Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Assessment Policy and Procedures

Establishment: Council, 13 December 1991 
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 5 February 2016
Nature of Amendment: Minor amendments to clauses 15.2 and 15.9
Date Last Reviewed: November 2015
Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Appendix A

Appendix B

1.  Purpose

1.1  The purpose of this policy and its procedures is to position assessment as an integral part of students’ learning experience at Flinders University. It sets out the principles that underpin the University’s approach to assessment and the mandatory procedures for the implementation of assessment.

1.2  The policy acknowledges the diverse types of assessment used throughout the University, which varies according to academic discipline.

2.  Scope

2.1  This policy and its associated procedures apply to all students enrolled in, and all staff involved in the delivery of undergraduate and honours courses, and those postgraduate courses (including higher degree courses) in which individual topics are taught and assessed.

2.2  This policy and procedures do not apply to assessment of higher degree theses. For details of those policies and procedures refer to the Statutes and Rules governing higher degrees and handbooks published by the Research Services Office, Faculties and Schools.

3.  Principles of Assessment

This policy recognises that assessment has a number of legitimate purposes and plays a key role in:

  • fostering learning (assessment for learning);
  • the certification of student learning (assessment of learning);
  • developing students’ abilities to reflect on and monitor their progress to inform their future learning goals (assessment as learning); and
  • providing an incentive structure for shaping student learning activity.

The approach to assessment at Flinders University is underpinned by the following eight fundamental principles for assessment as informed by the TEQSA Threshold Standards and published guidance on good practice in assessment in higher education.1   These principles will form the basis for a deliberate process of assessment design, implementation, evaluation and improvement.

1 Boud, D and Associates (2010). Assessment 2020:  Seven propositions for assessment reform in higher education.  Sydney:  Australian Learning and Teaching Council

3.1  Assessment procedures will encourage, reinforce and be integral to learning.

3.1.1  Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning, encouraging the development of critical and creative abilities.

3.1.2  Assessment is most effective when:

  • intentionally designed as an integral component of the learning experience;
  • used to engage students in learning;
  • students and teachers become responsible partners in learning and assessment; and
  • assessment for learning is a focus for staff and institutional development.

3.2  Assessment will provide quality and timely feedback to enhance learning.

3.2.1  Students will be provided with timely, usable feedback to support their progress toward achievement of the learning outcomes for the topic and selected course.

3.2.2  Assessment signals to the student the progress being made towards their achievement of topic and course learning outcomes. It is good practice to incorporate low stakes diagnostic and formative assessment early in a topic to provide a guide to student learning.

3.2.3  Assessment will also provide teaching staff with feedback about the effectiveness of assessment design, and teaching and learning methods.

3.3  Assessment practices will be valid, reliable and consistent.

3.3.1  Assessment will be based on appropriate academic standards and designed to provide an inclusive and reliable representation of student academic achievement.

3.3.2  Assessment should be moderated to ensure that professional judgement is informed by peer discussion and consensus amongst topic, course or disciplinary groups. Moderation is integral to assessment design, grading and improvement.

3.3.3  Grades are applied consistently in accordance with the University’s approved Schedule of Final Grades, Classifications and Symbols and Schedule of Notations and Symbols. 

3.4  Assessment is integral to course and topic design.

3.4.1  Assessment is most effective when it is placed at the centre of topic and course design. Assessment methods will be selected that are appropriate to the topic and course learning outcomes and, where relevant, to professional standards. The validity and reliability of each assessment method will be considered.

3.4.2  The design of assessment in a topic will take into account the broader course aims, course learning outcomes, inherent course requirements and, where relevant, recognised external standards and competencies. Assessment design will include opportunities to demonstrate the development of the University’s graduate qualities.

3.4.3  Varied assessment methods and exercises allow a range of learning outcomes to be appraised. In designing assessment methods for a topic, a range of assessment exercises will be selected consistent with the use of multiple measures and sources of evidence of student learning.

Consideration will be given to permitting students to choose from optional forms of assessment, consistent with the topic learning outcomes, where practically and administratively reasonable.

3.4.4  Selection of appropriate technologies to be used for assessment exercises will be based on principles of task-appropriateness, accessibility, safety and usability. Technologies that are institutionally supported will be used where possible.

3.5  Information about assessment is readily accessible.

3.5.1  Students must be provided with a clear understanding of assessment expectations. This is achieved when:

  • the purpose, requirements, standards and criteria of assessment are clearly articulated; and
  • students are informed about the assessment practices and cultures of the University.

3.6  Assessment is fair, equitable and inclusive.

3.6.1  Assessment exercises and procedures will be designed to ensure that students enrolled in a topic are treated consistently and equitably. Reasonable adjustments will be made where appropriate and, where possible, students will be provided with any necessary support to ensure inclusive and equitable assessment.

3.6.2  Assessment methods will be designed and implemented in a manner that affords reasonable flexibility for students consistent with fairness to all students and the requirements for workable assessment processes and maintaining rigorous academic standards.

3.6.3  Assessment will be equivalent and comparable across a teaching team in a particular topic, and across different locations and learning platforms.

3.6.4  Students will be given opportunities to discuss assessment results, grades and outcomes with academic staff. Where a student has a reasonable belief that an assessment result, grade or outcome is wrong or unfair, they may initiate an appeals process in accordance with Sections 15-17.

3.6.5  Where a student is required to pass (or otherwise attain a designated threshold level of achievement in) a specified assessment exercise in order to pass a topic, students must be provided with an opportunity, where practical, to resubmit the exercise if failed, subject to the scope for the imposition of reasonable conditions and/or an upper limit on the grade awarded.

3.6.6  In certain situations students will be offered supplementary assessment. Supplementary assessment for eligible students must be undertaken in accordance with Section 9.

3.7  The amount of assessment is manageable for students and staff.

3.7.1  Expectations regarding the time students spend on assessment exercises and the marking requirements for staff will be realistic and will enable effective student learning.

3.7.2  The total workload required of students in assessment exercises will be commensurate with the unit weighting of the topic. The number, requirements and timing of assessment exercises will be clearly linked to enabling student progress towards, and achievement of, learning outcomes.

3.7.3  The normal expectation is that students will submit assessment exercises by the specified due date and time. Due dates and times are important for both students and staff as they help to smooth student and staff workloads, provide benchmarks for progress and assist in providing timely feedback for students.

This expectation enables students to learn the critical skills of timeliness and effective decision-making, by assisting them to organise their activities, prioritise tasks and manage their time productively as expected in relation to the University’s Graduate Qualities

3.8  Assessment practices are monitored for quality assurance and improvement.

3.8.1  There will be quality assurance of assessment at course and topic levels, and ongoing revision and improvement of assessment practices.

3.8.2  Calibration will be used to enhance the alignment of academic standards over time and to promote discussion on good practice in teaching and learning across institutions. 

4.  Definitions

Assessment criteria – statements that describe how student performance in relation to the stated learning outcomes will be recognised.

Assessment exercises – all forms of tasks set for assessment purposes, including examinations, that provide a means for generating and collecting evidence of a student’s attainment and comparing that evidence against the assessment criteria and standards of performance.

Assessment for learning – the process of seeking and interpreting evidence of a student’s performance for use by students and academic staff to identify the student’s progress towards their learning outcomes, where their next learning goals are, and what they need to do to achieve those learning goals.

Calibration – the process of determining the comparability of grades awarded in a topic against agreed disciplinary learning outcomes and performance standards; occurs across topics in related disciplines within and across universities.

Course Coordinator – the academic staff member who is responsible for the academic leadership and oversight of a particular Flinders University course.

Criterion-referenced assessment – assessment that measures students learning against assessment criteria, rather than on their performance relative to other learners.

Deferred assessment – an examination or other assessment exercise, which is set in appropriately approved circumstances, to provide an opportunity to a student to demonstrate their knowledge and competence where due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances the student was not in a position to demonstrate their knowledge and competency at the time of the original assessment, either in relation to an individual assessment exercise or a final grade.

Examinations Board – the committee responsible for reviewing and approving grades for specified courses within a Faculty as designated by the Faculty Board.

Feedback – qualitative information provided to students that is able to be used by them to improve future learning.

Final grade – a letter code given to represent overall academic achievement in all assessment in a topic.

Grade – the result of assessment of a single assessment exercise in a topic, determined on the basis of academic achievement in relation to the agreed criteria and performance standards for the assessment exercise.

Grade integrity – the correspondence between the actual level of academic achievement and the agreed criteria and performance standards the assigned grade represents.

Grade Point Average (GPA) – the average of the final grades achieved by a student taking into account topic unit values. (The procedure for calculating GPA is contained in clause 10.5)

Graduate qualities – Flinders University has adopted seven Graduate Qualities for its Bachelor degree programs.

Honours Classifications – the final grades used for honours degree courses consistent with the Schedule of Final Grades, Classifications and Symbols.

Learning outcomes – statements of the knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities that students are expected to demonstrate as a result of successfully completing a topic or course.

Moderation (of assessment) – the process of establishing comparability of standards, reached through consensus, between assessors to ensure the validity, reliability and practicality of assessment and consistency of grading.

Notations – temporary or permanent annotations recorded against a topic consistent with the Schedule of Notations when a final grade is not appropriate. They will be either:

Interim Notations – the notations entered in place of a grade when either all necessary procedures for the final assessment of a topic have not been completed by the student or by the Topic Coordinator, or other requirements relating to the release of a final grade have not been met; or

Final Notations – notations which are assigned to indicate the standing of a student in a topic, where such standing is not an assessment of performance in that topic.

Performance standards – statements that describe the level to be achieved in relation to the assessment criteria.

Placement – an intentional, organised, supervised and assessed educational activity, in a workplace setting, usually external to the University, in accordance with the University’s Work-Integrated Learning Policy.

Reliability – in assessment, the extent to which results of an assessment exercise are repeatable and fair from one student to the next, and from one occasion to the next (for example with a different group of students).

Resubmission – the lodging for assessment of student work after it has been revised by the student(s) who originally produced it.

Rubric – a grading matrix/table detailing the assessment criteria for an assessment exercise and the required performance standards against each criterion to achieve a particular grade.

Statement of Assessment Methods (SAM) – for a topic, a document that describes the criteria for successful completion of the topic and outlines the topic learning outcomes, expected student workload, assessment procedures, attendance requirements, and other requirements of the student.

Supplementary assessment – an examination or other assessment exercise, in addition to the specified assessment requirements for a topic, which is set in appropriate approved circumstances to provide an opportunity to a student to redeem a previous result or substitute for non-performance in relation to a final grade.

Symbols – used on academic transcripts and results notifications to indicate the final grades, notations and classifications awarded for work in a topic.

Topic Coordinator – the academic staff member who is responsible for the academic leadership and oversight of all aspects of a particular Flinders University topic.

Validity – in assessment, the extent to which an assessment exercise tests the actual abilities that it is supposed to test and the appropriateness of the interpretation and use of the results for any assessment instrument.

5.  Responsibilities

5.1  The Faculty Board in each Faculty is responsible for:

  • determining the assessment methods and examination results for topics and courses for which the Faculty is responsible (University Statute 4.3, clause 17e). The Board may delegate this responsibility to an Examinations Board.

5.2  Faculty Executive Deans are responsible for:

  • ensuring that School Deans or nominees understand their responsibilities under this policy; and
  • taking steps to ensure that the policy is implemented.

5.3    School Deans are responsible for:

  • overall quality assurance of assessment practices in the School;
  • managing the review of grades for and re-marking of assessment exercises and appeals against final topic grades at the School level (refer Sections 15 and 17);
  • ensuring all Topic Coordinators and assessors are familiar with the Assessment Policy and Procedures;
  • overseeing the performance management of academic staff in relation to good practice and compliance with this policy; and
  • allocating appropriate administrative support to ensure timely compliance with this policy.

5.4  The Course Coordinator is responsible for:

  • facilitating coherence and scaffolding in assessment design and implementation across topics within the course;
  • providing opportunities for members of the course’s teaching team to contribute in a meaningful way to assessment design;
  • maintaining an up-to-date and detailed knowledge of assessment across the course;
  • maintaining oversight of the assessment workload for students and teaching staff across the course; and
  • identifying topics for inclusion in external calibration.

5.5  The Topic Coordinator is responsible for:

  • implementing assessment in the topic in accordance with the University’s assessment principles and procedures;
  • designing assessment in the topic in collaboration with the Course Coordinator and other relevant Topic Coordinators in the course;
  • ensuring assessment exercises adopt forms that are appropriate to the intended learning outcomes of the topic;
  • recommending assessment methods for submission to the Faculty Board;
  • ensuring that assessment design and grading is appropriately moderated and, where applicable, externally calibrated;
  • ensuring that assessment in the topic aligns with the objectives of any course within which it is a core topic;
  •  communicating the assessment exercises, criteria and standards to students, either directly or through others;
  • ensuring that students are afforded the opportunity to electronically submit any assessment exercise that has been prepared in an electronic format;
  • coordinating assessment in the topic if more than one staff member is involved in assessment, which includes providing clear marking criteria to facilitate different markers awarding marks for the same reasons or the same marker awarding marks consistently between students;
  • implementing and managing the Academic Integrity Policy within the topic;
  • making decisions on requests for extensions (unless delegated to an assessor or a different process is in place within a School for management of extension matters);
  • the grades allocated to students' assessment exercises in that topic;
  • nominating, in compliance with University-approved norms, a period of time within which work is normally to be returned with usable feedback to students;
  • ensuring that all assessment exercises submitted electronically are electronically returned to the student;
  • recommending the final grade in the topic for each student to the Examinations Board; and
  • maintaining records of students' academic performance.

5.6  Academic staff with assessment duties in a topic are responsible for:

  • familiarising themselves thoroughly with assessment information including policy, guidelines and criteria, following instructions for the assessment of exercises and seeking clarification from the Topic Coordinator if unsure about requirements;
  • participating in a process of moderation of assessment design and results in the topic;
  • ensuring students receive consistent and timely information regarding assessment; and
  • providing timely, usable feedback to students on their academic performance in the topic.

5.7  Students are responsible for:

  • familiarising themselves thoroughly with assessment information including policy, guidelines and criteria, following instructions for assessment exercises and seeking clarification if unsure about requirements;
  • timely submission of assessment exercises;
  • submitting all assessment exercises generated in electronic format electronically;
  • abiding by the Academic Integrity Policy;
  • noting and seriously reflecting upon all feedback provided, whether individual or general in character or delivery and whether from the assessor or any other authorised person; and
  • seeking additional feedback in an appropriate manner.

 

Assessment Procedures

6.  Quality Assurance

6.1  Assessment methods and grade distributions will be evaluated as part of the regular regime of topic evaluations in accordance with Section 3 of the Evaluation, Monitoring and Review of Academic Programs and Teaching Policy.

6.2  External review to determine the appropriateness of academic standards and grades in final-year topics must be undertaken on a regular basis. The following optional methods may be used:

6.2.1  External calibration utilising the main assignment in a final-year topic (where possible, a formal capstone topic) that best captures the course learning outcomes.

6.2.2  Periodic external review of a sample of assignments submitted over a period of years in a given topic, for example five-yearly.

6.2.3  An external course accreditation process that encompasses a review of a sample of submitted assessment exercises, for example assignments or examination papers.

7. Presentation of Topic Assessment Information

7.1  In or before the first week of teaching in a topic, the Topic Coordinator will draw the attention of all students enrolled in that topic to the existence of the University's assessment policies and procedures.

7.2  At the commencement of a topic students will be informed of:

  • the assessment principles, expectations and methods that will apply in that topic and discipline;
  • all requirements for successful completion of the topic;
  • the expectations of each assessment exercise, its relationship to the topic learning outcomes and graduate qualities, and the criteria and standards by which performance will be judged; and
  • the importance and purpose of due dates and times and the consequences of not submitting an assessment exercise by the due date and time (refer clause 9.3).

7.3  The Topic Coordinator will provide to each student a Statement of Assessment Methods (SAM) for the topic and indicate the consequences of failure to meet the assessment requirements, and in particular:

  • learning outcomes;
  • information on expected student workload in accordance with Guidelines approved by Academic Senate (see Appendix B to this policy);
  • the criteria for successful completion of the topic;
  • in the case of professional experience topics, information on: the location of placements; supervisory arrangements; duties to be undertaken; codes of behaviour and industry regulations and requirements; assessment and reporting; health or other preliminary checks required by the placement provider; provisions for inability to meet health or other required checks; provisions in the event of unsatisfactory performance either by the student or the placement provider; and any other requirements or conditions relating to the placement;
  • the scheduling of assessment due dates, the consequences if those due dates are not met and the period of time within which work is normally returned to students;
  • the format of each form of assessable work;
  • where relevant, a statement that criterion-referenced assessment will be used and a description of the system proposed;
  • if optional forms of assessment are permitted, details of the options offered;
  • the proportion of assessment workload for each piece of assessable work towards the final grade in the topic;
  • any special requirements concerning particular parts of the topic, for example if a student must achieve a certain minimum level of competence in both the theoretical and practical parts, or any attendance requirements that are applicable;
  • whether each assessment exercise is redeemable and, if so, how and under what circumstances it may be redeemed, including whether redemption is possible through resubmission and the maximum mark obtainable through resubmission; and what criteria and procedures apply for supplementary assessment in the topic;
  • how students with disabilities may apply for variations to assessment and teaching methods;
  • how, and under what circumstances, individual students may apply for special consideration in the topic;
  • that electronic text matching software will be used for all text-based assessment as mandated by the Academic Integrity Policy.

7.4  A clear statement on the nature and importance of academic integrity and the unacceptability of breaches of academic integrity, including cheating, plagiarism and fabrication or falsification of data, and on individual rights and responsibilities regarding the proper use of copyright material will be included in the Statement of Assessment Methods (SAM).

7.5  The Statement of Assessment Methods (SAM) is to be provided to students in a format approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

7.6  Where it is appropriate for student learning, an assessment rubric may be provided to students prior to commencing an assessment exercise.

8.  Feedback on Assessment Exercises

8.1  Students who produce assessment exercises will be provided with as much feedback as possible on their assessed work to guide their future learning.

8.2  Where an assessment exercise is not returned to the student (for example, an examination script), it must be retained for one year after the end of teaching of the topic to enable the student to be provided with feedback. Students must be provided access to retained assessment exercises on request.

8.3  Where an assessment exercise is submitted electronically, the student will be provided with feedback electronically.

8.4  Feedback on assessment exercises should be clear, explicit, usable and focused on enabling students to improve their performance and progress towards their learning outcomes and goals.

9.  Variations to Assessment

9.1  Adjustments to Teaching or Assessment Methods

9.1.1  A student with a disability, impairment or medical condition who seeks reasonable adjustments in the teaching or assessment methods of a topic on the basis of their disability may make a request to the Topic Coordinator or the Disability Advisors as soon as practicable after enrolment in the topic.

9.1.2  Any such reasonable adjustments must be agreed in writing between the student and the Topic Coordinator and must be in accordance with related University policy (see Appendix A to this policy).

9.1.3  Students who are granted elite athlete status at Flinders University may negotiate variations to assessment methods and procedures directly with the relevant Topic Coordinator.

9.2  Variations to Examinations

9.2.1    Except for students in an offshore program, students who satisfy the University's definition of a non-English speaking background student, or the Commonwealth Government's definition of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and who make an application to the University for extra time according to prescribed procedures, may be allowed the following variations to standard examination procedures:

a)  extra time of ten minutes per hour of the examination; and
b)  use of an English language dictionary, except where the Topic Coordinator determines that the nature of the examination in a particular topic may make the use of a dictionary inappropriate.

Electronic, specialised, technical, scientific and notated dictionaries are not permitted unless exempted by the Topic Coordinator.

9.2.2  The University defines a non-English speaking background (NESB) student as a student who:

  • was born outside of Australia,
  • arrived in Australia less than ten years previously, and
  • speaks a language other than English at home.

9.2.3  The Commonwealth defines an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander as:

  • a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent,
  • who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and
  • who is accepted as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander by the community in which he or she lives or has lived.

9.2.4  To be eligible for the above standard examination variations, Indigenous Australian students must also indicate that:

  • their first language is not English, and
  • they speak a language other than English at home.

9.3  Extension to Submit an Assessment Exercise and Consequences of Late Submission

9.3.1  An extension to submit an assessment exercise may be granted by a duly authorised person (who will be the Topic Coordinator unless the School has designated another person) where it is practicable to do so and where the student has:

  • made a written request for an extension;
  • included supporting information where relevant when requesting the extension; and
  • justified the request on the basis of unforeseen or exceptional circumstances reasonably beyond the control and/or knowledge of the student that are reasonably likely to prevent substantial completion of the assessment exercise by the specified due date (refer also clause 9.8).

9.3.2  A duly authorised person may require that the student provide evidence of work-in-progress towards completion of the assessment exercise to support requests made on other than medical grounds.

9.3.3  An extension requested in accordance with clause 9.3.1 will be considered in a fair, transparent and consistent way and will not be unreasonably refused.

9.3.4  Extensions will not be granted after the due date for submission of the assessment exercise except under special circumstances, which include a sound explanation for the delay in requesting the extension.

9.3.5  Any extension granted will specify in writing a new due date for submission of the assessment exercise after which consequences of late submission will apply.

The new due date will be set taking account of the circumstances justifying the granting of the extension, but cannot extend beyond a date where to do so will be impracticable in the circumstances or create the potential of a student obtaining unfair advantage from feedback provided to other students in respect of the assessment exercise in question.

9.3.6  Where an assessment exercise is not submitted by the due date and time, and an extension is not granted, late submission may be permitted, but with the consequence communicated to students in advance.

9.3.7  There will be a deduction of at least 1% and not more than 5% of the total marks possible for the assessment exercise, or the equivalent where percentage marks are not awarded, for every day (or part thereof) late.

Within that range, the consequences of late submission should normally be consistent within a course, but departures are permitted where demonstrably justified by particular reference to one or more topic learning outcomes.

9.3.8  Permission to submit late will lapse where to allow the late submission will be impracticable in the circumstances or create the potential of a student obtaining unfair advantage from feedback provided to other students in respect of the assessment exercise in question.

9.4  Resubmission of Assessment Exercises

9.4.1  Failed assessment exercises, other than examinations, may be resubmitted within provisions specified by the Topic Coordinator and stated in the Statement of Assessment Methods, which will include under what circumstances an assessment exercise may be resubmitted and the maximum mark obtainable through resubmission.

9.4.2  Where this provision applies, it must do so equally to all students who have failed the exercise.

9.4.3  The original mark assigned will stand unless superseded by a higher mark achieved as a result of resubmission.

9.4.4  An application for an assessment exercise to be resubmitted must be made in writing to the Topic Coordinator concerned (or other duly authorised person) within ten working days of the return of that exercise. The application must state the grounds for the request.

9.4.5  In granting approval to resubmit, the duly authorised person must indicate how much of the assessment exercise needs to be resubmitted and the deadline for such resubmission.

9.5  Supplementary Assessment (on Academic Grounds) for a Topic

9.5.1  Supplementary assessment for a topic in which a student is currently enrolled may be approved in appropriate circumstances.

9.5.2  A student will be granted supplementary assessment if they:

  • achieve an overall result in the topic of between 45 and 49% or the equivalent where percentage marks are not awarded; and
  • have completed all required work for the topic; and
  • have met all attendance requirements that apply to the topic; and
  • have obtained at least a pass level grade in any specific component of assessment (other than an examination) for the topic where this is explicitly stated to be a formal requirement for the successful completion of the course or topic.

9.5.3  An Examination Board may grant supplementary assessment for a topic in circumstances other than those covered in sub-clause 9.5.2 on the basis of unforeseen or exceptional circumstances reasonably beyond the control or knowledge of the student.

9.5.4  If unforeseen or exceptional circumstances prevent the student from sitting or remaining for the duration of the scheduled supplementary assessment, the student will be either:

  • awarded a result in the topic of Withdraw, Not Fail (WN); or
  • offered the opportunity to demonstrate competence through an alternative mechanism.

9.5.5  If unforeseen or exceptional circumstances are demonstrated to persist up to the commencement of the next academic year, then the student will be awarded a result in the topic of WN.

9.5.6  Supplementary assessment may involve written or oral examinations, prepared papers or practical work, or any combination of these consistent with the stated assessment requirements of the topic.

9.5.7  Supplementary assessment will not normally be granted on the grounds that a student has mistaken the time of an examination or the due date of an assignment or project unless the Examinations Board determines otherwise in any particular case.

9.5.8  For supplementary assessment, only the grades of P (Pass), Non-Graded Pass for Satisfactory Performance (NGP) and F (Fail) will be awarded.

9.5.9  Decisions on the award of supplementary assessment will be made by the relevant Examinations Board, which may delegate this authority.

9.5.10  Centrally administered supplementary examinations for Semester 1 will be held prior to the commencement of Semester 2 and for Semester 2 or full year topics will be held prior to the commencement of the following academic year.

9.5.11  Schools may make other arrangements for supplementary assessment (to be administered by the School or Faculty) provided this is by mutual agreement between the Topic Coordinator and student(s) concerned and provided that no formal examination is set during a teaching period which might interfere with a student's studies in another topic. Such supplementary assessment should take place at a time as close as possible to the original examination.

9.6  Deferred Assessment

9.6.1  Deferred assessment for a topic in which a student is currently enrolled may be approved for medical and compassionate reasons in appropriate circumstances.

9.6.2  A student who is unable to sit or remain for the duration of the original examination due to unexpected or exceptional circumstances may apply for deferred assessment.

9.6.3  If unexpected or exceptional circumstances prevent the student from sitting or remaining for the duration of a scheduled supplementary or deferred examination, or from submitting by the agreed deadline a supplementary or deferred assessment exercise, the student will be either:

  • awarded a result in the topic of Withdraw, Not Fail (WN); or
  • offered the opportunity to demonstrate competence through an alternative mechanism.

9.6.4  If unexpected or exceptional circumstances are demonstrated to persist up to the commencement of the next academic year, then the student will be awarded a result in the topic of WN.

9.6.5  Deferred assessment may involve written or oral examinations, prepared papers or practical work, or any combination of these consistent with the stated assessment requirements of the topic.

9.6.6  The full range of grades will be available for deferred assessment.

9.6.7  Centrally administered deferred examinations for Semester 1 will be held prior to the commencement of Semester 2 and for Semester 2 or full year topics will be held prior to the commencement of the following academic year.

9.6.8  Schools may make other arrangements for deferred assessment (to be administered by the School or Faculty) provided this is by mutual agreement between the Topic Coordinator and student(s) concerned and provided that no formal examination is set during a teaching period which might interfere with a student's studies in another topic. Such deferred assessment should take place at a time as close as possible to the original examination.


9.7  Application for Deferred Assessment

9.7.1  Applications for deferred assessment must be made on the standard form available on the University's website or from the Examinations Office or Faculty Offices and lodged through the Faculty Office with the Secretary of the appropriate Examinations Board(s) within three working days of the examination or Faculty deadline for assignments.

9.7.2  Where the nature of the applicant's problem prevented the applicant from applying within the stipulated time, or if the student is enrolled in a topic delivered off campus, either as part of an offshore program, or through print, or ICT, or other means, Examinations Boards may accept such applications more than three working days after the examination or Faculty deadline.

9.7.3  Part B of the form must be completed by a doctor when the application is for medical reasons, or by a doctor or other appropriate professional when the application is for compassionate reasons, and forwarded to the University.

9.7.4  Faculties will advise students of the outcome of their application for deferred assessment no later than ten working days after the final day of the assessment/examination period for Semester 1 topics, and before the end of the calendar year for Semester 2. In the case of non-standard semester topics, Faculties will advise students of the outcome of their application as soon as practicable following the receipt of the application

9.8  Unforeseen or Exceptional Circumstances

9.8.1  Unforeseen or exceptional circumstances are those which are beyond the control of the student and/or for which there was no opportunity to prepare in advance.

9.8.2  Unforeseen or exceptional circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:

  • illness of the student or a close relative;
  • unanticipated personal circumstances of a compelling nature;
  • unanticipated and significant work-related circumstances of a compelling nature; and
  • sporting commitments for recognised elite athletes.

9.8.3  Discretionary activities or circumstances within the student’s control, for example attendance at sporting events (with the exception of approved elite athletes with sporting commitments), holidays, family celebrations and other discretionary travel, and/or other foreseeable events will not normally constitute grounds for an extension.

9.8.4  Examples of unforeseen or exceptional circumstances are provided in sub-clause 9.8.2. Approval is not limited to these examples if acceptable evidence is provided.

9.8.5  Supporting evidence for unforeseen or exceptional circumstances must be verifiable.


10.  Final Assessment Grades, Notations, Symbols and Classifications

10.1  Grading Practices

10.1.1  Informed academic judgements will be used to determine how and how well students’ work meets appropriate criteria and performance standards and to determine the appropriate final grade for a student's academic performance in a topic (consistent with Assessment Principle 3.3).

10.1.2  For Work-Integrated Learning topics and external placements the recommendations and comments of external supervisors should be taken into account in determining a student’s final grade for the topic.

10.1.3  The full range of grades should be achievable if the student demonstrates an appropriate standard of academic performance, except where a topic is assessed on a pass/fail basis (Non-Graded Pass for Satisfactory Performance (NGP)) or where the final grade is allocated following supplementary assessment.

10.1.4  In Honours degree courses and other courses where approved as appropriate, a group of people, including external examiners, may have responsibility for awarding marks or grades for components of the course and for recommending a final grade for the total course based on the criteria and standards of performance described in clause 11.2.

10.2  Schedule of Final Grades, Classifications and Symbols

A final grade is the final assessment grade awarded for a topic to a student on the basis of work completed. The final grade obtained by a student in a topic will reflect that student's standard of performance in relation to the learning outcomes of the topic and the course. Symbols used are shown in brackets after the name of the final grade.

The grading system consists of a set of ordered categories of grades, with criteria for their award and scores to differentiate achievement within each grading category. It also accommodates changing expectations as students advance to higher level topics.

Additional descriptors of expected student performance within each grade may be developed by the Topic Coordinator if these will assist students to meet specific topic outcomes. Relevant descriptors or guidelines should be provided for students if presentation will affect grading in a topic. Grading descriptors which are specific to a topic must be approved by the relevant Examinations Board and published in course or topic handbooks.

10.2.1  Final Grades

Pass Level (P) – The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has demonstrated at least an adequate level of knowledge/ understanding/ competencies/ skills required for meeting topic outcomes and satisfactorily completing essential assessment exercises.

A score in the range of 50-64 will be awarded.

Credit (CR) – The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has demonstrated a sound level of knowledge/ understanding/ competencies/ skills required for meeting topic outcomes at a proficient standard.

The student would normally have attained a sound knowledge of matter contained in set texts or reading materials and have done wider reading, and demonstrated familiarity with and the ability to apply a range of major academic debates, approaches, methodologies and conceptual tools.

Students should have a reasonable opportunity of reaching this grade provided they have completed all course requirements, demonstrated proficiency in the full range of course outcomes and shown considerable evidence of a sound capacity to work with the range of relevant subject matter.

A score in the range of 65-74 will be awarded.

Distinction (DN) – The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student has demonstrated advanced knowledge/ understanding/ competencies/ skills required for meeting topic outcomes and completing assessment exercises at a high standard.

The student would normally have attained an advanced and have demonstrated a broad familiarity with and facility at applying a range of major academic debates, approaches, methodologies and conceptual tools.

The grade should reflect very high quality work which shows the student generally works at a level which is beyond the requirements of the topic outcomes and is developing a capacity for original and creative thinking.

A score in the range of 75-84 will be awarded.

High Distinction (HD) – The grade will be awarded where there is evidence that a student demonstrated the acquisition of an advanced level of knowledge/understanding/competencies/skills required for meeting topic outcomes and passing the range of topic elements at the highest level.

The student would normally have attained an in-depth knowledge of and have consistently demonstrated a high level of proficiency at applying a range of major academic debates, approaches, methodologies and conceptual tools and combining knowledge of the subject matter of the topic with original and creative thinking.

The grade will be awarded in recognition of the highest level of academic achievement expected of a student at a given topic level.

A score in the range of 85-100 will be awarded.

Non-Graded Pass for Satisfactory Performance (NGP) – The grade will be awarded in a topic that is assessed only on a pass or fail basis, where a satisfactory level of performance has been achieved. The grade may be awarded to reflect:

  • that the stude nt has achieved mastery of the topic content; and
  • that the student has satisfactorily completed topic requirements or contractual requirements where these form a prerequisite or condition of passing, or continuing with a program of study.

The Non-Graded Pass is awarded on a pass/fail basis and a score would not normally be assigned. The grade may encompass any level of achievement from satisfactory performance through to outstanding performance.

A topic assessed as NGP will not be counted for the purposes of applying Grade Point Average to the grading system.

Fail (F) – The grade will be awarded if a student is unable to demonstrate satisfactory academic performance in the topic or has failed to complete essential topic elements or required assessment exercises at an acceptable level, in accordance with topic outcomes.

A score in the range of 0-49 will be awarded.

(Note: where supplementary assessment is to be granted the relevant notation should be used.)

10.2.2    Honours Assessment Classifications

The performance for each Honours classification should exhibit the following:

Honours First Class (H1) – Sustained excellence in quality of written, oral and, where relevant, performative work, judged against stated criteria. This level of achievement should be rated as outstanding in the sense that students clearly demonstrate advanced scholarship within the discipline and a high level of ability to undertake independent research. A score in the range of 85 to 100 will be awarded.

Honours Second Class Division A (H2A) – An overall high level of scholarship judged against stated criteria, which may include excellence in some areas. Students achieving this classification will have demonstrated the ability to undertake independent research. A score in the range of 75 to 84 will be awarded.

Honours Second Class Division B (H2B) – A substantial level of scholarship judged against stated criteria. While showing some variability in performance, students achieving this classification are assessed as competent within the discipline. A score in the range of 65 to 74 will be awarded.

Honours Third Class (H3) – A satisfactory level of scholarship judged against stated criteria. Students achieving this classification are seen as having met the minimum requirements for the award. A score in the range of 50 to 64 will be awarded.

Fail – An unsatisfactory level of scholarship judged against stated criteria. Students awarded this classification are seen as not having met the minimum requirements for the award. A score in the range of 0 to 49 will be awarded.

10.3  Schedule of Notations and Symbols

10.3.1  Interim Notations

Interim notations will not appear on final transcripts.

Incomplete (I) – indicates no final grade has been decided by the due date and that an extension of time has been allowed for completion of the assessment for reasons consistent with sub-clause 14.1.1 below.

Deferred Assessment (M) – used when the student is offered deferred assessment in accordance with clause 9.6.

Supplementary Assessment (A) – used when the student is offered supplementary assessment in accordance with clause 9.5.

Exemption (E) – indicates that partial exemption has been granted.

10.3.2  Final Notations

Continuing (CO) – indicates that the student's enrolment in the topic is continuing and a result is not yet due to be determined as the topic extends over more than one semester.

Withdraw, Not Fail (WN) – indicates that the student withdrew from the topic without penalty prior to the withdraw-not fail date for that topic. This date will be the Friday of the ninth week of a single semester topic and will be the Friday of the ninth teaching week in second semester for a full year topic.

In special circumstances a student may be awarded a WN after the withdrawn-not-fail date; refer to Policy on Refund of Student Contribution Amounts and Tuition Fees, and Remission of Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) Debts.

Withdraw, Fail (WF) – indicates that the student withdrew from the topic after the withdraw-not fail date for that topic. This date will be the Friday of the ninth teaching week for a single semester topic and will be the Friday of the ninth teaching week in second semester for a full year topic.

Credit Granted for Prior Study (CPS) – indicates that credit has been granted for that topic on the basis of previously completed studies or work experience.

10.4  Use of Assessment Grades and Notations

10.4.1  Students normally must complete the assessment requirements for all topics in which they enrol no later than the end of semester in which the enrolment occurs for semester length topics or the end of the academic year for full year topics.

10.4.2  Students will be awarded grades in topics according to the assessment symbols set out in the Schedules in clauses 10.2 and 10.3 above, provided that:

  • where the assessment is a final assessment, it will be in the form of either a final grade or final notation; and
  • where the assessment is incomplete it will be in the form of an interim notation and the appropriate conversion will be within the time period prescribed in clause 12.1 below.

10.4.3  The only assessment symbols to appear on official student academic transcripts will be those set out in clauses 10.2 and 10.3.2 above.

10.4.4  The student's result for each individual topic enrolment, including repeat attempts, will be recorded on academic transcripts.

10.4.5  Percentages which appear on topic assessment sheets will be recorded, but will not appear on academic transcripts. 

10.5  Calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA)

10.5.1  Values ranging from 0 to 7 are assigned to each grade and GPA is calculated to two decimal places.

10.5.2  The value of the grade achieved for each topic is multiplied by the number of units for that topic. This product is totalled for all topics undertaken and averaged by dividing the total number of units:

sum of (value for each grade x topic unit value)
total units

10.5.3  From 1993 the following values have been assigned to grades for Flinders University students:

High Distinction = 7; Distinction = 6; Credit = 5; *Pass Level 1 = 4.5 [This grading no longer applies to results from 1999 onwards]; Pass Level 2 = 4; Pass = 4; Fail = 0; Withdraw Fail = 0.

The following grades are not counted in the calculation: Non Graded Pass for Satisfactory Performance (NGP); Withdraw, Not Fail (WN).

10.5.4  For the purposes of calculating GPA for study undertaken prior to 1993 or at other institutions, the conversion table published annually by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) is used.

11.  Assessment of Honours Programs

11.1  Assessment of Honours programs will be conducted in accordance with the University’s Honours Programs Policy.

11.2  Faculties will determine criteria for the assessment of the Honours program, including expected standards of performance for the various classifications. All students and examiners, particularly external examiners, will be provided with a clear statement of the criteria and standards.

The criteria for assessment of Honours programs will include, but are not limited to:

  • Originality and creativity of thinking or performance;
  • Evidence of ability to undertake independent research;
  • Critical awareness of scholarship within the discipline;
  • Breadth and depth of understanding;
  • Comprehensiveness of treatment of subject material;
  • Capacity for achieving objectives; and
  • Accuracy and clarity of presentation.

12.  Deadlines for Final Assessment

12.1  A schedule of deadlines for final assessment, review of assessments, conversion of interim assessments into final assessments and final notification of results must be determined by the Director, Student Administration in consultation with Faculties in relation to topics for which they are responsible, provided that, in the case of standard semester topics, students are notified of results (final grades and notations) for the respective topic assessment periods no later than:

  • 10 working days after the final day of the assessment/examination period for topics completed at the end of Semester 1, Semester 2 and Summer teaching period;
  • five working days after the final day of the Semester 1 supplementary examination period for topics examined in this period;
  • the end of December for topics examined by supplementary examinations in Semester 2.

12.2  Where these deadlines may disadvantage students in particular topics, the Executive Dean of the Faculty may approve the variation of a deadline, on behalf of the Faculty.

12.3  All final results for an academic year must be resolved before the beginning of the next academic year unless:

  • explicit approval for an extension is given by the Examinations Board; or
  • a particular result is subject to a request by a student for a re-mark of an assessment exercise or to an appeal by a student against the final grade; or
  • a particular result is subject to the outcome of a supplementary assessment arrangement which extends beyond the December supplementary examination period.

13.  Recording and Amendment of Assessment Grades

13.1  The assessment of student performance in all topics must be entered on assessment sheets as a grade represented by a symbol and, where a percentage mark is given in accordance with clause 10.2 above, as a percentage mark.

13.2  Final grades and notations for topics will not be deemed official until after the formal review of assessments by the Examinations Board.

13.3  After this review final grades and final notations can only be altered with the approval of the appropriate Examinations Board.

14.  Incomplete Assessment

14.1  The incomplete assessment notation (I) may be approved by an Examinations Board where:

14.1.1  an extension of time for a student to complete the assessment requirements has been granted by a duly authorised person (who will be the Topic Coordinator unless the School has designated another person);

14.1.2  the teaching period for the topic extends beyond the deadline for the publication of results;

14.1.3  teaching materials for externally taught topics have been distributed late thereby preventing students from completing assessment exercises on time or postal delay resulted in late arrival to the assessor of external students' assignments;

14.1.4  an assessor has not been able to complete the assessment of a student's work in time for the Examinations Board's review;

14.1.5  the assessment requirements of the topic require that the student be granted further time to achieve competency requirements; and

14.1.6  a student's result submitted by the Topic Coordinator is questioned by the Examinations Board and requires clarification before final approval.

14.2  When an incomplete assessment notation is assigned under the terms of sub-clauses 14.1.1 and 14.1.2, the relevant Topic Coordinator must, where appropriate, specify the work to be completed and the new assessment deadlines.

14.3  Incomplete assessment notations must be converted to a final grade or final notation as soon as possible and no later than the beginning of the next academic year. If they cannot they will be converted to Fail grades subject to the provisions of clause 12.3 above.

14.4  If the duration of the extension under the terms of sub-clause 14.1.1 above precludes the conversion of the interim notation within the required time, the Topic Coordinator must seek approval for a variation of the deadline from the Examinations Board.

14.5  The full range of final grades may be used for the conversion of incomplete assessment notations.

14.6  The Topic Coordinator will be responsible for advising the Examinations Board of the appropriate final assessment grade by the appropriate date.

15.  Review of Grades for, and Re-Marking of, Assessment Exercises

15.1  Students may initiate a process of review of the mark or grade for an assessment exercise.

15.2  These provisions concerning a review of a grade and re-marking do not apply to the final grade awarded for a topic, including the grade awarded resulting from supplementary assessment.  Appeals against final grades are the subject of separate procedures (refer to Section 17 of this policy).

15.3  To initiate the review, the student must first contact the duly authorised person (who will be the Topic Coordinator unless the School has designated another person) responsible for the mark to discuss this within ten working days of the return of the assessment exercise. The Topic Coordinator may take whatever action is reasonable to review the grade and will discuss the outcome with the student.

15.4  Where the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Topic Coordinator’s action under clause 15.3, they may make a written request that the work be re-marked and must include evidence to support the belief that the grade is wrong or unfair. The request must be submitted to the relevant Dean of School within ten working days of the discussion with the Topic Coordinator provided for under clause 15.3.

15.5  The Dean of School will decide if a re-mark is justified or not and will notify this decision and the reasons for the decision in writing to the student within five working days of the request being received. Should the assessor or Topic Coordinator responsible for the mark concerned also be the Dean of the School, this function will be fulfilled by the Executive Dean of the Faculty or their nominee.

15.6  A student whose request for a re-mark is not granted may appeal to the Student Appeals Committee in accordance with clause 15.12.

15.7  Where the Dean of School decides that a re-mark is justified, they will arrange, wherever possible, for an independent re-marking of the assessment exercise by a staff member other than the original assessor.

15.7.1  This staff member may be from the School or another School or institution, but must have expertise in the area of the assessment exercise.

15.7.2  The person undertaking the re-mark must ensure that the re-mark is as independent as possible and will be given:

  • all relevant documentation about the exercise in question including a description of the topic of which it is part and of the exercise itself, assessment criteria for the topic and exercise and any available information about standards expected for each range of marks; and
  • a clean copy of the student’s work, where possible.

15.7.3  The re-marker will not normally be given details of the student's original assessment, including any grade.

15.8  After the second assessor has independently marked the piece of work, they will compare grades with the original assessor and the two of them will endeavour to reach an agreed grade. If the two cannot agree, the Dean of School will decide what grade will be awarded.

15.9  The grade achieved as the result of a re-mark will be the grade that is recorded regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the original grade.

15.10  The Dean of School will notify the student in writing of the outcome of the re-mark and the procedures followed in conducting the re-mark.

15.11  A student who wishes to appeal to the Student Appeals Committee against the outcome of a re-mark may do so only on the ground that correct procedures were not followed in carrying out the re-mark. The process of appeal is as specified in clause 15.12.

15.12  An appeal to the Student Appeals Committee against the outcome of a request for a re-mark of an assessment exercise must be lodged with the Manager, Student Policy and Projects within 20 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification of the outcome. The appeal must:

  • be accompanied by a copy of the letter the student has received about the outcome of the request for a re-mark;
  • include details of the request for a re-mark, details of the action which the student has taken thus far and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student's case, together with supporting documentation.

16.  Appeals Concerning Supplementary and Deferred Assessment

16.1  A student who wishes to appeal against a decision not to award them supplementary assessment or deferred assessment must do so in accordance with the following procedures:

16.1.1  The student must discuss the matter with the Chairperson or Secretary of the relevant Examinations Board. As part of that discussion, the Secretary or Chairperson will inform the student of the reasons for the decision.

16.1.2  The student may then make a written request for the Examinations Board to review its decision and lodge this with the Chairperson or Secretary. The request must be lodged within ten working days of the discussion with the Chairperson or Secretary and must include the grounds for the appeal against the decision and any new information in support of the application which the student has not previously provided.

16.1.3  The Chairperson or Secretary will arrange for the matter to be considered by the Examinations Board as expeditiously as possible. The student may request an interview with the Chairperson of the Board to discuss the case. If requested, an interview will be granted. Where a student is unable to attend an interview, an alternative process may be put in place.

16.2  A student may appeal against a refusal to grant a supplementary or deferred assessment only on one or both of the following grounds:

  • the appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed in considering the matter;
  • the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances.

16.3  An appeal to the Student Appeals Committee must be lodged with the Manager, Student Policy and Projects within 20 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification from the Chairperson or Secretary of the Examinations Board. The appeal must:

  • be accompanied by a copy of the letter the student has received from the Dean of the School or Examinations Board;
  • include details of the action which the student has taken thus far and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student's case, together with supporting documentation.

16.4  All other matters relevant to an appeal and its conduct will be governed by the provisions of the Student Appeals and Complaints Policy and Procedures.

17.  Appeals Against Final Topic Grades

17.1  Subject to the provisions of clauses 17.2 to 17.4 below, a student may appeal against a final grade given for a topic only on one or both of the following grounds:

  • the assessment procedures specified in accordance with this policy were not adhered to;
  • the final grade is wrong or unfair.

17.2  An appeal on these grounds will not be accepted unless it can be demonstrated by the student that a process of initial review in accordance with sub-clauses 17.3.1 and 17.3.2 below has been entered into and has failed to resolve the dispute. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the process of initial review.

17.3  For appeals made in accordance with clause 17.1 above the following procedures apply:

17.3.1  A student must begin the process of initial review by consulting without delay with the Topic Coordinator or, if that person is expected to be absent from the University until after the time limit for lodging an appeal has expired, the Head of the relevant School. The staff member concerned may confirm the result or recommend to the Examinations Board that the grade be amended.

17.3.2  If such consultation fails to take place through no fault on the part of the student, or fails to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the student, and the student wishes to take further action, then the student must, within 20 working days of the notification of the grade, make a written request that the final grade be reviewed, including detailed grounds for the request and indicating the nature of the review requested. This request must be submitted to the Dean of the School. Should the assessor responsible for the grade also be the Dean of the School, this function will be fulfilled by the Executive Dean of the Faculty or their nominee.

17.3.3  The Dean of School will decide if a review of the grade is justified or not, and will, within five working days of the request having been received, notify the student, in writing of the decision, and the reasons for the decision.

17.3.4  A student whose request for a review is not granted may appeal to the Student Appeals Committee in accordance with clause 17.4 below.

17.3.5  Where the Dean of School decides that a review of the grade is justified, they must arrange for this to occur within ten working days and will determine its nature within the following provisions.

Depending on the grounds for the appeal, the review may include:

  • Ensuring that the relevant teaching staff carries out the assessment of the student's work in accordance with the requirements for the topic as approved by the Faculty Board under the provisions of Section 7 above. Where full compliance with the original assessment requirements is not practicable, e.g. replication of field trip work, drama performance, an appropriate alternative arrangement will be substituted, with the approval of the Executive Dean of the Faculty on behalf of the Faculty Board.
  • Arranging for a reconsideration of the final grade.

17.3.6    A reconsideration of the final grade may include:

  • an arithmetic check of the calculation of the final grade;
  • a re-mark of all examination scripts;
  • a re-mark of any assessment exercise where the grade is challenged by the student provided that this exercise has not already been the subject of an application for a re-mark by the student under the provisions of Section 15 above.

The reconsideration must be undertaken, wherever possible, by a staff member other than the original assessor. The staff member reconsidering the grade may be from the School in question or another School or institution but must have expertise in the area of the assessment exercise. They must ensure that the reconsideration exercise is as independent as possible and will be given:

  • all relevant documentation about the topic in question, including a description of its content, statement of assessment methods, information about assessment exercises, examination question papers and any available information about standards expected for each grade;
  • the student's examination script(s);
  • any of the student's assessment exercises which are to be re-marked.

After the reviewer has independently determined the final grade, they will discuss this with the original assessor(s) and they will endeavour to reach an agreed grade. If agreement cannot be reached, the Dean of the School will mediate and in the event of agreement still not being possible, will determine the outcome of the review.

17.3.7  If an amendment to the grade is recommended as a result of a review, it must be submitted to the Examinations Board for approval.

17.3.8  The Dean of the School will within five working days of the completion of the review, notify the student in writing of the outcome of the review, and the reasons for the decision, and will advise the student of the right to appeal to the Student Appeals Committee if the student believes there are grounds for appeal. Such advice must contain information on the procedures, specified below, to be followed in lodging an appeal to the Student Appeals Committee.

17.4  A student still not satisfied with the outcome of an appeal made in accordance with clauses 17.1 to 17.3 may lodge an appeal with the Student Appeals Committee. Such an appeal may only be made on one or both of the following grounds:

  • the appropriate policy was not adhered to or correct procedures were not followed in considering the matter;
  • the decision was made without due regard to facts, evidence or circumstances.

17.4.1  Such an appeal to the Student Appeals Committee must be lodged with the Manager, Student Policy and Projects within 20 working days of the date of the dispatch of the notification from the Dean of the School or from the Secretary to the Examinations Board. The appeal must:

  • be accompanied by a copy of the letter the student has received from the Dean of the School or Secretary to the Examinations Board;
  • include details of the review process entered into, the action which the student has taken thus far and the grounds for the appeal, including the evidence in support of the student's case, together with supporting documentation; and
  • specify what remedy is being sought within the range of remedies available to the Student Appeals Committee as described in the Policy governing the Student Appeals Committee.

17.5  All other matters relevant to an appeal and its conduct will be governed by the provisions of the Student Appeals and Complaints Policy and Procedures.


Appendix A.  Guidelines for Reasonable Adjustment to Assessment and Teaching Methods) for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are entitled to apply for reasonable adjustment to assessment methods in accordance with the University’s Disability Policy and these Guidelines.

A1.  Principles

A1.1  Reasonable adjustment to assessment refers to special conditions and considerations in examinations and other assessment exercises, including placements, for students with disabilities.

Reasonable adjustment to teaching methods refers to variations in the way that courses/topics are taught in order that they are accessible to students with disabilities. (Examples of reasonable adjustments to teaching methods include: reading aloud overheads for students who are blind, ensuring audio-visual materials are accompanied by transcripts or subtitles for students with a hearing impairment, using accessible teaching venues for students with a physical disability, negotiating suitable placements for students with a variety of health issues.)

A1.2  Reasonable adjustments to assessment and teaching methods are made using the following principles:

A1.2.1  Students with disabilities are subject to the standard rules and policy on assessment and teaching methods, and assessment is only varied where a student can demonstrate with appropriate documentation that they are disadvantaged as a result of disability.

A1.2.2  The nature of reasonable adjustments is such that they are designed to minimise the disadvantage experienced by students with disabilities, rather than provide students with a competitive advantage.

A1.2.3  Moreover any adjustments to assessment for a student with a disability are to be made in such a way as to ensure that the fundamental nature of the assessment remains the same i.e. students with disabilities are still required to demonstrate a predetermined level of ability in relation to essential course requirements.

A2.  Information Provision

A2.1  The Disability Service will distribute information to students with disabilities at the beginning of each year, detailing how to apply for reasonable adjustment to assessment and teaching methods.

A2.2  Each Faculty will appoint a Faculty Disability Academic Advisor to respond to inquiries by students with disabilities and academic staff. The Disability Service will include this information in the material distributed to students.

A3.  Identification

A3.1  It is the student's responsibility:

A3.1.1  to identify themselves as a student with a disability, and to request accommodations on the basis of that disability. Students who identify as having a disability at enrolment will be forwarded information about the range of support services available (including arrangements for examinations), but responsibility for requesting such services rests with them;

A3.1.2  to provide appropriate documentation of their disability;

A3.1.3  to negotiate with Topic Coordinators and all relevant assessors and tutors in regard to the recommendations made by a Disability Advisor.

A3.2  It is the responsibility of the Health, Counselling and Disability Services:

A3.2.1  to request and file documentation of a student's disability, and any recommendations from professionals involved with the student (medical professionals, psychologists, student advisers within the Education Department, the Royal Society for the Blind, Deaf CanDo (formerly the Royal SA Society for the Deaf etc.);

A3.2.2  to work with the student and relevant academic staff members to devise appropriate reasonable adjustments to assessment in order that the competitive disadvantage that a student experiences as a result of disability can be minimised.

A3.3  It is the responsibility of Faculty Disability Academic Advisors:

A3.3.1  to act as a point of contact and information for students with disabilities in their Faculty;

A3.3.2  to act as a point of contact for Health, Counselling and Disability Services members in seeking to negotiate with academic staff in their Faculty;

A3.3.3  to act as a point of contact for academic staff within the Faculty who may need to clarify issues in regard to reasonable adjustments to assessment and teaching methods for students with disabilities.

A3.4  It is the responsibility of the Topic Coordinator:

A3.4.1  to ensure that all relevant assessors and tutors are aware of the accommodations that have been negotiated for the student.

A4.  Recommendations Regarding Examinations (where the recommendation will not change the nature of assessment)

A4.1  On the basis of documentation provided by the student and discussions with the student, the Health, Counselling and Disability Services will make recommendations of reasonable adjustment to the Examinations Officer.

A4.2  These recommendations will be made on an appropriate form and will indicate which aspects of these adjustments will be accommodated by the Health, Counselling and Disability Services.

A4.3  It is the Examination Officer's responsibility to provide:

A4.3.1  additional time for students for whom this is a reasonable adjustment;

A4.3.2  accommodation separate to the main examination venue and supervision to students for whom this is a reasonable adjustment;

A4.3.3  any other support which is readily available to it.

A4.4  It is the responsibility of the Health, Counselling and Disability Services to:

A4.4.1  provide sign interpreters, scribes, readers;

A4.4.2  provide specialist equipment (e.g. voice recognition/synthesis software, modified computers, screen enlarging software);

A4.4.3  arrange for the provision of examination papers in alternate print formats (Braille, large print, audio tape, computer disk);

A4.4.4  provide any other support which is not readily available to the Examinations Officer.

A4.5  The Examinations Officer will inform students of arrangements for their examinations.

A4.6  Recommendations for reasonable adjustment in examinations should reach the Examinations Officer no later than four weeks prior to the commencement of the examinations period. While every effort will be made to accommodate recommendations made after this date, such requests cannot be guaranteed equal consideration.

A5.  Recommendations – Other:

  • examinations (where the recommendation may change the nature of assessment);
  • assessment exercises (other than examinations); and
  • teaching methods.

A5.1  Reasonable adjustments to examinations (where the recommendation may change the nature of assessment), assessment exercises (other than examinations) and teaching methods are a matter for negotiation between the student, Topic Coordinator and the Disability Advisor or Health, Counselling and Disability Services. These agreements should be made in writing and lodged with the Disability Advisor, who will provide copies to the student. It is the student's responsibility to provide copies to the relevant Topic Coordinator(s). Topic Coordinator(s) maintain oversight for ensuring that appropriate follow up action in relation to agreements occurs.

A5.2  In accordance with the University's Assessment Policy and Procedures, these guidelines, and any negotiations between students with disabilities, the Health, Counselling and Disability Services and academic staff in relation to assessment, are not intended to diminish the professional responsibility of academic staff to determine assessment methods.

A6.  Grievances

A6.1  Students who are dissatisfied with a response from a Topic Coordinator or with provisions made for reasonable adjustments to teaching or assessment methods may appeal in writing to the Faculty Board (or staff member/committee with delegated authority). Such an appeal must include a signed statement concerning the nature and effects of the student's disability from a medical practitioner or other qualified professional as appropriate.

 

Appendix B.    Guidelines for Determining and Publishing Expected Student Workload

B1.  Preamble

B1.1  These Guidelines are designed to assist staff developing new topics or making changes to existing topics by providing an indication of the estimated time commitment a student, working effectively, would need to devote to achieve a Pass grade. The Guidelines do not imply judgements about the degree of difficulty of different courses or disciplines or deny differences in performance between students. In developing and revising topics, staff should also refer to the Principles of Assessment in the Assessment Policy and Procedures, regarding student effort in assessable activities.

B1.2  The publication of the expected student workload in topic information is intended to provide students with a helpful guide to assist them in planning their study time and enrolment load. It does not offer students the guarantee of a successful result with the investment of this time commitment.

B2.  Standard Student Workload

B2.1  To ensure approximately equivalent student workloads for topics with similar units, the information published on expected student workload should be based on the standard student workload of approximately 30 hours of student time commitment per unit.

B2.1.1  The standard student workload is based on approximately two hours of time commitment per week per unit (including the time spent in formal classes and individual (non-contact) study time during the specified teaching period) for a notional fifteen-week 'teaching period'.

B2.1.2  The notional teaching period is based on thirteen weeks of teaching plus a further two weeks of individual study in which students are expected to prepare for examinations and complete assignments.

B2.2  It is recognised that there will be legitimate variations from the standard student workload depending on the nature and level of the topic. Where a School plans to offer topics with a proposed student time commitment that varies significantly from the standard student workload, it must obtain approval for the variation in accordance with processes approved by the Faculty Board. A significant variation from the standard student workload is defined as a variation of more than 20 per cent.

B2.3  The standard student workload may not apply to clinical topics and professional experience topics. Faculties should ensure that such topics operate within reasonable expectations of student workloads, having regard to relevant industry standards and external accreditation requirements. Faculties should ensure that members of staff teaching in courses with clinical and professional experience components are aware of the demands on students during placements, in setting and scheduling assessment exercises.

B3.  Publication of Student Workload

B3.1  Published information on expected student workload may be expressed in number of hours per week or number of hours for the topic, as appropriate. Where applicable, students should be advised of any expectations relating to individual study outside of the teaching weeks (e.g. preparation for assignments and examinations).

B3.2  Normally, information on student workload expectation will be published as part of topic information provided to students at the commencement of topics. For topics taught as part of an integrated curriculum (e.g. the Doctor of Medicine), where student study patterns cannot be easily separated into individual topics, the information on student workload should be published in a format that provides students with a guide to the expected time commitment they need to allocate for the program of study.

B3.3  Advice to students on expected workload should also include a disclaimer to the effect that students should see the published workload as indicative only of the estimated minimum time commitment necessary to achieve a Pass grade in the topic. Students should be advised that, depending on their ability and academic background, they may need to invest more time than the standard student workload to achieve such a grade.

B4.  Publication of the Guidelines

B4.1  These Guidelines will be published annually. Their existence will be drawn to students' attention in course handbooks