Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the guiding principles and procedures governing SCEI-HE’s assessment processes.

Scope

This policy is for all academic staff and students of SCEI-HE.

SCEI-HE SCEI-HE
Assessment An assessmentis a task which students are required to submit for grading as part of the total marks obtained for a subject.
Grade The final result which describes the student’s result derived from his/her combined marks for the assessed assessment tasks for a subject.
Mark The final result expressed as a percentage which a student receives for the combined assessment tasks for a subject.
Policy

1. Assessment is the process of collecting evidence and making judgments about the extent to which students have achieved the intended learning outcomes of a course.
2. Southern Cross Education Institute (Higher Education) uses various types of assessment. For each subject within each course, the final grade for a student is determined from the student’s performance in all of the assessments tasks for the subject.
3. Assessment at SCEI-HE is undertaken to:
3.1. provide feedback to students on the effectiveness of their learning;
3.2. provide evidence for industry bodies and employers that students have attained a defined level of understanding of the subject content;
3.3. provide an indicator for the lecturer, Course Coordinator and Academic Director of the effectiveness of teaching delivery;
3.4. provide an indicator of any need for intervention and/or support; and
3.5. provide benchmarks for the Academic and Corporate Boards on the effectiveness of teaching and learning in SCEI-HE’s programs.
4. The following are the principles which apply to assessment and for processes of assessment at SCEI-HE:
4.1. Assessment will be designed to measure:
• the achievements of students against defined learning objectives;
• to promote learning; and
• to provide opportunities to students to improve their performance.
4.2. The assessment processes for each subject will be provided in the subject outline.
4.3. Every subject will be assessed using at least two different assessment methods.
4.4. Every subject will have at least one invigilated component such as an examination, a test or a presentation and provide for no less than 50% of the total mark for the subject.
4.5. Assessment methods and the criteria by which assessments are judged will be explicit, appropriately defined, and based on academic achievement.
4.6. Assessment will be fair.
4.7. Assessment will not discriminate on grounds which are irrelevant to the achievement of the subject objectives.
4.8. Feedback following assessment will be informative and constructive, and
4.9. Grading processes will be transparent and reflect the extent to which each student has achieved the assessable objectives stated for the subject.
5. Various types of assessment are used at SCEI-HE to make a considered determination about whether or not students have achieved the learning outcomes for each subject. Assessment tasksmay include (not an exhaustive list):

Annotated bibliography Interview Project
Case Studies Journal Reflective journal
Community Projects Literature review Research proposal
Concept or mind maps Observation Role play
Critical writing Online quizzes Simulation
Data analyses Oral presentation Skills assessment
Debates Peer assessment Test
Essay Portfolio Video
Examination Poster presentation Work integrated placement
Forum Professional Practice Written report

6. The type, amount and frequency of the assessment tasks and the criteria by which grading will be determined, need to be communicated to the student at the commencement of the subject early in the semester (preferably week 1 and no later than week 2).
7. In designing assessment tasks academic staff encourage students to demonstrate:

  • Learning in relation to the body of knowledge identified in the subject outline;
  • Understanding of the key concepts of the subject;
  • Ability to deduce, infer, analyse, synthesize and evaluate;
  • Ability to apply theories and methodological content of the discipline;
  • Ability to evaluate content and/or concepts as a basis for professional decision making;
  • A capacity for independent thought;
  • Ability to develop new ideas based on sound scholarship;
  • Ability to select, use and document the source of their ideas; and
  • Capacity to argue and communicate coherently and persuasively either symbolically or in written form.

Procedure

1. Assessment requirements
1.1. Lecturers will ensure that students are fully informed of subject objectives and expectations, including the assessment requirements for the subject. For each subject, this information will be provided to each student in writing by the end of the first week of each semester.
1.2. Subject outlines will be provided to all students in the first week of each subject of study. Subject outlines will provide details of the processes for aggregating the various assessment outcomes of the subject to produce an overall mark and corresponding grade.
1.3. For each subject, the subject outline will state clearly:
• the objectives and outcomes of the subject;
• expectations of assessments;
• minimum standards that are applied to specific assessment tasks;
• the weight of each task in contributing to the overall mark; and
• submission dates for all assessment items.
1.4. The subject outline for each subject will include information on the use of appropriate referencing conventions and requirements, on the degree of cooperation permitted between students, and upon what constitutes academic misconduct and the consequences of committing it as outlined in HEPP02 Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedure.
1.5. The subject outline for each subject will note that there are no circumstances under which assignments will be accepted for submission after the start of the examination period.

2. Timing and weighting of assessments
2.1. There should be a clear correlation between credit points and workload without the necessity for a direct mathematical linkage. The student workload combining contact and non-contact study is 8-10 hours per credit point over the timespan of the subject.
The total assessment load for essay based assessment is 300-350 essay words per credit point, at an undergraduate level. For a 12.5 credit point subject this would total 3750-4400 essay words or equivalent. Equivalence may be reached through cumulative assessments over the subject duration.
At the postgraduate level, the essay based assessment load is 4500-6500 words or an equivalent combination of essay and non-essay assessment, for a 12.5 credit point subject.
2.2. Broad equivalences for other means of assessment should be applied in achieving the total stated essay word requirements. In establishing proportionality between different assessment types consideration should be given to:
i. the complexity of the assessment;
ii. the estimated amount of time required to plan, sortand structure the response
iii. the amount of the project that will require creative, reflective or analytical thought and evidence of deep learning that is not able to be routinely drawn from texts and lecture notes
The equivalences below may vary according to the three criteria above, based on the professional judgement of the subject co-ordinator or discipline expert.

Assessment Type Broadly Equivalent to 1000 words/ standard essay
Written/Multiple Choice Examination 1 hour
Essay in foreign language 500 words
Group essay 750 words per member
Unstructured reflective journal 2000-3000 words
Verbal presentation 20 minutes
Group presentation 10 minutes per member
Clinical practicum assessment 20 minutes

2.3. Additional considerations when establishing fair assessment workload:
• Length of an assessment does not always equate with difficulty: a reflective journal may not be as inherently demanding as a structured essay; an essay in a language other than English is likely to be more demanding than an essay in English.
• Where English is the language used in subject delivery and the student does not speak English as their primary language, no changes should be made to the length of the assignment, but rather in the time/level of support provided.
2.4. Students are expected to attain the objectives of a subject of study progressively throughout a semester.
1.1. Students will be set tasks during the semester so that their progress can be evaluated against established criteria. Such tasks will contribute to the final assessment in a subject of study.
1.2. Assessment tasks will be designed carefully, so that they:
• keep in proportion the required time commitment and the weight of the assessment task in the overall assessment; and
• reflect the importance of each task in determining whether students have met the subject objectives.
1.3. This might mean that an important task, such as a final examination, is weighted heavily. Care will always be taken to avoid the imposition of a heavy imbalance of assessment load toward the second half of a semester.
1.4. One or more assessment tasks will be set, submitted, marked and returned to students by the mid-point of each subject. Although students require regular feedback on their progress, the number of assessment tasks will be kept to the minimum that allows effective judgements to be made about student progress.
1.5. Due dates for assessment tasks will be well separated in time so as to give students periods of time for reflective learning that are free from the pressure engendered by deadlines.
1.6. In some disciplines, students are expected to practise skill development continuously. To evaluate the ability of students to perform such ongoing tasks, consideration will be given to strategies for self-assessment. In this way, students can obtain evidence concerning their level of understanding of the work, while avoiding the stress of frequent formal appraisal by an examiner.
1.7. Apart from examination scripts, all assessed work will be returned to the student, preferably in a class context. The student has the right to seek clarification of the assessment result.
1.8. Subject outlines will advise students at the beginning of a subject of study how all assessment results are to be combined to produce an overall mark for the subject. The subject outline combined with the assessment task will make clear:
• the weight of each task in contributing to the overall mark;
• the formulas or rules used to determine the overall mark;
• minimum standards that are applied to specific assessment tasks, and the consequences if such standards are not met (including failure to submit particular tasks);
• rules regarding penalties applied to late submissions; and
• precise details of what is expected in terms of presentation of work for assessment.
1.9. Emphasis in assessment will be placed on:
• appropriate referencing conventions and requirements;
• the degree of cooperation permitted between students; and
• anything which constitutes academic misconduct and the consequences of committing it as outlined in the HEPP02 Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedure.

2. Group work
2.1. Some assessment tasks may require students to work in groups.
2.2. Group work assessment will not account for more than 40% of the total allocation of marks for a subject of study. The procedure for establishing groups, and the roles and responsibilities of the members of each group will normally be decided by the students, within a framework specified by the lecturer. The lecturer retains a supervisory and dispute resolution role.
2.3. For all group work, the lecturer will provide clear guidelines for students.
2.4. Where member(s) of a particular group default or where input to the group work is significantly uneven, the lecturer may adjust the grade for an individual group member or set of group members. This process can be instigated by an individual group member or the lecturer. All group members will be given reasonable time to provide feedback to the lecturer before a decision is made.

3. Moderation
3.1. The aggregated mark for the subject of study will be moderated. As a result of moderation, it is possible the final grade awarded to a student for a subject of study may not be consistent with the individual marks awarded to the student for individual assessment items.
3.2. For guidance on moderation processes at refer to HEPP35 Moderation Policy and Procedure.

4. Applications for special consideration
4.1. An application for special consideration may be made if a student believes that compassionate and compelling circumstances exist.
4.2. Compassionate and compelling circumstances include, but are not limited to:
• Illness or injury
• Death in the immediate family
4.3. All applications for special consideration must be in writing using HEFOR10 Application for Special Consideration form. Applications for special consideration must be directed to the Course Coordinator.
4.4. An application for special consideration for an assessment will be considered only if:
• the application is acknowledged by the Course Coordinator as received at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled assessment task due date
• the compassionate and compelling circumstances referred to in the application existed prior to the due date of the assessment task for which special consideration is requested
• the application is made using HEFOR10 Application for Special Consideration form and is complete
4.5. Applications for special consideration must be accompanied by evidentiary documentation to support the claim of compassionate and compelling circumstances. The documents provided as evidence must be original documents, or properly certified copies of original documents.
4.6. Applications for special consideration will be assessed by the relevant Course Coordinator and the Academic Director.
4.7. When considering an application for special consideration, the Course Coordinator and Academic Director may take into account one or more of the following conditions:
• the student’s performance in other assessment tasks in the subject; and
• the circumstances, background, nature and severity of the compassionate and compelling circumstances

4.8. An application for special consideration may result in any one or more of the following outcomes:
• No action is taken
• An additional assessment is undertaken
o Additional assessment may take a different form to the original assessment. If a student is granted additional assessment, the original assessment result will be disregarded
• A deferred examination date is approved
• A supplementary examination is undertaken
• An extension of the due date for submission of an written assessment task
4.9. A student who has made an application for special consideration will be advised in writing at the earliest opportunity of the final decision regarding their application.
4.10. Students who are dissatisfied with the outcome of an application for special consideration may appeal the decision. For guidance on complaints and appeals processes refer to the HEPP05 Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure.

5. Written assessments
5.1. All written assessment tasks must meet the requirements set out in the assessment documentation and subject outline and be submitted by the published due date.
5.2. Late submission of a written assessment is defined as submission of the response after the published due date.
5.3. Except under approved compassionate and compelling circumstances, all late submissions will attract a penalty. Penalties will apply if a written assessment is submitted after the assessment due date and without an approved assessment extension.
5.4. The penalty for late submission are defined in section 6 of this procedure.
5.5. The word limits for written assessment tasksshould be not greater than the following, where examination also forms part of the students overall grade for the subject of study:
• 100 level unit: 3000 words
• 200 level unit: 3500 words
• 300 level unit: 4000 words
• 400 and 500 level unit: 5000 words
5.6. The word limits for written assessment tasksshould be not greater than the following, where no examination is part of the subject assessment requirements:
• 100 level unit: 4500 words
• 200 level unit: 5000 words
• 300 level unit: 5500 words
• 400 and 500 level unit: 6000 words

6. Oral presentations
6.1. Some subjects will have assessment tasks which require students to make oral presentations. A rescheduling of the due date for delivery of an oral presentation will take place only in the case of approved application for special consideration, where compassionate and compelling circumstances apply.

7. Tests
7.1. Many subjects have assessment tasks which are written tests. Attendance at the scheduled time for a written test is mandatory. Attendance is excused only in the case of an approved application for special consideration where compassionate and compelling circumstances apply.

8. Tutorial participation
8.1. Up to 10% of the final mark for a subject can be given based on active participation in tutorials. The criteria for active participation tutorials will be listed in the subject outline for each subject of study.

9. Submission of Assessment Tasks
9.1. Written assessment tasks should be submitted electronically and, where stipulated, through Moodle.
9.2. Where hard copies of assessments are endorsed in the subject outline, a secure collection centre must be stipulated in the subject outline. All hardcopy assessment are required to have a stamped, signed acknowledgement of receipt.
9.3. It is the student’s personal responsibility to keep a copy of all their submitted work until the final course grades are recorded and released.

10. Application for extension of submission deadline for an assessment task
10.1. An extension to the submission deadline for an assessment task should only be granted where the following criteria apply:
• the student has made a written request for an extension prior to or within two (2) working days of the due date for the assessment item; and
• the student has justified his/her request on the basis of individual circumstances that are reasonably likely to have prevented them from completing the assessment by the specified deadline.
10.2. Applications for extensions must be submitted formally using the HEFOR14Application for Assessment Extension form.
10.3. The Course Coordinator will coordinate the process of considering requests for extensions to ensure consistency of outcomes.
10.4. Any extension granted must specify in writing a new due date for submission of the assessment item, during which the student can submit the work without a penalty being applied.
10.5. Except where exceptional circumstances exist, the duration of any extension granted should take reasonable account of the delay experienced by the student, and permission to submit after the normal due date for the assessment without penalty should not be open-ended.
10.6. In granting and managing extensions and deadlines, the Course Coordinator should take into account issues of equity and transparency so as not to disadvantage students who have met set deadlines.
10.7. Where a request is made on medical grounds, an appropriate medical certificate must be presented.

11. Late penalties for assessment tasks
11.1. For students without pre-approved extensions, the following penalties apply:
11.2. Late assignment penalty is 5% of the total mark applicable for the assessment task, for each day or part day that the item is late (a “day” for this purpose is defined as any day on which SCEI-HE campus student administration is open). For example:
If the assessment task is out of a total of 20, the student would lose 1 mark per day off the mark received for the assessment task once it is graded. So if he/she received a mark of 16/20 for the task, 1 mark for each day late would then be deducted from the mark of 16.
11.3. Where minimum grades are required in individual assessment tasks for an overall pass, assessments will be considered to have met the criteria if the raw mark for the assessment, before the late penalty is applied, meets the standard.
11.4. If, due to a late submission, a student’s mark for the assessment task has reached 0% and the item has not yet been submitted, the student may still be required to submit it in order to be considered for a pass grade in the subject. This is required to ensure the student has attempted the learning outcomes required by the assessment task.
11.5. The final grade for the subject will be calculated on the sum of marks after any late penalties have been applied.
11.6. For some assessment tasks, as identified in the subject outline, late submissions may not be permitted.

12. Resubmission of an assessment task
12.1. Once an assessment task has been officially submitted it is deemed to have been presented for grading and cannot be resubmitted to improve the grade. A resubmission of an assessment task may be required but for educative purposes only. In these circumstances the student will receive feedback about the submission but the initial grade will remain unchanged.

13. Reporting of results
13.1. Subject lecturers are responsible for reporting all grades and marks to the Course Coordinator. The Course Coordinator will ensure that the results for an assessment task are published within two weeks of the due date of the assessment task.
13.2. The final grades are published two weeks after the end of the examination period on the date provided in the Academic Calendar.

14. Feedback to students about their performance
14.1. Timely feedback to each student throughout each semester is considered an essential component of the teaching and learning process at SCEI-HE.
14.2. Feedback will be provided in various ways, including:
• informal discussions during lectures and tutorials;
• review of individual marked coursework; and
• review of marked examination papers, on request.

15. Review of a mark or grade
15.1. A student may request a review of a mark or a grade for any assessment task.
15.2. In the first instance, students are encouraged to approach the subject lecturer to discuss their concerns about the mark or grade they have been assigned. The lecturer will provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for the provision of the mark or grade.
15.3. If a student wishes to make a formal request for a review of a mark or grade, it must be made in writing and lodged with the Course Coordinator or Academic Director (where the Course Coordinator is the lecturer) within 10 working days of formal notification of the mark or grade.
15.4. The grounds upon which the student may request a review of a grade are:
• the student believes that an error has occurred in the calculation of the mark or determination of the grade; or
• the student believes that the mark or grade is inconsistent with the published assessment requirements or assessment criteria.

15.5. The following reasons are not appropriate grounds for requesting a review of a grade:
• close proximity of the result to another level of grade;
• a comparison with the performance of another student or students;
• the student’s belief that the result is not commensurate with their effort;
• financial difficulties experienced by the student; or
• issues relating to the employment prospects of the student.
15.6. Students should note that each review of a mark or grade is determined on its own merit without reference to other applications.
15.7. No appeal in regard to an assessment result will be considered more than three weeks after the date of publication of the result.
15.8. The Course Coordinator or Academic Director will normally respond to the request for a review of a mark or grade in writing within 10 working days of receiving a properly completed application, and will make a decision to either confirm or vary the original decision.
15.9. The Academic Director is required to compile an annual report of requests for reviews of marks or grades for review by the Teaching and Learning Committee as a component of SCEI-HE’s quality assurance process.

16. Retention and disposal of assessments
16.1. Students are required to keep a copy (electronic or hard) of all items they submit for assessment, in case they are misplaced or lost, unless the format of the assessment item precludes a copy being made and stored.
16.2. Faculties are required to retain all uncollected assessment tasks for a minimum of six (6) months from the date of issue of results.
16.3. At the completion of the six (6) month period, all assessment tasks not collected by students may be destroyed except for material which relates to appeals that have not yet been finally determined or material that is required for moderation or accreditation purposes.
16.4. Marks for individual assessment tasks as well as exam records are to be retained for the duration of the accrediting period.

17. Assessment grading scale
17.1. During each subject of study, students will be provided with an evaluation of their individual performance with reference to the criteria for each assessment task.
17.2. Student performance in individual subjects of study will be graded in accordance with the following guidelines:

Grade Definition
High Distinction
(outstanding performance)
Code: HD
Mark range: 80% – 100%
  • Complete and comprehensive understanding of the subject content
  • Development of relevant skills to an outstanding level
  • Demonstration of an extremely high level of interpretive and analytical ability and intellectual initiative
  • Excellent achievement of all major and minor objectives of the subject
Distinction
(very high level of performance)
Code: D
Mark range: 70% – 79%
  • Very high level of understanding of the subject content
  • Development of relevant skills to a very high level
  • Demonstration of a very high level of interpretive and analytical ability and intellectual initiative
  • Comprehensive achievement of all major and minor objectives of the subject
Credit
(high level of performance)
Code: D
Mark range: 60% – 69%
  • High level of understanding of the subject content
  • Development of relevant skills to a high level
  • Demonstration of a high level of interpretive
  • Analytical ability and achievement of all major objectives of the subject, with some minor objectives not fully achieved
Pass
(competent level of performance)
Code: P
Mark range: 50% – 59%
  • Adequate understanding of most of the basic subject content
  • Development of relevant skills to a satisfactory level
  • Adequate interpretive and analytical ability
  • Achievement of all major objectives of the subject, with some minor objectives not achieved
Fail
(unsatisfactory performance)
Code: F
Mark range: 0% – 49%
  • Inadequate understanding of the basic subject content
  • Failure to develop relevant skills
  • Insufficient evidence of interpretive and analytical ability
  • Failure to achieve some or all major and minor objectives of the subject
Fail – No Assessment Submitted
Code: FNS
  • Did not present any work for assessment, to be considered as failure.
Deferred Examination
Code: DE
  • A final grade is yet to be awarded for the subject, as a deferred examination has been approved due to special consideration. This is a temporary grade only and must be finalised before the end of the following semester.
Supplementary Assessment
Code: SA
  • A final grade is yet to be awarded for the subject, as the outcome has been a marginal fail and a supplementary examination has been offered. This is a temporary grade only and must be finalised before the end of the following semester.
Withdraw With Failure
Code: WF
  • Cancelled enrolment in the subject after the final date for withdrawal without failure.
Withdraw Without Failure
Code: AW
  • Cancelled enrolment in the subject before the final date for withdrawal without failure. This grade may also be awarded to students who withdraw from a subject after the withdrawal date under special or compassionate circumstances. In these cases the grade is awarded at the discretion of the Teaching and Learning Committee.
  • A subject with the grade of AW does not appear on a student’s academic transcript.
Advanced Standing
Code: Ad
  • Credit has been granted for the subject of study following an application for Advanced Standing.
Related Documents

HEFOR10Application for Special Consideration form
HEFOR13 Assessment Submission Cover Sheet
HEFOR14Application for Assessment Extension form
HEPP02 Academic Misconduct Policy and Procedure
HEPP03 Student Complaint and Grievances Policy and Procedure
HEPP05 Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure
HEPP29 Student Progress and Exclusion Policy and Procedure
HEPP31 Examination Policy and Procedure

Legislative Context

NIL

Responsibilities

The Academic Board is responsible for the development, compliance monitoring and review of this policy and any associated procedures and guidelines.

Students have the responsibility to submit assessment tasks by the published deadline and to sit tests and examinations at the time and date published.

Lecturers are required to publish details of assessment tasks in the student assessment documentation and ensure they are consistent with the formally approved assessment tasks.

Author Compliance Manager (Revision by Academic Director)
Approved by Corporate Board
Effective date 10 February 2018
Version Version 2.0
Review date