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Assessment (Higher Education Courses) procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective for study periods commencing on or after 9 January 2023.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure provides the standards for the design and implementation of assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate award courses other than higher degree by research theses. Assessment drives student learning, and the standards given in this Procedure lay a foundation for good practice while providing opportunities for continuous improvement and innovation.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to undergraduate and postgraduate award courses and microunits other than higher degree by research theses (see Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Assessment procedure).

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Higher Education Courses policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Assessment Design Principles

(5) Assessment may be set for courses, units, microunits or in combination.

(6) Assessment design is informed by the nine DeakinDesign Principles outlined in the Deakin Curriculum Framework (in the Higher Education Courses policy).

(7) Assessment tasks are designed to allow students to evidence achievement of unit, course and graduate learning outcomes in accordance with the Deakin Curriculum Framework (in the Higher Education Courses policy). To ensure students achieve these learning outcomes:

  1. processes are in place to assure the reliability and validity of assessment
  2. assessment incorporates self and peer review where appropriate, for the purpose of developing students’ evaluative judgement, feedback literacy and self-regulated learning
  3. course-wide and programmatic approaches should be used where practical
  4. evidence should include qualitative judgements and quantitative measures from a range of tasks over time

(8) Assessment design is inclusive and reflects the diversity of the communities Deakin serves:

  1. Assessment tasks will be designed in accordance with Deakin’s Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and including:
    1. bias (eg, gender, racial, disability or cultural) is avoided in the setting and description of assessment tasks
    2. assessment tasks are designed to be understood by, and are physically and/or digitally accessible to, all students regardless of diversity in background or identity
  2. An assessment task that is delivered across different times or in different settings will be standardised to ensure comparable student experiences. If alternative assessment tasks are required, the comparability of the different tasks will be verified by the Unit Assessment Panel.

(9) Assessment design may include:

  1. formative assessments – assessments for learning that are used only to monitor student progress, build knowledge and skills and provide timely and meaningful feedback on student learning. Formative assessments do not contribute to a student’s final grade and/or mark for a unit of study.
  2. summative assessments- assessments of learning that evaluate student progress towards achievement of unit learning outcomes and contribute to a student’s final grade and/or mark but may also have formative purposes.

(10) Assessment design will consider:

  1. support for student transition at key stages of the curriculum, including undergraduate first year, by building foundation knowledge and skills and providing an introduction to the field
  2. progressive construction of student knowledge and skills
  3. constructing opportunities for students to receive, reflect on and use feedback, and
  4. the learning outcomes specified for each course.

(11) Where an end-of-unit assessment or examination requires students to use a prescribed text or resource during the assessment, Unit Chairs (or nominee) should liaise with the Library to ensure that the text or resource is available electronically under an open access license or with appropriate multi-user licenses to enable all students to access the resource at the same time.

(12) Specific assessment requirements and responsibilities for microunits, excluding Deakin Professional Practice Credentials, will be determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and will:

  1. ensure that the academic integrity of the microunit and destination degrees is maintained
  2. maintain flexibility and efficiency in the delivery of microunits
  3. be scaled to be commensurate with the volume of learning and the delivery models for microunits.

(13) Requirements and responsibilities for Deakin Professional Practice Credentials are specified in the Deakin Professional Practice Credentials procedure.

Unit assessment task requirements

(14) Any exemptions to clauses 15 to 20 must be approved by Faculty Board or delegated committee.

(15) Assessment in a unit may include:

  1. a thesis OR
  2. a portfolio OR
  3. two to five summative assessment tasks.

(16) Assessment tasks are weighted as follows:

  1. No single assessment task, including end-of-unit assessments and examinations, is weighted more than 60% of the overall unit result. Assessment requirements of accreditation bodies, research/research theses, portfolios, project-based assessments and microunits are exempt from this requirement.
  2. The maximum weighting for the collective component of a group assessment is 50% of the mark for the unit.
  3. Quizzes and end-of-unit assessments that are administered online, are unsupervised and automatically computer-marked do not comprise more than 20% of the total unit mark. A strong rationale is required for an exemption, which may include:
    1. that the questions require complex or higher-level student thinking and response
    2. that there is a need for students to demonstrate foundational or threshold knowledge
    3. that the same outcomes are assessed elsewhere in the degree using a different assessment mode.
  4. The combined weight of supervised and unsupervised automatically computer-marked questions does not comprise more than 60% of the total unit mark.

(17) To strengthen academic integrity of assessment, all quizzes, end-of-unit assessments and examinations must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Questions are randomly drawn from a pool of at least two times the number of questions. Question pools will be regularly reviewed for efficacy and relevance and refreshed when required.
  2. Where randomisation of questions is not used the number of quizzes, end-of-unit assessment and examination versions will match the number of start times (eg 9 am) associated with the task (ie two start times require two versions of the task). Each version must be at least 75% different from other versions and from versions used in prior unit offerings. Exceptions include:
    1. alternative start times for students with Access Plans
    2. where fewer than five students are scheduled for the earliest start time.

(18) All quizzes, end-of-unit assessments and examinations:

  1. have time limits appropriate to the task and unit that take into account the time it would take a well-prepared student to answer the questions
  2. do not include true/false questions
  3. do not use questions that are publicly available when the assessment is unsupervised, and computer marked
  4. do not release answers until the assessment is closed. If the answers to questions are released, these questions cannot be re-used in subsequent unit offerings.

(19) The difficulty and complexity of assessments and the learning outcomes addressed by assessments must be reviewed by the Unit Assessment Panel when:

  1. students are allowed to choose from alternative questions or topics
  2. the assessment uses a randomised question pool
  3. there is more than one version of the assessment provided.

(20) Where possible, students submit assessments via the learning management system, including through academic integrity breach detection software.

Communication to students about assessment

(21) The Unit Chair will ensure that information about assessment in a unit is clearly communicated to students at the beginning of each study period. Information about assessment is included in the University Handbook and unit guides as specified in the Curriculum Design and Delivery procedure.

(22) Students must be notified of any change to the means of assessment made after the publication of the University Handbook and within ten working days of the commencement of the study period in which the unit is offered.

(23) Changes to the types and weighting of assessment may only be made part way through a study period in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the relevant Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning). Where assessment changes are made part way through a study period the Unit Chair (or nominee) will ensure that students are provided with:

  1. adequate warning of the change
  2. written confirmation of the change; and
  3. a replacement unit guide.

Hurdle requirements

(24) Hurdle requirements are a condition other than the overall mark that must be met for students to pass a unit. Hurdle requirements within a unit may include:

  1. a hurdle assessment in combination with other graded assessments, whereby failing the hurdle assessment will result in failure for the unit overall
  2. a series of ungraded pass/fail tasks that require students to pass all tasks to pass the unit. Failure of even one assessment will result in failure for the unit overall.

(25) Hurdle requirements:

  1. should only be used in circumstances where the learning activity or assessment is considered core to assuring student learning outcomes
  2. should support student transition when used in first year units
  3. must be clearly linked with the unit, course and/or graduate learning outcome/s and communicated to students via the unit guide
  4. require Faculty Board or delegated committee approval.

(26) Where a student applies for and is granted special consideration or an adjustment is outlined in an Access Plan, the Faculty Academic Progress Committee may approve the waiving of a hurdle requirement in exceptional circumstances based on the recommendation of the Unit Assessment Panel.

(27) Failing a hurdle requirement will result in a fail grade for the unit. Students who fail a hurdle requirement will receive a result of no more than 44% for that unit unless the hurdle requirement is waived in accordance with clause 26.

(28) Students who fail a hurdle requirement are ineligible for a pass conceded grade for that unit unless the hurdle requirement is waived in accordance with clause 26.

Student Academic Integrity

(29) Demonstrating academic integrity is part of the moral code of academia. It involves using, generating and communicating information in an ethical, honest and responsible manner as per Deakin’s Student Academic Integrity policy.

(30) Ensuring academic integrity should be prioritised if any assessment component is repeated in a subsequent unit offering, including end-of-unit assessments and examinations.

(31) The University provides students with information at the beginning of a unit on what constitutes a breach of academic integrity in line with the Student Academic Integrity procedure.

(32) students make a declaration when submitting assessment, including quizzes, end-of-unit assessments and examinations to confirm that:

  1. the work submitted is their own
  2. they consent to work being checked for any breaches of academic integrity
  3. the work has not been submitted for assessment in any previous unit attempts or any other unit or course (at the University or another institution) without the prior approval of the Unit Chair.

(33) In the case of group assessment tasks, each member of the group must make a declaration that confirms clause 32a-c.

(34) Students are not permitted to share or reproduce any assessment information. This includes (but is not limited to) screenshot, copy, remove items, or use devices to photograph, record, video, live stream or otherwise document content of any tests, quizzes, end-of-unit assessment, examination or similar assessment. Except where explicit approval has been provided as part of the instructions.

(35) Breaches of academic integrity by students are dealt with in accordance with the Student Academic Integrity procedure.

Assessment adjustments

(36) Reasonable adjustments for assessment are designed to support students in attempts to demonstrate the unit learning outcomes. For students with a disability, health condition or other eligible circumstance these adjustments are developed in line with the Making Reasonable Adjustments for a Member of the University with a Disability or Health Condition procedure.

Extensions

(37) All students may apply for an extension where unexpected circumstances prevent them from completing an assessment task (other than an end-of-unit assessment or examination see clause 62) by the due date. When circumstances prevent the student from applying, the application may be made on the student’s behalf by the relevant University support service (eg Deakin Counselling, Safer Communities or Disability Resource Centre).

(38) Extensions will normally only be approved when students apply no later than the assessment due date.

(39) Extension applications normally need appropriate supporting documentation (eg a death or funeral notice; medical certificate; a police report; statutory declaration; Deakin Access Plan; a letter from a social worker, psychologist, religious leader or lawyer).

(40) Circumstances within a student’s control (such as misreading timetables, submitting an assessment incorrectly or late, poor time management or holidays) and minor ailments (such as colds or sleeplessness) are not grounds for an extension.

(41) Extension applications must be submitted via the assignment extension tool in the learning management system.

(42) The Unit Chair (or nominee) is responsible for determining the outcome of an application for assessment extension.

(43) A maximum extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted. Additional reasonable adjustments to extensions beyond seven days may be negotiated by the Disability Resources Centre on behalf of the student. Where any student is impacted by more significant circumstances and requires a longer extension or where a student cannot apply for an extension by the due date, students should apply for special consideration (see clause 44).

Special consideration

(44) Students may apply for special consideration if circumstances beyond their control have adversely impacted their ability to undertake, prepare for, and/or complete an assessment task, and:

  1. they are not eligible for an extension because the due date has passed OR
  2. they have previously been granted an extension and require additional time OR
  3. they need an assessment extension longer than seven calendar days OR
  4. they cannot sit an end-of-unit assessment or examination at the scheduled time, OR
  5. they become unwell during an end-of-unit assessment or examination.

(45) Applications for special consideration may only be made based on:

  1. a medical condition
  2. compassionate reasons (such as: the recent death of a close family member; family breakdown; unavoidable personal obligations)
  3. hardship/trauma (such as severe disruption to domestic arrangements; impact of crime; natural disasters; major transport failure)
  4. unexpected employment or carer demands
  5. a requirements related to a student’s obligations as an elite athlete or performer
  6. military, jury or emergency service obligations
  7. obligatory religious or faith-based commitments
  8. obligatory cultural commitments of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students
  9. verified technology issues related to end-of-unit assessments and examinations
  10. an unanticipated circumstance where a student has an Access Plan (see clause 57).

(46) Circumstances within a student’s control (such as misreading timetables, submitting an assessment incorrectly or late, assessment stress, poor time management or holidays) and minor ailments (such as colds or sleeplessness) are not grounds for special consideration.

(47) Applications for special consideration must be made by the student via the online special consideration system. The following will be taken into consideration:

  1. For assessment other than end-of-unit assessment and examinations, students must apply after the due date but within three University working days. Students can apply before the due date when an assessment extension of longer than seven calendar days is required (see clause 43).
  2. For end-of-unit assessment and examinations, students may apply before the due date or within 3 University working days after the due date.
  3. Late applications will be considered if the student demonstrates that extenuating circumstances prevented them from applying earlier.
  4. Applications will not normally be considered after the release of the results for the unit, unless the student can demonstrate that it was not possible to apply earlier.
  5. When circumstances prevent the student from applying, the application may be made on the student’s behalf by the relevant University support service.

(48) Current and relevant documentary evidence (such as a verifiable statement from a recognised authority, relevant University support services (eg Deakin Safer Community) or a treating practitioner) must accompany the application. This evidence must confirm that the student was unable to attempt or complete the assessment task at the required time, or that their performance of the assessment task was significantly affected. Documentary evidence in support of applications on medical grounds will normally not be accepted where it is:

  1. retrospective, except where the health practitioner confirms they have been managing the condition over time or that in their professional opinion the student would have been impacted at the time of the assessment task
  2. based only on information provided by the student (eg letter or Statutory Declaration) AND/OR
  3. obtained by methods other than a consultation with a treating practitioner.

(49) Documentation for special consideration must meet clause 48 as well as indicate:

  1. whether the student could not attempt the assessment or whether their performance was impacted
  2. the dates affected
  3. the degree of impact on the student.

(50) If evidence is inadequate, the student will need to supply additional information and/or original copies of documents within three University working days of notification that documentation is inadequate.

(51) Outcomes of special consideration applications related to assessment within the teaching period will be determined by the Unit Chair or nominee, on advice of the Office of the Dean of Students.

(52) Outcomes of special consideration applications related to end-of-unit assessments and examinations will be determined by the Office of the Dean of Students. The Unit Chair:

  1. will be consulted in complex cases
  2. will be notified of all outcomes.

(53) There are four possible outcomes of an application for special consideration:

  1. outcome 1: special consideration not granted
  2. outcome 2: special consideration granted - extension of time (excluding end-or-unit assessments and examinations). The student should contact the Unit Chair (or nominee) within two working days. When setting a new date, the Unit Chair (or nominee) will consider the student’s needs as documented in the Special Consideration application, any assessment due date restrictions and future assessment requirements.
  3. outcome 3: special consideration granted - a special end-of-unit assessment or examination is provided for the student during the next scheduled special end-of-unit assessment task period.
  4. outcome 4: special consideration granted - a special assessment task is provided for the student. The student should contact the Unit Chair within two working days. When setting a new due date and task, the Unit Chair (or nominee) will consider the student’s needs as documented in the Special Consideration application, any assessment due date restrictions and future assessment requirements.

(54) Where a student applies for special consideration and is granted an outcome 3 or 4 after attempting the initial assessment task, the initial task will not be marked and the assessment result will not be released to the student. The student's unit result will be recorded as an RIE (outcome 3 assessment pending) or RIA (outcome 4 assessment pending) until the final result is released following the marking of their special assessment task or special examination.

(55) Additional special consideration is only available where the initial application results in outcome 3 (end-of-unit assessment or special examination) or 4 (special assessment task) and will only be granted once, where extraordinary circumstances (such as hospitalisation) prevent a student from attempting the relevant task. Additional special consideration is not available where the application results in outcome 2 (for tasks scheduled while teaching is underway). Applications, including verifiable supporting documentation, must be submitted normally no later than three working days after the initial special task was due to be completed. The student’s progress to date and previous requests for special consideration will be considered when determining the outcome.

(56) If special consideration is not approved, the student will be provided with the reason/s for the unsuccessful outcome by an Academic Progress Committee member.

Reasonable Adjustments for Assessments

(57) Students with disability, health condition or other eligible circumstance may request reasonable adjustments to an assessment (including end-of-unit assessments and examinations), in accordance with the Making Reasonable Adjustments for a Member of the University with a Disability or Health Condition procedure.

(58) Equitable assessment arrangements will be made for students who need adjustment to their assessment to demonstrate their achievement of learning outcomes. These arrangements will be made in consultation with the student. In accordance with regulation 29 of the Academic Board Regulations, the Disability Resource Centre liaises with the Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) to prepare an Access Plan for the student.

(59) An Access Plan may be used as documentation for a seven-day extension (see clause 45j). In some circumstances, additional reasonable adjustments to extensions beyond seven days may be negotiated by the Disability Resource Centre on behalf of the student. If a student with an Access Plan does not apply for an extension by the due date, need longer than seven days, or longer than is negotiated by the Disability Resource Centre, students should apply for special consideration (see clause 44).

(60) The Unit Chair (or nominee) will ensure that any alternative assessment arrangements or extra time outlined in student Access Plans are of equivalent standard.

(61) Whilst reasonable adjustments are designed to enable students to achieve their potential, academic standards for the assessment must still be met.

End-of-unit Assessment and Examinations

(62) The end-of-unit assessment period occurs at the end of a teaching period where final summative assessments are scheduled. These include end-of-unit assessments and examinations. Exceptions to the below clauses may be approved by the relevant Faculty Board or delegated committee.

General requirements for end-of-unit assessments and examinations

(63) End-of-unit assessments occur in the end-of-unit assessment period and:

  1. are not proctored (are unsupervised)
  2. are delivered online
  3. permit students to access
    1. all resources (there are no restrictions on the permitted resources students may access during the assessment; excluding use of contract cheating sites, artificial intelligence content generation sites, resources that compromise the purpose of the assessment task and help from peers or others (unless otherwise outlined in the assessment instructions).

(64) Examinations occur in the end-of-unit assessment period and:

  1. are proctored (supervised)
  2. are delivered online or on-campus
  3. permit students to access either
    1. no resources OR
    2. specified resources OR
    3. all resources (there are no restrictions on the permitted resources students may access during the assessment; excluding use of contract cheating sites, artificial intelligence content generation sites, resources that compromise the purpose of the assessment task and help from peers or others (unless otherwise outlined in the assessment instructions).

(65) Practical, oral and performative assessment tasks may be scheduled in the end-of-unit assessment period. These are typically delivered on-campus. Approval for these assessments and the rules for administering them are the responsibility of the relevant Faculty committee.

(66) Assessment information (eg rules, instructions and what to do in the event of a technological failure) is provided to students for all examinations and end-of-unit assessments in a timely manner.

(67) Students are responsible for ensuring that they:

  1. have the required technology to complete the online end-of-unit assessment task or examination
  2. are aware of assessment rules and instructions
  3. know how to access and start their end-of-unit assessments or examination
  4. choose a suitable location to sit the end-of-unit assessment or examination
  5. are award of relevant processes, including where to get help in case of a technological failure.

Timing of end-of-unit assessments and examinations

(68) End-of-unit assessments and examinations typically:

  1. have a set start time (eg 9 am) with a specified time limit (eg a minimum of one hour to a maximum of two hours)(where a set start time is used a second start time may be required for specific cohorts), OR
  2. allow students to start at any time within a 24-hour window but with a specified time limit (eg a minimum of one hour to a maximum of two hours) OR
  3. allow students to start at any time and finish any time within a 24-hour window.

(69) All end-of-unit assessments and examinations that have a specified time limit typically include an additional 15 minutes for student reading time. For online end-of-unit assessments and examinations an additional 15 minutes for potential technology issues is also provided, totalling 30 additional minutes.

Security of end-of-unit assessments and examinations

(70) End-of-unit assessments that are administered online and automatically computer-marked are conducted in accordance with the minimum standards set out in clauses 16c and d, 17, 19 and 32.

(71) End-of-unit assessments and examinations (including supplementary assessments) cannot be reused unless:

  1. question banks and randomisation have been used to provide different versions of end-of-unit assessments and examinations, OR
  2. fewer than five students are scheduled for the original examination or end-of-unit assessment (requires approval by the relevant Associate Dean Teaching and Learning).

(72) The Unit Chair ensures that at least one other member of the Unit Assessment Panel conducts a review to check that the end-of-unit assessment or examination:

  1. includes appropriate coverage of content including weighting of the topics covered
  2. is targeted at the appropriate level
  3. is of appropriate length
  4. uses inclusive language
  5. contains clear, unambiguous instructions
  6. is free of repetition and errors and includes any specified additional items (eg tables, diagrams).

Marking and providing feedback on assessments

Assessing and grading student work

(73) A mark or grade is awarded to students for all summative assessment. A mark is a numerical indicator, and a grade is a descriptive indicator, of a student’s achievement in an assessment task.

(74) Students’ marks and/or grades are determined in relation to the expected standards of performance for that task. Marks and/or grades are not determined relative to the performance of other students, nor to a predetermined distribution of grades.

(75) Where marking requires academic judgement, a single marking rubric that clearly communicates to students the requirements, criteria and expected standards for each assessment piece is used.

(76) Rubrics link to the unit learning outcomes and the assessment task.

(77) To facilitate reliable and consistent judgements about student performance, all staff who assess student work must use the Unit Assessment Panel’s marking rubric and be adequately trained in its use.

(78) The Unit Chair, where practicable, will provide assessment task rubrics and associated assessment instructions to students at least three-weeks prior to the assessment due date. End-of-unit assessments and examinations are exempt from this clause.

Approved methods for ensuring comparability of assessment

(79) For each assessment task in a unit, the Unit Assessment Panel selects one of the following approved methods for ensuring comparability of assessment. Other methods for ensuring comparability of assessment may only be used with the approval of the University Teaching and Learning Committee.

  1. Method A – Marking objective test questions
    1. Objective test questions are those with answers that are unique and unequivocal or have a limited range of possible answers (eg multiple-choice questions, calculations with only one correct numerical answer,  and questions with single word or simple phrase answers)
    2. If objective test questions are used, comparability of assessment is assumed even with multiple markers, provided that they are correctly instructed.
  2. Method B – Single marker
    1. A single marker assesses all submissions of the assessment task using the approved marking guide or rubric. The method is applied when all students complete the same assessment task or the same components of an assessment task.
    2. When the single marker is inexperienced in marking the Unit Chair (or suitable nominee) with knowledge of the first marker’s marks and comments, double marks a sample of at least six marked assessments from across the grade ranges (eg two from each of the pass/fail boundary, the middle range and the top of the range)
    3. Where the single marker has not marked the assessment according to the agreed standard, the Unit Chair (or nominee) ensures that they mark to the agreed standard and that any work already assessed by that marker is re-marked to that standard. If that is not possible, the marker is not allowed to mark the assessment task, and the work already marked by that marker is re-marked by a suitable marker.
    4. Throughout the assessment process, the single marker reassesses submissions pre3viously marked to ensure that the marking standard is consistent.
    5. As a variation to Method B, the Unit Chair (or nominee) and marker may mark a sample of at least six submissions, or equivalent, and agree on assessment standards before marking commences.
  3. Method C – Group of markers
    1. When there is a group of markers, double marking is used to validate assessment standards across the group of markers.
    2. To ensure each marker is marking to the agreed standard, the Unit Chair (or suitable nominee), with knowledge of other markers’ marks and comments, double marks a sample of at least six marked assessments for inexperienced markers and at least three for experienced markers from across the grade ranges (eg from the pass/fail boundary, the middle range and hte top of the range) for each marker.
    3. Where a marker has not marked the assessment according to the agreed standard, the Unit Chair (or nominee) ensures that they mark to the agreed standard and that any work already assessed by that marker is re-marked to that standard. If that is not possible, the marker is not allowed to mark the assessment task, and hte work already marked bny that marker is re-marked by a suitable marker.
    4. As a variation to Method C, all markers may mark a sample of at least three submissions, or equivalent, and agree on assessment standards before marking commences.
  4. Method D – Blind double marking
    1. Blind double marking is where two markers independently mark the assessment of each student. This method is suitable in project or thesis  marking (for example).
    2. If the marks given by the two markers for a particular student are within 10 percentage points of each other the average of the two marks is taken as the final mark. If the marks differ by over 10 percentage points, then a third marker examines the work. The final mark is the median of the three marks except where the Unit Assessment Panel determines that one of the marks was incorrect, in which case the final mark is the average of the other two marks.
    3. Where it is apparent that one marker was not marking according to the agreed standards, the Unit Assessment Panel reviews the marks awarded to other students by this marker and arranges any necessary re-marking or mark adjustments.
  5. Method E – Panel marking
    1. Panel marking involves independent assessment by two or more markers. It may be used for example, for oral presentations, poster presentations, performances and other transient assessment work.
    2. If the composition of the panel is the same for all students doing a particular assessment task, then comparability of assessment can be assumed. If the composition of the panel is not the same for all students, then where possible one member of the Unit Assessment Panel chairs all panels in order to ensure comparability.

(80) The Unit Chair (or nominee) documents the method for ensuring comparability of assessment for each assessment task.

(81) Moderation of marks and/or grades is undertaken where it is evident that the assessment criteria and standards have not been consistently applied in an assessment task. In such cases, the rationale and processes for adjusting marks and/or grades is documented.

Feedback process

(82) Feedback is the responsibility of the Unit Chair and markers, and meets the following criteria.

  1. Where appropriate and practicable, the Unit Chair uses early low-stakes, low-weight assessment to provide students with meaningful feedback on their learning.
  2. Feedback is designed to assist student learning, acknowledge achievement, explain results, and enable students to develop evaluative judgement to assess the work of themselves and others.
  3. Where appropriate and practicable, feedback should be designed to improve students’ work in a subsequent task and should be returned before that subsequent task is due.
  4. Markers provide constructive feedback that:
    1. is positive and respectful and able to be understood by the student;
    2. informs students about how well they have met the specific assessment criteria for the assessment task;
    3. highlights any areas of misunderstanding;
    4. describes how the task could have been improved;
    5. guides future learning.

(83) The Unit Chair informs students about the feedback practices used in a unit including:

  1. opportunities for feedback
  2. types of feedback information that will be provided
  3. expected turnaround time for feedback.

Timing of feedback

(84) Feedback on assessment is provided to students in a timely manner. Timely feedback means that:

  1. students who submit their work by the original due date will normally be provided with individual feedback within 15 University working days. Where feedback cannot be provided within this timeframe the Unit Chair will review this with the Associate Head of School Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) and communicate to students the rationale for a longer timeframe.
  2. feedback on continuous assessment tasks (e.g., laboratory, studio-based and workplace-based) is normally provided prior to the midpoint of the unit.
  3. for quizzes, the Unit Chair where practicable provides general feedback on the assessment task to the cohort via the unit site within 15 University working days of the assessment due date.
  4. for end-of-unit assessments and examinations the Unit Chair where practicable provides general feedback on the assessment task to the cohort via the unit site within 15 University working days of the official publication of results.
  5. students will receive progressive feedback on assessments that require a significant body of work (eg, a portfolio or thesis).

(85) Students may request individual feedback from the Unit Chair on their performance in quizzes, end-of-unit assessments and examinations within 10 University working days from receiving their mark.

Late penalties

(86) Typically, a due date is set for the submission of each summative assessment task, and students must submit the assessment task by 8pm AEST/AEDT on the due date.

(87) A marking penalty is applied where the assessment task is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date without an approved extension. Penalties are as follows:

  1. 5% of the total marks of the task is deducted for each new calendar day up to seven calendar days.
  2. where work is submitted more than seven calendar days after the due date, the task will not be marked, and the student will receive 0% for the task.

(88) Errors in assessment submission (e.g., the wrong document is submitted) that are not corrected by the student by 11:59pm on the due date incur late penalties in accordance with clause 87.

(89) Work that is submitted after the due date may receive 0% where the Unit Chair deems, in consultation with the Associate Head of School Teaching and Learning (or equivalent), that it is unreasonable or impracticable to assess the task after the due date.

Student requests for review of assessment marking or final unit grades

(90) A student may believe that their assessment has not been marked in accordance with the marking criteria, or that marks have been calculated incorrectly. In this circumstance, students may request a review of assessment marking (during the study period) or a Review of Results (at the end of the study period).

Student requests for review of assessment marking

(91) During the study period, a student may request that the Unit Chair checks whether or not their mark for an individual assessment task is correct. Students may also request a re-mark of any individual assessment. All requests must be made within 10 University working days of the release of the assessment mark.

(92) Students who request a re-mark must provide evidence that the assessment was not initially marked in accordance with the marking criteria.

(93) Where a re-mark is deemed appropriate, the final mark for the individual assessment is calculated as follows:

  1. a second marker provides a mark for the piece of work.
  2. where the original and second marks differ by 10 percentage points or fewer of the total available marks, the final mark received by the student for the assessment task is the average of the two marks.
  3. where the original and second marks differ by more than 10 percentage points of the available marks, the assessment task is marked by a third marker. The final mark for the assessment task is the median of the three marks, except where a member of the Unit Assessment Panel determines that one of the markers was not marking according to the agreed standards, in which case the final mark is the average of the other two marks.

(94) A Unit Chair may reject a request for a re-mark if clauses 91 and 92 are not satisfactorily met. Students who have not had their request for a re-mark approved may apply for a Review of Results at the end of the study period (see clause 95).

Student requests for Review of Results

(95) At the end of a study period and following the release of results, students may apply for a review of their overall result for a unit, including assessment in any part of the unit. There are two types of Review of Results:

  1. administrative review: to check all assignment and exam marks have been included and calculated correctly.
  2. academic review: where there is evidence that work was not marked in accordance with the marking criteria or that there was a misapplication of other relevant University policies or procedures.

(96) To be eligible for a Review of Results:

  1. the student must apply within five University working days after the official release and publication of the student's results (unless exceptional circumstances are approved by the Faculty Academic Progress Committee).
  2. the student must provide evidence that their work was not marked in accordance with the marking criteria or that there was a misapplication of other relevant University policies or procedures.
  3. unless the student can demonstrate a misapplication of procedure, the assessment cannot already have been double marked prior to the Review of Result due to:
    1. the student receiving a re-mark of the assessment during the trimester as per clauses 91-94
    2. the student’s overall unit mark is between 44% and 49%, and clause 101 has been applied.

(97) The Faculty Academic Progress Committee determines the outcomes of Review of Result, which are as follows:

  1. the application for an administrative review is undertaken: all marks/grades are checked to ensure they add up correctly, and the student’s overall mark/grade is changed if appropriate, AND/OR
  2. the application for an academic review is successful: an independent marker blind assesses the student work following the re-marking process described in clause 93, and the student’s overall mark/grade is changed if appropriate, OR
  3. the application for an academic review is rejected: the application is rejected, and the student is notified of the reason.

(98) In the case of group assessment tasks, all students' results are reviewed (regardless of whether one or all members of the group apply), and, where appropriate, students' results are reviewed individually.

(99) If, in the process of reviewing a result, it is determined that a systematic error has occurred that has affected the results for multiple students in a unit, the Unit Chair or nominee will work with the Associate Head of School Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) to determine the appropriate action to be taken.

(100) The outcome of an end of study period Review of Results is final.

Arriving at and Awarding Unit Results

Verification of unit failure

(101)  For an overall unit mark between 44% and 49%, the following process is undertaken:

  1. all assessment tasks, including quizzes, end-of-unit assessments and exams for which that student received a mark of 49% or less must be marked by a second marker, except as set out in clause 102
  2. one of the two markers is a member of the Unit Assessment Panel
  3. where practicable a clean copy of the assessment is marked
  4. the Unit Chair (or nominee) keeps a written record verifying that any overall unit mark between 44% and 49% has been checked using the above process
  5. resolving re-mark grades follows clause 93.

(102) The above process, set out in clause 101, does not have to be undertaken for assessment tasks that:

  1. consisted of a performance, presentation, exhibition or other event where the student's work was transient, OR
  2. the student failed due to the imposition of a late penalty, in which case the calculation of the penalty is verified by a member of the Unit Assessment Panel, OR
  3. the student failed because they did not meet the requirements of the hurdle task, in which case the failure to meet the hurdle is verified by a member of the Unit Assessment Panel.

Finalisation of results

(103) The Unit Chair, on the advice of the Unit Assessment Panel, recommends a result for each student enrolled in the unit and submits the results to Student Services via the student management system. The results submitted are normally determined by accumulating the marks for individual assessment tasks and can only be adjusted by Unit Assessment Panels with the approval of the Faculty Board or delegated committee as set out in clauses 116-120. Where other methods of calculating results are used, they are described in the unit guide in language understandable by students.

(104) Faculty Academic Progress Committees review reports generated by Student Services on the results for each unit, and consider result distributions, any adjustments made by the Unit Assessment Panel and other relevant information. Where the results reports show that marking criteria have not been appropriately set or applied, Faculty Academic Progress Committees may adjust the results, before approving them for release, in one of the following ways:

  1. increasing or decreasing the marks of one or more students or groups of students for one or more assessment tasks
  2. requiring one or more assessment tasks or components of assessment tasks to be re-marked for one or more students or groups of students according to an appropriate standard agreed to by the Unit Assessment Panel
  3. requiring that an additional assessment task be submitted and marked according to an appropriate standard agreed to by the Unit Assessment Panel and replacing that mark for one or more of the original assessment tasks.

(105) Any amendments to results must be submitted to the relevant Faculty committee using an authorised process, with the approval of the Chair, Faculty Academic Progress Committee or nominee and one of the following staff members:

  1. member of the Unit Assessment Panel
  2. Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning)
  3. Executive Dean or nominee.

(106) After the date for the official release of results has passed, the approval of the relevant Associate Dean Teaching and Learning or Faculty Academic Progress Committee must be obtained before submitting late results for a whole unit cohort.

(107) In circumstances where students have been awarded a special or supplementary assessment, results are resolved and submitted to Student Services within 10 University working days after the completion of the special assessment cycle to which the unit relates.

(108) The date for the finalisation of a student's results may be varied:

  1. pending the outcome of an Academic Integrity Committee or Student Misconduct Committee hearing
  2. pending the outcome of a University Appeals Committee hearing
  3. for fieldwork, professional experience, practicums and clinical placements which are scheduled after the completion of the University teaching period
  4. following approval of special consideration resulting in incomplete assessment.

(109) The Faculty Academic Progress Committees notifies Student Services that results have been authorised for release on the specified date.

(110) Results are consistent with the grading schema set out in clauses 116-120.

(111) The Unit Chair (or nominee) keeps up-to-date records of:

  1. marks achieved by students on each assessment task (including the raw marks and the means by which final marks are calculated)
  2. marking adjustments made to individual assessment items
  3. details of any re-marking process (including process for determining the final mark).

(112) Electronic copies of records of marks (as per clause 111) are archived by either Faculties or Schools or Departments.

Publication of results

(113) Results are published at the end of each study period on the dates specified in the University Handbook. In accordance with the Academic Board Regulations, the Executive Director, Student Services decides the form in which, and the dates on which, results are published.

(114) Final unit results are not made available to students prior to the official publication of results. All marks for individual assessment tasks are provisional until the final unit results have been approved for release by the Faculty Academic Progress Committee.

Cross-institutional results

(115) Students who have completed a unit at another institution under an approved cross-institutional enrolment must provide an official academic transcript (or alternative documentation if approved by Student Services) for that unit to Student Services, for recording in the student management system, within two weeks of the result being released by the institution.

Grading Schema and Calculation of Weighted Average Mark

Grading schema

(116) The following grading schema will be used for assessment in Higher Education Courses

Notation Grade / Enrolment
status indicator
Percentage
(when marks are used in determining the final result, the percentage mark will be)
HD High Distinction 80% and over
D Distinction 70 – 79%
C Credit 60 – 69%
P Pass 50 – 59%
N Fail below 50%
UP Ungraded pass used when pass or fail are the only possible outcomes for the unit.
UN Ungraded fail used when pass or fail are the only possible outcomes for the unit.
PC Pass conceded a grade that may be awarded by the relevant Faculty Academic Progress Committee for one unit in any course to enable a student to satisfy the requirements of the course in which they are enrolled, provided that the student has achieved a minimum of 45% in the unit and satisfied any other requirements as specified in this Procedure.
EP External Institution pass used when a student obtains a pass or a higher grade in a unit completed at another institution under a cross-institutional enrolment arrangement.
EN External Institution fail used when a student obtains fail grade in a unit completed at another institution under a cross-institutional enrolment arrangement.
XN Fail not assessed. For those students who did not submit any of the required assessment.
WN Fail withdrawn after deadline for withdrawing: academic penalty incurred (default zero mark).
SAE Assessment pending supplementary assessment task (end-of-unit assessment or examination) awarded by the relevant Faculty Academic Progress Committee.
SAA Assessment pending supplementary assessment task awarded by the relevant Faculty Academic Progress Committee.
RI Result not finalised should only be used where it is not possible to finalise an individual student’s result at the time of submission of results.
RIA Assessment pending special assessment task granted in response to application for special consideration (outcome 4).
RIE Assessment pending special assessment task (end-of-unit assessment or examination) granted in response to application for special consideration (outcome 3).
RP Result not applicable for a unit that commences in one academic year and is completed in another academic year or for linked units that are studied concurrently or in subsequent study periods.
RW Result withheld  
XA Not to be assessed yet should only be used where it is not possible to finalise results for all students in a unit at the time of submission of results due to the particular requirements of the unit.
WE Withdrawn by relevant census date.
WL Withdrawn without academic penalty.
WR Withdrawn debt remission without academic penalty.

(117) Grades for honours units and courses

Abbreviation Grade Percentage
H1 First Class Honours 80% and over
H2A Second Class Honours Division A 70 – 79%
H2B Second Class Honours Division B 60 – 69%
H3 Third Class Honours 50 – 59%

Calculation of the Weighted Average Mark

(118) The Weighted Average Mark (WAM) for a course is calculated as the sum of (number of credit points for unit x mark for unit)/ total number of credit points.

(119) For the purposes of the WAM calculation:

  1. Only units studied by a student at Deakin University are included. This excludes units completed at another institution under a cross-institutional study arrangement for which credit towards a Deakin course has been granted.
  2. Units are included where any of the following grades are achieved: HD, D, C, P, N, PC, XN, WN.
  3. The following marks are used for the purposes of the calculation:
    1. HD, D, C, P and N grades will use the assigned mark
    2. PC grades will use 50
    3. XN and WN grades will use 0.

(120) For Combined courses:

  1. the calculation of the WAM for a course that is a component of a combined or dual course only includes the units that are undertaken as part of that component course where any of the following grades are achieved: HD, D, C, P, N, PC, XN, WN. For example, for a combined Bachelor of A / Bachelor of B consisting of 32 credit points in total, the calculation of the WAM for course A includes the units (16 credit points) that are undertaken as part of course A and the calculation of the WAM for course B includes the units (16 credit points) that are undertaken as part of Course B.
  2. for combined courses which consist of 40 credit points in total the calculation is based on a 16/24 split.
  3. there may be some variations to the 16/16 or 16/24 splits depending on the combined course structure as outlined in relevant accreditation documents.

Supplementary Assessment and Pass Conceded

(121) A student who meets the criteria set out below may be awarded a pass conceded or supplementary assessment where a single failed unit is preventing them from completing their course.

(122) Applications for pass conceded grades and supplementary assessment are made by the student to the Faculty Academic Progress Committee using the Final Unit to Complete application form within five University working days of the release of results.

Pass conceded

(123) A pass conceded grade may be awarded in a unit where all of the following conditions are met:

  1. the student is one credit point short of completing their course
  2. the student has been awarded a mark between 45% and 49% (inclusive) for the unit for which the pass conceded grade is being considered
  3. the student has not failed any hurdle requirement for that unit
  4. the student has not failed the unit due to the outcome of a substantiated breach of academic integrity or misconduct
  5. the student has not been awarded a pass conceded grade for any other unit in a single degree or for any other unit in the relevant component of a combined degree.

(124) The Faculty Committee or delegated subcommittee will consider the recommendations of the Course Director when deciding whether to award a pass conceded grade.

Supplementary assessment

(125) A student may be offered a supplementary assessment for a unit where:

  1. the conditions for awarding a pass conceded (see clause 123) have been met, but a pass conceded cannot be awarded due to professional registration or accreditation requirements, OR
  2. the conditions for awarding a pass conceded have not been met, but the student is one credit point short of completing their course and was awarded a mark between 40 and 49% (inclusive) for a unit that they attempted within the last 12 months. Consideration is given only to the student’s most recent unit attempt so long as the student has not failed the unit due to the outcome of a substantiated breach of academic integrity or misconduct. Previous unit attempts are disregarded.

(126) The Faculty Committee may also award a supplementary assessment as an outcome of a Review of Results or where there is other cause for genuine doubt about a student’s academic performance in a unit.

(127) Where supplementary assessment is awarded under clause 125, a mark of no more than 50% will be given for the unit. The original mark should be awarded if the student fails the supplementary assessment.

(128) No further special consideration is available to a student completing a supplementary assessment.

Quality Assurance

(129) Deakin has a range of policies, procedures, processes and resources for quality assurance of assessment in courses and unit. Assessment is regularly reviewed as an integral and central part of quality assurance processes. The processes that occur at the course, Faculty and University level are outlined in the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review procedure.

Unit Assessment Panels

(130) Unit Assessment Panels are appointed by Faculty Board or delegated committee in every study period for every unit as a mechanism of quality assurance and to validate assessment processes.

(131) Unit Assessment Panels comprise at least two continuing or fixed-term academic staff members, including the Unit Chair who chairs the Unit Assessment Panel. If this requirement has been met, Unit Assessment Panels may also include external members or sessional staff.

(132) Unit Chairs lead and work collaboratively with Unit Assessment Panel members and other expert advisors such as course teams and teaching and learning support teams to ensure that: 

  1. assessment in the unit meets the required standard
  2. the number and weighting of assessments meets procedural requirements (see clause 15 and 16)
  3. an approved method for ensuring comparability of assessment is selected when assessing student work (see clause 79)
  4. comparability of assessment is maintained when outcome 4 of special consideration is awarded (see clause 53d)
  5. questions used in quizzes, end-of-unit assessments and examinations are checked and approved
  6. all assessments and rubrics are reviewed and revised for each offering of the unit
  7. student requests for a re-mark or a Review of Results on academic grounds are conducted in line with clause 93 and 97
  8. final unit marks are checked and approved, and unit fails are verified
  9. amendments to grades are discussed and approved
  10. all specific responsibilities of Unit Assessment Panels set out in this Procedure are undertaken. 

Review and monitoring of assessment

(133) The University monitors assessment practices and compliance with relevant procedures in accordance with the Framework for ensuring the Quality and Integrity of Assessment Assurance and other quality assurance processes.

(134) The effectiveness of the Framework for ensuring the Quality and Integrity of Assessment Assurance is reviewed at least triennially by Academic Board.

(135) Faculty Boards, Faculty Committees and Unit Assessment Panels ensure quality assurance and continuous quality improvement of assessment within each Faculty.

(136) As part of the continuous quality improvement process, the means of assessment for courses and units are reviewed during major course reviews in accordance with the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review procedure.

(137) Faculty Board or delegated committee will record reasons for granting exemptions to the maximum prescribed weightings for assessment tasks with reference to Deakin Curriculum Design Framework.

Storage, security and records management

(138) Faculties and Student Services are jointly responsible for the security of documentation relating to end-of-unit assessments, examinations and other types of assessment tasks.

(139) Faculties and Student Services ensure that records are retained in accordance with the Information and Records Management policy, including any supporting documentation for decisions about special consideration applications, mark adjustments made to individual assessment items, amendments to final results and supplementary assessment.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(140) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. academic integrity: is part of the moral code of academia. It involves using, generating and communicating information in an ethical, honest and responsible manner.
  2. access plan: a document that outlines strategies and adjustments to enable a student with a health condition or disability to work towards achieving the unit learning outcomes.
  3. assessment: an evaluation of a student’s academic performance in each of the assessment tasks prescribed for a course or unit (including end-of-unit assessments and examinations), by whatever means a Faculty Board or delegate committee has determined. Assessment includes:
    1. formative assessments - assessments for learning that are used to monitor student progress, build knowledge and skills and provide timely and meaningful feedback on student learning. Formative assessments do not contribute to students’ final grade and/or mark for a unit of study
    2. summative assessments - assessments of learning that measure of student success in achieving unit learning outcomes and contribute to a student's final grade and/or mark for a unit of study.
  4. comparability of assessment: performance by students enrolled within a unit is assessed to the same standard.
  5. continuous assessment: assessment that evaluates a student’s performance throughout an entire unit.
  6. end-of-unit assessment: refers to summative assessment that is not proctored (unsupervised) that is scheduled during the end-of-unit assessment period.
  7. evaluative judgement: the capability to make decisions about the quality of work of self and others.
  8. examinations: refers to proctored (supervised) summative assessments that are scheduled during the end-of-unit assessment period.
  9. extension: where unexpected circumstances prevent students from completing an assessment task by the due date, further time may be provided to complete the task.
  10. faculty: means an academic organisational unit established as a faculty by Council in accordance with regulation 16 of the Council Regulations For the purposes of this Procedure, faculty includes any institute that is approved to offer courses.
  11. Faculty Board: includes any institute board of studies where the institute is established by Council in accordance with regulation 17 of the Council Regulations and approved to offer courses.
  12. Faculty Committee: the relevant committee appointed by each Faculty Board to deal with assessment and academic progress matters referred to it under Vice-Chancellor Regulations and Academic Board Regulations.
  13. grade: a descriptive indicator of a student's achievement in an assessment task or a unit, awarded as part of a marking process.
  14. hurdle requirement: a condition, other than the overall mark, that must be met in order for students to be able to pass a unit.
  15. mark: a numerical indicator of a student's achievement in an assessment task or a unit, awarded as part of a marking process.
  16. marking rubric: a description of expected levels of performance in the essential criteria associated with an assessment task.
  17. microunit: a type of unit with clearly articulated learning outcomes which are assessed, and which leads to the award of a microcredential.
  18. moderation: a quality assurance process to ensure marking is fair, valid and reliable.
  19. pass conceded: a grade that may be awarded to enable a student to satisfy the requirements of the course.
  20. portfolio: curated collections of artefacts that showcase student learning, capabilities, experiences and professional identity
  21. quiz: summative assessment that is not proctored (unsupervised) and is scheduled during the teaching period.
  22. reasonable adjustments: measures implemented by the University to assist a student with disability, health condition or other eligible circumstance to apply, enrol and participate in a course on the same basis as other students.
  23. result: the final grade/mark in a unit awarded to a student based on the assessment for that unit.
  24. special assessment: an assessment task undertaken by a student where special consideration has been granted to the student.
  25. special consideration: the process available to students whose performance is temporarily and adversely affected by circumstances outside their control, by which they may apply for approval to take additional time to complete an assessment task or to complete the assessment task at a later time.
  26. study period: a defined teaching and study period specified by a Faculty for the completion of units for a particular course.
  27. supervised: completion of an examination under observation by an invigilator, online proctor or automated video recorded supervision.
  28. supplementary assessment: additional assessment tasks undertaken by a student in order to determine a result where there is genuine doubt about their academic performance in a specific unit.
  29. teaching period: a defined teaching period specified by a Faculty for the completion of units for a particular course.
  30. Unit Assessment panel: appointed by Faculty Board or delegated committee to validate assessment processes. Each panel comprises at least two continuing or fixed-term academic staff members.
  31. Unit Chair: the person appointed under the Curriculum Design and Delivery procedure to be responsible for coordinating the curriculum, teaching and assessment in a unit.
  32. University Handbook: the official University publication in print, electronic or other form, containing details of courses and related information.