Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326)

1. Objective

The objective of this policy is to provide a framework for the design, delivery and implementation of assessment of students in award and non-award courses and subjects. Assessment is designed to contribute to high quality learning by students, and to allow for quality assurance and the maintenance of high academic standards.

2. Scope

2.1. This policy applies to:

(a) students enrolled in all coursework degrees and subjects, including theses in coursework courses

(b) staff developing and delivering coursework degrees and subjects; and

(c) assessment in undergraduate and graduate award and non-award coursework courses and subjects.

2.2. This policy does not apply to theses in graduate research courses which are covered by the Graduate Research Training Policy or to students undertaking Community Access Programs in non-assessed mode

3. Authority

This policy is made under the University of Melbourne Act 2009 (Vic) and the Academic Board Regulation.

4. Policy

Assessment and determination of results

4.1.       Every enrolled student is assessed unless they have been excluded from assessment.

4.2.       Student results in a subject are determined by the means specified in the course and subject approval instrument, and detailed in the Handbook and subject outline.

4.3.       Components of assessment may be administered in any form and subject to any conditions specified in the subject outline.

4.4.       Students enrolled in a subject must be available, prepared and equipped for the time, place and mode of assessment, including being available in the scheduled examination and assessment period, and the supplementary assessment period, for the subject.

4.5.       Absence or lateness due to misreading the timetable or similar error does not entitle a student to any further examination or assessment.

4.6.       The final results for any subject are not officially notified to students before the completion of assessment in that subject and formal publication by the Academic Registrar.

Exclusion from assessment by the Academic Registrar

4.7.       The Academic Registrar may direct that a student be excluded from attempting any component of assessment, or that the results obtained by the student in any assessment be withheld, if the student:

(a)         has not paid all fees or charges owed to the University;

(b)         has not paid all fines or other penalties imposed on them; and/or

(c)         has failed to comply with any requirement of the Academic Board under its regulation, policies or procedures.

4.8.       The Academic Registrar must inform the relevant dean of any directions given under 4.7.

Exclusion from assessment by a dean

4.9.       A dean may exclude a student from attempting any component of assessment, or place any conditions the dean thinks fit on a student’s attempt at a component of assessment, if the student fails to:

(a)         attend any required class;

(b)         submit any required assessment tasks; and/or

(c)         perform any required practical, laboratory, field or clinical work.

4.10.       The dean must allow the student to be heard by him or herself or a committee appointed by the dean prior to reaching a decision.

Board of examiners

4.11.       The dean must establish a board of examiners (BoE) for each subject.

4.12.       The BoE consists of at least:

(a)   all examiners in the subject, including persons designated as additional examiners; and

(b)   subject to section 4.13, the head of the appropriate department.

4.13.       The dean or a person nominated by the dean takes the place of the head of department on the BoE if:

(a)   the head of department so requests; or

(b)   no lectures are given in the subject; or

(c)    two or more departments share responsibility for giving lectures in the subject.

4.14.       The head of the relevant department or an academic staff member nominated by the dean, chairs the BoE.

4.15.       The quorum for a BoE is two academic staff members.

4.16.       Clinical assessment - Medicine and Dental Science

(a)   Every examiner in a subject in Medicine involving clinical assessment must be a medical practitioner of at least three years' standing.

(b)   Every examiner in a subject in Dental Science involving clinical assessment must be:

i. a person registered as a dentist under the Dental Practice Act 1999; or

ii. a medical practitioner; or

iii. a member of the academic staff of a dental school.

4.17.       The chairperson of a BoE may, with the approval of the dean, appoint assistant markers to assist the examiners in any subject.

4.18.       If a subject pertains to more than one faculty:

(a)   the deans of each of the faculties concerned decide which faculty is to be regarded as the appropriate faculty for the purposes of this policy.

(b)   If:

i. agreement is not reached by the deans as to which faculty is to be regarded as the appropriate faculty for the purposes of this policy; or

ii. doubt exists as to the department or faculty to which a subject pertains,

the matter will be decided by the President of the Board.

Conducting assessment

4.19.       The Board has oversight of assessment and is responsible for overall quality assurance and continuous quality improvement in assessment across the University.

4.20.       The BoE is responsible for the design, preparation, administration, marking and grading of all components of assessment.

4.21.       The dean is responsible for the management and supervision of faculty-based, formal, supervised written examination.

4.22.       Upon request of a dean, the Academic Registrar is responsible for the management and supervision of centrally scheduled, formal, supervised written examinations that are of 2 or 3 hours duration.

4.23.       Deans must ensure that subject co-ordinators whose subjects include centrally organised examinations as part of the assessment:

(a)   provide the Academic Registrar with a copy of the examination paper(s) by the date set by Academic Registrar;

(b)   be present at the primary examination venue during the reading time in order to respond to student queries and answer any questions from examination supervisors regarding authorised materials; and

(c)   be available by telephone for the duration of the examination.

Assessment design, marking and grading

4.24.       Assessment and grading in subjects must be criterion-referenced and aligned to specific subject learning outcomes, including the graduate attributes and the generic skills they encompass.

4.25.       Assessment tasks must:

(a)   clearly link teaching objectives, content, learning and teaching activities and learning outcomes at the subject level; and

(b)   be designed to accurately evaluate the knowledge and skills that a student has obtained up to the point at which the task is completed.

4.26.       Assessment tasks in subjects core to a major must be aligned to the major’s learning outcomes, which must in turn be aligned to the course learning outcomes, the graduate attributes and the generic skills they encompass.

4.27.       Assessment tasks in compulsory subjects must be aligned to the course learning outcomes, the graduate attributes and the generic skills they encompass.

4.28.       Assessment must be balanced to provide diagnostic, timely and meaningful feedback on formative assessment tasks, as well as summative judgments about academic performance.

4.29.       Assessment must be fair, equitable, inclusive, objective and auditable and meet the needs of a diverse student population.

4.30.       Grading must be designed to record and report whether or not students have demonstrated an overall level of performance that warrants successful completion of a subject and to allow excellent achievement to be recognised and rewarded, in accordance with the approved marking scheme for that subject.

4.31.       Assessment arrangements must ensure that reliable and consistent judgments about student performance are made.

4.32.       Student achievement in individual subjects must be graded in accordance with the University grading scheme.

4.33.    Examinations are to be marked anonymously as far as practicable.

4.34.    Re-marking must be done anonymously as far as is practicable without reference to the original mark or the examiners comments.

4.35.    Staff must not be responsible for assessment of a student with whom they have, or have had, a significant personal or other relationship which creates a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest must be declared to the chair of the BoE who must manage the process of assessment for the affected student.

4.36.    Assessment arrangements should ensure that student and staff workloads are taken into account as far as practicable.

Academic integrity and assessment design

4.37.       Where particular discipline specific protocols for acknowledging the work of others exist, the dean must make these available to students undertaking studies in that discipline.

4.38.       The BoE must ensure that:

(a)   as far as possible, the same assessment task and questions are not set for subsequent offerings of the same subject;

(b)   when an assessment task requires students to consult text and/or online resources in the preparation of their assessment task, and therefore requires them to appropriately reference these resources, a component of the marks for the task should be explicitly assigned to this aspect of the student’s work;

(c)    assessable tasks are to be designed in ways that do not encourage or promote any form of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism and collusion; and

(d)   in regard to assessment tasks for group work, particular care must be taken to explain to students what level of cooperation and collaboration is acceptable for each task, and what may be considered academic misconduct.

Equivalence of assessment

4.39.       The BoE must ensure that if a subject is offered at more than one location or in more than one mode of study subject learning outcomes are the same.

4.40.       The Board must monitor equivalence. 

Assessment weightings and amounts

4.41.       Each assessment component is assigned a weighting, expressed in terms of the percentage of the total mark in the subject.

4.42.       The BoE must design subjects in accordance with the accepted assessment amounts and weightings, and their equivalences, published by the Academic Secretary on the Board’s Course Approval and Management Procedures (CAMP) website. 

Provision of assessment task information

4.43.       The BoE must ensure that all Handbook subject descriptions include the fixed assessment requirements for the subject including:

(a)   type of assessment task;

(b)   length in words or time equivalent;

(c)    timing;

(d)   percentage weighting of the item; and

(e)   any special requirements, including hurdles.

4.44.       The BoE must ensure that all variable assessment requirements in a subject reflect the fixed components and are included in the subject outline as soon as practicable, but no later than within the first two weeks, or the first quarter of the teaching period, whichever occurs first, including:

(a)   detail of the requirements of each piece of assessment and the tasks included in each piece of assessment;

(b)   the specific due date for submission or performance of each component of assessment;

(c)    the format for submission;

(d)   the prescribed style guide including citation styles;

(e)   penalties that apply to late submission, exceeding word limits or incorrect format of submission;

(f)     penalties that apply to failing to cite correctly;

(g)    the expected date for return of results for the assessment task;

(h)   where relevant, guidelines for a resit of a test or examination;

(i)     where relevant, guidelines for being excused from an assessment task.

4.45.       The BoE must ensure that information about special consideration and extension arrangements for the subject are published in the subject outline.

Assessment penalties

4.46.       The BoE may set penalties for non-compliance with assessment requirements, and must ensure any assessment penalties are applied equally to all students enrolled in a subject and that the penalty is proportionate based on all of the following:

(a)   the level of the subject;

(b)   the length of time allocated to complete the assignment (e.g. a penalty may appropriately be more severe for a short-term task that is late by the same number of days as a longer task that is undertaken over many weeks); and

(c)    the nature of the task. 

Assessment criteria

4.47.       The BoE must ensure that:

(a)   clear assessment criteria are published with the details of each assessment task in the subject outline; and

(b)   assessment standards are explicit, and provide an explanation or example of the qualities of work required to achieve particular grades. Explanations of assessment criteria are:

i. specific to each task;

ii. clearly worded in plain English;

iii. sufficiently detailed so as to provide guidance to students undertaking assessment tasks, but not so detailed as to make the task meaningless (i.e. by providing ‘the answer’);

iv. justifiable (i.e. linked to the learning objectives of the subject);

v. except for pass/fail subjects, structured to enable differentiation between levels of performance;

vi. appropriate to assessment weightings (i.e. of sufficient detail given the relative importance of the task); and

vii. supported by a verbal or written statement about what constitutes the various levels of performance (e.g. what constitutes ‘outstanding’ versus ‘adequate’ level work and examples of each where practical)

Hurdle requirements

4.48.       Where a hurdle requirement is part of the assessment for a subject, the particular nature of the requirement, and the consequences for failing to meet it, must be published in the subject outline.

4.49.       Students who do not satisfy the hurdle requirements in a subject fail that subject, even if they have obtained more than 50% of the marks available by completing other components of assessment.

4.50.       A BoE may also set pass/fail hurdle requirements where a task (such as practical work):

(a)   is not able to be graded; and

(b)   where the final result in the subject is dependent on performance in theoretical work weighted at 100%of the assessment.

Examinations

4.51.       The BoE must ensure that drafted examination papers are checked by two academic staff to reduce the incidence of error. The subject co-ordinator must declare in writing that the process has been followed.

4.52.       Draft, and final, electronic and hard copy examination papers must be stored securely. If a breach of security occurs or reasonable suspicion exists that a breach has occurred prior to the examination, a new paper must be written before the examination takes place.

4.53.       If a breach is detected following commencement of the examination, the BoE must decide an appropriate outcome that maintains the integrity of the subject, including whether an alternative assessment task will be administered.

4.54.       Staff in breach of handling and storage rules may be subject to disciplinary action.

4.55.       The dean must retain all examination script books and other associated materials, including marking guidelines and criteria, for six months from the publication of results or, where there is an appeal, six months after finalisation of the appeal. Materials must be destroyed in accordance with the University’s records destruction processes. Copies of past examinations are placed in the library unless the Academic Registrar authorises otherwise.

Group, collaborative and syndicate work

4.56.       When setting group tasks and collaborative work as assessment tasks, the BoE must ensure that:

(a)   the tasks are carefully planned to ensure that contributions from all students to a project or task are equal, or that where they are not, marks are assigned to individuals on the basis of their contribution;

(b)   assessment marking criteria indicate how particular aspects of the group activity and the final product, relate to the learning outcomes and objectives of the subject; and

(c)    where teamwork and cooperation are to be assessed as part of group work, the marking criteria clearly outlines how performance on these aspects are judged by the examiner.

Assessment of students on professional placements

4.57.       Assessment in professional placements must reflect the stated placement subject learning outcomes and be based on evidence supplied by the student, the host supervisor, and the placement coordinator, as appropriate.

4.58.       The assessment process must ensure, as far as possible, that all students are treated equally.

4.59.       Students must receive ongoing feedback during the placement, provided by the placement coordinator and/or host supervisor.

4.60.       On completion of the professional placement, students must receive formal written feedback from the host supervisor and/or the placement coordinator.

4.61.       Students must be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the professional placement.

Assessment timing

4.62.       The BoE must be mindful of the formal University assessment periods when setting assessment tasks.:

(a)   Wherever possible, students should be provided with meaningful formative assessment tasks early in the teaching period, as early assessment of performance may assist in identifying students ‘at risk’ and addressing academic performance issues.

(b)   In first year undergraduate subjects, at least one assessment component must be set so that it is submitted, marked and returned to the student within the first 6 weeks of the teaching period to allow students to act on the feedback in preparation for final assessment.

(c)    The final piece of assessment in a subject is due within the defined assessment period for the subject, following the conclusion of teaching.

(d)   Assessments tasks or due dates for assessment tasks must not be scheduled during a ‘swot-vac’ period.

(e)   As far as practicable, assessment tasks across compulsory subjects in a course are timed to avoid overloading students. 

Marking criteria

4.63.       The BoE must ensure that agreed documented assessment marking criteria are used to set standards which:

(a)   ensure alignment between learning outcomes and assessment;

(b)   ensure, as far as practicable, that every examiner and assistant marker in the subject applies the same marking standard to demonstrate equity of marking; and

(c)    reduce the number of differences in marking during moderation of results.

4.64.       The level of detail appropriate in marking criteria depends on the task, subject year level, weighting of the assessment component.

4.65.       Marking criteria must align with the explanation of assessment criteria provided to students.

4.66.       The BoE must ensure that all staff marking assessment tasks apply the approved marking criteria to assist in fair and equitable treatment of students.

Anonymous marking

4.67.       Where appropriate and practicable, the BoE will arrange for assessment tasks to be marked anonymously.

4.68.       As far as practicable, information identifying students (other than student numbers) are not to be combined with the marks allocated to their work until the end of the marking process.

4.69.       Anonymous marking is unlikely to be practicable and appropriate in some situations including:

(a)   group projects, where each participant’s contribution might need to be established;

(b)   small-weight, regularly submitted assessment tasks where a student’s identity must be known to enable tracking of a student’s progress through continuous or ongoing assessment activities;

(c)    small classes, where the marker would likely be able to identify the student from the content of an assessment task;

(d)   oral examinations;

(e)   thesis examinations;

(f)     examination of work-based learning;

(g)    examination of studio performance;

(h)   examination of laboratory-based and clinical learning;

(i)     examination of creative, design or technical work produced under the supervision of academic staff; or

(j)     where it is pedagogically appropriate for teaching staff to know the names of the students they are assessing and to exercise a professional judgement about a student’s attainment of the objectives of the subject, in order to provide appropriate feedback.

4.70.       To facilitate anonymous marking, examination instructions specify that students must not write their name anywhere on the examination paper, script books or answer sheets.

4.71.       Examination supervisors must verify, at the time of an examination, the accuracy of the student identity information students enter on the examination documentation.

4.72.       Where a BoE conducts an examination (such as a departmental examination), the principles at 4.70 and 4.71 are used wherever practicable to facilitate anonymous marking.

Double marking

4.73.       Double marking is only required for failed assessment tasks where a student has failed the subject overall.

4.74.       A student can only be deemed to have failed a subject after each failed assessment component in the subject (except class participation) has been marked by two independent examiners or assistant markers, at least one of whom is a member of the BoE or authorised to mar by the BoE chair.

4.75.       Wherever possible, copies of submitted work will be retained, whether failed or passed, until six months after the conclusion of the assessment in the subject, to enable double marking as required.

4.76.       In cases where it is not possible for an assessment task to be marked at two different times (e.g. performance or oral presentation), two examiners should be present at the execution of the assessment task and agree on a mark to be awarded or a recording of the assessment task used for the second marking.

4.77.       To ensure that assessment is perceived to be unbiased, the chair of the BoE must:

(a)   be aware of, and act to mitigate, any potential conflict of interest; and

(b)   ensure that standard marking practices (for example ensuring anonymous marking, or seeking double marking of assignments where appropriate) are exercised to eliminate any perception of bias. 

Determination of final results

4.78.       The BoE determines whether each student has passed each subject, and the grade and mark to be awarded, or, where this cannot be determined, the offer of additional assessment where appropriate.

4.79.       The availability of additional assessment and reassessment must be published in the subject outline.

Further assessment (supplementary assessment)

4.80.       The BoE may allow a student to undertake further assessment if the examiners are in doubt as to whether the student has passed or otherwise satisfied the assessment requirements; or the grade to be awarded to the student.

4.81.       Further assessment:

(a)   must be undertaken before publication of the results for the assessment task;

(b)   in any form and subject to any conditions specified by the BoE. 

Reassessment

4.82.        Re-assessment is not available in all courses. The dean determines the availability of reassessment and publishes applicable details in subject outlines.

4.83.        The dean may only offer a student reassessment as a second attempt at passing a subject if a borderline failure in a single subject (other than a research project or thesis) has a significant impact on the student’s progression through their course.

4.84.        A borderline failure is usually a mark of 45% or more, however the dean may apply a 40% mark threshold where failure may have a significant impact on course progression.

4.85.        The BoE determines the form of reassessment to be offered to students.

4.86.        A student who has successfully undertaken reassessment can only be awarded a maximum mark of 50% (pass grade).

Distribution of grades

4.87.       To ensure consistency and equality of outcomes, the dean must monitor and review the distribution of grades awarded in each subject.

4.88.       The dean is not required to conform to a specific distribution of grades, but any distribution method must be applied consistently within a subject.

Re-scaling/standardisation of marks

4.89.       The BoE may authorise the moderation or standardisation of provisional results of a subject where:

(a)   an error has been identified in the application of marking guidelines;

(b)   the results for a cohort are disproportionate;

(c)    an irregular distribution of grades is observed (that is, where results are outside an appropriate distribution).

4.90.       Whenever adjustment takes place it must be documented and transparent, and the method defined and available to students.

4.91.       Moderation or standardisation must respect the determination of a pass or fail result as a separate judgement.

Uncollected assignments

4.92.       The teaching department retains uncollected assessment tasks for at least six months following release of final results in the relevant subject.

4.93.       Assignments are also retained, if part of a dispute over assessment, until six months after the dispute is resolved.

4.94.       Following the six month period or resolution of the dispute assignments are disposed of as confidential waste according to University process.

Final subject assessment

4.95.       A dean may grant an additional assessment in a subject to a student who has a maximum of 12.5 points required to complete the degree, if:

(a)   the subject was undertaken in the student’s final teaching period:

(i)   the student achieved a final result between 40 – 49%; and

(ii)   is worth 12.5 credit points or less.

or

(b)   the subject was undertaken in the penultimate teaching period and is not offered in the student’s final teaching period:

(i)   the student achieved a final result between 40 – 49%;

(ii)   the subject is compulsory for their degree or major; and

(iii)   is worth 12.5 credit points or less

4.96.       Final subject assessment is only available once to a student in respect of a particular course.

4.97.       Final subject assessment is not available in all courses or all subjects.

4.98.       Final subject assessment is not available if:

(a)   failure in the subject was caused by student academic misconduct; or

(b)   a student was awarded a NH grade due to failure to participate in a component of assessment that was a hurdle requirement or failure to attend or participate in the subject as required.

4.99.       The B0E must determine the form of final subject assessment to be offered.

4.100.       Examiners can award a maximum mark of 50% (pass grade) in a subject where final subject assessment has been offered and satisfactorily completed.

Review of assessment of student work

4.101.       A BoE may review an item of assessment to determine whether:

(a)   the assessment item was correctly marked; and / or

(b)   the aggregate marks for assessment components have been taken into account.

4.102.       A student may request a review of a result in an assessment task within 10 business days after the publication of the results for the assessed item unless, in exceptional circumstances, the dean allows a longer period. The request must include a rationale.

4.103.       Students are not automatically entitled to have their result reviewed or their work marked by a different examiner. Students should initially seek feedback on their mark. After doing so, and if the student wishes to pursue an allegation of an error in academic judgement by an examiner, the chair of the BoE must determine whether the original mark was appropriately reached according to established marking criteria.

4.104.       Where the chair of the BoE determines that the original mark was appropriately reached, in accordance with the marking criteria, the mark will not be reviewed further.

4.105.       If the chair of the BoE allows a review, and remarking, following the review, a BoE may:

(a)   award an improved mark;

(b)   decide that the original mark stands; or

(c)    award a lower mark.

Feedback to students

4.106.       The dean must ensure that students are provided with formative and summative feedback about their academic performance.

4.107.       Examiners must not communicate with students about the result of an assessment component before the results of that component are released, and feedback should only be given once results are released.

4.108.       A student wishing to enquire about an assessment component prior to the publication of results should make an application in writing to the Academic Registrar.

4.109.       Feedback and comments to students should indicate how the student has performed against the assessment criteria. Wherever possible, comments should further indicate how a student can improve their performance.

4.110.       Students may request access to their examination scripts by making a request in writing to the dean/subject coordinator by the end of the second week of the following teaching period.

4.111.       The dean must provide appointment times for students with examiners after return of results on each assessment component to allow students to address any problems / poor performance and/or be able to access support services of the University provided for them if required.

4.112.       The chair of the BoE must ensure that examiners in each subject are available to provide feedback to students about their performance after the release of results in that subject.

4.113.       If requested, examiners must provide students with a detailed account of their marks for a subject, including the marks awarded to each assessment component and the calculation used to determine the final overall subject mark and grade.

Assessment adjustments

4.114.       The University recognises that the ability of a student to complete assessment or meet assessment deadlines may be genuinely and significantly affected by:

(a)   exceptional and extenuating circumstances outside the student’s control; or

(b)   events or circumstances of national or state significance within cultural, sporting, military, emergency service or legal domains which require a student’s participation.

4.115.       Reasonable and equitable assessment adjustments may be provided and must ensure:

(a)   the academic integrity of assessment of learning outcomes for subjects or courses; and

(b)   equity for all students; and

(c)    that the marking criteria ensures equivalence between marks awarded for a student sitting an alternative assessment task to a student undertaking the prescribed assessment task. 

Special consideration

4.116.       A student is eligible, upon application, for special consideration for assessment tasks if the student—

(a)   has been hampered, to a significant degree, by illness or other exceptional cause or extenuating circumstance in undertaking assessment for the subject;

(b)   has been prevented by illness or other extraordinary cause from preparing or presenting for a component of assessment, or part of a component of assessment; or

(c)    has been, to a severe or significant degree, adversely affected by illness or other exceptional cause or extenuating circumstance, during the performance of a component of assessment.

4.117.       For the avoidance of doubt, if a student has a medical condition that does not prevent him or her from attending or sitting an examination or test, the student:

(a)   must attend and sit the examination or test; and

(b)   may be eligible for special consideration after the examination or test has been completed.

4.118.       An application for special consideration may be refused if:

(a)   it is not submitted in the manner and timeframe required by this policy;

(b)   the student has not complied with all other mandatory requirements for successful completion of the subject; or

(c)    it is not supported by appropriate documentary evidence. 

Other requests for adjustments to assessment

4.119.       Upon request from a student, the dean may make reasonable adjustments to assessment requirements for a student with a verified disability, medical or other circumstance (including elite athletes and performers, defence reservists and emergency volunteers) to provide equality of opportunity to fulfil course and subject requirements.

4.120.       The dean may make alternate arrangements for assessment, upon a student request, if:

(a)   a student is, or was, unable to attend assessment or undertake another form of assessment due to exceptional circumstances; or

(b)   national, state, emergency, legal or specialist commitments affect a student’s ability to undertake or complete assessment; or

(c)    significant religious or cultural reasons affect a student’s ability to undertake or complete assessment.

4.121.       A request for assessment adjustments may be refused if:

(a)   the assessment adjustments requested are not reasonable;

(b)   the request is not made within a reasonable time to allow adjustments to be made; or

(c)    the request is not supported by appropriate documentary evidence.

4.122.       Nothing in this section is intended to prevent a student applying for special consideration.

Additional factors for consideration

4.123.       In providing assessment adjustments, factors that the dean may consider include:

(a)   the nature of the student’s educational disadvantage or particular needs;

(b)   the requirements and any constraints of particular assessment items or tasks;

(c)    the requirements and any constraints of particular subject or course; and

(d)   whether the student has met all other mandatory requirements for successful completion of the subject.

Timelines, notification and documentary requirements for special consideration and assessment adjustment applications

4.124.       Applications for special consideration must be made within 4 working days of the examination date or assessment due date and must be supported by documentary evidence that may include:

(a)   a pro-forma report completed by a health professional; or

(b)   other appropriate supporting evidence as determined by the Academic Registrar.

4.125.       To support timely academic progress of students, outcomes of applications for special consideration must be provided to an applicant:

(a)   within 5 working days of receipt of the application and the supporting documentation, except for applications relating to final assessment tasks; and

(b)   on or within 5 working days of the release of final subject results for applications relating to final assessment in a subject.

4.126.       Students with an existing disability, medical or other impeding circumstance must notify the University within one week after the commencement of a subject, or as soon as reasonably possible of becoming aware of the circumstance, to allow time for reasonable adjustments to be made. Requests for reasonable adjustments must be supported by documentary evidence that may include:

(a)   a pro-forma report designed for completion by a health professional; or

(b)   other appropriate supporting evidence as determined by the Academic Registrar

4.127.       Nothing in 4.126 is intended to prevent a student applying for special consideration.

Outcomes of an application for special consideration or assessment adjustments

4.128.       In response to an eligible application for special consideration, or a request for assessment adjustment, the dean may:

(a)   defer assessment;

(b)   grant an extended period for assessment;

(c)    approve special arrangements for assessment;

(d)   allow additional assessment;

(e)   permit a resubmission of assessment;

(f)     adjust the relative weighting assigned to components of assessment where this does not affect learning outcomes or academic standards (applies to shorter assessments only);

(g)    allow the student to re-do one or more assessment tasks; or

(h)   authorise late withdrawal from the subject.

4.129.       Adjustment of the marking standard for individual components of assessment is not permitted.

4.130.       Where a student is offered, accepts and undertakes a special assessment, the mark from the special assessment will supersede the mark from the first assessment, regardless of which is the higher.

Further special consideration or assessment adjustments

4.131.       Special consideration applications relating to a particular assessment task or variation to assessment for which special consideration has already been granted are only considered in exceptional circumstances and, in those cases, only once.

4.132.       Where a student is unable to complete special assessments, the dean may withdraw the student from the subject and adjust their study plan accordingly. 

Extensions to assessment due dates of up to 10 working days

4.133.       Notwithstanding any provision of this policy, a dean may grant an extension of up to 10 working days:

(a)   due to unforeseen circumstances that impact on a student during the time allocated for the preparation of an item of assessment; and

(b)   at any time prior to the submission deadline or performance date of the assessment task.

4.134.       Students must apply for an extension under this section directly to the relevant faculty in accordance with the faculty’s published process.

4.135.       Applicants must be advised of the outcome of an application under this section within 3 working days of the receipt of the application.

4.136.       Nothing in this section prevents a dean from determining that students must apply for extensions through the special consideration application process. 

Coursework thesis

4.137.       A dean can only admit a student into a course with a compulsory thesis component if:

(a)   an appropriate supervisor can be appointed in a timely manner and adequate supervision can be provided on a continuing basis;

(b)   appropriate resources can be provided to support the student;

(c)    a suitable thesis topic is available; and

(d)   the thesis component can be examined in accordance with this policy.

4.138.       Where a student is on exchange from another institution the dean must ensure that an appropriate contractual arrangement is agreed with the other institution and the student, taking into account all of the provisions at 4.137.

4.139.       The dean must determine faculty rules governing the following matters and publish them to students:

(a)   the number of supervisors to be appointed;

(b)   processes for the submission of research proposals, the acceptance of candidature and the approval of the research topic;

(c)    deadlines for submission of progress reports and of the final thesis, and intermission of and extensions to thesis candidature;

(d)   the form of presentation of the completed thesis or report, the form of binding (where relevant) and the nature of any oral presentation that is required; and

(e)   the process for examination, including the number of examiners and whether the examiners are internal, external or a combination of both.

4.140.       The dean must:

(a)   advise students no later than their commencement in the thesis subject on how the supervision process will proceed

(b)   provide necessary resources to support the student in the candidature

(c)   hear any complaints concerning the candidature, within the terms of University policy on the handling of student complaints and grievances

(d)   provide appropriate induction to students on the research and the submission of the thesis, including policies on:

i. research integrity;

ii. academic misconduct and plagiarism;

iii. research ethics;

iv. intellectual property.

4.141.       The dean must appoint supervisors in a timely way, ensuring that:

(a)   supervisors are qualified to at least one AQF level higher than the student they will supervise, and have formal qualifications or experience and knowledge in the relevant discipline;

(b)   where a student is placed in an affiliated organisation for the purpose of undertaking the thesis or project, and a member of staff of that organisation will supervise the student as the principal or sole supervisor, that person is contracted to the University for the purposes of supervising the student in accordance with the Supervisor Eligibility and Registration Policy;

(c)    where a member of staff from a non-affiliated external organisation will supervise the student, they are appointed as an associate supervisor, not the principal supervisor;

(d)   where the principal supervisor is not a member of the student’s home department, the program co-ordinator (or nominee) acts as a departmental supervisor; and

(e)   where a supervisor becomes unavailable during a student’s candidature, a replacement is appointed as soon as practicable so that there is no loss of continuity in supervision.

4.142.       A dean may appoint an additional supervisor from an appropriate discipline to co-supervise students where the research is of an interdisciplinary nature.

Results release and publication

4.143.       The chair of the BoE must ensure that final assessment results in a subject are returned in the form and timeline specified by the Academic Registrar.

4.144.       Prior to the release of final results, examiners may provide students with raw scores (or provisional results) on return of a component of assessment. If the score is subject to adjustment, for example, scaling to take account of distribution of grades, students should be advised accordingly.

4.145.       The Academic Registrar publishes all results of final assessment.

Changes to results

4.146.       A dean or the President of the Board may alter a grade if:

(a)   the alteration is necessary to correct a patent error; or

(b)   the alteration is necessary to make the grade accord with the grade which would have been awarded if relevant circumstances, which were not considered at the time of the determination of the grade, had been taken into consideration.

4.147.       A dean may, on the advice of the BoE, approve changes to result prior to publication and after publication if:

(a)   it is less than 3 months since the publication of results; and

(b)   on the advice of the BoE.

4.148.       All other result changes must be approved by the president of the Board.

4.149.       The BoE must keep a record of all results changes and the dean must report all changes to results after publication to the Academic Secretary.

Grading and results

4.150.       The grading scheme is approved by the Board. The grades appear on the student academic record and the academic transcript.

Final Result Types

4.151.       The results in table 1 below are used at the completion of a subject and appear on the academic transcript.

Table 1

Grade

Mark

Descriptor

Explanation

H1

(80% - 100%)

First Class Honours

 

H2A

(75% - 79%)

Second Class Honours Division A

 

H2B

(70% - 74%)

Second Class Honours Division B

 

H3

(65% - 69%

Third Class Honours

 

P

(50% - 64%)

Pass

 

N

(0-49%)

Fail

No credit points are awarded.

CMP

-

Completed

Pass (no mark awarded). Only used for subjects marked on a pass/fail basis.

CNT

Mark not awarded

Continuing

Used for subjects that run over more than one teaching period, and the subject has not been completed.

CTC

See the explanation

Continuing – Completed

Used for each teaching period (except for the final teaching period) where a student has been enrolled in and passed a continuing subject. When the subject is completed, for subjects that are not marked on a pass/fail basis, an overall mark (%) will also be recorded against each enrolment in the subject.

CNF

See the explanation

Continuing -
Fail

Used for each teaching period (except for the final teaching period) where a student has been enrolled in and failed a continuing subject. When the subject is completed, for subjects that are not marked on a pass/fail basis, an overall mark (%) will also be recorded against each enrolment in the subject.

FL

-

Fail

Fail (no mark awarded) Only used for subjects marked on a pass/fail basis.

NH 

49%

Not Completed/

Fail

Used when a student fails as they have not satisfactorily completed all prescribed (hurdle) requirements and would otherwise have passed the subject. A mark of 49% appears on the transcript.

WD

-

Withdrawn

Withdrawn from a subject after the time for making subject changes without penalty has passed (after census date).

NA

-

Not Assessed

Used for subjects that are non-assessable, such as Community Access Program audit studies

Interim Result Types

4.152.       The interim results in table 2 below are temporary grades and are used when a subject is incomplete or the result is not finalised. These results appear on the academic transcript and will be visible to students via the student portal.

Table 2

Grade

Mark

Descriptor

Explanation

GNS

-

Grade Not Submitted

Assessment for the subject is incomplete. This result is used before assessment is completed and will appear on a transcript if any of the following interim indicators apply: WXT, S, WAF, MIS.

CNT

Mark not awarded

Continuing

Used for subjects that run over more than one teaching period, and where the subject has not been completed.

4.153.         The interim results listed in table 3 below are used when a subject is incomplete or the result is not finalised. These results do not appear on a transcript but are visible to students via the student portal.

Table 3

Grade

Mark

Descriptor

Explanation

WXT

-

Withheld – Extension

Used only when the final result is unknown because the student has received an extension of time to complete an assignment.

S

-

Awarded a special or supplementary examination

Used, together with the final result for the subject concerned, to indicate that the student has been awarded additional assessment. The final result and relevant grade will appear on the transcript.

WAF

-

Withheld – assessment to be finalised 

Used when the faculty has decided to withhold the grade. This would be used, for example, where additional assessment in the form of an assignment or an examination is being considered, or the result has been withheld pending the outcome of an academic misconduct hearing.

MIS

-

Missing result

Used when no result has yet been entered for the subject. It should not be used where a department or faculty has made an active decision to withhold the grade (see WAF)

Course level results

4.154.       Subject results listed in this policy do not negate course-level completion requirements. 

5. Procedural principles

Professional placement assessment and conduct

5.1.       The dean must appoint a placement co-ordinator for relevant subjects.

5.2.       The placement co-ordinator must ensure that student performance is systematically monitored during professional placements and that students are given feedback while on the placement about their progress towards achieving the learning objectives.

5.3.       Students may be identified as at risk of unsatisfactory performance in the placement by either the host supervisor and or the placement coordinator in accordance with the criteria provided to the student prior to commencement of the professional placement.

5.4.       Students may be identified as at risk of unsatisfactory performance in the professional placement if they have failed to:

(a)   maintain satisfactory attendance;

(b)   complete at a satisfactory standard in academic or professional components specified for the professional placement; or

(c)    maintain an appropriate standard of conduct.

5.5.       The placement coordinator must notify a student identified as at risk of unsatisfactory performance in the placement in writing, including clear information about the following:

(a)   why they are at risk of unsatisfactory performance in the placement

(b)   possible remedial action

(c)    the timeframe for taking remedial action

(d)   that if they continue to be at risk of unsatisfactory performance in the placement, the placement may be terminated and a fail grade awarded.

5.6.       Where a student‘s performance in a placement has been deemed unsatisfactory the placement coordinator may:

(a)   approve an alternative placement opportunity for the student; or

(b)   terminate the placement;

(c)    recommend a fail grade for the placement/subject.

5.7.       During a professional placement, students must:

(a)   adhere to all by-laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the placement organisation, including any dress codes;

(b)   abide by all University statutes regulations and policies;

(c)    maintain a level of conduct appropriate to a student in a professional setting;

(d)   maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality regarding their placement or volunteer experiences and information which they have gained through the placement, in accordance with the placement organisation’s privacy requirements and University policy;

(e)   advise the host supervisor immediately of any incident or concern regarding their safety and well-being during the placement or volunteer activity;

(f)     inform both the host supervisor and the placement coordinator of any absences from the placement and complete and/or provide any required documentation relating to absence from the placement; and

(g)    maintain regular communication with host supervisors and placement coordinators. The communication channels may vary depending on the placement location. Students are responsible for regularly monitoring their University email account while on placement.

5.8.       Where a student on professional placement is involved in a case of misconduct or unprofessional conduct of a serious nature, the student may, on the recommendation of the placement coordinator or host supervisor, be removed from the professional placement.

5.9.       The placement coordinator must inform the student of the reason for their removal and report the details of the incident to the relevant dean in accordance with the Student Academic Integrity Policy or the Academic Registrar in accordance with the Student Conduct Policy, whichever applies.

Results moderation and verification

5.10.       The dean must have a process in place that ensures that:

(a)   different staff members are involved in the entry and verification of results on the student system so that the person who enters the results does not verify the results;

(b)   the person who verifies the results must cross-check the results to ensure that the results match those that have been approved by the BoE; and

(c)   a record of the results that have been approved by the BoE are retained in accordance with the University’s policy on records retention.

Coursework thesis supervision

5.11.       The supervisor(s) must:

(a)   determine a suitable research topic, or where the thesis topic is negotiable, negotiate a suitable research topic with the student and, where applicable, assist the student to prepare the research proposal;

(b)   complete the supervision checklist in consultation with the student;

(c)    participate in student induction processes concerning policies relevant to the research topic and methodology, and assist students with any queries on research policies as required;

(d)   discuss authorship, citation and intellectual property issues before the start of the thesis;

(e)   arrange regular meetings with the student to discuss the design and conduct of the research, its outcomes and the preparation of the thesis or report and any oral presentations required;

(f)     guide the student to appropriate reference material;

(g)    provide advice and feedback on the conduct of the research, on any seminars and written submissions presented by the student and on drafts of the thesis or report prior to submission;

(h)   inform the dean if the student fails to attend scheduled meetings without reason;

(i)     check drafts for writing style and presentation problems; and

(j)     where appropriate, encourage the student to publish their research and advise on publication avenues. 

Coursework thesis examination

5.12.       The chair of the BoE must ensure that thesis examinations are undertaken within a published timeframe, recognising the contribution of coursework thesis marks to students’ options for employment and further study.

5.13.       The chair of the BoE appoints the examiner(s).

5.14.       Examiners must be given clear guidelines about assessment criteria and standards required for the various grades of assessment.

5.15.       Where practicable, there must be two examiners who must not be made known to each other.

5.16.       Where more than one examiner is engaged, the process for arriving at a single mark and grade is:

(a)   If the examiners’ numeric marks are 80 or above, the average of the examiners’ numeric marks are recorded as the final mark.

(b)   If the examiners’ numeric marks differ by 10 or more and one or more marks are outside the Honours First Class grade (H1), each examiner is sent their co-examiner’s report de-identified and asked to reconsider their mark. If after this process:

i. the difference in numeric mark remains 10 or more and one or more marks are outside the H1 grade, another examiner is appointed.

ii. the difference in numeric marks is less than 10 the final mark is the average of the two adjusted marks

(c)    If the result of the first examination is ‘revise and resubmit’, examiners are not asked to provide a numerical mark on second examination of the thesis. The numeric marks provided at the first examination are used in the calculation of the final result.

(d)   If the result of the second examination is ‘pass’ or ‘pass with amendments’, the average of the examiners’ original marks are recorded as the final mark, unless the average mark is below a pass mark in which case a pass mark only is recorded.

(e)   When an additional examiner is appointed, following an initial examination by one or two examiners, the additional examiner is not informed of the other mark(s), nor provided with the written comments of the previous examiner(s).

(f)     After additional marks and comments have been received, the final mark is the rounded average of the additional examiner’s mark and the one or two marks provided by the first examiner(s).

(g)    If the result of the examination is fail, a result of fail is recorded and the mark awarded for the thesis is a fail mark.

(h)   The BoE releases an overall mark for the thesis. The chair of examiners provides feedback on the thesis to the student based on information of a general nature included in the written examiners’ comments ensuring that the anonymity of examiners is preserved.

The weighted average mark (WAM)

5.17.       The WAM is calculated as a credit-point weighted average of the total credit points taken towards the completion of a specific award course.

5.18.       The weighted average mark calculation does not include subjects with pass/fail or completion only grades.

5.19.       Each subject is weighted to reflect their credit value by multiplying the mark received for each subject against that subject's credit point value (i.e. 12.5 for most undergraduate subjects offered at the University of Melbourne). Each multiplication is then added together and then divided by the total amount of credit points for subjects undertaken:

(a)       Sum of (Mark x credit points of subject)

(b)       Sum of (Total credit points of subjects)

5.20.       Subjects included in the WAM calculation are subjects for which:

(a)   % mark (0-100) is recorded; including failed subjects; and/or

(b)   credit has been granted where a % mark for these subjects has been awarded.

5.21.       Subjects excluded from the WAM calculation are subjects where:

(a)         no % mark has been recorded ;and/or

(b)         the credit points are 0 (e.g. all time-based research subjects are excluded).

5.22.       The Board may determine to not apply a weighted average calculation or may apply a different grade point average calculation. 

Examination Rules

5.23.       The examination rules apply to all supervised written examinations at the University.

5.24.       Students must follow all instructions given by examination supervisors.

5.25.       Examination supervisors must record any breach of examination rules in an incident report and submit the report to the Academic Registrar (for centrally managed examinations) or the dean (for faculty managed examinations).

5.26.       Any breach of the examination rules is misconduct and is dealt with in accordance with the Student Academic Integrity Policy or the Student Conduct Policy, whichever applies.

Examination Rules - Arrival and departure

5.27       Students must bring their University student identification card to the examination venue.

5.28.       Students who have lost their University  student identification card must bring a copy of their statement of enrolment and one of the following alternative forms of photo identification:

(a)   a passport;

(b)   an Australian state or territory issued drivers licence; or

(c)    an Australian state or territory issued proof of identity card.

5.29.       If students do not have their University student identification card or approved alternative identification with them, they must:

(a)   advise an examination supervisor prior to the commencement of writing time; and

(b)   report to the examination supervisor at the end of the examination in order to have their identity validated against the image stored in the student system.

5.30.       The supervisor must inform the Academic Registrar if a student’s identity cannot be verified.

5.31.       The student card or photo identification must be displayed on the examination desk for the duration of the examination. The student’s online statement of enrolment may be checked at the examination venue.

5.32.       Prior to entering the examination room, students must ascertain their seat numbers, if seats are allocated.

5.33.       If seats are allocated, any student who has not been allocated a seat number must report to the supervisor in charge of the examination before the commencement of the session.

5.34.       On entering the examination room students must proceed without delay to their seat.

5.35.       No student may enter the examination room more than 30 minutes after the commencement of the writing period except if their lateness was due to factors outside their control and if no student has already left the examination.

5.36.    Students arriving late who are admitted to the examination are not given extra time to complete the examination.

5.37.    Students who arrive late and who are not admitted to the examination, may submit an application for special consideration in accordance with this policy.

5.38.    Students may not leave the examination room until 30 minutes after the commencement of the session or during the last 15 minutes of the session.

5.39.    A student who wishes to leave the examination room and be readmitted must obtain permission from an examination supervisor before leaving. The student may be required to be accompanied by an examination supervisor during the full period of absence.

Examination Rules - Reading and writing time

5.40.       Reading time takes place at the start of the examination.

5.41.       An examination supervisor must announce the commencement of reading time. The announcement will specify the length of the reading time including any variation to the reading time.

5.42.       Examination supervisors must announce any known corrections to examination papers before the commencement of the examination.

5.43.       Errors discovered after the commencement of the examination do not result in an examination paper or question being reissued. In such cases, subject coordinators adjust the criteria applied and the marks for the examination within the previously notified limits of the assessment task.

5.44.       The time allocated for the writing of answers is shown on the front page of the examination paper.

5.45.       Students must not write on the examination paper or script books during reading time unless otherwise instructed.

5.46.       Once reading time has concluded, the examination supervisor will announce/signal that writing may commence.

5.47.       When the writing signal/announcement is given and before answering any questions, students must:

(a)   enter their personal details and sign the examination attendance form distributed with their examination paper;

(b)   complete the information required on the cover of the script book, or the examination paper and/or answer sheet as directed;

(c)    if more than one script book or examination paper and/or answer sheet is used, the information must be completed on each; and

(d)   in each script book students must record how many scripts books were used to complete the examination, as follows 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3.

5.48.       Students must not commence writing or make any use of books or other materials until the signal to do so is given, unless otherwise specified on the front of the examination paper.

5.49.        Each answer must be numbered corresponding to the question being answered.

5.50.        Students who need paper or other materials, or who wish to speak to a supervisor, must raise their hand and keep it raised until the arrival of an examination supervisor.

5.51.        Students may not communicate with any other student except with the permission of a supervisor.

5.52.        Students must not look at or copy other candidates’ work.

5.53.        Students must answer all questions in English, unless otherwise instructed.

5.54.        Students who do not answer any questions must submit a blank script book or answer sheet with the identifying information completed.

5.55.        A warning signal is given 10 minutes before the end of the examination

5.56.        A final signal is given at the end of the examination time. and all writing must cease, including numbering of questions and completion of covers/identifying information.

5.57.        At the final signal students must:

(a)   cease all writing, including numbering of questions and completion of covers/identifying information;

(b)   place all materials, including examination papers and completed script books/answer sheets and other materials together as directed; and

(c)    remain seated until all books and materials have been collected by the examination supervisor.

5.58.        Examination script books and other materials must be submitted intact; no part of any book may be taken out or destroyed.

5.59.        Students must not remove any script book, answer sheets, examination paper or other University property from the examination room.

Examination Rules - Authorised materials

5.60.           Students may bring into the examination room:

(a)   loose pens;

(b)   pencils;

(c)    erasers; and

(d)   permitted mathematical instruments.

(e)    a clear bottle of water;

(f)     prescribed / necessary medications; and

(g)    any other items approved as part of alternative examination arrangements, such as:

i. ergonomic supports,

ii. heat packs,

iii. diabetes testing and treatment kits, and

iv. technology customised to individual needs, e.g. Braille note computer.

5.61.           Small items listed at 5.60 must be carried into the exam in a clear plastic bag.

5.62.           Calculators may only be brought into the examination room if their use is required or permitted by the BoE for the subject being examined.

5.63.           Items specifically indicated on the examination cover sheet and academic materials permitted for use during the examination may also be brought into the examination room. These items may be specific or general.

5.64.           Dictionaries must not contain notes or annotations of any kind.

5.65.           Where an examination has been nominated as open book, authorised materials include hard copy textbooks and course notes, and any other materials specified by the subject coordinator and indicated on the examination cover sheet.

Examination Rules - Unauthorised materials

5.66.           Unauthorised materials taken into an examination venue must be placed beneath a student’s desk before the commencement of reading time.

5.67.           Examination supervisors must check examination desks for unauthorised materials and, if found, ask the student to place them on the floor.

5.68.           Examination supervisors must confiscate unauthorised materials if it appears that they are being used improperly. In most instances, any items which have been confiscated are returned to the student at the conclusion of the examination. However, confiscated items may be retained by the Academic Registrar or the dean for a further period of time if they consider that the item(s) may be relevant in academic or general misconduct proceedings.

5.69.           A supervisor who takes possession of material must make a note of the relevant events and report them to the relevant faculty dean or, where the student concerned is enrolled in a course which does not pertain to a faculty, to the Academic Registrar.

5.70.           Except as otherwise indicated at 5.65, the following are unauthorised materials:

(a)   textbooks;

(b)   notebooks;

(c)    diaries;

(d)   paper, including blank paper;

(e)   manuscripts;

(f)     course notes and other study materials;

(g)    calculators, unless authorised by the examiner;

(h)   wristwatches;

(i)     mobile telephones;

(j)     audio or video equipment;

(k)    tablets, laptops and other electronic devices;

(l)     pencil cases

(m)  notes of any kind including those written on rulers, calculators or calculator covers, on the student’s body or anywhere else;

(n)   periodic tables and formula sheets;

(o)   bags;

(p)   equipment cases; or

(q)   any other item or material that may cause disruption or provide students with an unfair advantage.

Placement of unauthorised materials

5.71.           Mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic devices, wallets and purses must be placed beneath the student’s desk.

5.72.           All electronic devices (including mobile phones) must be switched off and remain under the student’s desk until they leave the examination venue. No items may be taken to the toilet.

5.73.           Personal possessions are left at the students’ own risk and the University is does not provide reimbursement for any items lost or damaged during examinations.

Examination scheduling

5.74. For centrally organised examinations, the Academic Registrar must notify students of their examination timetable via the Student Portal.

5.75. Examination schedulers:

(a)   must endeavour to minimise the number of:

i. examinations a student is required to sit in a 24-hour period;

ii. examination clashes for students;

iii. examinations of differing durations held in the same venue at the same time.

(b)   arrange special sittings for students who have:

i. more than two examinations on one day; or

ii. two or more examinations scheduled for the same session.

5.76.           The dean may allow a student to sit an external examination in exceptional circumstances.

5.77.           Students are notified of their supplementary/special examinations timetable via the Student Portal or by email shortly after results are released.

5.78. Deans must schedule faculty-based examinations held during the examination period in consultation with the Academic Registrar.

5.79. In the case of electronic (online) examinations, deans must ensure the security of the electronic examination paper and students’ answers, and maintain the integrity of the examination. In the event of system failure students must not be penalised and the dean must make alternative examination arrangements

Unexpected disruption to examination conditions

5.80.           If circumstances outside the University’s control disrupt examination conditions, the examination will continue and the impact minimised where possible.

5.81.           If there is an unexpected disruption, the examination supervisor must alert the subject coordinator who, in consultation with the Academic Registrar or the dean, determines appropriate measures to ensure that students are not disadvantaged.

5.82.           In the event of a disruption to an examination resulting in students having to leave the venue, the examination will be cancelled and appropriate alternative examination arrangements made which may include rescheduling the examination.

5.83.           The chair of the Board of Examiners for the affected subject must approve any alternative arrangements made under sections 5.81 and 5.82 and notify the affected students and the Academic Registrar of the action to be taken within 2 business days of the disruption.

5.84.           Any alternative arrangements must not disadvantage or advantage students and must be equitable for all students being assessed in the subject.

5.85.           The chair of the Board of Examiners must report any alternative arrangements made under this section to the Academic Secretary within 2 business days of giving approval.

 

Complaints, reviews and appeals

5.86.           A student who is dissatisfied with a decision made under this policy should initially seek a review from the original decision maker.

5.87.           A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review may lodge a request for a further review of the decision with the Principal Advisor, Student Grievances and Complaints in accordance with the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy.

5.88.           A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review may lodge an appeal with the Academic Secretary in accordance with the Student Appeals to the Academic Board.

Note that the Academic Board may decide any dispute or question arising under this policy other than a decision by an examiner or BoE in relation to the academic performance of a student in any assessment component which is based solely on academic judgement.

6. Roles and responsibilities

 

Role/Decision/Action Responsibility Conditions and limitations Role/Decision/Action Responsibility
Conditions and limitations
Special consideration and assessment adjustments    
Determine the processes for University-wide special consideration applications and requests for assessment adjustments Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Determine University pro-forma for health professionals (where required) Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Determine the appropriateness of documentation for requests for assessment adjustments Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Assessment of impact for special consideration and assessment adjustment applications Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Notification of outcomes to students for University-wide special consideration applications and requests for assessment adjustments Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Determination of assessment outcomes for special consideration applications and requests for assessment adjustments Dean or person authorised by the dean Must be consistent with this policy. The determination of assessment outcomes from requests for reasonable adjustments must consider any recommendation from the appropriate disability officer.
Development, implementation and publication of guidelines for assessment of special consideration applications or requests for assessment adjustments Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar Requires the endorsement of the Board prior to publication
Determination of the process and requirements for applications for extension of up to 10 days Dean or person authorised by the dean  
Manner of determining the students of the grounds for extension of up to 10 days Dean or person authorised by the dean  
Notification of the outcome of an application for extension of up to 10 days Dean or person authorised by the dean  
Assessment - general    
Quality assurance of assessment Academic Board  
Establish assessment parameters and equivalences Academic Board  
Publish the Board’s assessment requirements Academic Secretary  
Exclusion from assessment

1. Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar.

2. Dean or person authorised by the dean:

  1. In accordance with 4.8
  2. In accordance with 4.9

 

 
Appoint members of BoE Dean or person authorised by the dean  
Design, prepare, administer, manage and supervise all components of assessment other than centrally scheduled, formal, supervised written examinations. Board of examiners  
Administer, manage and supervise centrally scheduled, formal, supervised written examinations Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Publish subject specific approved assessment information to students, including assessment criteria Subject co-ordinator  
 Ensure feedback is provided to students on placement  Placement co-ordinator  
Ensure agreed documented assessment marking criteria are used to set standards within and across subjects Board of Examiners  
Re-scale and standardise marks where required Board of Examiners  
Ensure formative and summative feedback is provided to students Subject co-ordinator authorised by the dean  
Allow a student final subject assessment Associate dean or other senior academic staff member authorised by the dean Must be in accordance with this policy
Provide appointment times for students with examiners after return of provisional results on each assessment component to allow students to address any problems / poor performance and/or be able to access support services of the University provided for them if required. Associate dean or other senior academic staff member authorised by the dean  
Coursework thesis matters
Coursework thesis matters
   

Confirmation of supervisory arrangements.

Supervisor and head of department  
Approval of change of supervisor Head of department, authorised by the dean  
Agreeing schedule of supervisory meetings Supervisors with candidate  
Inform program co-ordinator if student fails to attend meetings Supervisor  
Placement of candidates at outside institutions Dean of the relevant faculty or an associate dean (research training) or equivalent authorised by the dean Must be an approved outside institution unless agreed by RHDC
Ensure supervisors meet the University’s registration requirements Dean of the relevant faculty or an associate dean (research training) or equivalent authorised by the dean  
Nomination of examiners Chair of examiners In consultation with the program coordinator and the supervisor.
Examining the thesis or equivalent Examining the thesis or equivalent
 Examiners   
Examinations    
Grant student requests access to the examination scripts Associate dean or person authorised by the associate dean  
Scheduling examinations

Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar.

Dean or person authorised by the dean

For centrally scheduled examinations

For faculty-based examinations

Appoint examination supervisors

Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar.

Dean or person authorised by the dean

For centrally scheduled examinations

For faculty-based examinations

Provide the Academic Registrar with a copy of the examination paper(s) by the date set by Academic Registrar;

Be present at the primary examination venue during the reading time in order to respond to student queries and answer any questions from examination supervisors regarding authorised materials; and

Be available by telephone for the duration of the examination.

Subject co-ordinator responsible for the subject, as directed by the dean  
Set rules for the conduct of examinations Academic Board  
Approve and moderate results Board of Examiners  
Release results Academic Registrar or person authorised by the Academic Registrar  
Amend results after release 1. Dean
2. President of Academic Board
3. Only within 3 months of release and where the student has not graduated.
4. Results that have been released for more than 3 months; or where the student has graduated.
 
Be available to answer questions on the examination Subject co-ordinator  

7. Definitions

“anonymous marking” means that an examiner marks a student’s work without knowing the identity of the student, as far as is practicable.

“assessment” means the method of determining-

  • whether a student has passed; or
  • whether a student has otherwise satisfied the requirements of the subject; or
  • the grade to be awarded to a student in a subject

“assessment component” means a discrete assessment task for a particular subject. A component may be a single task (eg. examination, essay), or a set of tasks (eg. laboratory reports, weekly exercises)

“award” means a qualification that is conferred on completion of a University accredited course

“Board” means the Academic Board of the University of Melbourne

“board of examiners” (BoE) is a faculty-based committee consisting of the examiners in a subject or group of subjects and is responsible for all assessment in the subject(s) assigned to it.

“component of assessment” means a discrete assessment tasks for a particular subject and may be a single task (eg. examination, essay), or a set of tasks (eg. laboratory reports, weekly exercises)

“course” means an award or non-award course

“coursework thesis” means a thesis or research project completed as part of a coursework higher degree, an honours program or at the fourth year of an undergraduate course, which is weighted at 25 credit points or more

“criterion-referenced assessment” means students’ work is assessed with reference to written criteria derived from explicit learning outcomes. 

“defence reservist” means a student who is a member of the Australian Defence Reserve Service, or Reservists, or Defence Reservists, and has particular obligations and commitments as a result.

“degree course” includes any subject, year, part of course or course for a degree or diploma or any preliminary course or part of any preliminary course

“double marking” means the marking of a piece of assessment by two independent examiners and is only required for a student who has failed a subject. Only failed assessment tasks need to be double marked.

“due date” means the date by which an assessment task must be submitted to avoid incurring a penalty for late submission

“formative assessment” means assessment that assists in monitoring student progress against standards, and provides feedback comparing their progress to the standards, with a view to helping students to achieve the standards.

“elite athlete” is a status assigned to a student if they are identified and recognised as an elite athlete by one of the following organisations (and can provide supporting documentation upon request):

  • state institutes or academies of sport
  • Australian Football League Players’ Association
  • Australian Cricketers’ Association
  • Rugby Union Players’ Association
  • Rugby League Professionals’ Association
  • Australian Professional Footballers’ Association
  • state or national sporting organisation (as a state/national squad member and/or national league team member) by an Australian Sports Commission (ASC) supported sport.

“elite performer” is a status assigned to a student if they are identified and recognised as an elite performing artist by one of the following organisations (and can provide supporting documentation upon request):

  • Actors Equity Australia
  • Australian Dance Council
  • Australian Dance Theatre
  • Australian Chamber Orchestra
  • The Symphony Australia Orchestras
  • Melbourne Theatre Company
  • Opera Australia
  • Victorian Opera
  • Musica Viva

“emergency volunteer” means a student who is a member of the Victorian State Emergency Service (SES), Country Fire Authority (CFA) or similar organisation servicing the State of Victoria, and occasionally other states or countries, and has particular obligations and commitments as a result.

“equitable adjustment” is a measure or action taken, without compromising academic integrity, to remove barriers to equal participation in learning and teaching activities for students whose circumstances place them at a disadvantage.

“examination” is a formally supervised assessment including formally supervised written examinations; written or online tests; oral tests; performances; aural tests; clinical examinations as part of the Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer or supplementary/special examination period.

“examiner” is an individual academic staff member involved in the marking of pieces of assessment designated by the chairperson of the board of examiners from those teaching the subject.

“final result” means the mark and grade determined by the board of examiners as a student’s result for the subject as a whole.

“grade” means a notation (e.g. H1, P) that describes a student’s performance in each subject, derived from the mark, with the exception of WD or incomplete grades.

“hurdle requirement” means an assessment requirement that must be satisfactorily completed in order to pass a subject, irrespective of the marks achieved by completion of other components of assessment in that subject.

“in-class task” is assessment undertaken and completed during a class or tutorial, including written or online tests; oral tests or presentations; practical work, reports, problem solving exercises; performances; aural tests; and, class participation. 

“longer assignment" means a substantial piece of assessment, completed outside class time and submitted by a pre-determined due date; including an essay, dissertation, research project, portfolio, report, or other longer written project, design or programming task. In general, an individual task worth more than 25% of the subject points, and/or of more than 1000 words is considered a ‘longer assignment’.

“mark” is the numeric figure (e.g. 75%) expressing the result for each subject in percentage terms.

“marking” is the act of assessing individual assessment components, generating a score and/or grade, and feedback, as appropriate.

“non-award course” is a program of study which does not lead to an award of the University and which comprises a subject or subject(s) which:

  • is available in an award course or courses at the University; and
  • is able to be counted as credit towards an award course at the University by students who successfully complete the subject or subjects; or,
  • may be used to meet the entry requirements for a course at the University by students who successfully complete the subject or subjects. 

“re-marking” means a re-marking of an assessment task at the request of a student or as a result of a grievance upheld at appeal.

“return of results” is the day by which results have to be submitted within the Student System by teaching departments.

“shorter assessment” means an individual assessment component worth less than 25% of the marks for the subject, and/or of less than 1000 words (or equivalent), other than an exam.

“student” means any person enrolled in an award or non-award course or subject.

“subject” means a unit of academic work in which the student enrols and on completion of which the student is awarded a grade, such grades appearing on a student’s academic record.

“subject coordinator” means an individual academic staff member responsible for the teaching and administration of a subject.

“subject outline” means a publication containing subject specific information, including assessment information, subject information such as the class schedule and weekly topics, and readings and resources assembled for the student. 

“summative assessment” means assessment used to make a judgement about student achievements against explicit standards and translating that judgement into a grade; used at the end of a subject.

“swot vac” is a period of time between the teaching and the assessment period during which teaching and assessment is suspended to allow preparation by students.

POLICY APPROVER

Academic Board

POLICY STEWARD

Academic Secretary

REVIEW

This policy is to be reviewed by 6 December 2021.

VERSION HISTORY

Version Approved By Approval Date Effective Date Sections Modified
1 President, Academic Board 20 Jul 2016 21 Jul 2016 New policy arising from the revision of the University’s regulatory framework and the policy consolidation project.
2 President, Academic Board 29 Jul 2016 5 Aug 2016 References amended, spelling corrected. Inclusion of sections on further assessment and reassessment, omitted from version 1 in error, and correction to final subject rule. Inclusion of omitted word at section 4.127.
3 President, Academic Board 13 Sep 2016 12 Oct 2016

Insertion of section 4.23 and related addition in the responsibilities table. Consequential renumbering of section 4.
Corrections at sections 4.21, 4.84, 4.95, 4.125 and 4.138.

4 Academic Secretary 21 Nov 2016 12 Oct 2016 Correction to sections 4.95 and 4.125(b). Changes to these sections were approved as part of version 3 but missed on publication. 
5 President, Academic Board 25 Nov 2016 27 Nov 2016 Insertion of 5.83, 5.84 and 5.85 and consequent renumbering from added points to the end of section 5.
6 Academic Secretary 6 Dec 2016 6 Dec 2016 Editorial amendment to s5.9 and 5.26, inserting correct reference to Student Conduct Policy (MPF1324) and adding link to Student Academic Integrity Policy (MPF1310).
7 Academic Secretary 15 Nov 2017 16 Nov 2017 Editorial amendment, correction of typographical error to s5.10. 
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