Assessment Policy

Reference Code: SPL0002 Classification: Student Services
Approved Date
04 Aug 2017
Date Effective
04 Aug 2017
Review Date
18 June 2020
Approved By
Academic Board

Policy Statement

1. Objective 

1.1  Nan Tien Institute (NTI) takes an outcomes-standards based approach to teaching and learning and aims to provide quality teaching and learning opportunities at all times. Learning outcomes are criterion-referenced and relate to what successful students can do as a result of their learning experiences. Learning outcomes are to be clearly stated, demonstrable, achievable and measurable. 

1.2  Assessment is an integral part of the teaching practice designed to enhance and shape student learning and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their achievement of learning outcomes. Assessment provides feedback to students on their learning and is the basis by which their academic achievements are judged and certified. 

1.3  Academic standards and the rigour of courses are central in all assessment schemes and processes. Student assessment is a complex activity with a variety of purposes and many stakeholders that include students, academic staff, the Institute, and the community. Assessment provides the results which are communicated to stakeholders to show the nature and depth of student learning along with the skills and attributes of graduating students. The objectives of this Assessment Policy are to:

1.3.1   Articulate an integrated set of values, processes, and procedures for student assessment at the Institute;

1.3.2   Provide guidance in the design and implementation of assessment tasks, marking and moderation of student work, and the review of assessment;

1.3.3   Identify roles and responsibilities in the implementation of this policy, and

1.3.4   Identify further resources for enhancing assessment literacy among all academic staff of the Institute.

2. Assessment Principles

Assessment and feedback practices are based on the following principles:

2.1  Assessment tasks must address the aims and learning outcomes of the subject and the graduate attributes. They are structured to show progressive development of the capacity for independent learning and synthesis by students throughout the course.

2.2  Assessment tasks are challenging, well-structured and diverse to cater for different academic abilities and learning styles and ensure all students can achieve their full potential. As a general guide, a single subject should have a maximum of three (3) major assessment tasks.

2.3  Assessment is fair, rigorous and transparent and designed to foster meaningful, higher-order learning skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

2.4 Feedback on assessment is timely and supports the learning process.

2.5  Assessment is implemented using principles of standards-based assessment.

2.6  Assessment is moderated to ensure the appropriateness of tasks, consistency in marking, and the maintenance of standards

2.7  Assessment is well managed to ensure efficiency and accountability to all stakeholders and reviewed regularly for effectiveness in meeting desired learning outcomes and delivering quality.

2.8  Assessment is supported by a culture of academic integrity that is actively fostered at all levels of the Institute.

2.9  Assessment is supported by resources that enable appropriate time to be invested in high-quality assessment processes and enhanced by professional development for teaching staff to increase assessment literacy and capability.

2.10  NTI acknowledges the critical role of academics' professional judgement and expertise in all aspects of the assessment process, and particularly in making judgements about students' work. The Institute is committed to supporting and fostering this expertise through processes of moderation, peer review and benchmarking, so that staff and students can be confident that their decisions and judgements are compatible with disciplinary and professional standards and comparable to those of good higher education practice nationally and internationally.

2.11  NTI encourages the adoption of assessment practices that are based wherever possible on research-based evidence of pedagogical effectiveness and contemporary best practice.

3. Assessment Design and Implementation

3.1  A whole-of-course assessment approach.

3.1.1   Although subject assessors should be given considerable latitude in exercising judgement about what should be assessed, assessment design is essentially collaborative and should not occur in isolation from other subjects in the course. Assessment tasks should be designed with reference to a whole-of-course assessment approach. A whole-of-course approach will facilitate the employment of a diverse range of assessment methods to encourage the development of expressed graduate attributes in an appropriate developmental sequence throughout the course.

3.1.2   Assessment tasks for each subject are mapped to show the planned and sequenced approach to the achievement of the course graduate attributes. Mapping demonstrates the contribution of each subject towards students' acquisition of key attributes such as critical thinking, communicating communication and information literacy. Assessment mapping should also be undertaken to ensure that there are equitable student workloads, as well as appropriate timing and weighting of assessment tasks. The graduate attributes that are being developed through assessment tasks must be clearly articulated in individual subject outlines and learning guides.

3.2  Alignment and authenticity of assessment tasks. 

3.2.1   Assessment tasks in a subject should be aligned with the subject learning objectives so as to effectively and efficiently measure student performance. Teaching and learning activities in a subject should also be aligned to actively support assessment tasks. Not all learning objectives have to be individually assessed; single assessment tasks should be designed to enable the sampling of multiple objectives. Wherever possible, assessment tasks should give authentic challenges to students, based upon real-world tasks, problems, skills, and performances.

3.2.2   Students should also be offered the opportunity, at appropriate stages in their course, to exercise some choice in assessment tasks, to relate concepts to their worlds of work, and to be supported with significant self-directed assessment tasks that develop their self-management and lifelong learning abilities.

3.3  Explicit criteria and standards.

3.3.1   Assessment tasks will usually be accompanied by marking criteria and explicit standards of performance that provide detailed guidance to students about the factors under consideration when a judgment is made about the quality of the work or performance. Students should be provided with criteria and standards for assessment tasks, along with details of the assessment task, at the commencement of a subject of study. Marking criteria should be sufficiently comprehensive and detailed to provide guidance to students on the expectations of the subject assessor and how to best approach and direct their efforts.

3.3.2   Standards of performance (or 'grade descriptors') should delineate the various levels of student performance and the corresponding grade that will be awarded (e.g. HD, D, C, etc.). Standards should be sufficiently detailed so that students can see how they might improve the quality of their performance. The Institute has a set of generic grade descriptors that apply to all assessment tasks. More specific standards or grade descriptors may be developed for individual courses or assessment items.

3.4  Formative assessment and feedback.

Subject assessment design should ensure that students are provided with sufficient opportunities for formative feedback on progress towards desired learning outcomes during the teaching period. Formative and summative assessments are integrated into tasks completed over the study period. Continuous assessment provides both formative feedback on progress and summative evaluation (e.g. marks) that contribute to an overall grade. Subject Coordinators will usually ensure that:

3.4.1   There is sufficient spacing between assessment tasks to ensure that students gain feedback from one task before attempting the next;

3.4.2   Large assessments such as projects with a weighting greater than 60% are disaggregated into smaller submissions with feedback points during the study period, and 

3.4.3   Standardised marking sheets or 'rubrics' are provided to students to provide feedback on performance against each criterion.

3.5  Inclusive and equitable assessment.

3.5.1   Some assessment modes or designs may unfairly privilege or disadvantage students. All reasonable efforts should be made by Subject Coordinators to ensure that assessment tasks are designed to be contextually relevant and culturally inclusive, and to avoid bias or other unintended negative outcomes.

3.5.2   Particular account should be paid to student diversity, including international student cohorts, students from non-English speaking backgrounds, students with disabilities, and Indigenous students. Assessment tasks may need to be modified due to the logistics or special requirements of specific cohorts. In such cases, substituted tasks should remain demonstrably equivalent in nature and degree of difficulty, and still satisfy the same subject learning objectives and graduate attributes. Reasonable adjustment in assessment methods should be made to accommodate students with a recognised disability or impairment.

3.6  Review of assessment tasks before release.

As a general rule and for the purpose of quality assurance, all major assessment tasks should be reviewed by a Head of Program within the Institute before they are made available to students. Assessment tasks should also be periodically reviewed and externally benchmarked as part of a Course Review. A Review should ensure that all aspects of assessment have been complied with, and give particular attention to issues of:

3.6.1   Alignment of tasks with subject learning objectives and graduate attributes;

3.6.2   Appropriate level of skill and knowledge;

3.6.3   Appropriateness of overall assessment load;

3.6.4   Criteria and standards that are clear and appropriate, and

3.6.5   Instructions to students that are clear, complete and unambiguous.

3.7  Approval and communication of assessment requirements. 

The assessment requirements for a subject are documented in the Subject Outline. Changes to assessment may be undertaken prior to the commencement of the study period in accordance with this policy. Details of all assessment tasks including marking criteria and performance standards should be made available to students by the start of teaching for the subject. These details should be consistent with information contained in the approved Subject Outline. If through an unforeseen event the necessity arises for a change in assessment after the commencement of the study period, the Subject Coordinator should seek the approval of the Dean.

3.8  Use of learning technologies in assessment.

In cases where assessment tasks necessarily utilise learning technologies (e.g. online quizzes, blogs, participation in computer-mediated sessions, e-portfolios, etc.), Subject Coordinators should ensure that:

3.8.1   Students who do not have appropriate access are offered equivalent alternative arrangements, where these exist;

3.8.2   In the event of technology failure, Subject Coordinators should be alert to the problems of assessment tasks that are mediated by technology and should make a thorough risk assessment of potential issues or problems. Subject Coordinators should also be alert to the use of online quizzes for summative assessment purposes, where such quizzes are not invigilated. It is recommended that a total weighting of no greater than 20% be given to such assessments.

3.9  Confidentiality and security.

All reasonable effort should be made by staff of the Institute to ensure that the principles of privacy, confidentiality, and security are maintained throughout the administration of student assessment. Particular care should be employed in relation to:

3.9.1   The security of examination papers and student scripts;

3.9.2   The confidentiality of assessment results;

3.9.3   The prior permission of the student for any reproduction or usage of assessment material beyond normal marking processes, and 

3.9.4   Access to grades and authority to disclose grades to students.

4. Marking and Grading of Coursework

Robust marking and grading practices are essential to the maintenance of academic standards at the Institute.

4.1  Standards-based assessment.

4.1.1   NTI uses standards-based assessment. This requires that assessment of student achievement is measured against externally verified criteria and standards. Such criteria and standards should be referenced, wherever possible, to accepted academic and professional standards, evident in other similar courses of study nationally and internationally.

4.1.2   Criteria and standards of performance must be explicitly articulated and made available to all students at the commencement of the study period for each assessment task. Criteria and standards should also be discussed with students and integrated into unit subject teaching and learning activities; so that students can understand the standards of academic performance expected and work out how they can improve their performance against those standards. Such discussion may occur in the classroom, in online or other computer-mediated forums, or it may be explained within a subject learning guide.

4.1.3   Standards-based assessment is incompatible with norm-referenced assessment schemes. Therefore, no pre-determined or ideal distribution of grades can be applied across a student cohort. It is not expected that individual Subject Coordinators will adjust students' grades to comply with pre-determined distributions. Marks and grades awarded to students are to be based solely on merit in relation to prescribed academic standards.

4.2  Grading System.

4.2.1   Subjects are classified as either Pass/Fail or Grade/Mark. For Pass/Fail subjects, there is no mark recorded. For Grade/Mark subjects, the mark is from the scale 0-100.

Grade Mark Equivalent Descriptor
HD 85 - 100 High Distinction - performance which meets all subject objectives in such an exceptional way and with such marked excellence that it deserves the highest level of recognition 
D 75 - 84 Distinction - performance which clearly deserves a very high level of recognition as an excellent achievement in the subject
Cr 65 - 74 Credit - performance which is substantially better than would normally be expected of competent students in the subject
P 50 - 64 Pass - performance which satisfies subject objectives
F 0 - 49 Fail - performance which does not meet subject objectives
TF 44 Technical Fail - performance which does not fulfil all criteria of the subject outline with the mark recorded as 44 even if the cumulative mark for the subject is above 50

4.2.2   Students must meet all criteria set out in the subject outline to receive a passing grade (e.g. all assignments must be submitted). Students who do not fulfil all requirements will be awarded a Technical Fail (TF) with the grade recorded as 44 even if the cumulative mark above 50.  

4.2.3   A Semester-Weighted Average (SWA) is a calculation of a student's average percentage mark for all Grade/Mark subjects in which the student is enrolled in any one study period.

4.2.4   A Course Weighted Average (CWA) is a calculation of a student's average percentage mark for all Grade/Mark unit subjects for all subjects in a course.

4.2.5   The Institute does not use or calculate a Grade Point Average (GPA).

4.3  Making judgments and grading.

It is accepted that academics' professional expertise is central to the process of making judgements about the quality of student work. Because knowledge constantly evolves and expands, this expertise needs to be periodically reinforced by personal and expert peer review, benchmarking and continuing professional development.

All staff, including casual and sessional staff, engaged in the marking of assessment tasks, should be properly oriented to student assessment at the Institute, and undertake professional development on the topics of marking, grading and providing feedback on assessed performance to students. Inexperienced markers should be closely monitored and mentored by the Subject Coordinator in relation to their interpretation of criteria, and their developing expertise as reliable and consistent markers of assessment tasks. The Subject Coordinator has responsibility for the derivation and reporting of all student grades at the end of a study period.

4.4  Assessment submission and return.

4.4.1   Students are expected to complete their assignments by the due dates specified in the Learning Guide for the subject. Extensions may be granted by the Subject Coordinator on the basis of serious misadventure, accident or extenuating circumstances. Please refer to the Student Academic Consideration Policy.

4.4.2   The Subject Coordinator may apply a penalty of 10% of the maximum marks for the assignment per week for a late assignment in cases where there is no written approval for an extension.

4.4.3   Marked assessment tasks, other than examination scripts, should normally be returned to students who have submitted on time, within one to two weeks of receipt. This enables students to have the benefit of individualised feedback before undertaking a further assessment task in a subject. Where a subject contains a final major assessment, all other assessment tasks should be returned with sufficient time to enable students to gain the benefit of feedback before undertaking the final assessment. Subject Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that all marking and moderation activities are organised to accommodate these principles. Students should be notified, and appropriate allowance made for any unavoidable delays in returning their assessed tasks.

4.4.4  Where a Subject Coordinator chooses electronic submission, and return of assessment tasks, students should receive clear direction on submission processes including submission site, time frame, acknowledgement of receipt and feedback on academic progress arrangements.

4.4.5  Final marks in a subject must be determined by no later than two (2) months after the end of the semester in which the subject is taught. At that time, any unresolved grades will be recorded as Fail (F) unless approval for extra time is confirmed in writing by the Dean.  

4.5  Detection and reporting of plagiarism. 

4.5.1   Plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct/dishonesty are not tolerated by the Institute. The Student Misconduct Policy provides definitions, roles, procedures and responsibilities associated with instances of academic dishonesty. It is important that Subject Coordinators are familiar with this policy and ensure that markers in the subject are also appropriately briefed about the Institute's policy on academic integrity and understand the steps to take when plagiarism is suspected.

4.5.2   It is also vital that students be alerted to their responsibilities under the Student Misconduct Policy. Teaching staff should ensure that students are well inducted in academic conventions and values regarding academic integrity.

4.5.3   Subject Coordinators should be alert to opportunities in the design of assessment tasks that discourage or make plagiarism more difficult to achieve.

Systems and Procedures

5. Submission, Examination, and Grading of Research Projects

The following principles apply for the submission, examination, and grading of research projects:

5.1  Submission of research projects for examination.

5.1.1   Students must submit their research project to their supervisors together with a Turnitin report.

5.1.2   If the Turnitin report meets with the Institute’s requirements and in the opinion of the supervisor the research project is ready for examination, the supervisor will certify that the research project is worthy of examination.

5.1.3   Following certification by the supervisor, the student can upload the research project in the online portal MyLearning.

5.1.4   If the supervisor believes that the research project is not yet of sufficient quality to submit and is not willing to certify the research project is worthy of examination, the supervisor is required to discuss with the Head of Program and provide a written statement on why the submission is not supported. The student must be informed by the supervisor in writing.

5.1.5   If the student still wishes to submit the research project for examination, the student may refer the matter to the Dean for consideration with a written statement.

5.1.6   The Dean may seek advice from an independent academic who has knowledge of the research field but not a potential examiner.

5.1.7   Based on the advice and the information provided, the Dean will decide whether to allow the research project to be submitted for examination. The decision will be communicated in writing to the student, Head of Program and supervisor.

5.2  Marking.

5.2.1   Each research project will be assessed by two (2) examiners, at least one of whom will be an external academic expert. If an external examiner cannot be found, the Head of Program must seek the approval of the Dean to appoint another internal examiner.

5.2.2   The Head of Program may serve as an examiner. The final grade and mark will be determined by the Head of Program based on the examiners' reports and following consultation with the supervisor. Where the examiners' reports differ by more than one grade, the Head of Program may appoint a third examiner to review the reports and provide a further assessment.

5.2.3   Where revisions are required by the supervisor, the student must make any revisions requested and resubmit within six (6) weeks. The student and supervisor may request to the Head of Program for an extension to this period under exceptional circumstances.

5.2.4   If the revised research project is not submitted by the stipulated period, the student will be awarded a Technical Fail. The student will be allowed to re-register for the research project within two (2) years.

5.3 Grading

Grade Mark Equivalent Descriptor
HD 85 - 100 High Distinction – work of outstanding quality which demonstrates integration and understanding of theory and application at a very high level, evidence of in-depth research, analysis and creative thought and consistent and thorough identification of the relevant sources and deserving the highest level of recognition
D 75 - 84

Distinction - performance which clearly deserves a very high level of recognition and demonstrates superior integration and understanding of theory and application, evidence of in-depth research, analysis and evaluation and consistent and thorough identification of the relevant sources

Cr 65 - 74 Credit - performance which is substantially better than would normally be expected of competent students in the unit subject, demonstrating good integration and understanding of theory and application, evidence of extended research and analysis and consistent identification of the relevant sources
P 50 - 64

Pass - satisfactory performance demonstrating adequate integration and understanding of theory and application, evidence of research and analysis and consistent identification of the relevant sources

F 0 - 49

Fail - a performance which does not demonstrate an understanding of theory or provide evidence of relevant properly documented research

TF 44 Technical Fail – performance which does not fulfil the extension for resubmission of a research project
6. Moderation of Assessment

It is the responsibility of the Subject Coordinator to ensure that there is a consistent and reliable approach to the marking and grading of assessment tasks. This is particularly important when tasks are qualitative in nature (e.g. essays, journals, creative works) and therefore require a higher level of judgement by the marker in awarding grades. Moderation entails discussion amongst markers about the interpretation of criteria and the application of standards in awarding grades or marks, with the aim of improving consistency and reliability amongst markers.

6.1  Moderation processes.

Subject Coordinators should ensure that there are robust moderation processes in place, which may include, amongst others, any of the following:

6.1.1   Discussion within the marking team about a sample of submitted papers prior to the commencement of marking;

6.1.2   Members of the marking team are paired – each pair member marking a sample of the other's papers;

6.1.3   Sampling by the Subject Coordinator of marked scripts across each band (i.e. HD, D, C etc.) to ensure consistency (with adjustment as necessary);

6.1.4   Sampling by the Subject Coordinator of marked scripts that are on the border between grades (with adjustment as necessary);

6.1.5   Provision to markers of sample responses for short answer questions;

6.1.6   Double marking of all submitted papers followed by a discussion where both markers reach agreement on the grade to be awarded (appropriate for major projects);

6.1.7   Moderation processes can take place electronically if markers are unable to meet in person. The Head of Program is responsible for ensuring that these processes are enforced and that Subject Coordinators report on compliance as part of any Course Review, and  

6.1.8   Where the Subject Coordinator is the only marker in a subject, moderation processes should be undertaken with an academic colleague. Where the Subject Coordinator is not the marker and there is only one marker, moderation should be undertaken by the Subject Coordinator.

6.2  Academic standards and benchmarking.

In order to ensure that assessment tasks and grading standards are comparable to those of other institutions in Australia and internationally, it is necessary to be explicit about standards and to benchmark standards with other higher education institutions through external moderation processes. It is expected that external assessment moderation processes will occur in tandem with other benchmarking and peer review activities, and may include any or all the following as appropriate:

6.2.1   Comparison of the nature and degree of difficulty of assessment tasks in equivalent unit subjects within the Institute and from other institutes of higher education;

6.2.2   Comparison of criteria and performance standards relative to equivalent assessment tasks;

6.2.3   Comparison of overall assessment load in an equivalent subject;

6.2.4   Marking by an external assessor of a sample of marked scripts, followed by a discussion that explicates differences and variations in grading that may exist, and 

6.2.5   External moderation processes, along with any resulting actions, should be recorded and reported as part of subject and course reviews.

6.3  Role of the Academic Board

The Academic Board will consider the grades recommended by the Subject Coordinators for each student. Prior to accepting, amending or rejecting grades, the Academic Board will ensure quality in assessment practices in accordance with this policy. The Academic Board may also investigate the handling of issues such as students-at-risk, students with language difficulties, unforeseen assessment events, moderation activities, benchmarking of standards and attrition rates. To expedite this review, Subject coordinators must ensure that all available grades are submitted in the required format through electronic means by the notified date. Subject Coordinators may be asked to attend the relevant Academic Board meeting to respond to any queries of the Board along with any proposed amendments to final grades.

7. Feedback to Students

Constructive, timely and relevant feedback on assessment tasks is vital for meaningful student learning and is considered to be an important part of any academic's teaching role. Feedback on assessment tasks enables students to monitor their progress, diagnose and rectify problems, make decisions about where to focus their efforts, and generally to be active participants in their learning. Insufficient, unhelpful or untimely feedback is the most commonly reported cause of dissatisfaction by students. Subject Coordinators should ensure that:

7.1  Students are routinely provided with constructive and timely feedback on assessment tasks, including, if requested by the student, final examination scripts;

7.2  Feedback on assessment tasks relates to the stated learning objectives, marking criteria and performance standards for a unit subject;

7.3  Assessment schedules for subjects provide sufficient time for students to benefit from feedback on one assessment task before completing and submitting the next task;

7.4  The feedback provided by the marking team in a subject is monitored for consistency and quality;

7.5  Inexperienced markers are mentored in relation to the provision of quality feedback, and 

7.6  A student may request the Subject Coordinator to provide additional feedback on their performance.

8. Academic Appeals

See also the Student Grievance Policy for detailed procedures for academic appeals.

8.1  Informal resolution procedure

Where a student is dissatisfied with the assessment of an assignment and/or an examination result the student must approach the Subject Coordinator in the first instance and as soon as possible to discuss and/or request a review of that assessment. It is the normal expectation that such a review would resolve most appeals against assessment within a particular subject. The student must complete the appropriate assessment grade appeal form. Examples of types of complaints that may be raised include:

8.1.1   Failure to assess work in accordance with specified criteria;

8.1.2   Bias by a marker;

8.1.3   Technical marking or collating error;

8.1.4   Failure to manage requests for academic consideration in accordance with the policy, and

8.1.5   Failure to adhere to the rules applicable to the course, and 

8.1.6   All complaints must be made individually and in written form. Group complaints or petitions will not be accepted.

8.2  Formal appeals procedure

If the student remains dissatisfied with the discussion with the Subject Coordinator, the student may make a formal appeal in writing to the Head of Program (in relation to a single assessment task) or to the Dean (in relation to a grade in a subject or a review by the Head of Program). Appeals against assessment of assignments and/or examination results must be made within two weeks of receipt of the assignment or examination result, subject to otherwise stated appeal deadlines. The Dean may extend the deadline for lodging an appeal in exceptional circumstances.

8.3  External arbitration review procedure 

If the student remains dissatisfied with the decision by the Dean, the student may appeal in writing to the Institute's Independent Arbiter. In considering such an appeal, the Independent Arbiter will discuss the case with the Dean. The Independent Arbiter will report the finding of the appeal to the student in writing with a copy for the student file.

8.3.1   Determining Academic Status - The Dean shall determine a student's academic status at the end of each study period.

8.3.2   Categories of Academic Status

Academic Status Description
Good Standing The student is achieving satisfactory course progress and is permitted to continue in the course and to re-enrol
Conditional The student is a risk of not achieving satisfactory course progress but is permitted to continue in the course and to re-enrol, under such conditions as may be determined by the Head of Program. A student may be placed on Conditional status at the end of a study period if the student has an SWA < 50.00, or failed a core unit subject, or failed to complete a compulsory element. A student will be placed on Conditional status at the end of a study period if the student failed 50% or more of the unit subjects in which they were enrolled.
Terminated The student has not achieved satisfactory course progress and is terminated from the course. The student is not permitted to continue in the course or to re-enrol in the course without approval from the Dean

The entitlement to continue in a course and to re-enrol is in all cases subject to any other restrictions or prohibitions imposed on the student such as a prohibition on re-enrolment for misconduct or non-payment of outstanding fees. Termination should only occur after the student has been placed on Conditional status during the course and should not be based on results achieved in a single study period. A decision to terminate a student must be based on academic performance over at least two, and generally three, study periods – usually the most recent study periods in which the student had an enrolment. A student will not normally be terminated on academic performance grounds on the basis of their results in their first and second study periods alone. This recognises that some students have difficulty adapting to the requirements of higher education study and may not achieve satisfactory results in their first year. The exception is where the student has performed so poorly that it is clear their continuation in the course should not be permitted. This would normally occur where a student fails all enrolled subjects in both their first and second study periods.

9. Assessment Monitoring and Review

9.1 The Institute is committed to quality assurance through planning, implementation, monitoring and continuous improvement of all its courses and assessment procedures and consistent with any Course Review. Monitoring and review activities associated with assessment quality include:

9.1.1   Peer review of assessment tasks before they are made available to students;

9.1.2   Review of student feedback on assessment tasks at the conclusion of a study period;

9.1.3   Subject Coordinator's Report, completed at the end of a teaching period;

9.1.4   Review of assessment issues arising from various sources of data and feedback including student feedback data, course performance reports and student complaints;

9.1.5   Benchmarking, external moderation and peer review processes, and 

9.1.6   The review and scrutiny by the Academic Board.

9.2  The Dean, in conjunction with Heads of Program and individual Subject Coordinators, is responsible for the implementation of monitoring and review processes within their courses to ensure that the Institute's assessment activities are efficient, fair, transparent, rigorous and appropriate. This responsibility includes addressing identified problems and opportunities for improvement, and the provision of professional development for new staff of staff requiring additional support with their assessment practice.

10. Roles and Responsibilities 

The following guidance is provided to staff and students in relation to roles and responsibilities associated with implementation of this Assessment policy: 

10.1  Students have a responsibility to:

10.1.1   Engage closely with published assessment requirements, put their best efforts into assessment and actively respond to feedback provided on tasks;

10.1.2   Be aware of and abide by the provisions of student Academic Integrity, and 

10.1.3   Retain, where possible, copies of all submitted assessment tasks until the end of a study period.

10.2  Subject Coordinators should ensure that:

10.2.1   Assessment design and implementation is undertaken with close reference to this policy;

10.2.2   Assessment requirements for a unit subject are discussed and understood by all members of staff involved in the teaching and assessment, including sessional and casual teachers;

10.2.3   Guidance, mentoring and close supervision of inexperienced markers is provided;

10.2.4   Appropriate moderation processes are undertaken for all relevant assessment tasks;

10.2.5   All requirements of the Academic Board are met;

10.2.6   All reporting and review processes are undertaken and, where necessary, acted upon, and

10.2.7   All discretionary decisions and judgments are undertaken in accordance with principles of fairness, consistency and transparency.

10.3  Heads of Programs should: 

10.3.1   Encourage a whole-of-course approach to assessment that enables graduate attributes to be incrementally embedded throughout the course;

10.3.2   Liaise closely with Subject Coordinators in relation to quality and consistency of assessment practices and processes, with particular attention to moderation and review activities, assessment load and appropriateness of tasks;

10.3.3.  Maintain oversight of academic standards in the course and promote opportunities for internal and external benchmarking of assessment wherever possible;

10.3.4   Facilitate and promote opportunities for professional development on assessment issues for all staff, with a particular focus on new or inexperienced assessors;

10.3.5   Review and report on course assessment outcomes, and act on problems, as appropriate;

10.3.6   Be familiar with the Academic Policy of the Academic Board and in particular this Assessment policy;

10.3.7   Provide advice and mentorship on good assessment practice as required, and 

10.3.8   Advise the Academic Board of any quality assurance issues in relation to student assessment and recommend appropriate policy and procedural change as necessary.

10.4  The Dean is to ensure that:

10.4.1   Monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure that assessment activities within the Institute are efficient, fair, transparent, rigorous and appropriate and that such mechanisms are routinely implemented, reviewed and reported on as required;

10.4.2   All new staff including sessional and casual marking staff are to be routinely inducted into assessment processes and practices of the Institute and that ongoing professional development opportunities on assessment issues are available to all staff;

10.4.3   Subject Coordinators are supported to implement the Assessment Policy and oversee the embedding and ongoing maintenance of graduate attributes in subjects through whole-of course assessment;

10.4.4   All responsibilities relating to international collaborations are fulfilled, including appropriate assessment, moderation, maintenance of standards and professional development requirements;

10.4.5   Staff are sufficiently resourced and supported to fulfil their roles and responsibilities under this policy, and 

10.4.6  Up-to-date assessment resources that can be readily accessed by all staff are maintained.

10.5  The Academic Board will:

10.5.1   Monitor the conduct and quality of assessment practices within the Institute and its compliance with Academic Board policies and the Institute's procedures and mechanisms;

10.5.2   Review proposed final grades and grade distributions and foster discussion regarding the rigour and standards of assessment tasks and grading activities.

Version Date Approved Date Effective Approved By Amendment
1 18 Dec 2009 18 Dec 2009 Academic Board
2 18 Dec 2010 18 Dec 2010 Academic Board
3 28 Feb 2014 28 Feb 2014 Academic Board
4 21 Nov 2014 21 Nov 2014 Academic Board
5 04 Dec 2014 04 Dec 2014 Board of Directors
6 19 May 2017 19 May 2017 Academic Board
7 04 Aug 2017 04 Aug 2017 Academic Board