Rethinking educational assessments: the matrimony of exams and coursework

Standardised tests have been cemented in education systems across the globe, but whether or not they are a better assessment of students’ ability compared to coursework still divides opinions.

Proponents of exam assessments argue that despite being stressful, exams are beneficial for many reasons, such as:

  • Provides motivation to study;
  • Results are a good measure of the student’s work and understanding (and not anyone else’s); and
  • They are a fair way of assessing students’ knowledge of a topic and encourage thinking in answering questions that everyone else is also taking.

But the latter may not be entirely true. A  Stanford study says question format can impact how boys and girls score on standardised tests. Researchers found that girls perform better on standardised tests that have more open-ended questions, while boys score higher when the tests include more multiple-choice questions.

Meanwhile, The Hechinger Report notes that assessments, when designed properly, can support, not just measure, student learning, building their skills and granting them the feedback they need.

“Assessments create feedback for teachers and students alike, and the high value of feedback – particularly timely feedback – is well-documented by learning scientists. It’s useful to know you’re doing something wrong right after you do it,” it said.

Exams are important for students, but they must be designed properly to ensure they support student learning. Source: Shutterstock

Conversely, critics of exams say the obsession with test scores comes at the expense of learning – students memorise facts, while some syllabi lack emphasis of knowledge application and does little to develop students’ critical thinking skills.

Meanwhile, teachers have argued that report card grades aren’t the best way to measure a student’s academic achievement , adding that they measure effort more than achievement.

Coursework, on the other hand, assesses a wider range of skills – it can consist of a range of activities such as quizzes, class participation, assignments and presentations. These steady assessments over an academic year suggests there is fair representation of students’ educational attainment while also catering for different learning styles.

Quizzes can be useful as they keep students on their toes and encourages them to study consistently, while giving educators a yardstick as to how well students are faring. Group work, however, can open up a can of worms when lazy students latch on to hard-working peers to pull up their grades, or when work is unevenly distributed among teammates.

It becomes clear that exams and coursework clearly test students’ different ‘muscles’, but do they supplement and support students’ learning outcomes and develop students as a whole?

The shifting tides

Coursework can develop skills such as collaboration and critical thinking among students, which exams cannot. Source: Shutterstock

News reports suggest that some countries are gradually moving away from an exam-oriented education system; these include selected schools in the US and Asian countries.

Last year, Malaysia’s Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik, said students from Year One to Three will no longer sit for exams come 2019, enabling the ministry to implement the Classroom-Based Assessment (PBD), in which they can focus on a pupil’s learning development.

Meanwhile, Singapore is cutting down on the number of exams for selected primary and secondary school levels, while Georgia’s school graduate exams will be abolished from 2020. Finland is a country known for not having standardised tests, with the exception of one exam at the end of students’ secondary school year.

Drawing from my experience, I found that a less exam-oriented system greatly benefitted me.

Going through 11 years of the Malaysian national education system was a testament that I did not perform well in an exam-oriented environment. I was often ‘first from the bottom’ in class, which did little to boost my confidence in school.

For university, I set out to select a programme that was less exam-oriented and eventually chose the American Degree Programme (ADP), while many of my schoolmates went with the popular A-Levels before progressing to their degree.

With the ADP, the bulk of student assessments (about 70 percent, depending on your institution) came from assignments, quizzes, class participation, presentations and the like, while the remaining 30 percent was via exams. Under this system, I found myself flourishing for the first time in an academic setting – my grades improved, I was more motivated to attend my classes and learned that I wasn’t as stupid as I was often made out to be during my school days.

This system of continuous assessments worked more in my favour than the stress of sitting for one major exam. In the former, my success or failure in an educational setting was not entirely dependent on how well I could pass standardised tests that required me to regurgitate facts through essays and open-ended or multiple choice questions.

Instead, I had more time to grasp new and alien concepts, and through activities that promoted continuous development, was able to digest and understand better.

Mixed assessments in schools and universities can be beneficial for developing well-rounded individuals. Source: Shutterstock

Additionally, shy students such as myself are forced between a rock and a hard place – to contribute to class discussions or get a zero for class participation, and to engage in group and solo presentations or risk getting zero for oral presentations.

One benefit to this system is that it gives you the chance to play to your strengths and work hard towards securing top marks in areas you care about. If you preferred the  examination or assignments portion, for example, you could knock it out of the park in those areas to pull up your grades.

Some students may be all-rounders who perform well in both exam-oriented and coursework assessments, but not all students say the same. However, the availability of mixed assessments in schools and universities can be beneficial for developing well-rounded individuals.

Under this system, students who perform poorly in exams will still have to go through them anyway, while students who excel in exam-oriented conditions are also forced to undergo other forms of assessments and develop their skill sets, including creativity, collaboration, oral and critical thinking skills.

Students who argue that their grades will fall under mixed-assessments should rethink the purpose of their education – in most instances, degrees aim to prepare people for employment.

But can exams really prepare students for employment where they’ll be working with people with different skills, requiring them to apply critical thinking and communication skills over a period of time to ensure work is completed within stipulated deadlines, despite hiccups that can happen between the start and finishing line of a project?

It’ll help if parents, educators and policymakers are on the bandwagon, too, instead of merely chasing for children and students to obtain a string of As.  

Grades hold so much power over students’ futures – from the ability to get an academic scholarship to gaining entry to prestigious institutions – and this means it can be difficult to get students who prefer one mode of assessment to convert to one that may potentially negatively affect their grades.

Ideally, education shouldn’t be about pitting one student against the other; it should be based on attaining knowledge and developing skills that will help students in their future careers and make positive contributions to the world.

Exams are still a crucial part of education as some careers depend on a student’s academic attainment (i.e. doctors, etc.). But rather than having one form of assessment over the other, matrimony between the two may help develop holistic students and better prepare them for the world they’ll soon be walking into.

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Course Assessment

Course-level assessment is a process of systematically examining and refining the fit between the course activities and what students should know at the end of the course.

Conducting a course-level assessment involves considering whether all aspects of the course align with each other and whether they guide students to achieve the desired learning outcomes.

“Assessment” refers to a variety of processes for gathering, analyzing, and using information about student learning to support instructional decision-making, with the goal of improving student learning. Most instructors already engage in assessment processes all the time, ranging from informal (“hmm, there are many confused faces right now- I should stop for questions”) to formal (“nearly half the class got this quiz question wrong- I should revisit this concept”).

When approached in a formalized way, course-level assessment is a process of systematically examining and refining the fit between the course activities and what students should know at the end of the course. Conducting a course-level assessment involves considering whether all aspects of the course align with each other and whether they guide students to achieve the desired learning outcomes . Course-level assessment can be a practical process embedded within course design and teaching, that provides substantial benefits to instructors and students.

course assessment cycle

Over time, as the process is followed iteratively over several semesters, it can help instructors find a variety of pathways to designing more equitable courses in which more learners develop greater expertise in the skills and knowledge of greatest importance to the discipline or topic of the course.

Differentiating Grading from Assessment

“Assessment” is sometimes used colloquially to mean “grading,” but there are distinctions between the two. Grading is a process of evaluating individual student learning for the purposes of characterizing that student’s level of success at a particular task (or the entire course). The grade of an assignment may provide feedback to students on which concepts or skills they have mastered, which can guide them to revise their study approach, but may not be used by the instructor to decide how subsequent class sessions will be spent. Similarly, a student’s grade in a course might convey to other instructors in the curriculum or prospective employers the level of mastery that the student has demonstrated during that semester, but need not suggest changes to the design of the course as a whole for future iterations.

In contrast to grading, assessment practices focus on determining how many students achieved which learning course outcomes, and to what level of mastery, for the purpose of helping the instructor revise subsequent lessons or the course as a whole for subsequent terms. Since final course grades may include participation points, and aggregate student mastery of all course learning objectives into a single measure, they rarely give clarity on what elements of the course have been most or least successful in achieving the instructor’s goals. Differentiating assessment from grading allows instructors to plot a clear course forward toward making the changes that will have the greatest impact in the areas they define as being most important, based on the results of the assessment.

Course learning outcomes are measurable statements that describe what students should be able to do by the end of a course . Let’s parse this statement into its three component parts: student-centered, measurable, and course-level.

Student-Centered

First, learning outcomes should focus on what students will be able to do, not what the course will do. For example:

  • “Introduces the fundamental ideas of computing and the principles of programming” says what a course is intended to accomplish. This is perfectly appropriate for a course description but is not a learning outcome.
  • A related student learning outcome might read, “ Explain the fundamental ideas of computing and identify the principles of programming.”

Second, learning outcomes are measurable , which means that you can observe the student performing the skill or task and determine the degree to which they have done so. This does not need to be measured in quantitative terms—student learning can be observed in the characteristics of presentations, essays, projects, and many other student products created in a course (discussed more in the section on rubrics below).

To be measurable, learning outcomes should not include words like understand , learn , and appreciate , because these qualities occur within the student’s mind and are not observable. Rather, ask yourself, “What would a student be doing if they understand, have learned, or appreciate?” For example:

  • “Learners should understand US political ideologies regarding social and environmental issues,” is not observable.
  • “Learners should be able to compare and contrast U.S. political ideologies regarding social and environmental issues,” is observable.

Observable Performance

Course-Level

Finally, learning outcomes for course-level assessment focus on the knowledge and skills that learners will take away from a course as a whole. Though the final project, essay, or other assessment that will be used to measure student learning may match the outcome well, the learning outcome should articulate the overarching takeaway from the course, rather than describing the assignment. For example:

  • “Identify learning principles and theories in real-world situations” is a learning outcome that describes skills learners will use beyond the course.
  • “Develop a case study in which you document a learner in a real-world setting” describes a course assignment aligned with that outcome but is not a learning outcome itself.

Identify and Prioritize Your Higher-Order End Goals

Course-level learning outcomes articulate the big-picture takeaways of the course, providing context and purpose for day-to-day learning. To keep the workload of course assessment manageable, focus on no more than 5-10 learning outcomes per course (McCourt, 2007). This limit is helpful because each of these course-level learning objectives will be carefully assessed at the end of the term and used to guide iterative revision of the course in future semesters.

This is not meant to suggest that students will only learn 5-10 skills or concepts during the term. Multiple shorter-term and lower-level learning objectives are very helpful to guide student learning at the unit, week, or even class session scale (Felder & Brent, 2016). These shorter-term objectives build toward or serve as components of the course-level objectives.

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) is a helpful tool for deciding which of your objectives are course-level, which may be unit-to class-level objectives, and how they fit together. This taxonomy organizes action verbs by complexity of thinking, resulting in the following categories:

Bloom's taxonomy organizes action verbs by complexity of thinking

Download a list of sample learning outcomes from a variety of disciplines .

Typically, objectives at the higher end of the spectrum (“analyzing,” “evaluating,” or “creating”) are ideal course-level learning outcomes, while those at the lower end of the spectrum (“remembering,” “understanding,” or “applying”) are component parts and day, week, or unit-level outcomes. Lower-level outcomes that do not contribute substantially to students’ ability to achieve the higher-level objectives may fit better in a different course in the curriculum.

Course learning outcomes spectrum

Consider Involving Your Learners

Depending on the course and the flexibility of the course structure and/or progression, some educators spend the first day of the course working with learners to craft or edit learning outcomes together. This practice of giving learners an informed voice may lead to increased motivation and ownership of learning.

Alignment, where all components work together to bolster specific student learning outcomes, occurs at multiple levels. At the course level, assignments or activities within the course are aligned with the daily or unit-level learning outcomes, which in turn are aligned with the course-level objectives. At the next level, the learning outcomes of each course in a curriculum contribute directly and strategically to programmatic learning outcomes.

Alignment Within the Course

Since learning outcomes are statements about key learning takeaways, they can be used to focus the assignments, activities, and content of the course (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). Biggs & Tang (2011) note that, “In a constructively aligned system, all components… support each other, so the learner is enveloped within a supportive learning system.”

Alignments within the course

For example, for the learning outcome, “learners should be able to collaborate effectively on a team to create a marketing campaign for a product,” the course should: (1) intentionally teach learners effective ways to collaborate on a team and how to create a marketing campaign; (2) include activities that allow learners to practice and progress in their skillsets for collaboration and creation of marketing campaigns; and (3) have assessments that provide feedback to the learners on the extent that they are meeting these learning outcomes.

Alignment With Program

When developing your course learning outcomes, consider how the course contributes to your program’s mission/goals (especially if such decisions have not already been made at the programmatic level). If course learning outcomes are set at the programmatic level, familiarize yourself with possible program sequences to understand the knowledge and skills learners are bringing into your course and the level and type of mastery they may need for future courses and experiences. Explicitly sharing your understanding of this alignment with learners may help motivate them and provide more context, significance, and/or impact for their learning (Cuevas, Matveevm, & Miller, 2010).

If relevant, you will also want to ensure that a course with NUpath attributes addresses the associated outcomes . Similarly, for undergraduate or graduate courses that meet requirements set by external evaluators specific to the discipline or field, reviewing and assessing these outcomes is often a requirement for continuing accreditation.

See our program-level assessment guide for more information.

Transparency

Sharing course learning outcomes with learners makes the benchmarks for learning explicit and helps learners make connections across different elements within the course (Cuevas & Mativeev, 2010). Consider including course learning outcomes in your syllabus , so learners know what is expected of them by the end of a course and can refer to the outcomes as the term progresses. When educators refer to learning outcomes during the course before introducing new concepts or assignments, learners receive the message that the outcomes are important and are more likely to see the connections between the outcomes and course activities.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment practices are brief, often low-stakes (minimal grade value) assignments administered during the semester to give the instructor insight into student progress toward one or more course-level learning objectives (or the day-to unit-level objectives that stair-step toward the course objectives). Common formative assessment techniques include classroom discussions , just-in-time quizzes or polls , concept maps , and informal writing techniques like minute papers or “muddiest points,” among many others (Angelo & Cross, 1993).

Refining Alignment During the Semester

While it requires a bit of flexibility built into the syllabus, student-centered courses often use the results of formative assessments in real time to revise upcoming learning activities. If students are struggling with a particular outcome, extra time might be devoted to related practice. Alternatively, if students demonstrate accomplishment of a particular outcome early in the related unit, the instructor might choose to skip activities planned to teach that outcome and jump ahead to activities related to an outcome that builds upon the first one.

Supporting Student Motivation and Engagement

Formative assessment and subsequent refinements to alignment that support student learning can be transformative for student motivation and engagement in the course, with the greatest benefits likely for novices and students worried about their ability to successfully accomplish the course outcomes, such as those impacted by stereotype threat (Steele, 2010). Take the example below, in which an instructor who sees that students are struggling decides to dedicate more time and learning activities to that outcome. If that instructor were to instead move on to instruction and activities that built upon the prior learning objective, students who did not reach the prior objective would become increasingly lost, likely recognize that their efforts at learning the new content or skill were not helping them succeed, and potentially disengage from the course as a whole.

formative assessment cycle

Artifacts for Summative Assessment

To determine the degree to which students have accomplished the course learning outcomes, instructors often assign some form of project , essay, presentation, portfolio, renewable assignment , or other cumulative final. The final product of these activities could serve as the “artifact” that is assessed. In this context, alignment is particularly critical—if this assignment does not adequately guide students to demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes, the instructor will not have concrete information to guide course design for future semesters. To keep assessment manageable, aim to design a single final assignment that create the space for students to demonstrate their performance on multiple (if not all) course learning outcomes.

Since not all courses are designed with a final assignment that allows students to demonstrate their highest level of achievement of all course learning outcomes, the assessment processes could use the course assignment that represents the highest level of achievement that students had an opportunity to demonstrate during the term. However, some learning objectives that do not come into play during the final may be better categorized as unit-level, rather than course-level, objectives.

Direct vs. Indirect Measures of Student Learning

Some instructors also use surveys, interviews, or other methods that ask learners whether and how they believe they have achieved the learning outcomes. This type of “indirect evidence” can provide valuable information about how learners understand their progress but does not directly measure students’ learning. In fact, novices commonly have difficulty accurately evaluating their own learning (Ambrose et al., 2010). For this reason, indirect evidence of student learning (on its own) is not considered sufficient for summative assessment.

Together, direct and indirect evidence of student learning can help an instructor determine whether to bolster student practice in certain areas or whether to simply focus on increasing transparency about when students are working toward which learning outcome.

Creating and Assessing Student Work with Analytic Rubrics

One tool for assessing student work is analytic rubrics (shown below) which are matrices of characteristics and descriptions of what it might look like for student products to demonstrate these characteristics at different levels of mastery. Analytic rubrics are commonly recommended for assessment purposes, since they provide more detailed feedback to guide course design in more meaningful ways than holistic rubrics. Pre-existing analytic rubrics such as the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics can be tailored to fit your course or program, or you can develop an outcome-specific rubric yourself (Moskal, 2000 is a useful reference, or contact CATLR for a one-on-one consultation). The process of refining a rubric often involves multiple iterations of applying the rubric to student work and identifying the ways in which it captures or does not capture the characteristics representing the outcome.

coursework and examination assessment

Summative assessment results can inform changes to any of the course components for subsequent terms. If students have underperformed on a particular course learning objective, the instructor might choose to revise the related assignments or provide additional practice opportunities related to that objective, and formative assessments might be revised or implemented to test whether those new learning activities are producing better results. If the final assessment does not provide sufficient information about student performance on a certain outcome, the instructor might revise the assessment guidelines or even implement a different assessment that is more aligned to the outcome. Finally, if an instructor notices during the assessment process that an important outcome has not been articulated, or would be more clearly stated a different way, that instructor might revise the objectives themselves.

For assistance at any stage of the course assessment cycle, contact CATLR for a one-on-one or group consultation.

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010).  How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching . San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001).  A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives . New York, NY: Longman.

Bembenutty, H. (2011). Self-regulation of learning in postsecondary education.  New Directions for Teaching and Learning ,  126 , 3-8. doi: 10.1002/tl.439

Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011).  Teaching for Quality Learning at University . Maidenhead, England: Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.

Cauley, K. M., & McMillan, J. H. (2010). Formative assessment techniques to support student motivation and achievement.  The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas ,  83 (1), 1-6. doi: 10.1080/00098650903267784

Cuevas, N. M., Matveev, A. G., & Miller, K. O. (2010). Mapping general education outcomes in the major: Intentionality and transparency.  Peer Review ,  12 (1), 10-15.

Felder, R. M., & Brent, R. (2016).  Teaching and learning STEM: A practical guide . San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy: An overview.  Theory into practice ,  41 (4), 212-218. doi:  10.1207/s15430421tip4104_2

McCourt, Millis, B. J., (2007).  Writing and Assessing Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes . Office of Planning and Assessment at the Texas Tech University.

Moskal, B. M. (2000). Scoring rubrics: What, when and how?  Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation ,  7 (3).

Setting Learning Outcomes . (2012). Center for Teaching Excellence at Cornell University. Retrieved from  https://teaching.cornell.edu/teaching-resources/designing-your-course/setting-learning-outcomes .

Steele, C. M. (2010).  Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do . New York, NY: WW Norton & Company, Inc.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005).  Understanding by Design (Expanded) . Alexandria, US: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD).

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  • Current Students

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Assessment: Coursework and Examinations

 2023-24, assessment aims.

Upon successful completion of your studies, you will be able to demonstrate specific learning outcomes:

Undergraduate Students will be able to:

  • Outline and evaluate contemporary concepts and empirical evidence in relation to the main areas of social policy formulation and implementation
  • Critically evaluate the suitability, implications and effects of social policies in different social sectors and across different national contexts
  • Construct persuasive, theoretically informed oral and written arguments in relation to key debates in contemporary social policy
  • Apply a comprehensive understanding of social policy as a multi-disciplinary field of study to the analysis of social problems
  • Understand and deploy basic qualitative and quantitative research skills in the study of social policy problems

Taught postgraduate students will be able to:

  • Explain and evaluate the main theoretical positions in the field of social policy formulation and implementation
  • Integrate theory from different disciplinary backgrounds into the analysis of social problems
  • Construct persuasive oral and written arguments in relation to key issues of social policy theory and practice
  • Conduct and design rigorous research projects using a range of methodologies and epistemologies
  • Apply theoretically informed approaches to the analysis of social problems

Each degree programme also has specific learning outcomes linked to Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) standards.

Each programme has a conceptual “spine” of core courses which, in combination with option courses, ensure the full range of learning outcomes are achieved.

Forms of Assessment

The Department provides a combination of different assessment methods within each programme. This approach ensures you develop relevant knowledge and skills, and allows the Department to test your learning effectively.

Formative  assessment develops the knowledge and skills that you acquire at LSE.  Formative  assessment is a compulsory part of every programme and may include: class/seminar discussions and presentations; essays; problem sets; dissertation proposals, mock examinations or quizzes.  Formative  assessment does not count towards your overall degree classification but is designed to prepare you for the summative (assessed) work that you will complete later in the course. The feedback you receive from your formative work will help prepare you for your summative work.

Summative  assessment tests whether you have acquired the learning outcomes described above. This is achieved through a variety of methods including closed book and take-home assessments, presentations, coursework and dissertations.  Summative assessment counts towards your overall degree classification. Individual courses may be assessed by one piece of Summative work or by a combination of different types of summative work.

Whatever the form of assessment on your Social Policy courses, you will find our short but comprehensive guidance documents  here , which will answer questions you may have. 

If your course involves an element of coursework, all information (including details of assessment weightings, submission dates etc.) can be found via the course's Moodle page.

Presentation and Content

You will submit summative coursework via Moodle in electronic format only; no hard copies of your work are accepted. 

In the Department of Social Policy, we operate strict word limits for assessments.  Written work must not exceed the word limit  set out in the assessment details. If it is clear that a piece of coursework exceeds the set word limit, markers will only mark strictly up to the word limit for each of your answers.

If you are taking a course from an outside Department, you should make sure to check their policy regarding word limits as different Departments may have different guidance.

Submission                                                                                                                   

The Department of Social Policy has standard procedures for the submission of summative coursework for its courses (any course with the prefix SP). When submitting your work (essay, long essay, dissertation, project etc.):

  • Ensure that your assessed work is submitted anonymously. Your name  must not appear anywhere  on the work or coversheet. Your five-digit candidate number (available via LSE for You in AT) should be the only means of identifying your work. Your candidate number should be on the coversheet. Please do not share details of your candidate number with anybody.  The Department will not accept assessed work from you if you have not included your candidate number.
  • All the information you need regarding submitting your assessment is available via the relevant course's Moodle page.         

Penalties for the late submission of Summative Assessment                                     

Every piece of assessed work has a clear deadline. The submission deadlines are to be taken seriously, since penalties may be applied in the case of late submissions.

If you have a summative assessment and circumstances outside of your control may prevent you from meeting the deadline (e.g. you become ill) make sure you talk to the Department as there are some options you can explore, depending on the circumstances. These include applying for an extension or a deferral.

If you don’t successfully apply for either of these, and you submit your work late,  penalties will be applied   as follows:

Summative Essays

  • Five marks will be deducted for an essay submitted within 24 hours after the deadline
  • A further five marks will be deducted for each subsequent 24 hour period (not limited to working days) until the essay is submitted.
  • Essays more than five days late will only be accepted with the permission of the Chair of the Sub-Board of Examiners. These penalties apply immediately after the deadline time for submission on the submission date.

Online Assessments (within a 24 hour window): A penalty of 1 mark will be deducted for each minute beyond the deadline up to 15 marks beyond the deadline. Any work received after this will receive a zero mark.

Online Assessments (within either a 48-hour, 72-hour, one-week, two-week or three-week window):

  • For the first 24 hours after assessment submission deadline: Five percentage marks will be deducted for every half-day (12 hours), or part of a half day the assessment is received late. This will result in a maximum penalty of ten percentage marks for the first 24 hours.
  • For the period beyond the first 24 hours after assessment submission deadline: Ten percentage marks will be deducted for the first 24 hours as above then five percentage marks will be deducted per 24 hour period (not limited to working days) the assessment is late, or 24 hour period, thereafter

In-person Exams and online assessments

In Person Exams take place during the Spring Term (May/June) and are timetabled by the School. There is also a January exam period which takes place just before the start of WT. The Course Guide for the relevant course will state when the in-person exam is expected to take place. i.e (January/Summer)

Social Policy courses do not have in-person exams, but if you are taking a course outside the Department, you should check if the course(s) you are taking  require(s) you to sit an in-person exam.

Please note that Online Assessments are similar in format to traditional exams, but they are (with the exception of 24 hour take-home assessments) timetabled by the Department rather than the School and you will be informed of their deadlines separately from the School’s in-person exam timetable.

The School's exam timetables are published ahead of the exam periods, either in late Autumn or early Winter Term.

You can obtain your unique candidate number ahead of any assessments, and your personal examination timetable via LSE for You ahead of any in-person exams.

To help you prepare effectively for your exams and online assessments you should make yourself fully aware of the format and syllabus to be covered in the exam/assessment.

Past papers can be accessed via the  Library web pages  (access restricted to LSE network only).

Specimen exam papers (or appropriate exam-type questions) are provided for (i) any new course or (ii) an existing course where there have been significant changes to the syllabus in the current academic year. Permitted materials are also specified early in the year.

All assessed work (coursework and exam scripts) must be anonymous and identified only by candidate number. 

Plagiarism- What is it and how to avoid it?

Plagiarism is the attempt to use the work of others as though it is your own work. This applies whether the work is published or not, and can include the work of other students.

Self-Plagiarism is the re-use of your own work without appropriate referencing. The Department is clear that students cannot submit previously assessed, or elements of, their own work (whether work from their time at LSE or another institution) for assessment- this constitutes self-plagiarism. 

The Department ensures that the School’s rules on Plagiarism are clearly communicated. Each Programme handbook clearly sets out the Department’s policy on plagiarism, signposts students to the School’s guidance, and provides examples of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it.

The Department is clear that Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism are unacceptable, and will be treated seriously according to the School’s regulations. There are sessions which cover avoidance of plagiarism as part of Programme Dissertation workshops. For additional guidance on how to avoid Plagiarism, you are encouraged to contact your Academic Mentor and  LSE Life .

Further information about Plagiarism .

Turnitin- plagiarism detection software

The School considers academic integrity to be an issue of the utmost importance. Under the  Conditions of Registration  for your programme of study you consented to all of your summative coursework (essays, projects, dissertations, etc.) being analysed by plagiarism detection software.

The Department of Social Policy submits all summative coursework to Turnitin UK for textual similarity review and the detection of plagiarism. Copies of all papers submitted to this software will be retained as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism.

You have the option to submit your coursework to Turnitin yourselves for checking, prior to the final submission of your work. We strongly encourage this practice to make sure that you have not inadvertently plagiarised other work, for which you could still be held responsible.  Here are some Turnitin FAQ's . 

If you wish to submit your coursework to Turnitin yourself, prior to submitting your final piece of work, make sure that you submit it ‘in draft’ on Moodle and NOT ‘for grading’. As long as you submit in draft, you will be able to finalise your coursework before final submission. ONLY when you are sure that you want to finally submit your work for grading should you choose this option. Once your work is submitted for grading, you will not be able to change it.

When you submit the electronic copy in Moodle you will be asked to confirm, at the point of submission, that you understand the School's regulations on plagiarism and assessment, and by submitting your work on Moodle you are confirming that the work you are submitting is your own.

What is feedback?

Feedback is information about your work that you can use to make improvements, and it is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.

Feedback is a two-way process which is most effective when you engage with it fully.

You are informed of the guidelines on assessment and feedback through your  programme handbook  and the  LSE Academic Code .

The Department is committed to providing timely, regular and constructive feedback to you and promotes ‘feedback literacy’ among all its teachers and students to ensure that you understand the full range of feedback methods and opportunities available to you. We encourage you to engage actively with feedback, by learning to recognise when feedback is being given, the different forms it takes, and how best to use it.

The main opportunities you have to receive and discuss feedback are through Classes and Seminars, in Advice and Feedback Hours with your Academic Mentor or another member of Faculty, or via Moodle.

You are expected to understand when feedback is being given and what it means, and to ask for clarification it if is not clear. You may wish to also discuss feedback with fellow students – peer review can provide useful feedback and aid understanding.

When and how is feedback given?

Formative:  Feedback on  formative  work is normally provided within three term-time weeks of submission. It is primarily provided to prepare you for  summative  work. Assignments are returned to you with constructive commentary and guidance for future progress. Feedback is provided in two main forms: in writing (normally using the standard form, including a mark), and orally (students are expected to take notes). Students may also be provided with additional feedback opportunities on their formative work at Academic Mentor meetings.

Summative:  Feedback on  summative  work is normally provided within five term-time weeks of submission, and where possible, prior to future  summative  assessment for summative work submitted in AT and WT. NB.There will be no written feedback for Summative work submitted in the Spring Term (but feedback will be provided for the Dissertation).

Once provisional  overall  marks for a course have been confirmed by the External Examiner, these marks will be released on the School’s  provisional results  page on LSE for You. 

The Department has a general marking framework for both BSc and MSc students which can be found below.

BSc programmes marking framework 

MSc programmes marking framework 

A number of courses have their own versions of the above marking frameworks, adapted to reflect the specific requirements for that course. These can be found on the Moodle page for these courses.

There are three forms of marking which the Department uses. 

For courses which use ‘double-blind’ marking, first and second internal examiners marks each piece of summative work separately, and without any identification of the candidate. The two markers then agree the final internal mark.

Some courses use a method of ‘Sighted double marking’, where all work is examined anonymously by two examiners (as with double-blind marking), but the second marker has sight of the first markers’ marks when reviewing the work.

Some courses use 'single-marking with moderation', where each script is marked by a first marker, and then a selection of scripts are 'moderated' by a second marker to ensure marking standards are consistent. If the moderator finds any inconsistencies, scripts are re-marked.

Careful consideration is given by both the Department and School to ensure that appropriate methods of marking are used on each individual course.

External Examiners receives a representative sample of scripts and other assessed material from every course to review and confirm that internal marking has been consistent and is of an appropriate standard

Marking Schemes for the Award of a Degree:

Classification scheme for the BA/BSc degrees

Scheme for the award of a taught Masters degree (four units)

Taught Masters examination sub-board local rules

What if I need support? Extensions and Exceptional Circumstances

You are encouraged to speak to your Academic Mentor as early as possible if you are experiencing any challenges which are affecting your work. You are also encouraged to speak to your Programmes Support Team who may be able to help.

Requesting an Extension.

Summative work

If you find yourself unable to meet a summative assessment deadline because of illness/injury, bereavement or other serious personal circumstances, and you need to request an extension to the submission deadline, you should do so as early as possible and in advance of the deadline. Useful information outlining the School’s Extension Policy is available  here . 

If you would like to request an extension for SUMMATIVE work on a course based within the Department of Social Policy, the following process will apply. Please send your request to:

BSc level courses:  complete our  BSc extension request form

MSc level courses:  complete our  MSc extension request form

Supporting evidence must be provided with your request, and all evidence must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation. Please refer to our  ‘Standards of Evidence’  table before submitting your supporting evidence. 

In the Department of Social Policy, the Programmes Support team act as the designated contacts for all matters relating to your extension request. Please note that the Department practices anonymous marking, and so the extension process is separated from your course teachers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact  [email protected]  (for UG enquiries) and  [email protected]  (for MSc enquiries). Please do not contact course convenors directly with any extension or deferral request. If you do have any questions, please contact the relevant Programmes Support team .

Once your extension request and evidence is received, it will be considered by the Chair of the Sub-Board of Examiners . Your Programmes Support team will email you with the outcome of your request, and inform the relevant marker(s). Please note that the final submission of your assessment must still be made via Moodle, regardless of the outcome of your request.

Formative Work

To request an extension on Formative work, please email your Programmes Support team ( [email protected] or [email protected] ) in the first instance, with an outline of what extension you are requesting; the reasons why; and any supporting evidence. 

Exceptional Circumstances

Exceptional circumstances (ECs) concern issues which are unforseen, out of your control and proximate to the timing of an assessment/s you have taken and which you feel may have had a significant impact on your academic performance during an exam, online assessment or other summative assessment. Such circumstances might include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, or bereavement. If you wish to make the Sub-Board of Examiners aware of your circumstances and how these have affected your performance in an assessment/s, please complete the Exceptional Circumstances form ( available here ). The form should be accompanied by supporting evidence of your circumstances (such as doctor's letter, hospital note, death certificate or police report).

Your EC form and supporting documentation must be submitted according to the details available via this webpage .

Under certain circumstances, if you are not in a good position to be able to sit an assessment (i.e., your are not ‘fit-to-sit’, you might be permitted to postpone either one or more assessments to the next appropriate assessment opportunity. This is known as deferral.

You may, for example, experience circumstances which are sudden, unforeseen and outside of your control around the time of one or more assessments. In such a case, you may wish to consider deferring the assessment/s to the next appropriate assessment period.

You can find out more about deferrals here.

Further queries?

If you have any queries please contact  [email protected]  (BSc students) or  [email protected]  (MSc students).

PhD handbook

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How to use Feedback effectively A guide for students

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Assessment: Coursework and Examinations

 2023-24, assessment aims.

Upon successful completion of your studies, you will be able to demonstrate specific learning outcomes:

Undergraduate Students will be able to:

  • Outline and evaluate contemporary concepts and empirical evidence in relation to the main areas of social policy formulation and implementation
  • Critically evaluate the suitability, implications and effects of social policies in different social sectors and across different national contexts
  • Construct persuasive, theoretically informed oral and written arguments in relation to key debates in contemporary social policy
  • Apply a comprehensive understanding of social policy as a multi-disciplinary field of study to the analysis of social problems
  • Understand and deploy basic qualitative and quantitative research skills in the study of social policy problems

Taught postgraduate students will be able to:

  • Explain and evaluate the main theoretical positions in the field of social policy formulation and implementation
  • Integrate theory from different disciplinary backgrounds into the analysis of social problems
  • Construct persuasive oral and written arguments in relation to key issues of social policy theory and practice
  • Conduct and design rigorous research projects using a range of methodologies and epistemologies
  • Apply theoretically informed approaches to the analysis of social problems

Each degree programme also has specific learning outcomes linked to Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) standards.

Each programme has a conceptual “spine” of core courses which, in combination with option courses, ensure the full range of learning outcomes are achieved.

Forms of Assessment

The Department provides a combination of different assessment methods within each programme. This approach ensures you develop relevant knowledge and skills, and allows the Department to test your learning effectively.

Formative  assessment develops the knowledge and skills that you acquire at LSE.  Formative  assessment is a compulsory part of every programme and may include: class/seminar discussions and presentations; essays; problem sets; dissertation proposals, mock examinations or quizzes.  Formative  assessment does not count towards your overall degree classification but is designed to prepare you for the summative (assessed) work that you will complete later in the course. The feedback you receive from your formative work will help prepare you for your summative work.

Summative  assessment tests whether you have acquired the learning outcomes described above. This is achieved through a variety of methods including closed book and take-home assessments, presentations, coursework and dissertations.  Summative assessment counts towards your overall degree classification. Individual courses may be assessed by one piece of Summative work or by a combination of different types of summative work.

Whatever the form of assessment on your Social Policy courses, you will find our short but comprehensive guidance documents  here , which will answer questions you may have. 

If your course involves an element of coursework, all information (including details of assessment weightings, submission dates etc.) can be found via the course's Moodle page.

Presentation and Content

You will submit summative coursework via Moodle in electronic format only; no hard copies of your work are accepted. 

In the Department of Social Policy, we operate strict word limits for assessments.  Written work must not exceed the word limit  set out in the assessment details. If it is clear that a piece of coursework exceeds the set word limit, markers will only mark strictly up to the word limit for each of your answers.

If you are taking a course from an outside Department, you should make sure to check their policy regarding word limits as different Departments may have different guidance.

Submission                                                                                                                   

The Department of Social Policy has standard procedures for the submission of summative coursework for its courses (any course with the prefix SP). When submitting your work (essay, long essay, dissertation, project etc.):

  • Ensure that your assessed work is submitted anonymously. Your name  must not appear anywhere  on the work or coversheet. Your five-digit candidate number (available via LSE for You in AT) should be the only means of identifying your work. Your candidate number should be on the coversheet. Please do not share details of your candidate number with anybody.  The Department will not accept assessed work from you if you have not included your candidate number.
  • All the information you need regarding submitting your assessment is available via the relevant course's Moodle page.         

Penalties for the late submission of Summative Assessment                                     

Every piece of assessed work has a clear deadline. The submission deadlines are to be taken seriously, since penalties may be applied in the case of late submissions.

If you have a summative assessment and circumstances outside of your control may prevent you from meeting the deadline (e.g. you become ill) make sure you talk to the Department as there are some options you can explore, depending on the circumstances. These include applying for an extension or a deferral.

If you don’t successfully apply for either of these, and you submit your work late,  penalties will be applied   as follows:

Summative Essays

  • Five marks will be deducted for an essay submitted within 24 hours after the deadline
  • A further five marks will be deducted for each subsequent 24 hour period (not limited to working days) until the essay is submitted.
  • Essays more than five days late will only be accepted with the permission of the Chair of the Sub-Board of Examiners. These penalties apply immediately after the deadline time for submission on the submission date.

Online Assessments (within a 24 hour window): A penalty of 1 mark will be deducted for each minute beyond the deadline up to 15 marks beyond the deadline. Any work received after this will receive a zero mark.

Online Assessments (within either a 48-hour, 72-hour, one-week, two-week or three-week window):

  • For the first 24 hours after assessment submission deadline: Five percentage marks will be deducted for every half-day (12 hours), or part of a half day the assessment is received late. This will result in a maximum penalty of ten percentage marks for the first 24 hours.
  • For the period beyond the first 24 hours after assessment submission deadline: Ten percentage marks will be deducted for the first 24 hours as above then five percentage marks will be deducted per 24 hour period (not limited to working days) the assessment is late, or 24 hour period, thereafter

In-person Exams and online assessments

In Person Exams take place during the Spring Term (May/June) and are timetabled by the School. There is also a January exam period which takes place just before the start of WT. The Course Guide for the relevant course will state when the in-person exam is expected to take place. i.e (January/Summer)

Social Policy courses do not have in-person exams, but if you are taking a course outside the Department, you should check if the course(s) you are taking  require(s) you to sit an in-person exam.

Please note that Online Assessments are similar in format to traditional exams, but they are (with the exception of 24 hour take-home assessments) timetabled by the Department rather than the School and you will be informed of their deadlines separately from the School’s in-person exam timetable.

The School's exam timetables are published ahead of the exam periods, either in late Autumn or early Winter Term.

You can obtain your unique candidate number ahead of any assessments, and your personal examination timetable via LSE for You ahead of any in-person exams.

To help you prepare effectively for your exams and online assessments you should make yourself fully aware of the format and syllabus to be covered in the exam/assessment.

Past papers can be accessed via the  Library web pages  (access restricted to LSE network only).

Specimen exam papers (or appropriate exam-type questions) are provided for (i) any new course or (ii) an existing course where there have been significant changes to the syllabus in the current academic year. Permitted materials are also specified early in the year.

All assessed work (coursework and exam scripts) must be anonymous and identified only by candidate number. 

Plagiarism- What is it and how to avoid it?

Plagiarism is the attempt to use the work of others as though it is your own work. This applies whether the work is published or not, and can include the work of other students.

Self-Plagiarism is the re-use of your own work without appropriate referencing. The Department is clear that students cannot submit previously assessed, or elements of, their own work (whether work from their time at LSE or another institution) for assessment- this constitutes self-plagiarism. 

The Department ensures that the School’s rules on Plagiarism are clearly communicated. Each Programme handbook clearly sets out the Department’s policy on plagiarism, signposts students to the School’s guidance, and provides examples of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it.

The Department is clear that Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism are unacceptable, and will be treated seriously according to the School’s regulations. There are sessions which cover avoidance of plagiarism as part of Programme Dissertation workshops. For additional guidance on how to avoid Plagiarism, you are encouraged to contact your Academic Mentor and  LSE Life .

Further information about Plagiarism .

Turnitin- plagiarism detection software

The School considers academic integrity to be an issue of the utmost importance. Under the  Conditions of Registration  for your programme of study you consented to all of your summative coursework (essays, projects, dissertations, etc.) being analysed by plagiarism detection software.

The Department of Social Policy submits all summative coursework to Turnitin UK for textual similarity review and the detection of plagiarism. Copies of all papers submitted to this software will be retained as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism.

You have the option to submit your coursework to Turnitin yourselves for checking, prior to the final submission of your work. We strongly encourage this practice to make sure that you have not inadvertently plagiarised other work, for which you could still be held responsible.  Here are some Turnitin FAQ's . 

If you wish to submit your coursework to Turnitin yourself, prior to submitting your final piece of work, make sure that you submit it ‘in draft’ on Moodle and NOT ‘for grading’. As long as you submit in draft, you will be able to finalise your coursework before final submission. ONLY when you are sure that you want to finally submit your work for grading should you choose this option. Once your work is submitted for grading, you will not be able to change it.

When you submit the electronic copy in Moodle you will be asked to confirm, at the point of submission, that you understand the School's regulations on plagiarism and assessment, and by submitting your work on Moodle you are confirming that the work you are submitting is your own.

What is feedback?

Feedback is information about your work that you can use to make improvements, and it is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.

Feedback is a two-way process which is most effective when you engage with it fully.

You are informed of the guidelines on assessment and feedback through your  programme handbook  and the  LSE Academic Code .

The Department is committed to providing timely, regular and constructive feedback to you and promotes ‘feedback literacy’ among all its teachers and students to ensure that you understand the full range of feedback methods and opportunities available to you. We encourage you to engage actively with feedback, by learning to recognise when feedback is being given, the different forms it takes, and how best to use it.

The main opportunities you have to receive and discuss feedback are through Classes and Seminars, in Advice and Feedback Hours with your Academic Mentor or another member of Faculty, or via Moodle.

You are expected to understand when feedback is being given and what it means, and to ask for clarification it if is not clear. You may wish to also discuss feedback with fellow students – peer review can provide useful feedback and aid understanding.

When and how is feedback given?

Formative:  Feedback on  formative  work is normally provided within three term-time weeks of submission. It is primarily provided to prepare you for  summative  work. Assignments are returned to you with constructive commentary and guidance for future progress. Feedback is provided in two main forms: in writing (normally using the standard form, including a mark), and orally (students are expected to take notes). Students may also be provided with additional feedback opportunities on their formative work at Academic Mentor meetings.

Summative:  Feedback on  summative  work is normally provided within five term-time weeks of submission, and where possible, prior to future  summative  assessment for summative work submitted in AT and WT. NB.There will be no written feedback for Summative work submitted in the Spring Term (but feedback will be provided for the Dissertation).

Once provisional  overall  marks for a course have been confirmed by the External Examiner, these marks will be released on the School’s  provisional results  page on LSE for You. 

The Department has a general marking framework for both BSc and MSc students which can be found below.

BSc programmes marking framework 

MSc programmes marking framework 

A number of courses have their own versions of the above marking frameworks, adapted to reflect the specific requirements for that course. These can be found on the Moodle page for these courses.

There are three forms of marking which the Department uses. 

For courses which use ‘double-blind’ marking, first and second internal examiners marks each piece of summative work separately, and without any identification of the candidate. The two markers then agree the final internal mark.

Some courses use a method of ‘Sighted double marking’, where all work is examined anonymously by two examiners (as with double-blind marking), but the second marker has sight of the first markers’ marks when reviewing the work.

Some courses use 'single-marking with moderation', where each script is marked by a first marker, and then a selection of scripts are 'moderated' by a second marker to ensure marking standards are consistent. If the moderator finds any inconsistencies, scripts are re-marked.

Careful consideration is given by both the Department and School to ensure that appropriate methods of marking are used on each individual course.

External Examiners receives a representative sample of scripts and other assessed material from every course to review and confirm that internal marking has been consistent and is of an appropriate standard

Marking Schemes for the Award of a Degree:

Classification scheme for the BA/BSc degrees

Scheme for the award of a taught Masters degree (four units)

Taught Masters examination sub-board local rules

What if I need support? Extensions and Exceptional Circumstances

You are encouraged to speak to your Academic Mentor as early as possible if you are experiencing any challenges which are affecting your work. You are also encouraged to speak to your Programmes Support Team who may be able to help.

Requesting an Extension.

Summative work

If you find yourself unable to meet a summative assessment deadline because of illness/injury, bereavement or other serious personal circumstances, and you need to request an extension to the submission deadline, you should do so as early as possible and in advance of the deadline. Useful information outlining the School’s Extension Policy is available  here . 

If you would like to request an extension for SUMMATIVE work on a course based within the Department of Social Policy, the following process will apply. Please send your request to:

BSc level courses:  complete our  BSc extension request form

MSc level courses:  complete our  MSc extension request form

Supporting evidence must be provided with your request, and all evidence must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation. Please refer to our  ‘Standards of Evidence’  table before submitting your supporting evidence. 

In the Department of Social Policy, the Programmes Support team act as the designated contacts for all matters relating to your extension request. Please note that the Department practices anonymous marking, and so the extension process is separated from your course teachers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact  [email protected]  (for UG enquiries) and  [email protected]  (for MSc enquiries). Please do not contact course convenors directly with any extension or deferral request. If you do have any questions, please contact the relevant Programmes Support team .

Once your extension request and evidence is received, it will be considered by the Chair of the Sub-Board of Examiners . Your Programmes Support team will email you with the outcome of your request, and inform the relevant marker(s). Please note that the final submission of your assessment must still be made via Moodle, regardless of the outcome of your request.

Formative Work

To request an extension on Formative work, please email your Programmes Support team ( [email protected] or [email protected] ) in the first instance, with an outline of what extension you are requesting; the reasons why; and any supporting evidence. 

Exceptional Circumstances

Exceptional circumstances (ECs) concern issues which are unforseen, out of your control and proximate to the timing of an assessment/s you have taken and which you feel may have had a significant impact on your academic performance during an exam, online assessment or other summative assessment. Such circumstances might include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, or bereavement. If you wish to make the Sub-Board of Examiners aware of your circumstances and how these have affected your performance in an assessment/s, please complete the Exceptional Circumstances form ( available here ). The form should be accompanied by supporting evidence of your circumstances (such as doctor's letter, hospital note, death certificate or police report).

Your EC form and supporting documentation must be submitted according to the details available via this webpage .

Under certain circumstances, if you are not in a good position to be able to sit an assessment (i.e., your are not ‘fit-to-sit’, you might be permitted to postpone either one or more assessments to the next appropriate assessment opportunity. This is known as deferral.

You may, for example, experience circumstances which are sudden, unforeseen and outside of your control around the time of one or more assessments. In such a case, you may wish to consider deferring the assessment/s to the next appropriate assessment period.

You can find out more about deferrals here.

Further queries?

If you have any queries please contact  [email protected]  (BSc students) or  [email protected]  (MSc students).

PhD handbook

Handbooks for all of our programmes

feedback

How to use Feedback effectively A guide for students

external examiner reports

Reports External Examiner reports

Coursework and examinations

coursework and examination assessment

Assessment by coursework

Advice and tips on submitting coursework:.

  • Avoid a last minute rush: at the start of your course, check all submission deadlines in your course handbook and plan ahead.
  • Our Online support site explains how to submit coursework online. This must be used where required for a course.
  • Check well before the submission deadline that you can access the online submission site from the computer that you will be using.
  • Back up and maintain a copy of your work in case of technical problems.
  • Never attempt to submit assignments directly to your tutors or to the Course Director.
  • Ensure that you submit the correct file version, together with any images and appendices.
  • Online submission is a two-step process, and work uploaded but left in ‘draft’ is not counted as submitted (your assignment will be deemed to be late if it is still in ‘draft’ after the deadline passes).
  • Ensure that files submitted online meet requirements on file size, type, name etc (see How to submit an assignment ).  
  • Seek  online ‘self-help’ , or assistance via e-mail and telephone from  TALL IT Help .
  • You may be liable to pay fees for late entry for examinations, late change of options, and for re-assessment—see  Other charges .

Word count limits and referencing

  • Refer to your course handbook or VLE (course portal) for information about word count limits, including what material (such as indices etc) should be counted or not.
  • If you have any doubts or questions about referencing, check with your tutor/ Course Director and refer to the University guidance on Plagiarism .

Late submission

If you submit work after the deadline, it will normally be subject to an academic penalty, as outlined in your course conventions (see your Course Handbook).

In exceptional circumstances, if you are not able to submit your work by the deadline, you may request permission to submit late—see our Late Submission Policy .

Withdrawal and resubmission of work

Before the deadline.

It is your responsibility to submit the correct document/file. However, as outlined on the Submissions page, you may withdraw and resubmit work on one occasion before the submission deadline, without permission. In these circumstances, you should contact your Course Administrator without delay.

After the deadline:

You have up to 30 minutes after the deadline to review the work that you have submitted. If you have made a substantive error (e.g. wrong file, earlier draft, missing bibliography) you can send a replacement to your course administrator. This process should not be used to correct incidental errors e.g. typos, a missing reference, formatting etc.

Files received from 30 minutes onwards will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Corrupt files

In cases where it is discovered that the submitted file is corrupt or cannot be accessed, your course administrator will contact you to request the file be emailed to them, possibly in a new format. The emailed file must be received by the course administrator within 7 days.

Examinations

Arrangements .

If you are required to sit an examination as part of your course, further details will be provided in your Course Handbook. For some courses, examinations will be held as an “ open book ” (online) examinations, for other courses they will be in person. Most examinations last for two or three hours. 

Preparing for handwritten examinations

For in-person examinations you are expected to handwrite your answers, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so. We recommend that you practice writing for a suitable period, making sure that your handwriting remains legible. (If the examiners deem a script to be illegible, then a transcription will be required. Transcriptions take place under examination conditions, usually within a week or so of the examination itself, and any costs are charged to the student.) See Sitting your examinations  for more information.

Alternative arrangements for examinations

If you have any special requirements for your examination, medical or otherwise, you should inform your Course Administrator (matriculated students should inform their college). Meeting such requests requires formal University approval, which can take some time, so it is important to submit your request as early as possible. See Alternative examination arrangements  for more information.

Past examination papers

Past examination papers are available through either the  Rewley House Continuing Education Library  or, for undergraduates, on your course VLE (e.g. Moodle or Canvas). Check with your Course Director which papers are most relevant for revision purposes.

Marking and moderation

You will receive marks and feedback on your assignments as you progress throughout the course. All marks are provisional until they are formally agreed by the Board of Examiners (which is normally convened at the end of the academic year).

Assessment is moderated, which means that someone other than the marker of your work will review the spread of all marks awarded within a class or cohort, as well as a sample of the marked assignments, to ensure that the marking is both consistent and fair. Work that is awarded a failing grade will be scrutinised by the External Examiner. You should not expect to be told if a particular piece of your work has been selected for moderation, but students will usually have at least one piece of work moderated during the year. Occasionally a mark will be changed (either increased or decreased) during the moderation process, and if this happens after you have received your work back you will be notified.

Marking feedback

Feedback from assessors (markers) will normally indicate what was good about your work, as well as where it was weaker, and how you can improve.

If you have questions about or are unhappy with the marking

You will probably receive a number of marks during the year, and these may vary as you learn new skills, or reach an element of the course in which you are more or less confident to some degree. This is normal - many students experience variations of marks within a body of assessed work.

If you have questions or concerns, or are dissatisfied with the marking process, you can raise this with the Director of Undergraduate Study or Director of Postgraduate Taught Study  (as relevant) in the first instance. You should not approach the marker or Course Director, because students are not permitted to discuss marks with Examiners.

If, after this, you remain dissatisfied with the conduct of the process, you may consider appealing under the Academic appeals procedure , however, please be aware that you are not able to appeal on the grounds of academic judgement.

Failed assessment and resubmission

If you fail an item of assessment, you will be informed of the reassessment opportunities. These will vary according to the requirements of the course, and are detailed in your course conventions (available in your Course Handbook).

You can normally only resubmit a failed piece of work once, and failure at a second attempt will usually mean will fail the course outright. Occurrences are rare, but should this happen, then you can ask your Course Director for advice about possible options.

An introduction to assessment and exams

coursework and examination assessment

Award-Bearing Handbook

Assessment and exams, further information.

coursework and examination assessment

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Assessment - Conduct of Coursework Assessment and Examinations Procedure

Section 1 - purpose, section 2 - policy, section 3 - procedure, part a - conduct of assessment, responsibilities in assessment, student responsibilities, staff responsibilities, academic integrity and academic misconduct, improper supervision and editing, detailed assessment rules, use of rubrics, marking scales, optional assessment not permitted, group assessment work, restriction on assessment in last teaching week of session, indigenous australian assessment components in indigenous australian studies hybrid subjects, confidentiality of students’ assessment work, retention and disposal of assessment work, conscientious objection, submitted assessment work, return of assessment work and feedback, return of assessment work, late return of assessment work, student enquiries and concerns about late return of assessment work, reporting of assessment work return performance, recording marks, review of a mark for an assessment task, grades and their approval, failure before the end of the session, further assessment, part b - conduct of exams, faculty-run exams and tests, centrally run exams, exam scheduling and timetables, scheduling of exams, preparing exam timetables, final exam timetable, exam tasks, school quality assurance of examination tasks, submission of exams, responsibility for exams and exam response materials, running exams, arrangements where a student needs to sit an exam at a different time, exam materials, verifying students’ identity, reading time, technology allowance, exam conditions, section 4 - guidelines, section 5 - glossary.

(1) This procedure supports the Assessment Policy by stating detailed requirements for conducting assessment and examinations in coursework subjects.

(2) This procedure applies only to assessment in coursework subjects, including coursework subjects in higher degree by research courses. Within that scope restriction, it applies to the same range of staff and students as the Assessment Policy .

(3) See also:

  • the Assessment Flexibility Procedure  for requirements for reasonable adjustments for disability, extensions of deadlines for submission of assessment work, special consideration, deferred exams and alternative exam arrangements
  • the Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure  for the requirements for research topic proposal, supervision and examination of research components in coursework courses
  • the Higher Degree by Research Policy  for the requirements for supervision and assessment of research component subjects in higher degree by research courses.

(4) This procedure supports the Assessment Policy .

(5) Both staff and students have responsibilities in assessment, as follows.

(6) The University expects students to be responsible for their own learning and achievement of required standards in subjects and courses. This includes:

  • reading instructions for assessment tasks (including final exams) carefully, and following these instructions
  • meeting deadlines for assessment tasks and attending scheduled assessment tasks
  • reading feedback on assessment tasks carefully
  • seeking support to improve their performance where feedback and marks or grades indicate they need to improve, and
  • retaining copies of submitted assessment work.

(7) Staff responsible for conducting assessment will:

  • mark in accordance with the stated assessment criteria and standards
  • provide timely, constructive feedback to students on assessment tasks other than final exams, which indicates what they did well and how the work could be improved
  • refer students who need support to the relevant academic and/or other support services
  • record student marks in Grade Centre, release these marks to students progressively through the teaching session, and submit final grades by the published deadline
  • meet university timelines and requirements for submission of exam papers,
  • provide assessment information in accordance with the  Course and Subject Information Procedure .

(8) The Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Integrity Procedure  set out:

  • students’ responsibility not to enable others to copy or misuse their assessment work, and
  • the responsibility of academic staff to report instances of suspected academic misconduct for investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule
  • requirements for staff to maintain academic integrity in designing and conducting assessment.

(9) The Academic Integrity Policy states that improper supervision and/or editing of a student’s work by a supervisor or teaching staff member is a form of academic misconduct.

(10) Improper supervision or editing is supervision or editing to such an extent that the staff member becomes an unacknowledged co-author of the student’s assessment work, so that it is no longer possible for an assessor to identify the student’s level of knowledge and skills.

(11) The Assessment - Research Components of Coursework Courses Procedure provides guidelines to help supervisors and teaching staff understand the difference between legitimate supervision or constructive comments on a student’s draft assessment work to aid learning, and improper supervision and editing.

(12) For each assessment task, the Subject Coordinator will publish a rubric to students in the subject outline and ensure that assessors apply the rubric in marking the task. This requirement does not apply to tests and quizzes weighted at 10% or less of the overall subject mark.

(13) The marking scale for each assessment task in a subject will be either a numerical value or a satisfactory (SY)/unsatisfactory (US) mark.

(14) A subject that uses the grading scale HD/DI/CR/PS/FL or the grading scale H1/H2a/H2b/H3/FL may include an assessment task marked SY/US that, provided this task does not contribute to calculation of students’ final overall mark, may affect the conversion of marks to the final grade in the subject. This may be necessary where the assessment task is a hurdle assessment to ensure students cannot pass the subject without being competent in a safety procedure or essential practical skill. See also the ‘Conversion of marks to grades’ heading in the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure .

(15) Subjects will not offer optional assessment (that is, extra assessment tasks students may choose to undertake to improve their marks).

(16) Notwithstanding clause 15, the ‘Further assessment’ clauses in the Assessment Policy  and this procedure provide for students who have marginally failed a subject, or who have gained an overall pass mark but failed to gain the mark in a hurdle assessment that is required to pass the subject.

(17) Group assessment work will only be used where a learning outcome of the subject requires students to demonstrate collaboration or teamwork skills.

(18) As far as possible, each student will receive an individual mark for their contribution to group assessment work. Students will receive a group mark (where the assessor gives a single mark to the group assessment work, and all students receive that same mark) where it is impossible to distinguish the contribution of different group members.

(19) Group assessment work should contribute no more than 50% of the total subject mark, and:

  • up to 30 of the 50% can be a group mark,
  • peer assessment of a student’s work by other members of the student group, and/or
  • the student’s self-assessment of their own work
  • rationale for the use of group assessment work, and
  • arrangements to ensure that students have a good experience of the group assessment work.

(20) The Subject Coordinator will moderate any peer assessment and self-assessment to ensure these are fair.

(21) For a group assessment task, the Subject Coordinator will provide the following information to students:

  • how the task will be assessed and the extent to which students will receive individual marks, a shared group mark and/or a peer-assessed mark
  • how the criteria for assessment will be determined
  • how groups will be formed
  • what support will be available to the group as it carries out the work
  • the process for raising and resolving issues with the way a group is functioning and/or disputes between group members, and
  • how groups will agree the work is ready to submit.

(22) Where a student taking part in group assessment work experiences adverse circumstances that prevent them from performing their part of the group work in time, they must inform the Subject Coordinator and either seek an extension or apply for special consideration. It may be necessary for the extension or special consideration outcome to apply to all students in the group.

(23) The guidelines section in this procedure provides guidance on managing group assessment work.

(24) A subject that has a final exam in the exam period will not schedule a test, faculty-run exam or due date for an assignment weighted at 20% or more of the final overall mark in the last teaching week of the session, to ensure that students have time to prepare for final exams. This restriction does not apply to subjects with no final exam.

(25) Where a hybrid Australian Indigenous Studies subject includes a distinct assessment component that is assessed by the School of Indigenous Australian Studies, students must pass that component to receive a passing grade in the subject. The Indigenous Australian Content in Courses and Subjects Policy defines this type of subject.

(26) The teaching faculty or teaching school may share examples of a student’s assessment work for internal or external assurance of assessment quality. For external quality assurance activities, the assessment work will be shared in such a way that it does not identify the student. 

(27) Other than for the purpose in the previous clause, staff will not show assessment work by a student to anyone other than staff involved in processing or marking it, without the student’s permission.

(28) Where an assessment task is public in nature (e.g. seminar presentations, group activities, performances to an audience, artworks submitted for exhibition), staff must not make it more widely available as a recording or by publishing it, without the student’s permission.

(29) Once marked, submitted assessment work will not be returned to students in any way that risks others seeing it without the student’s permission, such as by leaving work for collection in a public area.

(30) Where assessments, such as exams, are not returned to students or where students do not collect assessment work, the work must be retained for 12 months after the end of the session in which the assessment occurred, after which it must be disposed of in accordance with the disposal requirements of the Record Management Policy .

(31) The Course and Subject Conscientious Objection Procedure states the process for a student to raise a conscientious objection to a learning activity or assessment task, for example where the activity/task involves the use of animals that offends a conscientious belief held by the student. This does not apply to subject content that students may find offensive or confronting (see the Course and Subject Information Procedure ).

(32) Submission due dates/times, process, return dates and penalties for late submission are communicated to students as set out in the Course and Subject Information Procedure .

(33) Assessment work must be submitted by either:

  • the online assignment submission system
  • the relevant online tool as instructed in the subject outline
  • following other instructions on assessment work submission in the subject outline.

(34) The receipt date is the date the work is received by the online assessment submission system, or the date the assessment work is received by the submission method specified in the subject outline.

(35) In exceptional circumstances, the Head of School (or nominee) may agree to a staff member receiving online learning mode assessment work directly. In these cases, the assessment work receipt dates must be provided to Division of Information Technology (DIT) to record.

(36) The Assessment Policy states the requirement that staff provide prompt, constructive feedback on assessment work to enable students to improve their performance.

(37) The standard return time for assessment work will be either:

  • within 15 business days after the assessment due date (either as published or as amended for an approved extension)
  • within 15 business days after the assessment is received (if submitted late and accepted for marking)
  • another time frame approved by the Head of School for specific assessment tasks (the notification requirements and other provisions below for late returns will apply where longer than 15 business days is approved)
  • where an assessment task is directly relevant to an exam (and the work was submitted by the published due date) normally at least one week before the exam is held, if this will be sooner than the standard time frame above. 

(38) The return date for submitted assessment work published in the subject outline will only apply for students whose work was submitted by the published due date, see clause 37.

(39) Marked assessment work will be returned to students via either:

  • the online assessment submission system
  • other Charles Sturt online tool used to submit the assessment (e.g. a journal or forum)
  • for work that cannot be returned online, directly in class or by another appropriate method that does not allow other students to see a student’s mark, grade or feedback without the student’s permission.

(40) Return dates of each item of assessment work must be recorded.

(41) In exceptional circumstances, the Head of School (or nominee) may agree to a staff member returning assessment work to students directly. In these cases, the staff member or relevant office must provide the dates they returned assessment work to DIT to record.

(42) Where students do not collect assessment work that cannot be returned online, these may destroyed after 12 months have passed since the end of the relevant session: see the student records disposal schedule.

(43) Where marked assessment work cannot be returned to students within 15 business days after the due date, but will be returned within 25 business days, the Subject Coordinator will advise students of the delay and the reason for it.

(44) Where marked assessment work cannot be returned to students within 25 business days of the due date, the Subject Coordinator will notify the head of the teaching school. The Head of School (or nominee) will, within five business days of that notification, write to the students informing them of the delay and of actions being taken to return the assignment to them.

(45) A student enquiring about return of assessment work should contact the Subject Coordinator.

(46) Where marked assessment work has not been returned to the student within the standard time frame (clause 37) and the student asks Student Central about this, Student Central may consult the Subject Coordinator and/or Head of School.

(47) Where assessment work was not returned to the student within 25 business days after the assessment due date or (if the student submitted late) within 25 business days of the assessment submission date, the student may contact the head of the teaching school. The Head of School will investigate and advise the student of the reason for the delay and actions being taken to return the assessment work to them.

(48) The Office of Planning and Analytics (OPA) will provide an annual collated report to Executive Deans and to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on school performance in meeting the normal time-frames for return of submitted assessment work.

(49) The OPA will also provide a confidential report to each Head of School, at the end of each session, on the school’s performance in meeting normal return time-frames for online learning mode assignments.

(50) These reports will provide data on numbers of items of assessment work whose return dates were:

  • within 15 business days after the assessment due date or (where the student submitted late) within 15 business days after the assessment work receipt date, or
  • the Head of School has reported what they consider a reasonable explanation for the lateness
  • no explanation was reported or the Head of School did not consider the explanation reasonable, or
  • the cause of lateness was an administrative delay on the part of DIT. 

(51) Staff who assess students’ assessment work will record all marks for all assessment tasks (including final exams) in Grade Centre as soon as any checking and/or moderation of the marks has been done.

(52) Where a student is alleged to have committed academic misconduct in relation to an assessment task, recording of their marks and subject grade will be delayed until the academic misconduct allegation has been decided and any resubmission, mark or grade penalties are known.

(53) Subject marks and grades published in Grade Centre are not final until the grades have been approved by the Faculty Assessment Committees.

(54) A student may seek, without fear of reprisal, a review of their mark for an assessment task, except where:

  • they have already received a final grade for the subject – if they have received their final grade, a review of a mark request must be handled as a review of the grade (see the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure )
  • as stated in the Student Misconduct Rule , a penalty that reduces the student’s mark (for an assessment task) or grade (for a subject) prevents the student from making any other application in relation to that mark or grade, including a review of the mark.

(55) Students may contact their Subject Coordinator and seek further information/clarification on the rationale for their mark before requesting a review of mark.

(56) To request a review of mark, students must:

  • complete and submit the review of mark form on the student forms web page within seven calendar days after receiving the marked assessment item, and (subject to clause 57) pay the review of summative task fee - except where they are enrolled in subjects delivered by the School of Policing Studies
  • for students enrolled in subjects delivered by the School of Policing Studies, apply directly to the School of Policing Studies.

(57) If the application is for review of a passing mark, the student must pay the prescribed fee (review of summative task fee), which will be refunded if the decision is to change the mark. No fee is required for review of a failing mark.

(58) The Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure states the process for recording and approval of final grades in subjects.

(59) The Assessment Policy authorises the head of the teaching school, under certain circumstances, to decide that a student should not be permitted to finish a subject, practicum, placement, project or thesis.

(60) In such cases, the following process will occur:

  • In considering the decision, the Head of School will consult the Subject Coordinator.
  • FNS (fail non-submission) if the student has not undertaken or submitted any assessment task in the subject, or
  • FL (fail) or US (unsatisfactory), depending on the grading scale for the subject, if the student submitted or sat at least one assessment task for the subject.
  • that it has been decided to fail them in the subject before the end of the session
  • the reason for the decision
  • the fail grade that will be recorded against the student’s subject enrolment at the end of the session, and
  • that they have the option of applying for a review of the grade.
  • Where the subject has a final centrally run exam, provisionally approving the fail grade will have the effect that the student will be removed from the list of students to sit the exam.
  • The school will include the fail grade and the reason for it in the grades recommended for approval.
  • Endorsement and final approval will then occur as for other grades.

(61) Students who receive a FNS, FL or US grade in this manner may apply for a review of the decision: see the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure .

(62) See also:

  • the Student Misconduct Rule  for the process by which a student may, if necessary, be suspended from an activity
  • the  Work-Integrated Learning Placement Delivery and Management Procedure  for information and criteria for which a student may be refused permission to attend a work-integrated learning placement.

(63) The Assessment Policy requires that the marking of at least one major assessment task be moderated in each session’s delivery of each coursework subject.

  • Moderation will involve checking the consistency of marking against the marking guide (including criteria and related standards) within and across deliveries of the subject in different locations and by different modes.
  • Where two assessment tasks are both equally weighted and are the most heavily weighted, the Head of School will decide which is moderated in each session, in consultation with the moderator.

(64) The Head of School or their nominee will appoint moderators, who will be experienced staff with relevant skills, taking into consideration that:

  • a staff member cannot moderate their own marking
  • the moderator can be a staff member from the team teaching the subject, another staff member, or someone not employed by the University.

(65) The Division of Learning and Teaching:

  • provides training for moderators
  • provides training on quality assurance and post-delivery subject reflection in each session, and
  • will organise group training for staff of a school or faculty on request.

(66) The Course and Subject Quality Assurance and Review Procedure states requirements for subject reflection after each delivery of a subject, and for reporting on subject reflection and resulting improvements.

(67) Faculties and schools may develop their own moderation processes and local instructions, which may be attached as associated information to this procedure.

(68) The Assessment Policy authorises:

  • a Head of School, in consultation with the Subject Coordinator, to offer a student further assessment in a subject under certain circumstances, and
  • the Subject Coordinator to determine the form of the further assessment, in consultation with the Head of School.

(69) No further assessment will be offered to a student who has passed a subject (except where a hurdle assessment was failed).

(70) The further assessment task(s) need not be the same type of assessment item as the task(s) failed.

(71) An original exam may only be re-used for an additional exam where it was made available to all students before the original exam task.

(72) Where a student is granted further assessment, the grade AA (additional assessment) or AE (additional exam) will be submitted for release with the other grades: this will alert the student that they are to be offered further assessment task.

  • An additional assessment may be an exam administered by the school of faculty, where it is necessary for the student to have the exam before the next scheduled centrally administered additional exams. In such cases, however, the temporary grade AA must be used. The temporary grade AE signals to the Examinations Office that the student has been granted an additional exam that will be administered by the Examinations Office.

(73) After the release of grades:

  • the work to be submitted for assessment and the due date for this
  • the date and time on which the student will undertake the assessment task and the relevant location
  • for an additional exam, the Examinations Office will notify the student of the date and time of the exam and will administer the exam.

(74) Where the student does not submit an additional assessment by the submission due date, or does not sit an additional assessment or additional exam, the school will submit a change of grade request to Student Administration to convert their AA or AE grade to the appropriate fail grade.

(75) However, students who are prevented from submitting/sitting a further assessment, or impaired in submitting/sitting it, by illness or other circumstances outside their control may apply for special consideration: see the Assessment Flexibility Procedure .

(76) A student who submits or sits a further assessment but is awarded an FL or US grade may seek a review of the grade: see the Assessment - Grades and Review of Grades Procedure .

(77) In these cases, the faculty will not offer the student yet another assessment as an outcome of the review, but will decide whether the FL or US will stand or be replaced with a PS or SY.

(78) Students who do not submit/sit the further assessment (as relevant), cannot have their FL or US grade reviewed.

(79) Where a student passes the further assessment, they will be awarded the subject achievement grade of PS or SY, depending on the subject’s grading scale, regardless of their final overall mark in the subject. AA and AE grades must not be converted to a CR, DI or HD.

(80) The relevant faculty subjects team administers any faculty-run exam. 

(81) When a faculty or school administers an exam or test, the staff responsible will ensure its integrity as follows:

  • The exam paper, regardless of format (e.g. online or paper-based), is securely prepared and stored, and where necessary circulated securely between staff until it is time to administer the exam or test to students.
  • Where an external printer is asked to print materials, the staff responsible must instruct the printery to do so securely.
  • what resources they are permitted to use during the exam or test sitting, and
  • the extent to which they can collaborate to answer the exam or test question.
  • cannot use resources or access information other than as permitted by the instructions for the task, and
  • cannot collaborate to answer the exam or test questions beyond the extent of collaboration permitted by the instructions for the task.

(82) Student Administration is responsible for centrally run exams in the exam period at the end of each teaching period.

(83) The Director, Student Administration may arrange for:

  • an external agency to run an exam on behalf of the University, or
  • an exam to be administered and supervised online.

(84) Where exams are administered online or by external agencies, the Director, Student Administration (or delegate) will monitor and verify continuing compliance with the Assessment Policy , this procedure and the relevant Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 standards.

(85) Exams may be scheduled at any time during the final exam period in a session, including evenings, on days other than Sunday or New South Wales public holidays.

(86) Where an exam, regardless of format (e.g. online or paper-based), for the same subject will be held both in New South Wales and at an exam centre in a different time zone, wherever possible it will be held simultaneously or at times so close together that students will not have a chance to communicate between the sittings.

(87) Where it is necessary to run the same exam at different times, the ‘Running exams’ heading of this procedure sets out requirements to ensure the academic integrity of the exam.

(88) Subject Coordinators who require a centrally-run final exam for their subject in a session must complete the online exam request form by the due date specified by the Student Administration. Requests received after the due date will be accepted at the discretion of the Director, Student Administration. 

(89) The Examinations Office will publish a draft exam timetable on or about the sixth week of the teaching period and invite staff objections to the draft.

(90) A student should not normally have to sit more than six exams in one exam period. Where the draft exam timetable would require a student to sit more than six exams (including alternative or deferred exams) in the exam period, the Examinations Office will inform the relevant teaching school(s) so that school staff can consider replacing some of the exams with an alternative assessment.

(91) Staff must submit any objections to the draft exam timetable to the Examinations Office within five working days of the draft timetable’s publication. Requests received after the due date will be accepted at the discretion of the Director, Student Administration.

(92) The Examinations Office will publish the final exam timetable on or about the eleventh week of the teaching period.

(93) Once the final exam timetable has been published, no changes can be made to the:

  • published exam date and time
  • amount of reading time allowed
  • length of the examination
  • materials to be supplied by the University
  • materials students may provide themselves
  • type of exam (online or paper-based)
  • platform of the exam. 

(94) Notwithstanding clause 93, in exceptional circumstances that make it impossible or unsafe to hold a scheduled exam, the exam may be rescheduled to a different date and/or at a different time as determined by the Director, Student Administration in consultation with the relevant school/faculty.

(95) Students must sit each exam at the published date, time and venue unless given permission to sit at a different date, time or venue by the Director, Student Administration or their nominee.

(96) The school will store draft exams securely in a single repository (physical or online as applicable) and, when it is necessary to circulate them among staff, ensure their security.

(97) Before each exam is provided to the Examinations Office it must be checked by an academic staff member other than the person who drafted the exam. The checking will ensure that:

  • the questions assess the subject contents as described in the subject outline
  • the questions assess the subject learning outcomes at the appropriate level of difficulty
  • the instructions and questions are clear
  • the allocation of marks to questions is appropriate for the proportion of the exam time it will take students to answer them
  • questions are numbered correctly, the formatting is correct and any diagrams, graphs or formulae are correct and readable.

(98) The school will upload a master copy of the exam to the Examinations Office in the format, manner and by the date advised by Student Administration. 

  • The Examinations Office may reject a master copy of inferior quality.
  • The Examinations Office will hold the master copies until after the end of the exam period.

(99) Staff involved with preparation of an exam can inspect the master copy held by the Examinations Office on request.

(100) Student Administration is responsible for providing exam templates. For online exams, the templates will be developed in collaboration with the Division of Learning and Teaching.

(101) Student Administration is responsible for printing exam papers for in-person exams and providing exam answer books and materials, where relevant. 

(102) A student may need to sit an exam at a different time from other students in the same subject, for a range of reasons, including:

  • to resolve a timetable clash
  • where the student would otherwise have to sit three exams in the same day
  • as a condition of an alternative examination arrangement
  • because the student must sit the exam at an exam centre that does not operate at the same time as the other exam centres where the exam is being administered, or
  • where the student is in a time zone where the exam is scheduled between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am, local time. 

(103) In these cases, to ensure the integrity of the exam, either:

  • the student will be supervised for the time between their sitting of the exam, and the time when the other students in the subject sit the exam
  • the school will provide an alternative exam for the student who sits at a different time to the other students
  • the exam will be administered online using a question bank.

(104) Students may bring into the exam any materials they are permitted to use in the exam as set out in the exam instructions. 

(105) For in-person exams, the University provides only exam question papers and answer booklets, the students must provide their own writing instruments and materials permitted.

(106) Students cannot bring the following materials into the exam sitting unless the instructions for the exam specifically allow it:

  • textbooks and other reference material
  • highlighters
  • calculators
  • electronic devices including diaries, organisers, dictionaries, laptop or palmtop computers, fitness trackers, watches or tablets
  • mobile telephones or other communication devices.

(107) Where any of the above materials are allowed in an exam, the following conditions apply:

  • Calculators must be portable, silent, self-powered and fit on a standard examination table; they must be used for numerical calculations only.
  • Texts and references must not be e-books. They must be limited to those specified for the examination and may be subject to further restrictions imposed by the Subject Coordinator. Such restrictions will be listed on the examination paper.

(108) Students may use multi-lingual or bilingual general dictionaries in any examination other than those where such dictionaries are specifically prohibited. Dictionaries must be in printed not electronic form. The dictionaries must contain no notes or other annotations.

(109) Multi-lingual or bilingual dictionaries can be prohibited from any examination where:

  • the subject is a language subject
  • it can be shown that a student will derive an unfair advantage that outweighs any possible disadvantage arising from the prohibition
  • the subject outline gives students notice of the prohibition, and
  • the relevant Head of School has approved the prohibition on the advice of the relevant Subject Coordinator.

(110) Exam supervisors will check that students have not brought unauthorised materials into the exam. 

(111) Where exam supervisors believe that a student has had access to unauthorised materials in an exam, they will: 

  • either retain the materials after the exam for in-person exams or make detailed notes about the use of unauthorised materials, including evidence where relevant
  • refer the student to an appointed officer for investigation of academic misconduct: see the Student Misconduct Rule  for the processes to report and decide academic misconduct allegations.

(112) Students sitting an exam must bring proof of their identity, namely either:

  • their Charles Sturt University student ID card
  • another currently valid, government-issued form of ID that shows their full name (written in English), photograph and signature. 

(113) Exam supervisors will verify students’ identity against their ID before the exam starts. They may instruct a person who does not provide satisfactory identification to leave the exam venue.

(114) Before the start of an exam, there will be 10 minutes reading time.

(115) The Executive Dean of the teaching faculty or their nominee may approve a longer reading time where this is required for professional accreditation.

(116) Students may, if they wish, begin writing in the reading time. 

(117) For online examinations, the Subject Coordinator may nominate the inclusion of a technology allowance of no longer than 30 minutes. 

(118) The Director, Student Administration approves detailed exam instructions for students and exam supervisors, which cover:

  • forms of instructions to candidates
  • detailed instructions for exam supervisors on each stage of running an exam
  • maintaining order in the exam room
  • detecting academic misconduct
  • preventing disruption, particularly at the start and end of the exam
  • processes to be followed when students arrive late
  • conditions under which students may be permitted to leave the exam room and return
  • processes where a student falls ill or requires first aid
  • processes where an exam has to be interrupted or ended early.

(119) For students sitting an in-person exam:

  • Students sitting an exam must obey exam supervisors’ verbal instructions and any instructions on the exam or other materials provided by the University.
  • Students must not talk or communicate with other students when in the exam room.
  • The lead exam supervisor may direct a student who disrupts or disturbs the exam to leave the exam room.
  • No one other than the listed students, exam supervisors, and Examinations Office and Division of Learning and Teaching staff is permitted to enter an exam room while the exam is in progress.
  • Children (other than a student who is younger than adult age) are not permitted in the exam room.
  • Students who arrive late to an exam room for an exam will not be given extra time in which to finish the exam.
  • Students who arrive more than half an hour late will only be permitted to sit the exam where their lateness has been caused by an error on the part of the University. Where the lateness is caused by other exceptional circumstances outside the student’s control they must apply for special consideration to sit a deferred exam.

(120) The Assessment Flexibility Procedure states the conditions on which students may apply for and be granted alternative exam arrangements.

(121) Where it is necessary, for reasons of safety, to cancel an exam or end it early, students will not be required to submit individual requests for special consideration. The head of the teaching school will decide, on the recommendation of the Subject Coordinator, what action will be taken. Actions may include:

  • marking answers students completed before the exam was ended, with consideration for the time lost by the early ending
  • grading the students affected on the basis of other assessment work submitted for the subject
  • requiring affected students to sit a deferred exam
  • requiring affected students to submit some other form of assessment work in place of the exam or the portion of the exam lost to the early ending.

(122) Group assessment work should be managed by staff experienced in managing group assessment work. Where the staff member is still gaining experience in managing group assessment work, they should be supported and mentored by a staff member who is experienced in this.

(123) Where group assessment work is required, the Subject Coordinator should: 

  • ensure that groups are formed in a way that ensures diversity of gender, culture and ethnicity (recommended methods are that either students self-select into pairs and the teaching staff member combines the pairs into groups, or the teaching staff member allocates students to groups)
  • ensure that the students in each group form a written contract on who will do what part of the assessment work before they begin the work. Such an agreement is needed to help resolve any dispute that may arise as to whether each student is doing their share of the work
  • where students may not already know one another from previous classes, provide ‘icebreaker’ activities so that students can get to know one another a little before groups are formed
  • where students may be new to group assessment work, ensure they are supported to develop the teamwork and leadership skills needed for the work; this may involve introducing them to meeting skills, project planning, ways of resolving conflict and how to provide constructive feedback
  • ensure students have the necessary communication tools and a system for storing their work in progress and resources online so that they all have access to these
  • provide students with opportunities to reflect on the group’s process and how they are contributing to its success
  • ensure that teaching staff monitor groups’ functioning, including checkpoints during the period of the group work; a process for balancing team numbers if students drop out; and feedback to students on how they can improve their group work skills
  • ensure that there is a clear process for students to raise concerns about group functioning or conflict that the group does not succeed in resolving itself, and
  • explain to students how assessment flexibility may be provided (that is, an extension or special consideration) if any member of the group experiences unforeseen adverse circumstances outside their control.

(124) This procedure uses terms defined in the Assessment Policy , as well as the following:

  • Exam room – this may be a physical venue or an online platform for the purposes of conducting and supervising exams.
  • Final exam – an exam held in the exam period at the end of a session.
  • Question bank – a digital repository of questions for an exam, from which individual students are presented with questions selected by an algorithm, so that each student’s set of exam questions is different yet tests the same learning outcomes.
  • Rubric – a table of marking criteria that sets out for each grade, or for the range of marks equivalent to the level of performance of a final grade, the criteria the assessment task must meet to receive that grade or a mark in that range.
  • WIL activities include work-integrated learning placements and simulated work activities such as simulated workplaces, role-plays and case studies.
  • A WIL learning activity must involve partnership between the teaching school and an employer, industry or community organisation representative to design, deliver and/or assess students’ performance in the activity.

(125) This procedure uses the following interpretations:

  • Exam – may mean the act or process of examination, or the content of the exam (e.g. the text/list of questions) itself.
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Think Student

Coursework vs Exams: What’s Easier? (Pros and Cons)

In A-Level , GCSE , General by Think Student Editor September 12, 2023 Leave a Comment

Coursework and exams are two different techniques used to assess students on certain subjects. Both of these methods can seem like a drag when trying to get a good grade, as they both take so many hours of work! However, is it true that one of these assessment techniques is easier than the other? Some students pick subjects specifically because they are only assessed via coursework or only assessed via exams, depending on what they find easiest. However, could there be a definite answer to what is the easiest?

If you want to discover whether coursework or exams are easier and the pros and cons of these methods, check out the rest of this article!

Disclaimer: This article is solely based on one student’s opinion. Every student has different perspectives on whether coursework or exams are easier. Therefore, the views expressed in this article may not align with your own.

Table of Contents

Coursework vs exams: what’s easier?

The truth is that whether you find coursework or exams easier depends on you and how you like to work. Different students learn best in different ways and as a result, will have differing views on these two assessment methods.

Coursework requires students to complete assignments and essays throughout the year which are carefully graded and moderated. This work makes up a student’s coursework and contributes to their final grade.

In comparison, exams often only take place at the end of the year. Therefore, students are only assessed at one point in the year instead of throughout. All of a student’s work then leads up to them answering a number of exams which make up their grade.

There are pros and cons for both of these methods, depending on how you learn and are assessed best. Therefore, whether you find coursework or exams easier or not depends on each individual.

Is coursework easier than exams?

Some students believe that coursework is easier than exams. This is because it requires students to work on it all throughout the year, whilst having plenty of resources available to them.

As a result, there is less pressure on students at the end of the year, as they have gradually been able to work hard on their coursework, which then determines their grade. If you do coursework at GCSE or A-Level, you will generally have to complete an extended essay or project.

Some students find this easier than exams because they have lots of time to research and edit their essays, allowing the highest quality of work to be produced. You can discover more about coursework and tips for how to make it stand out if you check out this article from Oxford Royale.

However, some students actually find coursework harder because of the amount of time it takes and all of the research involved. Consequently, whether you prefer coursework or not depends on how you enjoy learning.

What are the cons of coursework?

As already hinted at, the main con of coursework is the amount of time it takes. In my experience, coursework was always such a drag because it took up so much of my time!

When you hear that you have to do a long essay, roughly 2000-3000 words, it sounds easily achievable. However, the amount of research you have to do is immense, and then editing and reviewing your work takes even more time.

Coursework should not be over and done within a week. It requires constant revisits and rephrasing, as you make it as professional sounding and high quality as possible. Teachers are also unable to give lots of help to students doing coursework. This is because it is supposed to be an independent project.

Teachers are able to give some advice, however not too much support. This can be difficult for students who are used to being given lots of help.

You also have to be very careful with what you actually write. If you plagiarise anything that you have written, your coursework could be disqualified. Therefore, it is very important that you pay attention to everything you write and make sure that you don’t copy explicitly from other websites. This can make coursework a risky assessment method.

You are allowed to use websites for research, however you must reference them correctly. This can be a difficult skill for some students to learn also!

What are the pros of coursework?

Some of the cons of coursework already discussed can actually be seen as pros by some students! Due to coursework being completed throughout the year, this places less pressure on students, as they don’t have to worry about final exams completely determining their grade.

Some subjects require students to sit exams and complete some coursework. However, if a student already knows that they have completed some high-quality coursework when it comes to exam season, they are less likely to place pressure on themselves. They know that their coursework could save their grade even if they don’t do very well on the exam.

A lot of coursework also requires students to decide what they want to research or investigate. This allows students to be more creative, as they decide what to research, depending on the subject. This can make school more enjoyable and also give them more ideas about what they want to do in the future.

If you are about to sit your GCSEs and are thinking that coursework is the way to go, check out this article from Think Student to discover which GCSE subjects require students to complete coursework.

What are the cons of exams?

Personally, I hated exams! Most students share this opinion. After all, so much pressure is put on students to complete a set of exams at the end of the school year. Therefore, the main con of sitting exams is the amount of pressure that students are put under.

Unlike coursework, students are unable to go back and revisit the answers to their exams over many weeks. Instead, after those 2 (ish) hours are up, you have to leave the exam hall and that’s it! Your grade will be determined from your exams.

This can be seen as not the best method, as it doesn’t take student’s performances throughout the rest of the year into account. Consequently, if a student is just having a bad day and messes up one of their exams, nothing can be done about it!

If you are struggling with exam stress at the moment, check out this article from Think Student to discover ways of dealing with it.

Exams also require an immense amount of revision which takes up time and can be difficult for students to complete. If you want to discover some revision tips, check out this article from Think Student.

What are the pros of exams?

Exams can be considered easier however because they are over with quickly. Unlike coursework, all students have to do is stay in an exam hall for a couple of hours and it’s done! If you want to discover how long GCSE exams generally last, check out this article from Think Student.

Alternatively, you can find out how long A-Level exams are in this article from Think Student. There is no need to work on one exam paper for weeks – apart from revising of course!

Revising for exams does take a while, however revising can also be beneficial because it increases a student’s knowledge. Going over information again and again means that the student is more likely to remember it and use it in real life. This differs greatly from coursework.

Finally, the main advantage of exams is that it is much harder to cheat in any way. Firstly, this includes outright cheating – there have been issues in the past with students getting other people to write their coursework essays.

However, it also includes the help you get. Some students may have an unfair advantage if their teachers offer more help and guidance with coursework than at other schools. In an exam, it is purely the student’s work.

While this doesn’t necessarily make exams easier than coursework, it does make them fairer, and is the reason why very few GCSEs now include coursework.

If you want to discover more pros and cons of exams, check out this article from AplusTopper.

What type of student is coursework and exams suited to?

You have probably already gathered from this article whether exams or coursework are easier. This is because it all depends on you. Hopefully, the pros and cons outlined have helped you to decide whether exams or coursework is the best assessment method for you.

If you work well under pressure and prefer getting assessed all at once instead of gradually throughout the year, then exams will probably be easier for you. This is also true if you are the kind of person that leaves schoolwork till the last minute! Coursework will definitely be seen as difficult for you if you are known for doing this!

However, if, like me, you buckle under pressure and prefer having lots of time to research and write a perfect essay, then you may find coursework easier. Despite this, most GCSE subjects are assessed via exams. Therefore, you won’t be able to escape all exams!

As a result, it can be useful to find strategies that will help you work through them. This article from Think Student details a range of skills and techniques which could be useful to use when you are in an exam situation.

Exams and coursework are both difficult in their own ways – after all, they are used to thoroughly assess you! Depending on how you work best, it is your decision to decide whether one is easier than the other and which assessment method this is.

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Coursework versus examinations in end-of-module assessment: a literature review.

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Richardson, John T. E. (2015). Coursework versus examinations in end-of-module assessment: a literature review. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , 40(3) pp. 439–455.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2014.919628

In the UK and other countries, the use of end-of-module assessment by coursework in higher education has increased over the last 40 years. This has been justified by various pedagogical arguments. In addition, students themselves prefer to be assessed either by coursework alone or by a mixture of coursework and examinations than by examinations alone. Assessment by coursework alone or by a mixture of coursework and examinations tends to yield higher marks than assessment by examinations alone. The increased adoption of assessment by coursework has contributed to an increase over time in the marks on individual modules and in the proportion of good degrees across entire programmes. Assessment by coursework appears to attenuate the negative effect of class size on student attainment. The difference between coursework marks and examination marks tends to be greater in some disciplines than others, but it appears to be similar in men and women and in students from different ethnic groups. Collusion, plagiarism and personation (especially ‘contract cheating’ through the use of bespoke essays) are potential problems with coursework assessment. Nevertheless, the increased use of assessment by coursework has generally been seen as uncontentious, with only isolated voices expressing concerns regarding possible risks to academic standards.

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Assessment: Coursework, exams & feedback

An overview of assessment, including coursework, exams & feedback.

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams.  The exact weighting between coursework and exam is listed on the course DRPS entry.  All marks are provisional until they are ratified by the relevant Board of Examiners.

The University of Edinburgh uses a Common Marking Scheme (CMS) for taught student assessment.  Students are marked against this marking scale.  You are not ranked against your peers.  The School of Informatics follows the University Common Marking Scheme.  The link below describes in more detail the level of performance corresponding to the different numeric and alphabetic grades in an Informatics context.

Common Marking Scheme

Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study

Assessed Coursework

Most courses in Informatics involve some form of assessed coursework which can include timed tests.  You will find the deadlines, weighting of each piece of coursework and associated extension rule on the course Learn Ultra page.

Deadlines are usually 12:00 noon but you must always check as individual pieces of coursework may differ. If you think you may miss a coursework deadline you may be able to make an extension request depending on the extension rule for that piece of coursework.

Late coursework and extension requests

Feedback on your progress

The aim of coursework is to help you learn about the subject you are studying.  All Informatics courses will provide you with feedback on your progress, in a variety of different ways. For example, this may be written comments on your work, a feedback sheet detailing performance in different areas, discussion in tutorials, or a special review lecture. You should always take careful note of feedback and make use of it in your studies. 

The University has prepared a range of materials on feedback, and how to use it to best effect, gathered on the Enhancing Feedback website. For information about how and when you will receive feedback in specific courses, see the individual course Learn Ultra pages.  If in doubt, ask your lecturer or tutor directly.

As a student you will usually receive marks and feedback on Informatics coursework within 21 days of submission. Arrangements may be different for particular pieces of work: for example if the work is substantial, such as an extended essay; or the class is very large.

We are committed to ensuring that you receive useful feedback.  Where feedback is falling short, you can use any channel to point this out (lecturers, ITO, year reps, Year Organisers, etc).  The sooner we know, the faster we can act.

Examinations

Informatics examinations are generally in-person and on campus and last for 2 hours.  Additional time is possible with a Schedule of Adjustments as part of Disability and Learning Support . 

Examinations will take place in either the December or May examination diets.  For semester 1 courses exams are usually held in December; semester 2 courses are examined in May.  Some semester 1 courses have exams in semester 2.  The sortable course list has information on exam diets for all Informatics courses:

Sortable Course List 

The examination timetable for the December diet is released during semester 1 and the timetable for the May diet is released during semester 2.  The link below provides details on when the timetable will be available and a full searchable timetable will be published here.   It is essential that you plan to be in Edinburgh for the time of your exam(s). 

Link to Examination timetables

The University Exam Hall Regulations explain what to expect when you enter the exam room and what you can bring with you.

Exam hall Regulations  

Each Informatics exam has instructions on the front page. It's important that you read and follow these instructions.  For example some exams will ask you to answer all questions, others will ask you to answer 2 out of 3 questions.  The front page also includes rules on what can and cannot be used as part of the examination.  For some exams you cannot bring calculators, notes, books or other written or printed material into the exam hall.  Most exams will have one of the following rules and your Course Organiser will tell you which one in advance. 

  • This is a NOTES PERMITTED, CALCULATORS NOT PERMITTED examination. Candidates may consult up to THREE A4 pages (6 sides) of notes. CALCULATORS MAY NOT BE USED IN THIS EXAMINATION.
  • This is a NOTES PERMITTED, CALCULATORS PERMITTED examination. Candidates may consult up to THREE A4 pages (6 sides) of notes. CALCULATORS MAY BE USED IN THIS EXAMINATION.
  • This is a NOTES NOT PERMITTED, CALCULATORS NOT PERMITTED examination. Notes and other written or printed material MAY NOT BE CONSULTED during the examination. CALCULATORS MAY NOT BE USED IN THIS EXAMINATION.
  • This is a NOTES NOT PERMITTED, CALCULATORS PERMITTED examination. Notes and other written or printed material MAY NOT BE CONSULTED during the examination. CALCULATORS MAY BE USED IN THIS EXAMINATION.
  • This is an OPEN BOOK examination: books, notes and other written or printed material MAY BE CONSULTED during the examination. The use of electronic devices or electronic media is NOT PERMITTED.

Where it is specified that "candidates may consult up to THREE A4 pages (6 sides) of notes", in practice this means that:

  • Candidates are allowed to have 3 sheets (6 sides) of A4 paper, with whatever notes they desire, written or printed on one or both sides of the paper.
  • Magnifying devices to enlarge the contents of the sheets for viewing are not permitted.
  • No further notes, printed matter or books are allowed.
  • Candidates with learning profiles that mandate the provision of larger format exam papers are allowed a proportionate increase in the number of sheets of notes taken in. (For example, if a student is given their exam on A3 paper, they will be allowed to take 6 rather than 3 A4 sheets of notes into the exam.)

Calculators

Some Informatics examinations allow you to use a scientific calculator.  Following the College Of Science and Engineering Policy  and Procedure of the Use of Calculators in Examinations it must:

  • not be a graphical calculator
  • not be programmable
  • not have text retrieval capabilities
  • not be able to communicate with any other device

You are allowed any calculator that satisfies the above requirements.  Examples of acceptable calculators are:

  • Casio fx82 (any version)
  • Casio fx83 (any version)
  • Casio fx85 (any version)
  • Casio fx96 (any version)
  • Casio fx991 (any version)
  • Texas Instruments: TI30 (any version)
  • Sharp: EL-531 (any version)
  • HP: HP 10S+, HP 300S+

Please note: The School of Informatics does not provide calculators.  You are entirely responsible for the working order of your own calculators and batteries.  

Other schools within the University may have different policies on providing calculators; please make sure you check this before any exams. 

Past Exam Papers

For established courses, past papers are available from the library archive to assist with preparation.  Model answers are not available.

Regulations and Guidance

Assessment is governed by the Taught Assessment Regulations

Taught Assessment Regs

The University's Assessment and Feedback Principles give guidance on how the School of Informatics organise assessment and feedback.

Assessment and Feedback Principles

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  • You are currently on: Assessment (Coursework, Tests and Examinations) Procedures

Assessment (Coursework, Tests and Examinations) Procedures

Application.

These procedures apply to all staff members, and students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses offered by the University.  Separate policy and guidance documents govern the examination of sub-doctoral and doctoral students.

To provide direction for staff and students about processes of assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses. These procedures should be read with the Assessment of Courses Policy  

These procedures are underpinned by the Policy, which outlines the University’s approach to fair and transparent assessment that contributes to student learning.

These procedures are reviewed annually by the Education Office and Assessment Services, and approved by the Provost under delegated authority of Council after consultation with Senate.

The role of course directors

1. A course director (and course coordinator , where that role is separate from the course director) must be appointed for every course. The course director is responsible for the design, approval, monitoring and implementation of assessment at the course level. A course director may delegate some responsibilities to a course coordinator.

  • A course director must be able to demonstrate to their academic head that they are research-informed .
  • Teaching assistants, graduate teaching assistants and tutors are not eligible to be appointed as a course director.

Role responsible: course director

2. Course directors are nominated and appointed by academic heads through the Nominees Report available in Student Services Online (SSO/CS9), which is submitted to Assessment Services.

  • academic heads must take into consideration the teaching experience of any nominees for the role and ensure that they are research-informed.
  • academic heads may replace a course director with an alternate if that individual is not able to fulfil the role.
  • the deadline dates for submission of nominations are included in Appendix 2 .

Role responsible: academic head

3. Each course must be examined by more than one member of staff, or examined by one member of staff and assessed by another. An academic head may in exceptional cases, vary this requirement.

Roles responsible: examiners and academic head

4. Examiners and assessor are appointed through the Nominees Report available in SSO which must be approved by the academic head and submitted to Assessment Services. Examiners and assessor appointed from within the university system are not paid a fee.

  • Professional teaching fellows and senior tutors appointed as examiners or assessor must be able to demonstrate to their academic head that they are research-informed (see item 1).

5. Changes in nominations of course director, examiner or assessor must be advised to Assessment Services on the AS-44 Changes to Nominations Form and approved by the academic head.

Assessment design

6. Across courses and within the programme, the overall design of assessment must provide opportunities for students to attain all programme capabilities.

Note: in programmes where students may choose multiple pathways for progression, faculties have discretion to determine the ways in which assessment design across the programme is as holistic as possible.

Role responsible: programme leader

7. When new programmes, majors or specialisations are put forward for consideration by the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP), Academic Programmes Committee (APC) must receive information on how planned assessment will meet programme graduate capabilities.

Role responsible: proposing faculty

8. Where possible, the timing of assessment tasks within a programme must take into account the requirements of other courses to ensure assessment is not ‘bunched’.

9. Assessment design for new courses is undertaken by academic staff at the level of the academic unit or programme, and approval is a faculty responsibility. Where assessment in new courses is proposed, faculty processes must ascertain that it is appropriate, sustainable, and academically sound and that it aligns with the provisions of this policy.

Role responsible: a ssociate dean academic

10. Coursework must be allocated a percentage of marks awarded for the course, the remainder being allocated to tests and the written examination. These allocations are the responsibility of course directors.

  • To ensure a diversity of assessment design no item of assessment will carry a weighting of more than 50%, except where required by programmatic expectations, exemptions may be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education or nominee.

Note: See Policy item 5

11. To ensure coherence and alignment of assessment with learning objectives, course directors are responsible for ensuring that:

  • assessment is designed and implemented in the context of the whole course and its learning objectives
  • end-of-course reviews include an evaluation of assessment tasks and outcomes across the course.

12. Course directors are responsible for ensuring that where group assessment tasks form part of a course:

  • the design of the group assessment tasks, including the size of working groups, the mark composition, and assessment criteria must be determined by the learning objectives of the material involved
  • Group assessment tasks with a weighting higher than 30% of the final grade for a course must include a component of at least 40% that assesses individuals’ contributions to the task.
  • students must be clearly informed of what is expected of them in a group task, and exactly what is being assessed.

Note: see Policy item 5

13. Course directors must ensure that courses do not allocate weighted items of assessment for attendance (as distinct from participation). Where marks are awarded for participation there must be a clear description of the criteria against which performance will be measured.

14. Course directors must ensure that where question banks are maintained for assessment tasks they are of sufficient size to allow the appropriate re-design and cycling of questions. The problems set will be designed to test higher-order thinking skills.

15. Course directors are responsible for maintaining appropriate assessments for concurrently taught courses.

Note: faculties must submit a three-yearly report to Academic Programmes Committee to attest that courses taught concurrently are assessed separately, with different assignments, tests and examinations set for each level using methods and standards appropriate to the level of enrolment. See Concurrent Teaching Policy .

Approval of assessment design

16. Coursework assessment, tests and examination details must be approved by the academic head (or nominee) and are reviewed and approved through the online Course View application managed by Assessment Services.

17. Associate deans learning and teaching are responsible for approving the use of plussage as appropriate to the structure of course assessment and the learning outcomes to which they relate.

Role responsible: associate dean learning and teaching

18. Exemptions to the requirements for group assessment tasks must be approved by Education Committee.

Note: In each case course directors must make the case for exemption based on the specific academic circumstances of the course and must ensure approval is granted before the deadline for submission of assessment information in Course View.

Roles responsible: course director and Education Committee

19. Digital Course Outlines (DCOs) contain summary information on assessments for each course, including assessment type, weighting, and alignment with course learning outcomes. DCOs are approved by academic heads and published by Associate Deans Learning and Teaching.

Roles responsible: course director for DCO content; academic head or programme leader, and associate dean learning and teaching

20. Examination details (including examination mode and duration, plussage arrangements, calculator and/or book restrictions if applicable, and any special timetabling requests) are approved by the academic head and submitted through the online course View application by the published deadline.

  • Changes made to assessment details after submission must be approved by the academic head (or delegate) and re-submitted via Course View.
  • Examination modes are described in item 63, below.·       Approval of examination modes are specified in Examination Regulations, section 5.

Roles responsible: course director, examiners, and academic head (or nominee)

Communications with students

21. University and programme Graduate Profiles must be available to students. Role responsible: programme Leader 22. Detailed information about assessments for each course must be available in the Canvas course outline and published no later than two weeks prior to the start of teaching. This will include: The intended learning outcomes to be assessed An assessment table, with: (i) Description of the assessment tasks; (ii) Weighting of items; (iii) Due date for submission or testing; (iv) Mode of examination (digital or paper-based); (v) Conditions under which the examination will be sat (if relevant) and (vi) Information about minimum pass requirements and plussage, where applicable. Role responsible: course director or nominee 23. Specific criteria for an assessment task - including rubrics, if used - must be made available to students at the time a task is set. Role responsible: course director or nominee 24. Students may submit all or part of an assessment task in te reo Māori in accordance with the provisions of the Assessing Coursework and Examinations Submitted in Te Reo Māori Procedures. Role responsible: course director or course coordinator Note: see Assessing Coursework and Examinations Submitted in Te Reo Māori Procedures. 25. Substantive changes to assessment arrangements that have been approved and published cannot be made without approval: • Following the publication of the Canvas course and before the end of the add/drop enrolment period, substantive changes to assessment must be approved by the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching. • Following the add/drop enrolment period, substantive changes to assessment must be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education. • All changes to assessment must be notified to students. Roles responsible: Associate Dean Learning and Teaching or Pro Vice-Chancellor Education 26. Minor changes to assessment arrangements may be made with the approval of the academic head, and must be notified to students. Role responsible: academic head or programme leader 27. Students must also be clearly informed of a faculty or academic unit’s approach to, and processes for: • Submission of coursework and extensions • Referencing • Resubmission of work • Use of Turnitin and other tools • Digital assessment (where relevant). Role responsible: course director or programme leader 28. Feedback to students on coursework may vary in method, but must address performance against the learning objectives and criteria set for the assessment task. Role responsible: course director 29. Course directors must ensure that students receive feedback on their formative assessed work in a timely manner to facilitate understanding and improvement. • Other than in exceptional circumstances feedback must be provided no later than three weeks after the day the assessment was submitted, or sooner when the feedback is required to prepare for subsequent assessments. • Feedback on smaller and/or preparatory assessment tasks must be provided sufficiently in advance of a substantive assessment for students to benefit from this. Role responsible: course director 30. The University does not provide feedback to students, other than a mark, on performance in examinations. 31. The University does not provide in all cases individual feedback on written tests. Students will be advised if only generic feedback on a test will be provided. Role responsible: course director 32. Students must be advised to retain their coursework after it has been returned to them in case it later needs to be made available to the course director before the final result for the course has been determined (unless a copy is retained by the faculty). Role responsible: course director 33. Individual examination dates and examination locations must be available to students on SSO. Examination Instructions will be available online to every student before each examination period. Role responsible: Assessment Services 34. Students must be informed that they may not contact examiners, course directors or any teachers about their performance in the course after publication of provisional final course grades in Canvas and before final results are available on SSO. Role responsible: course directors 35. Unless an exemption is approved past examination papers must be made available on the Library and Learning Services Examinations Database. Exemption requests are made to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education through Assessment Services. Role responsible: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education Coursework and tests 36. Illness or misfortune affecting students’ completion of coursework assessment tasks is not covered by the regulations governing aegrotat and compassionate consideration. Course directors must advise students on communicating any concerns and apply adjustments, as appropriate. The Guidelines for Coursework Extensions provides detailed advice to course directors. 37. When coursework and tests contribute to a percentage of the final results, towards which a written examination also contributes, the examiner may at their discretion make sure coursework and tests are available to the assessor of the written examination. Role responsible: examiner 38. If coursework (or coursework and tests) contribute 100 percent to the final result and there is no final examination, coursework must be available to the assessor, either in full or in such proportion as will permit effective assessment. Role responsible: assessor Format 39. Students are expected to present written assignments in a digital format, except where the nature of the assessment task or discipline requires an alternative format. Students are responsible for ensuring that the required digital format is used for submission. 40. In cases where a student submits an assessment digitally for marking, in the required format, and the file is then found to be corrupted or otherwise inaccessible or unrecoverable the student must be given an opportunity to resubmit the assessment without penalty. However, the student must be warned that submitting work that was completed after the due date and time or not conforming to specifications in other respects may be determined to be academic misconduct. Tests 41. Tests with a weighting higher than 20%, including take-home tests, must not be conducted in the final week of teaching, unless justified by the distinctive requirements of the course. • Exceptions are subject to the approval of the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching. 42. Students with a permanent or temporary impairment affecting their ability to sit tests under normal conditions can apply to sit under special conditions, e.g., extra time, a writer, special equipment, separate room. Note: see Special Conditions for Written Tests and Examinations Policy 43. Illness or misfortune affecting tests is covered by the regulations governing aegrotat and compassionate consideration. Other circumstances, such as sporting or work commitments, that prevent a student from sitting a written test at the scheduled time are not covered by these regulations. Academic heads may take these circumstances into account and can be guided by the criteria used for approving out-of-time and out-of-centre examinations in making a decision. Academic heads may also consider the specific needs of students participating in the University’s High-Performance Support Programme. Note1: see Examinations Regulations, sections 12 and 14. Note 2: see items 147-174 for further information on aegrotat and compassionate consideration for tests. Role responsible: academic head Marking coursework and tests 44. Coursework assessment and tests must be marked against the standards and criteria set for the assessment task. Marking guides must be prepared and be made available to all examiners and assessor in a course. Roles responsible: course director, examiners/markers, or nominee(s) 45. Marks awarded must align with the University grade descriptors in Appendix 3. Role responsible: examiners / markers 46. Adjustment of marks may be undertaken where it is evident that the assessment criteria and standards have not been consistently applied in an individual assessment task. 47. Students affected must be advised as to the rationale for adjustment of marks. Records must be kept within the academic unit and the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching will submit a brief report to Education Committee on these instances at the February and September meetings. Roles responsible: academic head, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching 48. Marks and grades for weighted assessment tasks must be made available on Canvas. Role responsible: course director Receipt and return of coursework 49. Academic heads are responsible for ensuring the secure receipt and confidential return of hard-copy coursework assignments. Role responsible: academic head 50. Care must be taken to ensure personal privacy in the distribution of student marks when returning hard-copy assignments and tests. Storage and retention of coursework 51. Academic units must have processes to ensure secure storage of assessment questions, coursework and records. Role responsible: academic head 52. Academic units must retain student coursework and tests until the nominated period for collection of work, or resolution of disputed marks, has elapsed. This period is to be determined by the faculty and made clear to students. Role responsible: academic head Examinations in undergraduate or postgraduate taught courses Requirement to sit an examination 53. In order to pass a course, a student must have completed to the satisfaction of the examiners any prescribed examination unless eligible for aegrotat or compassionate consideration. Examination periods 54. The University examination period for semesters covers three weeks: Week 1 – a short week from the first day of exams (Thursday) to the first Saturday

Week 2 – from Monday to the second Saturday

Week 3 – from the following Monday to the next Monday, excluding Sunday. 55. The University examination period for Summer School is Monday-Wednesday in the week immediately following the end of the teaching period. 56. The University examination period for Quarters is Saturday in the week immediately following the end of the teaching period. Examination format and conduct 57. The standard format for a written examination is: A three-hour examination plus ten minutes for reading time; or, a two-hour examination plus ten minutes for reading time. Questions are not known by the students in advance of the examination, except where approved as per item 60. For closed book examinations, students are not permitted to bring any material into the examination. For restricted book or open book examinations, students are only permitted to bring such materials into the examination as directed by the course director, course coordinator or examiner. 58. The standard format for a digital examination is: A three-hour examination plus thirty minutes additional time for uploading files and navigating the digital format; or, a two-hour examination plus thirty minutes additional time for uploading files and navigating the digital format Questions are not known by the students in advance of the examination, except where approved as per item 60. For closed book examinations, students are not permitted to use the assistance of any material, tools or apps during the examination. For restricted book or open book examinations, students are only permitted to use such materials, tools and apps as directed by the course director, course coordinator or examiner. 59. Examinations at stage one will normally be two hours in length. In determining the length of the examination course directors must consider the needs of students and the appropriate scope of the examination, relative to course content and the need for diversity of assessment. 60. Teachers may announce during teaching the apportionment of the questions in the final examination in relation to the material covered in the course. Where examination questions are announced in advance, all or in part, this must be approved by the course director or nominee. Role responsible: course director 61. Teachers must ensure that where the apportionment of questions, or the questions themselves, are announced in advance that this information is published to students through a notice on Canvas or through email communication. Once this announcement has been made, the examination must be conducted in the notified format. Role responsible: course director 62. The published duration of an examination, as well as calculator or book designation, may only be changed with approval of the academic head. Changes must be submitted to Assessment Services via Course View. Role responsible: academic head 63. Examination mode refers to the way the examination is carried out and includes paper-based or digital (computer-based or online) delivery. Examinations in digital modes may be completed as invigilated or non-invigilated examinations. There are four different examination modes: A - remote online non-invigilated exam on Inspera B - remote online invigilation through Inspera Exam Portal C - in-person invigilated exam on paper D - in-person invigilated exam on computer. Role responsible: Assessment Services Preparation of examination questions 64. Examiners must prepare examination questions according to the Guidelines for the Preparation of Examination Papers available from the Assessment Services. Role responsible: examiners 65. Where two or more examiners have been appointed in any course they must confer in setting examination papers. Where a difference of opinion occurs among examiners(s) and/or assessor, the academic head must, after making due attempt to resolve the difference, determine the outcome. Roles responsible: examiners, academic head 66. Examiners and assessor must observe strict confidence and maintain security in the setting of examination questions and in the whole marking process. Roles responsible: examiners, assessor 67. Examination questions must be approved by the course director and submitted for approval to Inspera (digital examinations) or through the examinations paper submission website (paper based examinations) Role responsible: course director 68. All examination papers (for paper-based examination) must be submitted by Group Services by the deadlines specified in Appendix 2. Role responsible: course director During the examination 69. At least one examiner must be available and contactable for the duration of the examination and must have a secure copy of the examination paper to allow any questions from candidates to be addressed promptly. Role responsible: examiners Book designation of examinations 70. Unless otherwise specified, examinations will be Closed Book (CB). That is, no written material may be brought into the examination location. 71. The designation for Restricted, Open and Supplied Book examinations must be approved by the course director. See Appendix 4. Role responsible: course director Calculator designation of examinations 72. Details for the calculator designation of examinations are specified in Appendix 5. Special examination conditions 73. A student who is permanently or temporarily disabled in a manner which affects their ability to undertake examinations under the prescribed examination conditions may, upon production of the appropriate evidence, obtain approval to be examined under conditions which take account of the particular impairment. 74 Student applications for the approval of on-going special conditions for a permanent impairment must be made no later than the end of the sixth week following the commencement of lectures. Applications for temporary conditions must be made as soon as possible. Out-of-time and out-of-centre examinations 75. All students must sit examinations at the time and location specified unless an out-of-time or out-of-centre examination is approved. Assessment Services approves out-of-time or out-of-centre examinations for students upon request. Role responsible: Assessment Services 76. Course directors, teachers and other faculty or academic units staff cannot give approval for an out-of-time or out-of-centre examinations. Students must be referred to Assessment Services for advice. 77. Out-of-time examinations are normally sat 24 to 48 hours after the scheduled exam date. Students make a declaration that they will not communicate with other students sitting the same exam at a different time. Examiners are encouraged but not required to write an alternative examination paper. Roles responsible: Assessment Services, examiner Music performance examinations Undergraduate 78. All students must be examined by a panel of two, consisting of: A member of the School of Music staff, normally the academic head or nominee, who will act as a moderator for all examinations within any one semester. Where the number of students is high, it may be necessary to divide one semester’s examination entry into two groups and to appoint two moderators Another member of the School of Music staff, or if necessary or appropriate, an external examiner of recognised standing in the instrument. 79. The teacher must be in attendance to act as adviser to the examiners but will not participate in the decision-making process. 80. Part 1 and 2 performance examinations are not open to the public. Part 3 performance examinations must be held as public recitals. Postgraduate 81. All students must be examined by a panel of two, consisting of: A member of the School of Music staff, normally the academic head or nominee, who will act as a moderator for all examinations within any one semester. Where the number of students is high, it may be necessary to divide one semester’s examination entry into two groups and to appoint two moderators A specialist in the instrumental or vocal area being examined from within the School, or from outside where necessary. This must not be the teacher of the candidate. 82. Performance examinations for all postgraduate degrees must be held as public recitals. 83. All postgraduate recitals must be video-recorded for assessment by an external assessor with broad experience in tertiary performance examining. Marking and assessing written examinations Collection of scripts for hand-written examinations 84. Hand-written examination scripts (with the exception of students sitting under alternative arrangements) will normally be available for collection from the Examinations Centre an hour after the completion of the examination. Role responsible: examiners 85 Examiners of evening examinations must contact Assessment Services if they intend to collect scripts after the evening sessions; otherwise they must collect them the following day. Role responsible: examiners 86. Staff collecting hand-written scripts must present their University of Auckland staff ID card. Examiners or nominee(s) must notify Assessment Services in writing of an alternative staff member collecting scripts on their behalf. Role responsible: examiners Marking examination scripts 87. Strict security must be maintained in the handling and storage of hand-written and digital examination scripts. 88. Markers for hand-written and uploaded digital scripts must tick or otherwise indicate that they have read each question, and the final mark for each question must appear on the script and/or at the front of the script book. Comments on the script must not provide advice or feedback to students and must be limited to non-confidential aide-memoires for the examiner(s). Role responsible: markers 89. Interim marks and evaluative interchanges with other examiners or assessor taking place before the final mark is settled must be held in confidence. Interim marks or other information is to not be recorded on the script. Roles responsible: examiners, assessor 90. Hand-written scripts are available to students on application to Assessment Services. Digital scripts are made available on Inspera after final grades have been released. Role responsible: Assessment Services Illegibility of hand-written scripts 91. Candidates will be warned that where a hand-written examination script is illegible, the examiner may award marks for only such parts of the script as are legible and may leave the illegible parts unmarked. Every effort must be made to complete the marking of a script; any parts that are unmarked because of illegibility must be clearly identified on the script by the examiner. Roles responsible: Assessment Services, examiner 92. Academic heads may invite a candidate to attend the University to read an illegible script to an examiner. In such cases a second member of the academic staff must be present throughout the proceedings. Role responsible: academic head Missing scripts 93. Where a student’s hand-written script, or parts of a script, have been misplaced prior to marking, the examiner must immediately inform Assessment Services. Role responsible: examiner 94. In cases where a digital examination file or part of a file is submitted for marking and is then found to be corrupted or otherwise inaccessible or unrecoverable, the examiner must immediately inform Assessment Services. 95. If all or parts of the missing script or file are unable to be located or accessed, the student will be offered the opportunity to re-sit the missing examination components, or to have their grade assessed based on available coursework and examination marks through the AS-61 Assessed Grade process. Role responsible: Assessment Services Moderation and adjustment of marks 96. Academic units must have documented processes in place to ensure the appropriate moderation and approval of results, before finalisation of marks and grades. This may include: The use of marking guides Reviewing a sample of work Reviewing borderline results Statistical analysis. Role responsible: academic head 97. An external moderator for postgraduate taught work must undertake, for all or some postgraduate courses taught by an academic unit, a review of the content and grading of examination papers and/or (a sample of) other assessed work. 98. External moderation of postgraduate (non-doctoral) coursework will take place on a two or three-year cycle. Role responsible: academic head and Associate Dean Learning and Teaching Marks and grades used in assessment 99. Assessment in the University is criterion-referenced, therefore it is not expected that faculties conform to a specific grade distribution. Faculties may monitor the distribution of grades with regard to factors such as past performance and the size and selectivity of particular cohorts. Role responsible: Associate Dean Academic 100. Final results will be expressed as a letter grade, with a corresponding numerical mark, as outlined in Appendix 3. 101. There are ten pass grades, and three fail grades. A pass mark is 50% or more. 102. Use of a 0.5 rounding scheme is considered standard practice and must be applied consistently within programmes. 103. Final marks on grade or pass/fail boundaries may be reviewed by the examiners on a case-by-case basis. Ungraded pass / fail results 104. After application to Education Committee, a course may be approved to carry an ungraded pass/fail result provided it meets the following criteria: The course involves a substantial amount of practical work (a minimum of 60 percent). The work will usually be carried out over a period of time in which the student is expected to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills to a required standard. A fail indicates that the student’s performance is below the minimum level of competence; or The course is a required part of a programme but carries no points. Ungraded passes do not carry a grade point and are not included in Grade Point Average calculations. Postgraduate qualifications: Honours, Distinction, Merit 105. There is a consistent standard for the award of Honours in postgraduate Bachelors Honours and Masters degrees, and Distinction and Merit in Postgraduate Diplomas, and in Masters degrees that do not have a research component of 30 points or above: First Class Honours: GPA of 7.0 or above Second Class Honours (first division): GPA of 5.5 – 6.9 Second Class Honours (second division): GPA of 4.0 – 5.4 Third Class Honours: GPA of 1.0 – 3.9 (Postgraduate Bachelors Honours degrees only) Distinction: GPA of 7.0 or above Merit: GPA of 5.5 – 6.9. Note 1: a GPA includes a decimal place only when more than one course is involved. A 120 point programme comprised of a 120 point thesis or research portfolio only ever carries a whole GPA numerical. A ‘B+’ result (GPA of 6) in a 120 point thesis or research portfolio is, therefore, required for the award of Second Class Honours (first division) in a 120 point degree. Second Class Honours (first division) cannot be awarded for a ‘B’ result (GPA of 5). Note 2: Rounding is permitted to one decimal place in determining the overall GPA of a qualification (e.g., 5.46 may be rounded to 5.5; 5.75 may not be rounded to 6.0). Role responsible: examiner Final results Deadline for submission of results for courses 106. Results must be submitted to Assessment Services by the dates specified in Appendix 2. • Any results not submitted by the published deadline must be Assessment Services. Role responsible: academic head 107. If, because of exceptional circumstances, a result cannot be submitted within a fortnight of the deadline, the department must apply through faculty Group Services to Assessment Services on the AS-73 Application for Late Results Submission for approval of late submission for a period of up to three months. The application must state the exceptional circumstances and specify the date by which the result will be submitted. The criteria for exceptional circumstances include: Non-standard coursework dates Late timing of practicums/practical examinations Illness or other incapacity of an examiner or assessor An approved extension awarded to the student for the submission of coursework Study abroad courses A course with more than 250 students scheduled in the last three days of the examination period. Role responsible: academic head 108. Applications for late submission of results will be approved by Assessment Services if the request meets the criteria specified in item 107. Role responsible: Assessment Services 109. Any applications falling outside of these criteria specified in item 107 will be considered by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education. Role responsible: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education or nominee 110. If the result has not been submitted within three months of the deadline, a DNC grade will be entered. Role responsible: Assessment Services Deadlines for results submission - research courses between 30 and 80 points (except dissertations, research essays and research projects) 111. The result must be submitted within three months of either the last day of the semester in which the student was enrolled in the course or the last day of an approved and enrolled extension. Role responsible: faculty office 112. If, because of exceptional circumstances, a result cannot be submitted within three months, the department must apply through its faculty office to Assessment Services on the AS-73 Application for Late Results Submission form for approval for late submission for a period of up to one year after the last day of the semester in which the student was enrolled or the last day of an approved and enrolled extension. The application must state the circumstances and specify the date by which the result will be submitted. Role responsible: faculty office 113. Applications will be approved by Assessment Services if the result is unable to be submitted for the following reasons: • Illness or other incapacity of an examiner or assessor • Dispute over the result. Role responsible: Assessment Services 114. Applications falling outside of these criteria will be submitted to the Provost or nominee for consideration. Role responsible: Provost 115. If the result has not been submitted within one year of the deadline for the course, a DNC grade will be entered. Submission of final results 116. All results (except those which are individually-assessed) must be submitted electronically via Canvas to Student Services Online. Note: see instructions at www.auckland.ac.nz/examinations. Roles responsible: course director, examiner, assessor 117. Only results returned to students in Student Services Online are official. All marks or grades in Canvas are considered unofficial and may still be subject to review. 118. For each course, enter a grade for each student. Roles responsible: course director or nominee 119. Enter NA when the grade is not immediately available but expected at a later date. The final grade must be submitted within the deadlines for submission of results. Roles responsible: course director or nominee 120. Enter DNS in all instances if the student did not sit the exam. Roles responsible: course director or nominee 121. DNC (Did Not Complete) must be entered in the following circumstances: where a student has gained more than 50 percent in a course but has not completed the approved compulsory coursework; or where a student has gained less than 50 percent in a course without a final examination because of the failure to complete coursework but the entry of a fail grade would inappropriately represent the reasons for failure or the level of achievement. Roles responsible: course director or nominee 122. Where a student has applied for aegrotat or compassionate consideration, the result must be for the work actually submitted at the examination. If the student has been absent for any examination, the results must be recorded as DNS even though the examiner may intend to recommend an aegrotat or compassionate grade. 123. Where a student’s final grade cannot be submitted owing to an academic misconduct investigation: • For cases involving coursework (including tests) or research work, the course director or nominee shall enter NAX as the final grade submitted for a course from Canvas. • For cases involving examinations, Assessment Services will enter NAX on the student record in SSO. Role responsible: Assessment Services Signing and approving results 124. Final grades must be reviewed by the examiner(s) and assessor and the grades locked in Canvas. • Final grades will be approved by the course director by email to results@auckland.ac.nz. • The course director and examiner(s) are confirming that the grades are accurate and have been submitted on time. • The assessor, where appointed, is confirming that appropriate and adequate academic standards are maintained. Roles responsible: course director, examiner(s), assessor 125. Where undergraduate results, and postgraduate results (other than for theses, research portfolios, dissertations, research essays and research projects of 30 points or above), are individually assessed, an AS-65 Submission of Results for Individually Assessed Courses Form must be used. 126. The class of Honours for students completing Bachelors Honours undergraduate degrees will be processed by the Records, Enrolments and Fees Office. 127. Any changes to grades after the results have been submitted to Assessment Services must be provided on an AS-58 Request for Changes to Results Form. Changes must be signed by the academic head and the course director nominated to sign results for that course. The reason for the change to grades must be clearly stated. Roles responsible: course director, academic head Disputed results Disputes among examiners and/or assessor 128. In the event of a dispute among examiners or examiners and assessor which cannot be resolved among themselves, the matter is to be referred to the academic head for resolution in negotiation with the examiner(s) and assessor(s). Roles responsible: academic head, examiner(s), assessor 129. All documents relating to the examination and assessment and to the dispute will be made available to the academic head. The academic head may call for further written reports from the examiner(s) and any assessor(s). In such a case, all prior documentation is to be made available to each examiner and assessor. Role responsible: academic head 130. The academic head, having considered all the documentation, will provide a written report to all parties setting out their findings and proposing a resolution. All parties must agree to this resolution in writing before it can be adopted. Role responsible: academic head 131. In the event that no agreement can be reached among the academic head, the examiners and any assessor, all documentation relating to the examination, assessment and dispute, will be referred by the academic head to the Dean of faculty. Role responsible: academic head 132. The Dean of the faculty or nominee will, after reviewing the documentation and making any other enquiries considered necessary and appropriate, proposes a resolution in writing to all parties. All parties must agree to this proposal in writing before it can be adopted. Role responsible: dean or nominee Disputes where an academic head is an examiner or assessor 133. In cases where the academic head is an examiner or assessor, the Dean of the faculty or nominee will act as the academic head. If the Dean or the Dean’s nominee is unable to resolve the dispute, the matter will be referred to a referee as under ‘referee’ below. Dispute with the academic head 134. An academic head may, in pursuit of their duty of maintaining standards, review examination scripts and results. If the academic head sees reason to object, the matter is to be discussed with the examiner(s) and assessor(s). 135. If no agreement is reached, the academic head will call for written reports from the examiner(s) and assessor(s), and will state in writing their own grounds for objection. All of these documents will be made available to the examiner(s) and assessor(s) for the purpose of further comment which must be in writing. Role responsible: academic head 136. In the event that no agreement can be reached among the academic head, the examiner(s) and any assessor(s), all documentation relating to the examination, assessment and dispute will be referred by the academic head to the Dean of the faculty. Role responsible: dean or nominee 137. The Dean of the faculty or nominee will, after reviewing the documentation and making any other enquiries considered necessary and appropriate, propose a resolution in writing to all parties. All parties must agree to this proposal in writing before it can be adopted. Role responsible: dean or nominee Referee 138. In any of the above cases, where there is still no agreement, the Dean will refer the matter and all documentation to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Education who will act as referee or appoint an appropriate independent academic as a referee to consider the script or scripts and documentation or further information as required. Role responsible: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education 139. The referee will determine the marks or results to be awarded. This determination will be final. Role responsible: referee Conceded passes Note: see Examination Regulations. 140. Conceded passes are awarded by the relevant faculty. Role responsible: dean or nominee Deferred results Note: see Examination Regulations. 141. For the following degrees, results may be deferred in certain situations: Bachelor of Education (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery: MBChB Parts II, III, IV, V and VI Bachelor of Nursing: BNurs Parts I, II and III Bachelor of Optometry Bachelor of Pharmacy Bachelor of Physical Education Bachelor of Social Work Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Education Master of Social Work (Professional) Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education), Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary), Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary). Announcement and publication 142. Final results must remain confidential until they are posted to students’ records and are available online. Students must be notified by email when grades are posted. 143. Where a grade has been lowered after the result has been posted, the department must advise both the student and Assessment Services in writing. Role responsible: academic head Recount of marks 144. Any student may have the marks awarded for their examination script recounted. Application must be made no later than seven weeks after the last day of the examination period. Note: the fee for such a recount will be as prescribed in the Fees Regulations. 145. A recount of marks must involve a careful rechecking of the marks recorded by the examiner, and confirmation that no answer or any part of an answer submitted by a student has been overlooked. Recounts must always include a careful checking of the accuracy and inclusion of coursework marks. Role responsible: examiner 146. Students may apply for a recount of marks for written examination scripts in hand-written or digital examinations, only. Aegrotat and compassionate consideration for examinations Note: regulations govern aegrotat and compassionate consideration, these procedures are to be read in conjunction with those regulations. Scope 147. Aegrotat and compassionate consideration examination regulations apply to work which counts towards the final result for a course and is performed under controlled conditions at a specified place and time, with the exception of performance examinations. 148. The categories to be considered are: Final written examinations Formal practical or oral examinations Final submissions in the practical and studio work in the faculty of Creative Arts and Industries Tests. Advice to students 149. Students must be advised to enquire about aegrotat or compassionate consideration if temporary illness or injury, or exceptional circumstances beyond their control, have prevented them from sitting an examination, or seriously impaired their examination preparation or their examination performance. Students may contact Assessment Services or go to the Aegrotat and compassionate consideration webpage for advice. The requirements are stringent, and it is essential that students follow the correct procedures which are fully explained on the application and website available online to every candidate before each examination period. Sitting examinations 150. Students are to be encouraged to sit examinations if possible. Medical or other evidence must establish that a student is physically or mentally incapable of sitting an examination. It is not sufficient for the student to be unwell or to be faced with trying circumstances. Even if a student is advised by their teacher or doctor not to sit, an application won't be approved as a DNS unless justified by the evidence. 151. Students with a permanent or temporary impairment affecting their ability to sit examinations under standard conditions can apply to sit under special conditions, e.g., extra time, a writer, special equipment, separate room. Note: see Special Conditions for Written Tests and Examinations Policy. Method of application 152. Students seeking aegrotat consideration for temporary illness or injury must complete the online application and provide a statement outlining how their temporary illness or injury have either prevented them from taking the examination or impacted their performance and/or preparation for the examination. The student must provide evidence in support of their application where evidence can reasonably be obtained. Whether evidence can be reasonably obtained is assessed by staff from Assessment Services. 153. Students seeking compassionate consideration for other exceptional circumstances must complete the online application and provide a statement outlining how their circumstances have either prevented them from taking the examination or impacted their performance and/or preparation for the examination. The student must provide evidence in support of their application where evidence can reasonably be obtained. Whether evidence can be reasonably obtained is assessed by staff from Assessment Services. Application deadlines 154. An application must be submitted online no later than one week (inclusive) after the examination. If more than one examination is affected, the closing date is one week (inclusive) after the last examination affected. Students must not wait for their examination results before submitting their application. Processing applications 155. Applications will be assessed by Campus Care, Assessment Services and/or medical or counselling advisers to the University who consider the student’s statement and evidence and agree it supports the application. Further evidence may be requested from the student if it can be reasonably obtained. Whether evidence can be reasonably obtained is assessed by staff from Assessment Services. Role responsible: Assessment Services 156. If the evidence is in order, the appropriate course director is requested to make an academic assessment and determine whether an aegrotat or compassionate consideration grade will be applied. Where the medical or compassionate evidence does not support the application, an academic assessment and determination is not requested. Role responsible: course director 157. The course director must make their determination based on the criteria for aegrotat and compassionate grades set out on the form, based on the coursework, test and examination marks (if applicable), and when necessary, the student’s performance in other courses, especially those in the same degree. • The options include no change of grade or that the student complete an alternative assessment. Role responsible: course director 158. The course director must make their determination and submit this using the online form within one week. • Academic determinations are confidential and details must not be given to students. Role responsible: course director 159. Changes to grades resulting from the aegrotat or compassionate process are not included in the normal submission of results process. The original, unadjusted grade must be submitted through Canvas. Role responsible: course director Academic requirements for aegrotat and compassionate grades 160. When determining an aegrotat or compassionate grade, the course director must be able to certify that: • The student’s coursework in the course or performance in a test meets the minimum pass standard; and • For a student who sat the examination, the mark attained in the examination was lower than expected taking into account the student’s coursework or test scores in the course; and • The student is clearly worthy of a pass in the course. Role responsible: course director 161. Instead of determining an aegrotat or compassionate grade, the course director may determine that the student must take another examination which may be in the same form as the original exam or may differ, including oral or written. Exceptional circumstances must apply, and these are to be specified by the course director when outlining the reasons behind the determination. Role responsible: course director 162. No more than one third of the total point value credited to a degree or diploma may be awarded with an aegrotat or compassionate grade. Notification of outcome 163. Students will be advised in writing of the result of their application in all cases, whether or not an aegrotat or compassionate grade is approved. Reconsideration of applications 164. To apply for reconsideration a candidate must make an application no later than one month from the date of the outcome letter in writing to the Director, Student and Academic Services. See Examination Regulations. Role responsible: Director, Student and Academic Services Tests 165. A modified version of the examination procedures for aegrotat and compassionate consideration applies to tests which count towards the final result for a course. 166. Students who have been prevented from sitting a test or who consider that their preparation for or performance in a test has been seriously impaired, by temporary illness or injury or exceptional circumstances beyond their control, must contact Assessment Services, the University Health and Counselling Services or see the Aegrotat and compassionate consideration webpage for the online application process. 167. Students are to be encouraged to sit the test if possible. The student’s application must make it clear that the student was unable to attend or the test performance was seriously impaired. 168. Students must submit the online application form and evidence within seven days after the date of the test. A late application may be accepted if exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented them from submitting the application by the due date. 169. Applications are assessed by Campus Care, Assessment Services and/or medical or counselling advisers to the University who consider the student’s statement and evidence to determine that it meets the requirements. 170. If the evidence is not in order, Assessment Services will notify the student, and send a copy of the letter to the appropriate course director. 171. If the evidence is in order, the application form is sent to the appropriate course director. This does not include the assessed medical or other evidence, which is held by the University Health and Counselling Services. 172. The course director considers the application by taking into account the medical and counselling advisers’ assessment of the evidence and then approves one of the options set out on the form. These options are specified in the Examination Regulations as permission to: Sit another written or computer-based test; or Receive a mark for the test based on the average of marks awarded for other tests or exams; or Take a viva voce test; or Have the percentage of marks allocated to the test reallocated to the examination. 173. The options on the form include no change, which may be appropriate for a student who sits the test but obtains a mark in line with other comparable assessment. 174. The student must be advised of the decision within 21 days of the test. Deferred examinations (clinical and performance) 175. Students undertaking performance and clinical examinations who, because of temporary illness or injury or exceptional circumstances beyond their control, are unable to sit their examination on the date scheduled, may apply to the academic head or programme leader for deferment of that examination. The grounds for claiming illness, injury or exceptional circumstances is to correspond with those used for aegrotat provisions set out under the Examination Regulations and is to include where appropriate evidence from University Health and Counselling Services. Roles responsible: academic head, programme leader 176. The academic head or programme leader may grant a deferment until the Friday of the first week of teaching in the following semester. In exceptional circumstances, approval may be given by the Dean on recommendation from the academic head or programme Director, to extend this period. If, at this time, the student is unable to undertake the examination, a fail grade of ‘Did Not Complete’ (DNC) must be recorded. Roles responsible: academic head, programme leader Availability of examination scripts 177. By making application during the three months after the end of the examination period for the examination, a candidate may obtain a copy of their handwritten examination script. Applications must be made online and a copy sent by email to the student. Candidates can view their digital examination script on Inspera directly without making an application for a period of three months after the end of the examination period. 178. If it is found that a question or section has not been marked, or there are other errors of a similar nature, the academic head is to notify Assessment Services of the amended grade stating the reason for the change. The student will then be advised by email of their amended results. Role responsible: academic head 179. Students are not permitted to seek a remarking of the script. If it has been fully marked, the examiner’s judgement must stand. If a student seeks advice in respect of the script, that advice must not cover detailed discussion with the examiners of particular answers. Broad guidance may, however, be given on the general thrust of the script or on examination technique by the academic head or by an examiner specified by the academic head. Role responsible: academic head Storage and disposal of examination material 180. Examiners must keep hand-written examinations scripts only for the minimum time required for marking. They must then hand the scripts over to the department/faculty to arrange secure storage until at least four months after the examinations. After that time hand-written examination scripts are destroyed. Role responsible: examiners 181. In the case of examinations in Fine Arts, Testimonials of Study need not be so preserved. 182. Masters examination scripts must be retained until six months after the assessment has been completed for any thesis, dissertation, or research portfolio or project required. Role responsible: examiners Breaches of academic integrity 183. The following text must be included in all course outlines: ‘The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework, tests and examinations as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against electronic source material using computerised detection mechanisms. Upon reasonable request, students may be required to provide an electronic version of their work for computerised review’. 184. All instances where there is evidence of a breach of academic integrity in undergraduate or taught postgraduate coursework, tests or an examination must be dealt with under the provisions of the Student Academic Conduct Statute. 185. All allegations of academic misconduct are submitted through the University’s Academic Integrity Management System. 186. A student’s assessed work may be reviewed against electronic source material using electronic detection software. Disputes and complaints procedures 187. Students have the right to query an assessment process in coursework or test that they believe to be unfair. See Resolution of Student Academic Complaints and Disputes Statute. Quality assurance of assessment 188. Assessment is quality assured through processes at the course, academic unit, faculty and university level; details are specified in Appendix 6.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head means heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units; or a delegate such as a programme leader. Academic misconduct means minor or major academic misconduct in coursework, tests, or postgraduate examinations. Academic misconduct also includes confirmed incidents of dishonest behaviour in examinations. Apportionment with respect to written examination papers means the distribution of questions on different topics to different sections of the paper and their weighting in marks. Assessment means the ongoing process of: establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning; ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes; systematically gathering, analysing and interpreting evidence to determine how well student learning matches outcomes or expectations; using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning. For the purposes of these procedures, assessment includes: • assignments during the teaching of a course, normally called coursework • practical, aural and oral work • written tests conducted under examination conditions • ongoing assessment of competence or performance • written (or performance) examination normally conducted at the end of the semester or year • by dissertation, thesis or other research projects.

Assessment principles means the principles set out in the Assessment (Coursework, Tests and Examinations) Policy :

1. Assessment is learning-oriented through tasks which require the understanding, analysis, synthesis and/or creation of new information, concepts, and/or creative works.

2. Assessment design is coherent and supports learning progression within courses and across programmes.

3. Assessment tasks are demonstrably aligned with course-level learning outcomes, and programme and University-level Graduate Profiles.

4. Assessment is reliable and valid, and is carried out in a manner that is inclusive and equitable

5. Assessment practices are consistent and transparent, and assessment details are made available to students in a timely manner.

6. Feedback is timely and provides meaningful guidance to support independent learning

7. Assessment design and practices support academic integrity.

8. Professional development opportunities and guidance related to the design, implementation and moderation of assessment are available to staff.

9. Assessment is manageable and quality assured.

10. Assessment items are the property of the University; this includes: examination papers; students’ completed examination scripts and other items of assessment; marking guides; and students’ marks.

Associate Dean Academic is responsible for their faculty's academic programmes, overseeing quality assurance and providing policy and strategic advice on both new and current academic programmes and qualifications. Associate Dean Learning and Teaching is responsible for the overall development of teaching and learning in the faculty, including providing policy and strategic advice to ensure that the faculty creates and fosters an environment that enables a positive student experience. Breach of academic integrity means dishonest or inappropriate practices occurring in the preparation and submission of coursework, tests, postgraduate research, or in the context of examinations. Calculator means an electronic device capable of processing, storing or retrieving information, which has the primary purpose of mathematical calculation. It must be hand-held, self-powered and noiseless. It must not have an audible alarm or facilities for transmitting or receiving information. Concurrently taught is where students who are enrolled for courses at different levels within qualifications attend some or all of the same classes. This is different from the situation where students enrol in a course at a higher level than might be expected and attend classes with more advanced students. Course coordinator is responsible for the administration and organisation of the course and its assessment acting in conjunction with, and under the supervision of, the course director. Course director is responsible for the overall design and management of the course to ensure that course design, assessment and delivery support learning outcomes and are aligned to the relevant programme graduate profile. Coursework means assessed components (such as assignments) within a unit of study and does not include tests conducted under examination conditions. In the case of practice disciplines, assessment components may involve ongoing assessment of competence or performance. Criterion-referenced means that judgements about student performance are based on pre-determined standards and criteria and linked to specified course learning objectives. Examinations (for undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses) means the formal testing of students under standardised conditions for a set period. Examination conditions means the examination will occur at a specified time and place, will be invigilated, and will be sat under conditions specified by the examiner; or, for students with a permanent or temporary impairment, under special conditions as approved through the Special Conditions for Written Tests and Examinations Policy. Feedback/feedforward means the provision of information in such a manner that students are able to improve their work, knowledge, or competence in later assessments. GPA or Grade Point Average means an average calculated using a scale to give each grade received a numerical value. ‘Did not sit’ and ‘did not complete’ results are counted as zero. ‘Withdrawals’ do not receive a numerical value. Invigilated means a supervised examination or test. See ‘Examination Conditions’. Marking guides - for the purpose of this document - include rubrics, assessment criteria, marking schemes and any tool or scheme used to assist in the marking of items of assessment. Moderation means a process intended to assure that an assessment outcome is fair and reliable and that assessment criteria have been applied consistently. Programme leader means a programme director, major or specialisation leader, or an equivalent with defined responsibilities for a specific programme. Plussage as defined by this policy is a method of calculating marks a student has gained in a taught course by counting either: an examination or test mark, or a combination of exam, test and coursework marks; whichever is to the student’s advantage. Additional requirements for eligibility for plussage may apply, including for example: a minimum result required in the examination; a minimum standard for completion of coursework; and/or attendance at laboratories or tutorials. Note - an assessment arrangement where an agreed subset of coursework marks is counted towards the final grade (e.g. best eight of ten quiz results) is not considered plussage.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

Substantive changes to assessment means a change to an assessment task type, the weighting of an assessment task, or advancing the deadline of an assessment tasks.

University refers to Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

  • Assessing Te Reo Māori in Coursework and Examination Procedures
  • Assessment (Coursework, Tests and Examination) Policy
  • Concurrent Teaching Policy
  • Examination Regulations
  • Examination of Sub-doctoral Postgraduate Research Components of 30 points and Above Procedures
  • Inclusive Teaching and Learning for Students with Impairments Guidelines
  • Resolution of Student Academic Complaints and Disputes Statute
  • Special Conditions for Written Tests and Examinations Policy
  • Student Academic Conduct Statute
  • Student Charter
  • Student Retention Policy
  • University Graduate Profiles

Document management and control

Owner : Pro Vice-Chancellor Education Content manager : Manager Academic Quality Approved by : Provost – by delegated authority of Council Date approved : 18 May 2023 Review date : Annual review by Education Committee

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Course Evaluations and End-term Student Feedback

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At Stanford, student course feedback can provide insight into what is working well and suggest ways to develop your teaching strategies and promote student learning, particularly in relation to the specific learning goals you are working to achieve.

There are many ways to assess the effectiveness of teaching and courses , including feedback from students, input from colleagues, and self-reflection. No single method of evaluation offers a complete view. This page describes the end-term student feedback survey and offers recommendations for managing it. 

End-term student feedback

The end-term student feedback survey, often referred to as the “course evaluations”, opens in the last week of instruction each quarter for two weeks:

  • Course evaluations are anonymous and run online
  • Results are delivered to instructors after final grades are posted
  • The minimum course enrollment for evaluations is three students

Two feedback forms

Students provide feedback on their courses using up to two forms:

  • The course feedback form gathers feedback on students' experience of the course, covering general questions about learning and course organization, and potentially specific learning goals, course elements, and other instructor-designed questions. At Stanford, this form focuses on the course as a whole and not the performance of individual instructors. Students complete one form for each course, even in a team-teaching situation where there could be several instructors.
  • The section feedback form gathers feedback on the TAs or CAs students interact with, usually through sections such as discussions and labs. Even if TAs and CAs do not lead individual sections—for example, they take office hours or assist during labs—they can still receive feedback using this form.

Course evaluation system

The current course evaluation platform is EvaluationKIT, accessible to instructors at evaluationkit.stanford.edu .

End-term course evaluations and EvaluationKIT are managed by Evaluations and Research, part of Learning Technologies and Spaces (LTS) within Student Affairs . You can find comprehensive information about end-term course evaluations on the Evaluations and Research website.

Tailored custom questions

The course and section forms are customizable , allowing you to add specific questions, such as learning goals, course elements (such as textbooks), and even questions of your own, so that you can gather targeted feedback on aspects of your course design.

Although you are not required to customize your questions, it is an excellent way to gather information on any aspect of the course that you want to assess, such as a new teaching technique, an activity, or an approach you want to revise. If you do not customize, your students will still respond to the standard questions.

Managing your end-term feedback

Whether you are new to Stanford or familiar with the course evaluations system, these are the most useful links to managing your evaluations every quarter:

  • Key dates : review the key dates for customization, opening and closing of the evaluations, and reports.
  • Customization is open for four weeks each quarter, starting in Week 4, so you can add your own questions to the course and section forms.
  • Interpreting your reports : Reading and interpreting feedback effectively will help you to assess what is working and identify areas where your course may need to make adjustments.
  • The Evaluations and Research website has many resources to help you find, read, and interpret evaluation reports, as well as understand the scope and limitations of teaching evaluations.

Need help understanding or responding to course evaluations?

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has trained and experienced teaching consultants who can help you interpret results and advise on teaching strategies. Contact CTL to request a consultation at any time.

Further sources of evaluation and feedback

There are many other sources of feedback that can help inform your teaching and learning decisions, including:

  • Mid-term student feedback is an excellent way to gather actionable insights into a course while the course is still in progress and it is possible to make adjustments, if necessary, before the end of the quarter.   Consider a Small Group Feedback Session offered by CTL or an in-class survey .
  • Input from colleagues , such as peer observations, particularly when including a review of materials and course goals, and using a consistent review protocol. Peer review can include online materials, modules, and courses using criteria similar to those for in-class instruction.
  • Instructor’s self-reflection , including evaluation of course materials, such as syllabi, assignments, exams, papers, and so on. 
  • Other contributions, such as those to curriculum development, supervision of student research, mentoring of other instructors, creation of instructional materials, and published research on teaching, can be assessed by colleagues and also form part of a general teaching portfolio.
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Non Exam Assessment (NEA) or Coursework

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Non-exam Assessment, A guide for Parents

Non exam assessment: a guide for parents, what is non exam assessment.

Non Exam Assessment or NEA has replaced what used to be known as “Coursework”. In essence they are pretty much the same thing, in other words,  research – or project-based work – that counts towards a student’s final grade. It is considered to be an excellent way for students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have gained throughout a course and their ability to conduct independent research and write up their own project. Completing the NEA will help a student gain valuable life and work skills and for our students it is done at home. Students are encouraged to use research resources such as textbooks, journals, TV, radio and the internet and importantly to learn how to attribute and reference them.

Which subjects have NEA?

Currently the subjects which we offer with part assessment by NEA are;

GCSE; English (AQA), this NEA is not written work, it is an oral test

A LEVEL; English Language, English Literature and History (all AQA)

Entry for these subjects has to be made through Oxford Open Learning where you will be entered as an internal candidate by our Examination Officer, Jenny Booth ( [email protected] tel; 01865 798022) or through Tutors and Exams if there is a centre near you.

How is the exam entry made?

At the same time as you make your exam entry with us (by the end of January at the latest), you will also need to find another centre in your own locality which will be willing to be your “ host centre ” for the written part of the exam. You do this by following the same instructions we give for finding any exam centre but obviously you will need to explain that OOL will make your actual exam entry and that your local centre will only need to “host” your written exam using the transfer of entry system.

This means that OOL/OHS will be responsible for; making your examination entry, helping you to transfer your entry to the host centre, dealing with supervising, authenticating and marking your NEA, helping with enquiries about results and providing your results slip and certificates. All payment for this will be made to us.

The “host centre” which you will need to find and contact as early as possible will have to be prepared to accept your transfer of entry and allow you to sit the written exams with them. The fee that you will have to pay to the host centre should therefore only be for their administration time and invigilation of the written papers.

If you choose to sit with Tutors and Exams and they are an especially good option if you have SEN requirements, then the process is different. You will make your entry directly with them and no hosting or transfer will be needed. Your Oxford tutor will still mark your coursework.

What rules do students have to follow?

The NEA must be a student’s own original work, and they will have to sign a declaration to their examination board stating that this is the case. Tutors also have to sign the declaration to confirm that the work is the student’s own. This is called “authenticating” the work. Rules regarding submission are the same as for Coursework and are shown on the back of the enrolment form which students/guardians have to sign before starting our courses.

You must always be aware that the NEA is meant to show the student’s own ability to complete a project using their initiative and resources.  This means that other people should not have a direct input and the more help the student has from their tutor, the stricter the tutor will have to be when marking the work . In other words there will be a fine balance between the amount of help given and the amount of marks which have to be forfeited because of this help. You should discuss this carefully and in detail with the tutor to make sure it is fully understood. You should also download and read the JCQ document; “ Information for Candidates – non-examination assessments “.

Rules for Authentication of your NEA

If your subject has a written NEA assessment then there are strict rules that you and we must abide by to satisfy the Awarding Body and JCQ.

If you do not follow these rules then your tutor will not be able to authenticate and mark your coursework/NEA.

1, You must have regular contact with your tutor by telephone/Skype and email throughout your study time. (If you do not speak to your tutor until you try to submit your NEA, the tutor will be unable to accept it.)

2, You must complete at least 4 Tutor Marked Assignments, a plan and a draft before your tutor can consider authenticating your NEA. Submitting all of your TMAs together just before, or at the same time as your NEA will not be acceptable. (Please be aware that 4 TMAs is the minimum for authenticating your work, it is certainly not enough to secure a good exam grade as there will be 19 or 20 TMAs in total. )

3, Your tutor should supervise the planning of your NEA and see a draft essay which will be checked for plagiarism.

4, Your NEA and the correctly signed form(s) must be with your tutor by the OOL deadline. This is the  15th March and it is not negotiable for any reason . ( Do not assume that you can work to AQA’s deadline, this will be too late.)

5, When you have submitted your NEA you must be able to answer in depth questions about your ideas, your sources and how you came to your conclusions. This should be a telephone or Skype interview and not email. We have to be assured that the work was produced by you and not plagiarised or written by someone else. ( We and AQA have various methods of checking for plagiarism and they are used rigorously.)

6, Your tutor may refuse to authenticate your NEA if you do not follow any of these rules. In this case your work will be returned to you and AQA will be informed. We may refuse to provide any further tuition.

7, We will inform you when we have received your NEA and also of the mark you have been awarded.

8, If you have a problem with the mark that you receive, you will be able to question the assessment process before exam board moderation but you may not question the mark awarded. This is covered in Oxford Open Learning’s Internal Appeals Procedure.

9, The AQA moderating process may lead to changes in your mark but this is beyond the control of OOL.

How can I support my child?

You can encourage your child to plan their project in good time, talk to their tutor in detail, use a variety of sources which must be properly referenced, hand work in on time, and stick to the rules especially those regarding plagiarism. Together with providing a quiet place to study, this will help them to achieve their best. If your child often completes work at the last minute you could discuss with them how and when they plan to do their coursework. Encourage them to think about the project as early as possible so that the tutor has time to comment on their plan and draft and if things have gone wrong they can still be altered. This is especially important for distance learners as the deadlines are early and rules are strict.

How much can the tutors, or I, help?

Tutors can provide guidance on suitable titles/topics and what should be included in coursework projects and the planning. They can also explain what the Assessment Objectives are and what the exam board will be looking for when the project is being marked. However, the teacher cannot tell students exactly how to do the work or specifically what corrections to make – the point of coursework is for your son or daughter to work independently. You can encourage your child to do well and you and the tutor can provide them with guidance and access to resource materials. You must not put pen to paper – you must not write the coursework. You can discuss the project with them but you must not give direct advice on what they should, or should not write and nor can the tutor.

If your child is not sure how to complete their coursework then encourage them to speak to their tutor to get help. Planning and a “tight” plan are key. You and the tutor can suggest particular books that they might read, or discuss how to search the internet for relevant information. You should also encourage your child to express themselves clearly and most importantly to keep the AOs (Assessment Objectives) in mind. Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar are also very important. However, always bear in mind that the more help the tutor gives, the more strictly they will have to mark the final submission.

Please also bear in mind that if the tutor believes that the work submitted is of a higher standard than they would expect they will have to question the student very closely to establish that someone else did not provide substantial help.

Are students allowed to quote from books or the internet?

Students can refer to research, quotations or evidence, but they  must  list and reference their sources. The sources could be anything – for example, books, internet sites, or television programmes.

Students must not plagiarise, copy, purchase essays, or collude with anyone else. This is considered to be cheating and could lead to your son or daughter being disqualified. There are now very sophisticated internet sites which we and the exam boards use to check work for plagiarism.

Encourage your child to use their own words as much as possible. If they do want to quote or refer to others’ work, tell them to use quotation marks and provide appropriate references. If your child is unsure on how to reference different sources then their tutor should be able to provide examples of good and bad referencing. By referencing their sources correctly your child will avoid being accused of cheating.

Who marks the NEA?

The NEA will be marked by your OHS tutor, checked by the Head of Department and then possibly checked again by AQA. If you have a problem with the marking of the NEA you must follow the “Internal Appeals Procedure” shown in our policy document.

How is cheating detected?

Our tutors have to authenticate the work produced. In other words they have to say that to the best of their knowledge it was produced by the student concerned. To do this the tutor and student have to follow strict guide lines, including the tutor having seen at least 4 Tutor Marked Assignments, a plan and a draft submission of the project. Tutors become familiar with their students’ work as well as books on specific subjects and they will be able to tell if the student did not do the work, or if the work was copied from another source.  Exam boards and OHS also routinely use plagiarism software to carry out checks on coursework/NEAs.

Encourage your child to complete their work honestly and follow the rules. By taking the time and choosing a topic that interests them, your child will learn to study independently, research different areas and present different types of projects. These skills will all be valuable when they go to university or enter the world of work.

What happens if a student breaks the rules?

There are a number of things that could happen. The relevant exam board decides which action is appropriate, but the student may not receive a mark for the work, may be disqualified from the whole qualification or part of it, or be barred from entering a qualification with a particular exam board for a period of time.

Please go to the “ NEA Guidelines ” section, in the Student Information part of www.ool.co.uk for more information on this topic.

Coursework and NEAs  take time and effort, and because it is a substantial part of your child’s final grade it is important that they do as well as they can. You can help by providing a quiet place to work, encouraging them to do their best, begin early and hand their work in on time. Please remember however that because you have chosen distance learning, there are strict rules that our tutors must adhere to which may seem harsher than those followed in everyday contact in school.

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coursework and examination assessment

coursework and examination assessment

Ministry of Education's National Examination Results Virtual Press Conference

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EXAMINATIONS & ASSESSMENT DIVISION

About the examination & assessment section.

Monitoring their progress course 12 years.  Students are examined at 4 key stages:

  

GLAT3 (Grade 3) a diagnostic and achievement examination

GLAT6 ( Grade 6) a diagnostic and achievement examination

BJC typically (Grade 9) and achievement examination

BGCSE (Typically Grade 12) an exit achievement examination

Today, the Division is proud that the majority of students in Bahamian school leave primary and secondary school with an accredited and respected national international achievement record.

The GLAT BJC and BGCSE:

Encourage positive achievement,

Employ an extended 7-point grading system and

Focus on higher order skills rather than merely relying on recall

Introduced in 1985 with the assistance of the psychological Corporation of San Antonio Texas , the GLAT is now developed, administered and marked in the Bahamas 3 and 6 students are tested in mathematics language Art Grade 6 students receive additional testing in Science and Social Studies. The GLAT is administered to all Government Primary school and majority of Impendent primary school.

Introduced in 1953, the BJC’s three-year course of study culminates in an examination which offers eleven subjects: Religious studies Technical Drawing Art & Design, Craft, Social Studies English Language, LiteratureHealth Science, General Science Mathematics, and family & Consumer Science

Twenty –seven subjects are offered: Art & Design employment. vocational training designed for students at the senior high level the BGCSE was introduced in1993. It’s three- year course of study prepares students for more advanced academic study as well as Craft , Art & grading papers & awarding results through certification and national awards ceremony:

Compiling and preparing statistics and general, subject and center reports

revising the syllabi visiting,

visiting the school to explain  the Divisions  policies and practices and to conduct a workshop for administrator teacher and the student s assuming the responsibility as local Authority for the administrators, teacher , and students.

level and professional examinations, such as SAT, college of all international, administration assuming the responsibility as Local Authority for the GRE , MCAT, GGE LLB, and degree courses,

ACCA (Accounting Exam ), College   of Estate Managers (COEM) and London Chambers of commerce and Industry Examination.

Providing subject syllabi and past examination papers  CD’s to the general public preparing documents in its Registry and Research Sectio n, such as student records.

Reintroducing the BJC Literature examination in 2015 after a hiatus of twenty years. The BJC Literature programme  seeks to develop in student an appreciation for the Bahamian and other literature, as reading and creative writing.

Expanding a highly successful online   registration  programme that allows schools registration programme  that allows school  in the capital and in the family island to digitally register candidate  for national  high school examination.

Making  the New Providence branch of the Division accessible to the physically disabled by providing  a ramp for wheelchair-bound visitors (2015).

Refurbishing the storage areas at the Division in New Providence expansion  electrification, easier access files (2015).

Relocation the Grand Bahama office (2016).

Revising the BJC  English Language.

Syllabus, with the first exam sitting in 2015:

Design/ Craft keyboarding Skill Auto Mechanics, Religious studies, Geography, Physics, Commerce, English Language , Economic Literature, Mathematics, History, Biology, French Music Spanish Chemistry, Electrical Installation, Graphical Communication, Food and Nutrition combined Science, Carpentry & Joinery, Office Procedures, bookkeeping & Accounts clothing Construction

           Several Major responsibilities of the Division:

Promoting efficient examination administration,

Overseeing the setting of Examination ensuring that all questions are set accordance  with subject syllabi;

Ensuring the quality  and accuracy  of printing of the question papers,

Inspecting marking centres , facilitating the co-ordination examiners, making and official transcripts, statements of results and verification of examination documents.

   

Cisco Blogs / Learning / CCNA in the Age of AI

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CCNA in the Age of AI

The CCNA certification you know and love is about to receive some important updates. Let’s take a look at the small (but relevant) changes to the 200-301 CCNA exam arriving on August 20, 2024. Read on for an overview of what’s changing in CCNA v1.1, why, key dates and resources to look for, and next steps for CCNA-bound candidates.

Coming soon: Generative AI, Cloud Network Management, and Machine Learning

Yes, you’ve  read th at right . B eginning August 20, 2024 , the 200-301 CCNA exam topics will include Generative AI, Cloud Network Management, and Machine Learning. These topics are obviously important , relevant areas for today’s IT professionals (or anyone aspiring to become a networking pro fessional) .

However, it should be noted that these are minimal changes to the overall exam, accounting for only 10 percent of the updated questions. In other words, if you’re studying for your CCNA certification exam today, keep going. You have plenty of time to complete the current exam . These changes will not take place until August 20, 2024.    

Why the update ?  

In the ever-changing world of networking and IT infrastructure, professionals must stay ahead of the latest technology trends — especially in the face of technology disruptors like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud network management, and machine learning. As these technologies become integral components of modern networks, the need for proficient IT professionals in these areas grows more pressing than ever.

Cisco has taken proactive steps to ensure that its flagship certification, the CCNA, remains relevant and reflects these industry trends . These additions to the CCNA exam reflect the shifting landscape in which network engineers operate . While these topics comprise only 10 percent of the total exam, they represent a significant step towards aligning the CCNA certification to the demands of modern network environments.  

Why now ?  

Amid evolving technology and industry standards, Cisco regularly reviews its certifications to ensure they remain current and relevant to real-world applications.

The updates to the CCNA certification exam are no exception. With the exponential growth of AI, the widespread adoption of cloud-based solutions, and the increasing integration of machine learning algorithms into network management, it is imperative that Cisco Certified professionals are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate these advancements confidently.  

What’s n ew in CCNA v1.1?  

The CCNA v1.1 exam blueprint introduces minor updates to the existing curriculum, specifically focusing on emerging technologies.  

Below is a summary of the exam topic changes for CCNA that go live on August 20, 2024.  

table summary of CCNA v1.1 exam topic changes for CCNA going live on August 20, 2024.    

These additions reflect Cisco’s commitment to preparing network professionals for the challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation era.  

Key dates and considerations for CCNA candidates:  

  • CCNA v1.1 Exam Blueprint Availability: Now available
  • CCNA v1.1 Supplemental Tutorials: Now available
  • CCNA v1.1 Exam Registration Begins: August 20, 2024
  • Last Date to Test for CCNA v1.0: August 19, 2024

CCNA 1.0 R esources: (Valid through August 19, 2024)

  • CCNA v1.0 exam topics
  • CCNA Practice Exam (Cisco U.)
  • CCNA Learning Path (Cisco U.)

CCNA 1.1 R esources: (CCNA v1.1 will take effect on August 20, 2024)

  • CCNA v1.1 exam topics
  • CCNA v1.1 Release Notes
  • Basic Operations of Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol
  • Understanding AI and LLMs as a Network Engineer
  • Learning Device Management Access

If you are currently studying for the v1.0 CCNA exam, it’s important to stick to your plan and complete your preparation. However, i f you do decide to wait until after August 20, 2024, to take the updated exam, rest assured that Cisco has made available supplemental exam tutorials on Cisco U., to familiarize you with the updated content and ensure you’re well-equipped to succeed.

While the new topics may seem like a lot, they actually represent a small portion of the overall exam. We are here to support you every step of the way.

See all CCNA training available in Cisco U.

Moving forward  

I encourage you to view the addition of Generative AI, Cloud Network Management, and Machine Learning to the CCNA v1.1 certification exam as an opportunity for growth and professional development. Embrace the challenge, leverage the available resources, and embark on your CCNA certification journey with confidence, knowing you’re equipped to thrive in the age of AI. 

As the technological landscape evolves, so must the certifications that validate our expertise. With the introduction of these new topics , CCNA certification will remain at the forefront of industry relevance. By staying in front of these advancements and adapting our skills accordingly, we position ourselves not just as network engineers but as architects of the future of connectivity. 

Stay updated on the latest Cisco certification releases and updates, including CCNA. Sign up for the Cisco Certification Roadmap newsletter  

What do you think about the changes to the CCNA certification this August? Leave a comment below, and if you’re a CCNA-to-be, don’t forget to include which exam — CCNA v1.o or CCNA v1.1 — you plan to test. Thanks for reading!

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Enabling Network Engineering Skills in an AI World

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Cisco learning & certifications, leave a comment cancel reply.

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I am excited and look forward to the changes. I got my CCNA back in 2020 and it expired. I am planning on getting it back, but I will wait until the new version. Since I have past experience with the CCNA, I can clearly see the changes are definitely minor and only a small portion of the overall exam. I have no fear of the upcoming changes. I am up for the challenge and have the confidence to succeed. Generative AI, Cloud Network Management, and Machine Learning are indeed a wise addition to the certification. Good move!

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