|Purpose||To define faculty-specific requirements for assessment practices which complement and comply with the University's assessment policies and procedures. This should be read in conjunction with the Faculty Assessment Guidelines and the University Unit Assessment procedures|
|Scope||This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework courses and units offered in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences as well as units in which the Faculty has majority teaching responsibility.|
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.
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.
Chief Examiner: is responsible for the implementation of the unit assessment regime and must recommend the final result for each student. The Office of the Deputy Dean Education appoints a Chief Examiner for each unit taught by the Faculty.
Unit Coordinator: an academic staff member assigned to coordinate academic and administrative activities. Recommendations by the Chief Examiner for the appointment of Unit Coordinators must be approved by the Office of the Deputy Dean Education.
Campus Unit Coordinator: where the unit runs on multiple campuses in a given semester, the Campus Unit Coordinator typically has the responsibility of overseeing the local running of the unit. These units will also list a Chief Examiner who may be one of the Campus Unit Coordinators.
The role of the Chief Examiner and Unit Coordinator are distinct and separate functions. Units that are multidisciplinary, are taught across multiple campuses and have large student enrolments (greater than 100) must have separate Chief Examiners and Unit Coordinators.
Applications for exemption can be made to the Office of the Deputy Dean Education.
1. Assessment practice
1.1 Methods of assessment
Assessment practices in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences include:
Crosswords are approved for formative in-semester assessment. Crosswords cannot be used for summative written examinations.
The specific assessment tasks chosen for each unit must be appropriate to the assessment of the learning outcomes specified in the unit guide and the University Handbook. As well, the number of assessment tasks must reflect the credit point weighting of the unit (refer to section 1.3).
1.2 Pass requirements, assessment hurdles and re-submission
A student must achieve at least fifty per cent in total to pass a unit.
Hurdle assessments are requirements that fulfil one or more unit learning objectives and they may be activities that are class based or that need to be undertaken outside regular scheduled class times.
Any in-course assessment tasks that are hurdles should be clearly identified as assessment items and noted in the unit guide and university publications.
Re-submission of an assessment task is not normally permitted, however, following the pre board of examiner discussions and the review of all student marks, the chief examiner will make a determination about additional assessment on a case-by-case basis. If the assessment task is an essay and it falls below the pass mark, the chief examiner may determine to set a different essay topic and tag as additional assessment.
1.2.1 Threshold standards
Where the final mark for a unit is based upon the sum of the marks for each element of assessment, that element of the assessment regime worth 40% or higher must require students to reach a minimum threshold result of 45% for that element of assessment irrespective of performance in the other elements of assessment. This is a minimum requirement and health professional degrees can choose to increase the pass mark to 50%.
1.2.2 Number of attempts
Where a unit has a hurdle requirement, the maximum number of attempts permitted must be clearly outlined in unit guides distributed to students at the commencement of the unit. Repeat attempts are granted only at the discretion of the pre BOE panel and must comply with the University assessment regulations. Any repeat hurdle requirement is taken as further assessment.
1.2.3 Clinical/fieldwork hurdle assessments
Many units within the Faculty have clinical or fieldwork hurdle assessment requirements designed to pass the unit(s). Repeat attempts are granted only at the discretion of the pre BOE panel and must comply with the University assessment regulations. Any repeat fieldwork/clinical requirement is taken as further assessment.
Where a student is removed from a clinical/fieldwork placement due to unprofessional behaviour, there is no requirement to offer the student a repeat opportunity. This consideration will be at the discretion of the School/Department or Faculty. Having failed the hurdle requirement the student will be awarded a fail grade for the unit.
Where a student is required to repeat a unit as a result of a clinical/fieldwork fail, a maximum of one repeat attempt is allowed. If the second attempt is unsuccessful the students will be directed to seek counselling from their relevant Course Coordinator to examine future options.
1.2.4 Attendance hurdle
A unit may have an attendance hurdle requirement where it is considered that attendance at a specified number of classes/tutorials/laboratory sessions is the only means of the student meeting specific learning objectives within the unit. Attendance requirements are normally specified as a percentage and will be clearly indicated in the unit guide. The attendance requirements must be brought to the students’ attention at the beginning of the semester.
1.2.5 Failure to meet a hurdle requirement
Failure to meet a hurdle requirement will result in the student failing the unit and may impede student progression.
Where a student has failed an assessment hurdle requirement further assessment can be granted by the school/department as appropriate (this does not include attendance hurdles). Should a student fail the further assessment then the mark and grade to be returned for the unit is 44N. No further assessment opportunity is to be permitted.
1.3 Assessment weightings, written assignments, workload requirements and group work
There are two approaches to determining the assessment regime: the word equivalent approach or the notional hours of effort (refer to the faculty assessment guidelines)
Using the word equivalent approach for a six credit point unit, the total length of assessment tasks should not exceed 6,000 words. For example, 100% would equate to 6000 words for a 6 credit point unit, 10% would equate to 600 words, 20% would equal 1,200 etc. This weighting of 6,000 words per 6 credit points is also applicable to 12, 18 and 24-credit point units (i.e., 12,000, 18,000 and 24,000 words respectively).
The university assessment regime states that 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 the final grade for a non-thesis/semester-long project unit. In view of the professional nature of the majority of its courses, the faculty expects that the majority of 6 credit point units will have three assessment tasks with up to 6 tasks for an 18 CP unit.
It is important that an appropriate weighting is given to written invigilated examinations. Generally speaking in a 6 CP unit a 3 hour written and invigilated examination should be worth at least 50% of the total overall mark for the unit. No exam that is 2-3 hours in length can be worth less than 40% with appropriate scaling for 12, 18 and 24 credit point units.
The Chief Examiner must ensure that all major assessment tasks are scrutinised by one or more other relevant members of academic staff who will validate compliance with the principles of good assessment practice outlined in the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy.
Non-invigilated test(s) or non-invigilated discussion forum(s) cannot be worth more than 10% of the overall mark for the unit.
Mediated online discussion forums with rubrics cannot exceed 40% of the overall unit mark and a six credit point unit would constitute the equivalent of 2,400 words.
A secure on-line Pearson examination (SOE) may be worth up to 45% of the overall mark for the unit. This examination format is expressly designed for courses that are wholly delivered on-line over a non- traditional teaching period of 8 weeks. These examinations are delivered at regular intervals throughout the teaching period with each single examination contributing no more than 15% to the total weighting for the SOE.
Secure online student declaration exams cannot be worth more than 45% of the overall mark for the unit. An independent student participation declaration is required (setup as a Moodle activity) by students before they can proceed with the exam.
In respect to traditional written assignments, those with a word limit of between 1,500 and 2,000 words could be worth up to 20% of the overall mark for a 6 CP unit. However whilst this percentage may remain for an 18 CP unit the word count would be considerably increased.
Unit workload requirementsThe university requires 12 hours per week of scheduled classes and self-directed study for a 6 credit point unit. The Faculty workload requirement will comprise of 6 hours of scheduled and directed student learning activities and 6 hours of self-directed study for a 6 credit point unit.
The university team assesment procedure can be found at: (note item 13 Development and Implementation of the assessment regime)
The following is provided as a guide to establishing the team assessment word equivalence:
For example, for a 20% assignment:
2.1 Examination papers
Chief Examiners must ensure that examiners preparing examination papers are cognisant of the following university directive regarding the creation of the examination paper.
“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”
Examination papers must:
The Chief examiner must ensure that examiners prepare model solutions/rubrics for the examination questions and these model solutions/rubrics are used by them when marking the examination questions.
The university policy further obliges the Chief examiner to “provide clear instructions to all examiners about the allocation of student marks and grades”.
For a unit offering involving multiple modes and /or locations, the Chief examiner is strongly advised to adhere to the university policy in relation to this issue (note section H Marking, Grading and Results 2.2)
2.2 Student access to examination scripts
Students are entitled to view the examination paper and their examination scripts. However, students may be denied access to their scripts if the examination contains short-answer questions or a component of multiple-choice questions. The original examination script may not be retained by the student under any circumstances.
Further information can be found in the faculty feedback policy and procedure at:
3. In-semester assessment
In-semester assessment comprises assessment tasks completed outside of the University examination period. In most cases, such assessment consists of either written assignments completed by students outside of class time, or invigilated assessment tasks completed during class time. In-semester assessment may also be linked to a hurdle requirement.
4. Supplementary unit assessment
The faculty requires Chief Examiners to be cognisant of the Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations (Part 3) regarding this issue and which is reproduced below:
In this section ‘faculty’ means the degree faculty
1) The Board of Examiners of the degree Faculty may grant a supplementary assessment to a student in respect of a unit of study if:
a) the student’s final result in the unit is no more than 5%, or equivalent, below the required pass figure; and
b) the student has passed all other units in which the student was enrolled during the teaching period concerned; and
c) a pass in the unit of study would complete all academic requirements for the degree or other award or the board of examiners is satisfied that failure in the unit will significantly impact on the student’s enrolment in the following semester.
2) The Board may waive the requirement in sub-regulation 1b in circumstances it regards as exceptional.
3) A student may be granted only one supplementary assessment in respect of each unit of study and no more than 2 supplementary assessments in respect of one course of study.
4) If the course of study concerned is a double degree, the board must consult the board of examiners of the managing faculty before granting a supplementary assessment.
5) A supplementary assessment must be in the form determined by the chief examiner for the unit of study.
6) The final unit result after a supplementary assessment is as determined by the board of the degree faculty. However, no more than 50% of the maximum mark for the unit may be awarded.
4.1 Determination by Board of Examiners regarding the granting of supplementary assessment
4.1.1 In accordance with Part 3 of the Academic Board Regulations, after each teaching period the Board of Examiners will consider all students who have failed one unit with a result of at least 45 in that teaching period to determine whether they are eligible for supplementary assessment. There is no application process.
4.1.2 Provided that the student has not already been granted more than one supplementary assessment in the current course of study, a student will be granted supplementary assessment where the failed unit is the final unit required to complete the requirements for the course in which the student is currently enrolled
4.1.3 The Board of Examiners may at its discretion grant a student supplementary assessment in a unit where the Board considers that failure of the unit will significantly impact on the student's progress (refer Academic Board Regulations section Part 3). For the purposes of this section, failing a unit and having to repeat it at another time is not considered a significant impact on the student’s progress. Only units that are core units and not offered in a subsequent semester will be considered for supplementary assessment.
4.1.4 In determining whether to grant supplementary assessment, Part 3 of the Academic Board Regulations provides the Board of Examiners with discretion to consider exceptional circumstances. For the purposes of this section of the Regulations, failing a unit and having to repeat it at another time is not considered an exceptional circumstance.
4.2 Form of supplementary assessment
4.3 Outcome of supplementary assessment
4.3.1 If a student passes the supplementary assessment task, a mark of 50 will be returned for the unit.
4.3.2 Where a student fails a supplementary assessment the student must receive the higher of the two results achieved for the unit.
4.3.3 A supplementary examination is only offered once and there is no provision to defer a supplementary examination. Thus, a student who fails to sit the supplementary examination will receive a fail mark for the supplementary assessment task and the original mark for the unit will stand.
4.3.4 Supplementary assessment is not available for any component unit of the MNHS Honours Programs.
4.3.5 Units that require all assessment components to be passed must reassess all the objectives covered in the failed assessment component, unless otherwise specified by the Board of Examiners.
4.3.6 Students will not be offered supplementary assessment if he/she has not passed all other units in which the student has enrolled during the teaching period concerned, except in circumstances the board of examiners considers exceptional.
4.3.7 Where a student is enrolled in a single unit and has achieved a result between 45 and 49, they will be deemed eligible for supplementary assessment.
4.3.8 A student may be granted no more than two supplementary assessments in respect of one course of study.
4.3.9 Faculty Board of Examiners may offer supplementary assessment in two units in the same teaching period in circumstances where a pass in the units would complete all academic requirements for the degree.
4.3.10 Supplementary assessment may only be granted within a twelve month timeframe. The period is calculated from the time of result release.
5. Marking, grading and results
5.1 Grading scale
The Faculty requires each School/Department to apply the University Standard Unit Grading Schema, as outlined in the Grading Scale Policy, when awarding grades for coursework units (including Honours equivalent courses). Accordingly, the University’s Honours Grading Schema cannot be applied to any postgraduate coursework degree offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences for final unit results or course completions.
5.2 Grade distribution
When making a recommendation to the Board of Examiners for the marks of a unit to be ratified, the Chief Examiner of the unit must provide an explanation of the distribution of the recommended unit marks in the following cases:
The indicative grade distributions do not apply to honours results, for units with enrolments of less than 15 and for units using criterion referencing.
If a unit is taught across more than one campus (in a given semester), individual reports highlighting the performance in students at each campus must be provided, unless the distributions at individual campuses do not fall within the above categories (ie N>20% and/or HD&D >40%), in which case a grade distribution report combining all campuses can be provided.
The Faculty’s grade distribution policy is available at:
5.3 Verification of fail grades
Under item 21 of the University's Assessment in Coursework Units: Grading and Marking Procedures, each faculty is required to have a specified procedure for verifying fail grades.
The Faculty has adopted the position taken by the Faculty of Arts with respect to verification of fail grades.*
Failed exam scripts are to be routinely re-marked by a second examiner.
A failed assessment piece worth 25% or more of the final mark must be double marked. A record of the original and second marker should be recorded on the piece of assessment and electronically where results are recorded.
Assessment of oral and performance-based tasks. For units in which oral communication or performance is assessed, and in which this assessment is worth more than 30% of the total mark, quality assurance, verification or re-marking of work must be provided through: sound and/or video recording, or initial assessment by more than one examiner, or - other defensible form of verification.
Failed assessment piece worth more than 10% but less than 25% of the final grade must be checked by a second marker. The second marker will verify that no sections were accidentally missed and that the overall result is correct.
The Monash University Office of Learning and Teaching will conduct regular audits on the verification of fail grades to ensure practices are robust, consistent an fair.
*The review of overall unit results will be conducted in line with the specifications of section 6.2.1.
6. Review of results
Item 28 of the University's Assessment in Coursework Units: Grading and Marking procedures provides for students to seek a review of their assessment, subject to the relevant faculty's procedures. A review of marks may result in an increase or decrease in the marks awarded. The final result obtained after the review of marks will stand.
The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences review of results procedure is as follows:
6.1 Review of overall unit results
6.1.1 Students achieving a passing grade can request that an arithmetical check of the calculation of the overall grade be conducted. In such circumstances, there will not be any re-marking of any assessment task. The Chief examiner is advised to follow the procedures outlined at : http://www.med.monash.edu.au/policies/assessmentr.html
6.2 Review of result for an assessment task
6.2.1 Students may request a review of the result for an in-semester assessment task worth more than 10% and continuous assessment such as submission of weekly exercises or computer based learning activities totalling more than 30% (where the individual tasks are worth less than 10%).
The Chief examiner is advised to follow the procedures outlined at
6.2.2 The above policy does not preclude a student from seeking a review of an overall unit result or individual assessment task result on non-academic grounds, such as unlawful forms of discrimination which may have negatively impacted on their performance. These grievances are managed by the University's Equity and Diversity Centre.
6.3 Practicum/Fieldwork assessment
6.3.1 To satisfy the requirements of some units and awards students will be required to complete practicum or fieldwork placements. Students will be required to attend such placements at times and locations determined by the Faculty.
6.3.2 On advice from the relevant Chief Examiner and Course Convenor a student may be withdrawn or deferred from a practicum/fieldwork placement by the Deputy Dean (Education) if the student:
6.4 Release of results
The release of final results is governed by the University Assessment of Coursework Policy. Results cannot be released prior to the results release date specified by the University. The University approved methods of notification are:
+ SMS (Short Message Service)
Results ARE NOT to be published in any of the following ways:
+ List of individuals’ results posted on course or unit notice boards
The use of Moodle for notification of in-semester assessment tasks is strongly encouraged.
6.5 Unfinalised results policy
Blank, WH, DEF or NS grades should be finalised within six weeks of the subsequent standard semester. Result amendments must be returned on a University Post BOE Result Amendment Form. All signed amendments to unfinalised results (once checked for accuracy by the course administrator) must be forwarded to the Faculty Student Services Office for processing and ratification by the Deputy Dean (Education) or nominee at the Associate Dean level.
Any requests by teaching departments to extend a blank, WH, DEF or NS result beyond six weeks into the next standard semester should be forwarded for approval to the Deputy Dean (Education) or nominee at the Associate Dean level.
Any results that do not have the Deputy Dean (Education) approval to remain as blank, WH, DEF or NS will be automatically changed to a Fail grade by the Faculty Student Services Office, within the given timeframe.
Where a post BOE result is returned with a mark falling within the approved range for supplementary assessment, the Faculty Student Services office will refer the result to the Deputy Dean (Education) for consideration for a NS grade as appropriate under the Faculty supplementary assessment policy. Where such a result is returned, the Unit coordinator may recommend that an NS should be granted, however this is not compulsory.
The following units are exempted from this policy, and do not require approval from the Deputy Dean, (Education), for an extension to the WH grade each year:
+ MED1011, MED2031, MED3051, and MED5091 may be maintained as WH from semester one until December close down each year.
PTY4171 and PTY4172 may be maintained as WH from semester one until the December Board of Examiners meeting each year.
6.6 Assignment submission policy
All assessment items must be submitted by the specified time on the specified due date (or if off-campus, assessment must be received by the specified due date).
Please note the following policy directive from the University Development and Implementation of an Assessment Regime Procedures (item 12) regarding the timing of assignment submissions for units that have no examination and are offered in a standard semester:
...No assessment task may be due within the SWOT-Vac period. Exceptions may be made by the Deputy 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 Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) (or delegate) for Monash Extension students.
6.7 Faculty late assignment submission policy
Students must be informed of the penalty to be applied for late assessment submission through the Unit Guide and/or the instructions given for each individual assessment item.
The Late Assessment Submission policy encompasses:
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on all campuses
All undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs
All coursework students
Students can download special consideration application forms from the University Special Consideration website. Students should submit the completed form, together with original or certified copies of supporting documentation. Students will be informed whether an extension has been granted. Approved extension forms should be attached to the assessment item when submitted by students.
Extensions will only be granted on the following grounds (with supporting documentation to be provided):
1. Acute illness - eg hospital admission, serious illness, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. Does not include minor illness such as a mild cold. A medical certificate must be provided.
2. Loss or bereavement - eg death of a close family member, family relationship breakdown. A death notice or certificate must be provided.
3. Hardship or trauma - eg victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
For all assessment items handed in after the official due date, and without an agreed extension, a 10% penalty applies to the total possible mark for that assessment task for each day (or part thereof) after the due date of submission. After that, a subsequent penalty of 10% per day (or part thereof) will be applied for each day after the due date (including weekends, and public holidays).
Unless otherwise specified (in the relevant Assessment Guideline or Unit Guide), once an assessment is seven or more days overdue (for a 12 week semester unit), and more than three days late (for a 6 week semester unit) the work will be marked, but not graded. A zero grade will be awarded.
In some cases, as notified in the Assessment Guideline and/or the Unit Guide, the time period allowed for late submissions may be reduced. In this case, students need to be advised of the submission deadline as well as the number of subsequent days when an overdue submission will be accepted for grading. After the specified time, overdue work will be marked but not graded. A zero grade will be awarded.
Individual assessment tasks that independently contribute to no more than 5% of the final mark may be exempted from the above rules if deemed appropriate by the unit Chief Examiner (see unit guide for further information).
No penalty will apply if an extension is sought and granted by the Chief Examiner or delegate. If the assessment items are handed in after the extension period, then the above penalties will apply.
Schools/Departments may choose to accept late submissions of work without requiring students to apply for extensions prior to submission dates. In these circumstances students may apply on the grounds documented above, for late penalties to be waived. Where Schools/Departments choose this option, students should consult their School/Department and follow the specified processes and policy for in-semester special consideration.
7. Dissemination of information to students
7.1 Unit Guides
Under the University's revised Unit Guide Policy, Chief Examiners must ensure that every student enrolled in a unit must have access to the unit guide, in electronic or printed form, by the end of the orientation week of a standard semester, by the start of week one for units taught in block mode, or for other teaching periods, not later than by the end of the first week.
The primary method of communication to students should be through the relevant Moodle site for the unit, to ensure that announcements reach all students as necessary.
|Supporting guidelines||Chief Examiner guidelines|
Unit Coordinator responsibilities
Clinical/fieldwork Placement Guidelines and Procedures
|Responsibility for implementation||Deputy Dean Education|
Associate Dean Learning and Teaching
|Key Stakeholders||Deputy Dean Education|
Associate Dean Learning and Teaching
|Date Effective||July 2017|
|Review Date||December 2022|
|Owner||Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences|
|Author||Deputy Dean Education|
|Content Enquiries||Quality Unit|