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Academic Quality and Standards

Assessment in Coursework Units: Development and Implementation of an Assessment Regime Procedures

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Parent Policy

Assessment in Coursework Units Policy

Date Effective

17-July-2017

Review Date

16-November-2019

Procedure Owner

Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)

Category

Academic Standards and Quality

Version Number

1.0

Content Enquiries

policy-education@monash.edu

Preamble

These procedures must be read in conjunction with Monash University Academic Board) Regulations Part 3, and Assessment in Coursework Units Policy.

PROCEDURE STATEMENT

The Monash Assessment Regime

1. The assessment regime for a unit is designed by the faculty teaching the unit. In doing so, the faculty will take into account the principles of good assessment practice outlined in the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy and the Monash Assessment Vision (including the domains of assessment), as well as its relationship to the broader course assessment regime. The assessment regime of a unit is approved by the Dean (or delegate) owning the unit at the time that it approves the unit as a whole. Any amendments to the assessment regime must also be approved by the Dean (or delegate).

2. The implementation of the assessment regime of a unit is a coordinated process under the direction of the Chief Examiner or delegate who must ensure that all assessment tasks are aligned with and mapped against unit outcomes, content and learning activities and those criteria by which the student work will be judged are defined and applied.

3. When a unit is offered in a particular teaching period in multiple modes and/or locations, the unit assessment regime will be equivalent in all modes and/or locations. For more information on requirements when teaching across multiple modes and/or locations, see section 11 (below) and the Assessment in Units offered across Multiple Modes/Locations Guidelines [FORTHCOMING].

4. Unit assessment must be designed to contribute to students achieving course-level learning outcomes and include knowledge, skills and attributes. When a unit is taught at more than one level within a course (a multi-level unit), the Chief Examiner and teaching team must make a qualitative distinction in relation to the assessment and learning outcomes required at each level, through, among other mechanisms, well-structured rubrics that are appropriate to each level.

5. The design of the assessment regime must take into account the workload requirements of the unit which are indicated by credit points associated with the unit, as outlined in the Course Design Procedures (refer section 2).

6. The design of the assessment regime must take into account the requirement for effective and timely feedback to be given to students on their assessments. For more information on feedback requirements and good practice, see the Feedback Procedures and Feedback Guidelines [FORTHCOMING].

7. The student assessment load must enable all learning outcomes to be assessed appropriately. There must be at least two major summative assessment tasks for any given unit, with no individual assessment task being worth more than 60% of final grade for a non-thesis/semester-long project unit. The assessment load for any unit must be appropriate and take account of the level of study and the credit-point value of the unit.

Responsibility

Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Deans
Associate Deans (Education)
Chief Examiners

8. Integrity of assessment

8.1 Staff must endeavour to design student assessment to minimise the likelihood of breaches of academic integrity.

8.2 Faculties should have processes in place to ensure the integrity of assessment is maintained across different teaching periods for each of their units. These processes will depend on the nature of the discipline, but should adhere to the following requirements:

  • For more information, refer to the Integrity of Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING].
  • Major assessment tasks should be significantly different from assessment tasks in previous unit offerings. This includes examinations and papers that have been copied to students upon request.
  • Previous questions can be adapted for re-use, provided that the formulation of the factual situation and/or the questions themselves have been significantly altered.

8.3. A team-based approach with oversight from the Chief Examiner should be employed for the design and development of assessment tasks. Where a major assessment task has been developed by an individual educator, the Chief Examiner must ensure that this is scrutinised by one or more other members of academic staff who will validate compliance with the principles of good assessment practice outlined in the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy.

Responsibility

Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Deans
Associate Deans (Education)
Chief Examiners

9. Hurdle requirements

9.1 Where a unit has hurdle requirements that must be met in order to achieve a passing grade in the unit, these requirements must fulfil one or more of the stated unit learning outcomes.

9.2 Hurdle requirements may include activities that are class-based or that need to be undertaken outside regular scheduled class times.

9.3 Failure to meet a hurdle requirement must have a clearly defined outcome for a student's final result.

For more information on hurdle requirements, refer to the Hurdle Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING].

Responsibility

Chief Examiners

10. Units taught in a Language other than English

10.1 External examiners must be appointed for each unit taught and/or assessed in a language other than English (other than units taught to develop proficiency in a language). These individuals must be fluent in both English and the language of teaching/assessment, as well as competent in the discipline area of the unit or course.

Responsibility

Chief Examiners

11. Units offered in multiple modes and/or locations

11.1 Unit coordinators must be appointed for each mode and/or location of a unit offering.

11.2 The Chief Examiner must establish a unit management group comprising the coordinators from all modes and/or locations involved in offering the unit to ensure that the assessment tasks and standards are equivalent across all modes and/or locations.

11.3 The unit management group must work under the guidance of the Chief Examiner to agree on the design, content and standards of all assessment for the unit offering and the respective marking criteria.

11.4 Where in-semester assessment is equivalent but not identical across all modes and/or locations, the Chief Examiner must approve equivalence and keep records of variations.

11.5 Where there is a final examination, this must be identical if undertaken at the same time and venue. In other circumstances, examinations must be equivalent, unless an exception to this rule is granted by the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching). Refer to Guidelines on units offered in Multiple Modes and/or Locations [FORTHCOMING].

Responsibility

Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Chief Examiners
Unit Coordinators

12. Assessment scheduling

12.1 The following matters must be considered in relation to the scheduling of assessment tasks:

  • Tasks must be scheduled at an appropriate time to assess student achievement against learning outcomes and to provide feedback that is constructive and supportive of further learning.
  • The scheduling of assessment tasks must be conducted with an awareness of the overall coursework load of students.
  • Communication to students about the nature and timing of assessment tasks must occur as early as practicable in the teaching period.

12.2 Chief Examiners of first year units offered in a standard semester are expected to ensure that at least one assessment task in the unit is submitted and returned by the end of teaching week six of the semester in order to provide timely and constructive feedback that is supportive of further learning.

12.3 During the teaching weeks of a standard semester, due dates for major assessment tasks must be at least two weeks apart. This does not apply where there is a portfolio of related assessment tasks that contribute to a broader project - for example, a project consisting of a written assignment and a related practical demonstration.

12.4 No assessment task may be due within the SWOT-Vac period. Exceptions may be made by the Associate Dean (Education) for: major research projects or theses; assessment tasks that involve a practical component, such as computer simulations or laboratory work; those which students are required to present in person; or where the final assessment tasks are not examinations across the majority of units in a course in that teaching period. Exceptions may be made by the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) for Monash Extension students.

Responsibility

Chief Examiners

13. Team Assessment

13.1 Where a unit involves team assessment, the Chief Examiner must ensure that information is made available to students that indicates:

  • the proportions of the mark for the assessment that will be allocated to the outcome of the team work, and to the process followed to obtain the outcome;
  • how the team will be formed and managed;
  • how the contribution of the individual students to team assessment will be assessed, and who will determine the criteria to make this assessment (the team, teaching staff or both);
  • who will assess the contribution of the individual students (peers, teaching staff or both);
  • the requirements for timely notification and resolution of disputes among team members; and
  • responsibilities for ensuring correct and timely submission, including procedures for gaining team agreement to submit.

For more information on team assessment, see the Team Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING].

Responsibility

Chief Examiners

14. Communication to students

14.1 Chief Examiners must ensure that students are provided with assessment details in the unit guide (refer: Unit Guide Manager) and/or the learning management system by the end of the orientation week of a standard semester, before the start of week one for units taught in block mode, or, for all other teaching periods, by the end of week one, including:

  • the assessment regime;
  • topic release dates (where relevant);
  • word limits (where applicable);
  • contribution of each assessment task to the final result;
  • submission and presentation requirements;
  • duration of tests and examinations (where applicable);
  • criteria by which performance will be judged – only broad criteria are required at the start of the teaching period; further details can be provided at the time of handing out the individual assessment tasks (see also Grading and Marking Procedures);
  • submission dates;
  • estimated dates for the return of assessment tasks;
  • instances of assessment tasks where some aspects can be negotiated (for example, allowing students to nominate topics) – the processes for this negotiation must be clearly stated;
  • details of any hurdle requirements, including the number of attempts allowed, and the consequences for the final result if these are not achieved;
  • where there are team-based tasks, details of how the individual and team performance will be judged (see section 13 above and the Team Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]);
  • when a unit is listed as being taught at more than one level, the distinction between the assessment at each level; and
  • a description of the types of feedback the students can expect in relation to their performance in the unit (for more information on feedback requirements and good practice, see the Feedback Procedures and Feedback Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]).

Responsibility

Chief Examiners

Responsibility for implementation

Deans
Associate Deans (Education)

Status

Revised

Approval Body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting:
7/16
Date: 16-November-2016
Agenda item: 7.2

Definitions

Assessment regime: the set of assignments, tests, examinations or other assessment tasks that comprise the assessment for a unit (both formative and summative) and the percentage contribution of these to the final result for the unit.

Chief Examiner: responsible for the implementation of the unit assessment regime for the unit and must recommend the final result for each student. A Dean must appoint a Chief Examiner for each unit taught by the faculty.

Equivalence (of assessment tasks): equivalent assessment tasks are similar in complexity, nature, purpose and assess the same intended learning outcomes of the unit. Equivalence does not require assessment tasks to be identical.

Final examination:an invigilated or supervised examination held after the end of the teaching period, the results of which are partly used to determine the final result for the unit concerned. A final examination may consist of one major assessment task or may include more than one major assessment task.

Final result: the final mark and/or grade awarded to a student on completion of assessment for a unit.

Hurdle requirements: compulsory tasks within individual units that must be completed successfully in order to fulfil the assessment requirements of the unit.

Major assessment task: an assessment task that represents 20% or more of a student’s final result in a unit. Minor, regular assessment activities (for example, weekly quizzes), may be categorised collectively as a major task.

Standard semester: semester 1 or semester 2 in any year as approved by the Academic Board from time to time.

Teaching period: a period of the academic year within which a unit is offered. The two standard teaching periods are semester 1 and semester 2 (referred to as standard semesters), but some units are offered in a summer or winter teaching period, over the whole year, in an intensive format at any time, or during other predefined periods.

Team assessment: assessment tasks in which students work cooperatively and some element of the marks/feedback is awarded collectively.

Unit: the basic component of a course in which a student will enrol to undertake study in a particular discipline.

Unit Coordinator: the academic staff member assigned to coordinate all unit academic and administrative activities for each mode and/or location. The Chief Examiner may also be the Unit Coordinator; when this is not the case, the Unit Coordinator works under the direction of the Chief Examiner.

Unit offering: the delivery of a unit in a particular teaching period, in single or multiple modes and/or locations.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations - regulations 16-25
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (TEQSA Act 2011)

Related Policies

Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures
Course Design Policy and Procedures
Coursework Course and Unit Accreditation Policy
Special Consideration Policy and Procedures
Grading Scale Policy and Procedures
Academic Programs from Multiple Campuses Policy
Candidature Progress Management Policy
Candidature Progress Management - Confirmation & Non-Confirmation Procedures
Candidature Progress Management - Termination Procedures
English Language Policy [Forthcoming]

Related Documents

Monash Assessment Vision
Withdrawn Incomplete (WI) flowchart