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Student Assessment and Workload Policy

PURPOSE

Student assessment is integral to the learning process and informs Unit Coordinators about the quality and extent of student achievement or performance. This policy provides a framework for assessment that supports the learning and development of students and is the basis for judgement about how well students have achieved the learning outcomes of the units in which they are enrolled. The framework is also intended to provide quality assurance to Academic Board and external stakeholders including the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), professional bodies and employers.


SCOPE

All courses


DEFINITIONS

Criterion Referenced Assessment: Assessments designed to measure student performance against a fixed set of predetermined criteria. Criterion referenced assessment avoids ‘fitting’ to a normal distribution (norm referenced assessment).

Exit Grade: The overall grade for a student in a unit that is awarded based on aggregating and weighting marks for individual assessment items (‘pass as a whole’).

Formative Assessment: Formative assessment is a compulsory assessment task that provides timely feedback to students about how their learning is progressing and identifies to students and academic staff any problems or obstacles that students are encountering. It typically begins early in the unit (before the end of week 3 and prior to census date). Formative assessment may be either ungraded or have minimal marks allocated.

Group Assessment: Assessment undertaken in groups of two or more students.

Marking Guide: A marking guide is very similar to a rubric, but simpler. For each marking criterion, a comment explains what is being sought, and the maximum mark that can be awarded is specified.

Rubric: A rubric makes explicit a range of assessment criteria and expected performance standards, usually specified in a matrix. A student’s performance is evaluated against the standard for each criterion.

Summative Assessment: Assessment that is compulsory and contributes to the calculation of the exit grade.

Workload: Workload refers to the time to which each student is notionally committed.

Resubmission of Assessment: Student is permitted to make substantial changes to an assessment task which they have failed, within a specified timeframe for re-examination by the original examiner to achieve a mark no greater than the minimum for a pass (50%).

Supplementary Assessment: A new item of assessment intended to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate successful achievement of the learning outcomes of the unit.

PRINCIPLES

Assessment embodies three principles, namely learning, content and equity:

Learning

  • Assessments will focus on the unit learning outcomes and are relevant to the learning material, teaching content and reference list;

  • Assessments are consistent with discipline standards appropriate to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level of the course and enable students to demonstrate clearly the level of achievement they have attained;

  • All GLI units include an early formative assessment task to provide students with feedback on progress prior to the census date;

  • Formative assessment helps identify students who are not engaging or who may need additional support;

  • Assessment due dates are mapped across the semester, ensuring provision of timely, informative, and constructive feedback and grading of assessment usually within a maximum of three weeks and before the next assessment is due. In the case of early ungraded formative assessment, feedback is provided prior to census date.


Content

  • Assessment aligns with the relevant unit outline, including learning outcomes, topics and student workload;

  • The standard number of summative assessment items in a unit is three;

  • No summative assessment item should be weighted by less than 10% nor by more than 50% in the aggregation of marks for a unit, unless in the case of a capstone or research project;

  • Formative and summative assessments are consistent with student workload.


Equity

  • Assessment requirements are clear and are assessed according to a marking rubric made available to students well before the due date;

  • Assessment makes reasonable accommodation for student diversity and is internally monitored;

  • There should be a diversity of assessment items that may include, but is not limited to:

    • Assignments e.g. essays, reports, case studies, projects, audio-visual presentations, web pages, journals, posters, portfolios;

    • Practice-based work e.g. reports, journals, presentations, performance, models.


As much as is feasible, assessment items should be authentic, relating to student experience and career aspirations. Assessment items should be designed and administered in a way that minimises incentives and opportunities to breach the Academic Integrity Policy.


Details of assessment items, including maximum marks available, weighting in aggregation of marks for the unit, length (in words) or duration (in hours or minutes), due dates and marking guides or rubrics for all assessment items must be made available to students by the end of the first week of scheduled classes.


Program Directors are responsible for ensuring that assessment items are consistent with unit outlines and this policy. Examination Committee is responsible for reviewing and approving exit grades. Unit Coordinators are responsible for determining exit grades.


Notification of Grades
  • Unit Coordinators are responsible for recording the marks of all students enrolled in a unit for each assessment task. Marks for individual assessment tasks will not be posted in public places (e.g. non-secure websites);

  • Final grades that are not finalised until Examination Committee has completed its report;

  • Where there is a reason (e.g. illness, accident, disability or other compassionate circumstances) for the grade remaining ‘not finalised’ beyond the applicable date, the Academic Dean may give approval for the finalisation of the grade to be held over to a specified later date;

  • Results can be withheld if a student has a debt to GLI including overdue tuition fees, unpaid library fines and/or overdue equipment loans. An administrative grade of RW (Result Withheld) is then used.


Appeal of Final Grade
  • Where a student believes that an error has been made in the grade awarded for an assessment item, the student must first consult with the Unit Coordinator within five working days to obtain an explanation;

  • If the student remains dissatisfied the student may request in writing, within five working days, a review of the grade. This request must clearly state the grounds for the review;

  • Requests for review of a grade are dealt with by the Examination Committee and students will normally be notified of the outcome of the requested review of grade within 10 working days of receipt of the request.


Resubmission of Assessment
  • The Program Director, in consultation with the Unit Coordinator, is responsible for providing students the opportunity to resubmit a failed assessment task. Students are advised of this decision on return of the assessment task;

  • The student has five working days from return of the assessment task to resubmit for re-assessment;

  • Only one opportunity to resubmit an assessment task will be provided.


Supplementary Assessment
  • The supplementary assessment item must assure achievement of the same areas of knowledge, understanding and/or skill development as the original assessment item/s;

  • Supplementary assessment may be awarded by the Program Director (or delegated representative) to a student who, having submitted all the assessment requirements of the course:

    • Receives an overall percentage between 45 and 49%; or

    • Has not achieved a pass or required minimum mark in mandatory pass components of the unit; and

    • Has not undertaken supplementary assessment in (normally) more than four units within the course.


  • A student is allowed only one attempt at each supplementary assessment item;

  • To achieve a Pass grade for the unit, students must achieve a pass mark for the supplementary assessment.


Special Consideration and Deferment
  • The Unit Coordinator may extend special consideration to a student for any assessment item for that unit if the student provides documented evidence of illness, accident, disability, bereavement or other compassionate circumstances no later than three days after the due date of the assessment;

In this case, the Unit Coordinator may agree to defer assessment or extend the due date;



Deferred Assessment
  • The following would generally be considered acceptable grounds for approval of a deferred assessment: illness, accident, temporary disability, bereavement, sporting or cultural commitment at state, national or international representative level, or other compassionate circumstances (for example, death of a family member or close relative, serious illness of a family member or close relative);

  • The following would generally be considered unacceptable grounds to approve a deferred assessment: misreading an examination timetable, applications submitted after the three working days deadline, holiday arrangements - including for international travel, sporting or cultural commitment, other than at state, national or international representative level;

  • Application for all deferred assessment will be approved or rejected by the Unit Coordinator;

  • Students applying for deferred assessment on medical grounds must submit a Medical Certificate, completed by a registered medical practitioner.


Special Arrangements for Students with a Disability
  • The Unit Coordinator in consultation with the student and Student Support Officer, should make appropriate provision, in terms of resources and timing, for students with disabilities and/or special needs, including reasonable adjustments to assessment conditions;

  • Students with a disability may be provided with the time extensions to accommodate reading, writing and comprehension for a student with a learning disability or visual impairment. Students may also be provided with access to assistive technology if required.


Due Dates

Students who submit an assessment item after the due date will be penalised by up to 10% of the maximum marks available for that assessment item per calendar day or part thereof. Where there are extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control, supported by appropriate documentation, the Unit Coordinator may grant an extension of the due date (except for examinations), provided that the student has submitted a request on or before the due date.


Where there are extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control, supported by appropriate documentation, the Unit Coordinator may offer a deferred examination to be held in the official deferred examination period. To qualify for a passing exit grade in a unit, a student must submit a reasonable attempt at every summative assessment item in the unit. A ‘reasonable attempt’ is defined as achieving 40% of the maximum available marks for that assessment item.


Academic Integrity

Where there is evidence of a breach of Academic Integrity Policy, a mark of zero will be recorded for an assessment item until the breach has been resolved.


Assessment Word Count and Time Limit

Students are permitted a variance of 10% over or under the stated assessment word count or time limit, beyond which penalties may be incurred. It remains at the discretion of the marker to determine the extent to which a submission outside of this allowed variance meets the requirements and expectations of the assessment, and to apply reasonable grading / penalties accordingly.


Capstone Research Projects

Research projects completed by GLI students are examined by appropriately qualified experts. Research students, supervisors and examiners must adhere to this Schedule 1 of this policy.


STUDENT WORKLOAD

GLI uses credit points to define its course requirements and provide guidance to students on what is a reasonable workload in each teaching period. In general, 1 credit point should equate to 1 hour of student work per week across a normal 13-week semester. A ‘full-time’ study load is 40 credit points which is usually expected to amount to about 40 hours of study per week. This study time could include:

  • Classes (on-campus or online);

  • Tutorials, if relevant;

  • Preparation time for appropriate engagement during class;

  • Out of class time, including access to libraries, student-to-student interaction for learning purposes, etc;

  • Completing assessments;

  • Study administration time for each unit.


This study time does not include orientation or social activities. Workload may be varied around the load norms described in the following table, depending on the course, delivery mode, and pedagogical approaches. Where class hours are reduced (e.g. intensives), reading requirements and personal study expectations are increased.


A student can enrol in up to 50 credit points a semester without formal approval. If a student wishes to enrol in more than 50 credit points in one semester, this request must be submitted to the Program Director (or delegated authority) for approval. It is noted that this provision is for extraordinary circumstances and only allowed for students who have demonstrated self-directed learning. This provision should not affect the learning or course learning outcomes, as all the assessments would need to be met.


PROCEDURES

The process for awarding exit grades is:

  • A student is assigned a mark by the Unit Coordinator for each summative assessment item;

  • Marks for summative assessment items are aggregated by applying weights specified in the unit outline;

  • Grade cut-offs are applied to the weighted aggregate marks (see schedule 1);

  • Where it is not possible to finalise a grade in time for Examiners Committee meeting, a temporary grade will be assigned (see schedule 1);

  • All temporary grades, except for the Incomplete Grade – Mark Pending (IP), shall have a due date specified.


Examination Committee will:

  • Check that the distribution of grades within each unit is reasonable in the context of each unit;

  • Investigate anomalies in the distribution of grades among units;

  • Investigate anomalies in the distribution of grades for each student;

  • Identify students for a Letter of Commendation from the Program Director (students who have achieved a GPA of 6.0 or higher);

  • Identify students whose academic progress is at risk (students who have failed more than half the units attempted or who have failed the same unit two or more times), including those from identified subgroups as defined in the Diversity and Equity Policy;

  • Approve exit grades for release to students; and

  • Report to Academic Board on support for ‘at risk’ students.


Guidelines on Student Assessment

Each assessment should include the signed Academic Integrity Declaration listed on the Unit Assessment Title Page template.


Student Workloads

Program Directors must ensure that procedures for the monitoring of workloads are in place, as part of the normal course and unit monitoring and review processes.


Schedule 1
Exit Grades

REFERENCE

POINT

DEFINITION

Final Grades




High Distinction

85-100%

7

When a student has demonstrated an exceptionally high quality of performance and/or standard of learning achievement

Distinction

75-84%

6

When a student has demonstrated a high quality of performance and/or standard of learning achievement

Credit

65-74%

5

When a student has demonstrated a good quality of performance and/or standard of learning achievement

Pass

50-64%

4

When a student has demonstrated satisfactory quality of performance and/or standard of learning achievement

Non-graded Pass

Satisfactory

 

Student met the requirements of the unit and the unit is assessed on a pass/fail basis

Fail

<50%

3

When a student has demonstrated an unsatisfactory quality performance and/or standard of learning achievement, insufficient to pass. Or if the student withdraws after census date

Withdrawn

W

 

Student enrolled but withdrew without academic penalty

Incomplete – Limit of P grade

 

 

Student has an assessment task incomplete with no approved extension. The student may submit an explanation to ask for an opportunity to complete for a grade no higher than 50%

Late withdrawal

 

 

Student has been granted withdrawal on compassionate/medical grounds. It is not used when a student withdraws after census date.

Temporary Grades




Extension – no limit to grade

EX

-

Student has applied for and received approval for an extension and the approval is still in place. The student will receive no penalty

Incomplete Grade - Extension

IX

-

Student has been granted an extension on an assessment item, with a specified due date


Policy Owner

Registrar

Approval Date

24 November 2023

Approving Body

Academic Board

Reviewal Date

24 November 2028

Endorsing Body

Academic Board

Version

2.0

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