Deans (Learning, Teaching and Student Success) for approval.

Where an application is unsuccessful, Students may request a review of the Decision in accordance with section 4.4 of the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure.

Requests normally need to be submitted by the Assessment submission deadline. Requests submitted after the Assessment submission deadline are only accepted where a Student can provide evidence in accordance with the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure and relevant guidelines that it was not possible to submit a request prior to the submission deadline.

If Students are offered a Deferred Assessment, they will be given at least two weeks' notice of the submission deadline for Assessments. In the case of examinations, Students will be notified at least one week prior to the Assessment period.

The Deferred Assessment will be equivalent, but may not be identical to, the original Assessment Item; and assess the same knowledge or skills.

Where a Student is granted a Deferred Assessment, they will receive a temporary Grade of Deferred Assessment (DA).

Students will not be offered a Deferred Assessment if the Student will fail the Course irrespective of the outcome of the Deferred Assessment.

The Final Grade of a Student will be calculated using the Mark awarded for the Deferred Assessment.

4.6 Supplementary Assessment

A Supplementary Assessment is an exceptional, additional Assessment Item that is normally offered to a Student who has achieved a final Mark for the Course of at least 45% and less than 50%.

Students are not able to apply for Supplementary Assessment.

If Students are offered a Supplementary Assessment, they will be given at least two weeks' notice of the submission deadline for Assessments. In the case of examinations, Students will be notified at least one week prior to the Assessment period.

The Mark for the Supplementary Assessment will determine the Final Grade for the Course. Where Students are granted a Supplementary Assessment, they will:

  1. receive a temporary Grade of Supplementary Assessment (SA); and
  2. receive a Final Grade for the Course of pass (P) if they pass the Supplementary Assessment Item; or
  3. receive a Final Grade for the Course of fail (F) if they do not pass or do not attempt the Supplementary Assessment Item.

4.7 Marking, grading and feedback

4.7.1 Marking

Rubrics are used to mark Assessment Items to ensure a consistent, fair and reliable process for all Students.

Where multiple markers grade the same Assessment Item, a moderation process is employed to ensure markers grade to the same standard.

An Assessment Item will not have a Mark less than zero awarded to any part of any component.

Markers will have the appropriate qualification, experience, knowledge and skill to assess Student achievement.

4.7.2 Feedback

Feedback is provided for submitted Assessment artefacts. It is guided by the Assessment Rubric and is timely, constructive and specific.

Feedback and Marks are returned to Students as soon as practicable to ensure that feedback is received before subsequent or related Assessments are due. The Assessment Pattern Schedule provides specific timelines.

In the case of examinations, feedback will be a generalised statement to all Students about the collective performance of the cohort and will cover areas of high performance and overall Student performance.

For a final Assessment Item where feedback does not inform the submission of subsequent or related Assessment Items, feedback will be provided no later than the Final Grades release date.

Normally, feedback will be released to Students through StudyDesk.

4.7.3 Grading

Grades in a Course are determined and awarded according to the Grades Procedure.

4.8 Grievances related to Assignment Marks

Assessments are an important part of education and concerns may arise. If a Student believes there has been an omission of Marks or a mathematical discrepancy in the calculation of Marks against an Assignment's Marking criteria, they should attempt to informally resolve the matter with the Course Examiner.

If a Student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution process, they may submit an Assignment Mark Recheck request as a Stage 1 Formal Student Grievance, in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure. The request must be made within 10 University Business Days of receiving the Marked Assignment, unless Special Circumstances apply (refer to the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure for guidance). Students must outline how the Mark shows an omission or mathematical discrepancy in the calculation of Marks against the Marking criteria.

Students should note that a recheck of Assignment Marks may result in no change to the original Mark, or a higher or lower Mark than was originally awarded.

If a Student is dissatisfied with a Stage 1 formal grievance Decision, they may request a Review of Final Grade as a Stage 2 review in relation to their Final Grade for the Course after the publication of results, in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure. If a Student does not receive their Assignment Mark until after the release of their Final Grade for the Course, they should request a Stage 2 review of their Final Grade. The request must be made within 10 University Business Days of notification of the publication of results, unless Special Circumstances apply (refer to the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure for guidance).

For details regarding the grounds for requesting a Review of Final Grade, please refer to section 4.3.3 of the Grades Procedure.

4.9 Quality assurance

Assessment design and delivery are subject to quality assurance processes at the program and Course level.

The primary characteristics of quality are that Assessment methods are consistent with the learning outcomes being assessed and that Students demonstrate Program Learning Outcomes through the Assessment at the Course level. Judgement of the quality characteristics is performed at the school and faculty levels.

The Course team ensures that Assessment criteria are being correctly and consistently applied. The Course team confirms that Marks awarded for each Assessment Item and the Final Grades of Students are consistent with the Grade descriptors and the Course Learning Outcomes being assessed.

School committees review the Assessment in a Course for each offer before the Assessment information is published to Students. Assessment and Grade outcomes are evaluated after the Course has been delivered. The terms of reference of the committees determine the scope of work.

The faculty will apply Quality Assurance processes to review Assessment at the program level.

4.10 Assessment Item retention and disposal

Assessments and records relating to the marking, review, moderation, and confirmation of results will be managed according to the Records and Information Management Procedure.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Accountable Officer

Provost

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Policy Suite

Assessment Policy

Subordinate Schedules

Assessment and Grades - Roles and Responsibilities Schedule

Assessment Pattern Schedule

Assessment Types Schedule

Class of Honours Standard Schedule

Approved Date

6/4/2022

Effective Date

6/4/2022

Review Date

14/2/2025

Relevant Legislation

Higher Education Support Act 2003

National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

Related Policies

Student Academic Integrity Policy

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Student Expectations and Responsibilities Policy

Student Grievance Resolution Policy

Students with a Disability Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure

Credit and Exemption Procedure

Grades Procedure

Records and Information Management Procedure

Student Academic Misconduct Procedure

Student Appeals Procedure

Student Grievance Resolution Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Assignment Extension Request Form

Applying for a Deferred Examination Website

Recheck of Assignment Marks Request Form

Review of Final Grade Application Form

Special Consideration Application Form

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity means acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness and respect in learning, teaching and Research. It is important for Students, academics, Researchers and all staff to act in an honest way, be responsible for their actions, and show fairness in every part of their work. Staff should be role models to Students. Academic Integrity is important for an individual'...moreAcademic Integrity means acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness and respect in learning, teaching and Research. It is important for Students, academics, Researchers and all staff to act in an honest way, be responsible for their actions, and show fairness in every part of their work. Staff should be role models to Students. Academic Integrity is important for an individual's and an institution's reputation (EAIP, 2013).

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct encompasses all behaviours, including doing as well as attempting to do, any of the acts, omissions or activities that constitute Academic Misconduct: involving the misrepresentation of academic achievement; or undermining the core values (honesty, trust, fairness and respect) of Academic Integrity; or breaching Academic Integrity; whether intentional or unintenti...moreAcademic Misconduct encompasses all behaviours, including doing as well as attempting to do, any of the acts, omissions or activities that constitute Academic Misconduct: involving the misrepresentation of academic achievement; or undermining the core values (honesty, trust, fairness and respect) of Academic Integrity; or breaching Academic Integrity; whether intentional or unintentional. Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to the following: Plagiarism; submitting (for Assessment or review) work prepared by another person; Collusion, such as any unauthorised collaboration in preparation or presentation of work, including knowingly allowing personal work to be copied by others; all forms of Cheating in examinations and other Assessment tasks; Contract Cheating and Solicitation; offering or accepting bribes (money or sexual or other favours), e.g. for Admission or for Marks/Grades; and fabrication or falsification of information or Student identity (TEQSA Guidance Note: Academic Integrity, Version 1.2, 28 March 2019).

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Assessment

The process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course....moreThe process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course.

Assessment Item

An individual Assessment task as outlined in the Assessment schedule for a Course. Assessment Items may consist of Assignments or Formal Examinations and may be Formal, Informal, Formative or Summative in nature....moreAn individual Assessment task as outlined in the Assessment schedule for a Course. Assessment Items may consist of Assignments or Formal Examinations and may be Formal, Informal, Formative or Summative in nature.

Assignment

An Assignment is a non-invigilated Assessment Item that is completed by Students (individually or in a group) as a component of independent study within a Course. An Assignment builds on the development of knowledge and skills acquired during directed study, such as lectures and tutorials....moreAn Assignment is a non-invigilated Assessment Item that is completed by Students (individually or in a group) as a component of independent study within a Course. An Assignment builds on the development of knowledge and skills acquired during directed study, such as lectures and tutorials.

Course

A discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade....moreA discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade.

Course Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes are the expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of completing a Course....moreCourse Learning Outcomes are the expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of completing a Course.

Course Specification

A written specification of the objectives, content, assessment methods, and other relevant details of a Course....moreA written specification of the objectives, content, assessment methods, and other relevant details of a Course.

Coursework

A method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component....moreA method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Deferred Assessment

An Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) offered by the Examiner of a Course to Students on the basis that they could not attend a scheduled Formal Examination or submit a scheduled Assignment due to Special Circumstances. In the situation where the Examiner requires students to submit an Assignment prior to the last date for submitting Final Grades for the Course an exten...moreAn Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) offered by the Examiner of a Course to Students on the basis that they could not attend a scheduled Formal Examination or submit a scheduled Assignment due to Special Circumstances. In the situation where the Examiner requires students to submit an Assignment prior to the last date for submitting Final Grades for the Course an extension should be granted rather than a deferral.

Examiner

A University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification....moreA University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification.

Final Grade

A Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process....moreA Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process.

Grade (noun)

A Grade is a code that indicates the status of the Assessment of Student performance against the learning objectives of a Course....moreA Grade is a code that indicates the status of the Assessment of Student performance against the learning objectives of a Course.

Mark

An indication of mastery or non-mastery of an assessment task that takes the form of a numerical value....moreAn indication of mastery or non-mastery of an assessment task that takes the form of a numerical value.

Policy

A high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy....moreA high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy.

Procedure

An operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy....moreAn operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes are the expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of completing a Program....moreProgram Learning Outcomes are the expression of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of the knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of completing a Program.

Special Circumstances

Matters which are, in most cases, beyond the control of the Student and which will impact their capacity to progress with their planned program of study or meet a submission deadline. In some legislation, Special Circumstances are referred to as “compassionate and compelling circumstances”....moreMatters which are, in most cases, beyond the control of the Student and which will impact their capacity to progress with their planned program of study or meet a submission deadline. In some legislation, Special Circumstances are referred to as “compassionate and compelling circumstances”.

Special Consideration

Consideration given to a Student who has experienced extraordinary circumstances during a Formal Examination for a Course....moreConsideration given to a Student who has experienced extraordinary circumstances during a Formal Examination for a Course.

Student

A person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled....moreA person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled.

Student Grievance

A problem or concern raised by a Student who considers they have been negatively impacted because of an action, determination or omission within the control or responsibility of the University. Student Grievances are resolved in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure and must be related directly to a Student's studies at the University and the outcome must directly ...moreA problem or concern raised by a Student who considers they have been negatively impacted because of an action, determination or omission within the control or responsibility of the University. Student Grievances are resolved in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure and must be related directly to a Student's studies at the University and the outcome must directly impact the Student.

Supplementary Assessment

A Supplementary Assessment is an exceptional, additional Assessment Item that assesses any area the Student is yet to demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes....moreA Supplementary Assessment is an exceptional, additional Assessment Item that assesses any area the Student is yet to demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Teaching Period

The period during which a Course or study unit is offered. Examples of teaching periods include, but are not limited to, semesters, trimesters, blocks, intensives and sessions....moreThe period during which a Course or study unit is offered. Examples of teaching periods include, but are not limited to, semesters, trimesters, blocks, intensives and sessions.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Weighting of an Assessment Item

The Weighting of an Assessment Item is the percentage that the item contributes to the calculation of the Final Grade of a Student....moreThe Weighting of an Assessment Item is the percentage that the item contributes to the calculation of the Final Grade of a Student.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Assessment Rubric

Assessment Rubrics are used to evaluate Student learning, allocate a mark to the academic standard displayed and guide feedback.

Assessment Rubrics provide Students with a clear statement on the expectations for an Assessment Item by listing the individual learning components being assessed, the Weighting applied to each component, and a description of the standard required at each level of academic achievement (e.g High Distinction to Fail).

Keywords

Record No

14/749PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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