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Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual

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Foreword

(1) This manual supports the Governance Rule, Schedule 2 – Delegation of Academic Matters of the Governance rule, and the Awards and Graduation Policy. In the event of an inconsistency between lower level policy documents and the Rule, the Rule made by Council prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

(2) For information on designing, managing and reviewing programs and when recommending the discontinuation of coursework programs offered by the University refer to the Program Management Procedure Manual – Coursework.

(3) For information on admission and enrolment at the University refer to the Admission and Enrolment Procedure Manual.

Application of this Manual

(4) This manual is designed to provide clear and concise directions for staff and students of the University when designing, managing and reviewing courses and assessment.

(5) The Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual applies to courses created and offered by the University of Newcastle including:

  1. enabling students; and
  2. undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students including those:
    1. enrolled in a program leading to an award;
    2. with single course enrolments for non-award and cross-institutional study;
    3. studying in Australia and offshore, including those enrolled through a third party provider.

(6) The Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual does not apply to Higher Degrees by Research. Policies and Procedures which apply to Higher Degrees by Research are located in the Policy Library.

(7) The Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual generally applies to the Joint Medical Program (JMP). In the event of an inconsistency between the Manual and the policies and procedures specific to the JMP, then the policies and procedures of the JMP prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

(8) This manual will be revised annually and published on the University website. The Manual remains in effect for the calendar year (January to December) and will usually only be changed in that year if there are changes to external legislation or urgent amendments approved by the Chair, Teaching and Learning Committee.

Acknowledgements

(9) The content of this manual has benefitted from input from other Universities. The content has been reviewed to ensure the University of Newcastle academic policies comply with the relevant sections of the Higher Education Threshold Standards 2015.

Communication with students

(10) The University's primary method of communication with students is electronic, through the UoN student email account and /or the student's nominated preferred email account as recorded in myHub. Students may re-direct their University email to a personal account, but University staff primarily only use the UoN student email account.

(11) All students are expected to check their UoN student email account frequently.

Further Information for Staff

(12) Where there is a perceived need for a variation from the processes described in the procedure manual, staff should contact the academicpolicy@newcastle.edu.au

(13) Where assistance is required with the interpretation of policies and/or procedures, staff should contact Student Central.

(14) Staff may provide feedback on this Manual by emailing academicpolicy@newcastle.edu.au

Further Information for Students

(15) For further information or clarification of the content contained in this procedure manual contact academicpolicy@newcastle.edu.au

Authorising Policy

(16) The Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual – Coursework has been developed under the authority of the Awards and Graduation Policy and the relevant schedules.

(17) Academic Senate has set the following guiding principles on courses and assessment.

Guiding Principles

(18) Students are expected to spend an average of 120 – 140 total hours of effort or total load in any term per 10 unit course value. This includes contact and non-contact course requirements and assessment, and applies to all fields of study and modes of delivery.

(19) Schools are responsible for ensuring that:

  1. course content is:
    1. appropriate, current and of high quality;
    2. distinctive and avoids unnecessary duplication with other course offerings.
  2. courses are delivered by those with appropriate expertise in the relevant field of study;
  3. the academic content and the number, weighting and types of assessment items within a course offered in multiple modes or locations will be equivalent;
  4. the University Learning management system is used to provide content, resources and relevant information for every course offered in a term;
  5. undergraduate courses re-badged as postgraduate courses are identified as such so that students are unable to claim credit for both units;
  6. the learning outcomes, content, and assessment for a course are described in the course outline available to students at the commencement of the term.

(20) Faculty Boards are responsible for the approval of the academic content of new courses, their assessment and compulsory course components.

(21) The Program and Course Approval Committee is responsible for ensuring that:

  1. new courses will only be approved for creation and inclusion in the Course Availability List (CAL) if they meet at least one of the criteria listed below:
    1. Criterion 1 - Online, and available as an elective to all students.
    2. Criterion 2 - A course:
      1. which is part of a proposed program in the final stages of approval by Academic Senate, or established by Council; and
      2. where justification is given that existing appropriate courses are not available.
    3. Criterion 3 - A course required for a revised program  following an external program review, developed in a Faculty Response and Action Plan approved by the Faculty Board and the Program and Course Approval Committee.
    4. Criterion 4 – Course replacing another course with similar content.
    5. Criterion 5 - a course which does not comply with Criteria 1-3, will only be considered if accompanied by an appropriate justification.
  2. courses with zero enrolments for the most recent three years of offerings will be discontinued by the Program and Course Approval Committee after consultation with the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor.

(22) Assessment is a fundamental learning activity which engages students in tasks that test as well as develop and extend knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Assessment must be considered part of, and embedded within, learning. Assessments must provide reliable indicators of student learning and achievement and be appropriate for the mode of delivery.

(23) The method and focus of each assessment item must align with the learning outcomes of a course.

(24) Quality assurance processes, including the peer review of the content and design of assessment materials and the moderation of course marking, provide evidence of the validity and quality of assessment practices.

(25) Assessments in core and compulsory courses  within a program should be mapped to enable student assessment workload planning and the coordinated embedding of graduate outcomes across courses.

(26) Assessment weightings should reflect the demands and relative importance of an assessment item, and the overall assessment load in a course should reflect the unit value of that course.

(27) A variety of assessment methods should be used to engage students and accommodate diverse learning preferences.

(28) Courses should use an appropriate number of assessment items.

(29) Students have differing levels of experience and expertise in learning and assessment and therefore require full explanations of the methods and types of assessment used in the field of study prior to Major or summative assessment.

(30) Student performance must be measured against pre-advised criteria. This assists with consistency in marking and feedback, by clarifying the requirements for all students and the markers for a course. Norm based marking is not utilised.

(31) Feedback should:

  1. be in constructive and supportive language;
  2. inform students of those areas where they performed well and where improvements can be made; and
  3. be provided in accordance with the Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual.

(32) The objective of this procedure manual is to provide clear and concise directions on the development, management and assessment of courses to staff and students of the University.

Section 1 - Course – Approval

(33) A new course is one that has been newly created or is a consolidation of two or more existing courses under a new course code.

Approval Pathway

(34) A new course may only be offered after:

  1. the new course proposal, including a copy of the proposed Nustar entry, has been submitted to the relevant Faculty Board;
  2. the course  has been approved by the relevant Faculty Board including the academic content and the course unit value (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 units); and

(35) Prior to being offered for the first time, a course must be approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC) for quality assessment.

(36) The criteria to be considered for the establishment of new courses in accordance with the principles determined by Academic Senate:

  1. Criterion 1 - Online, and available as an elective to all students.
  2. Criterion 2 - A course:
    1. which is part of a proposed program in the final stages of approval by Academic Senate, or established by Council; and
    2. where justification is given that existing appropriate courses are not available.
  3. Criterion 3 - A course required for a revised program  following an external program review, developed in a Faculty Response and Action Plan approved by the Faculty Board and the Program and Course Approval Committee.
  4. Criterion 4 – Course replacing another course with similar content.
  5. Criterion 5 - a course which does not comply with Criteria 1-3, will only be considered if accompanied by an appropriate justification.

(37) Once finalised the new course details will be documented in Nustar and published in the Course Handbook.

Resourcing of Courses

(38) The resourcing of courses is the responsibility of the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 2 - Course – Discontinuation

General Provisions

(39) Faculty Board will approve the discontinuation of a course (see Figure 1).

(40) A recommendation to Faculty Board for the discontinuation of a course will usually come from the Head of School.

(41) The Head of School will provide Faculty Board with details of the arrangements made to accommodate students seeking to be or currently enrolled in all programs in which the course to be discontinued is offered as core, compulsory or directed. If multiple faculties are involved all stakeholders need to be consulted on the change.

(42) The Faculty Board will ensure that when a course is discontinued:

  1. Students are not disadvantaged, and;
  2. appropriate teach-out or alternative arrangements have been made for current students and applicants prior to approving the discontinuation of a course.

(43) If the discontinued course is a core or compulsory course within a program, the Faculty is required to consult with relevant Faculties regarding the proposed course deletion and to seek approval from the Program and Course Approval Committee for appropriate Major revisions to the program(s). Refer to Clause 10.1 in the Program Management Procedure Manual.

(44) If the course is contained in a Directed Courses List for a program(s), the Faculty is required to consult with relevant Faculties regarding the proposed course deletion and to seek approval from the applicable Faculty Board for the minor revision to the program(s). Refer to Section 10 in the Program Management Procedure Manual.

(45) Following discontinuation of a course, the Faculty must notify the Secretary to the Program and Course Approval Committee who will ensure it is removed from Nustar.

(46) Figure 1 – Course Discontinuation Flowchart.

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Section 3 - Course – Revisions

(47) As courses are changed and updated to meet changing discipline standards changes must be approved by the relevant authorising officer (or committee) and recorded within Nustar to provide a historical record of the changes. Course revisions should not affect students currently enrolled in that course.

School Level Revisions to Courses

(48) The relevant Head of School (or nominee) is authorised to approve changes to a course:

  1. Coordinator;
  2. content including description that do not impact achievement of the learning outcomes of the course;
  3. assessment weightings;
  4. the course outline after initial publication;
  5. typographical errors in Nustar; and
  6. term(s) of offer when the course is not a core or compulsory course across multiple Schools.

Faculty Level Revisions to Courses

(49) Faculty Boards are authorised to approve changes to a course:

  1. course title [Note: course title changes permitted only when the update is being made to better reflect the current content of the course];
  2. grading basis*;
  3. field of education code [Note: field of education code changes impacts on fees charge by the University to students, it is very important to ensure that you are selecting the most relevant field of education code to reflect the content of the course. Field of Education codes can only be updated in the system by the Student Systems team, Student Central];
  4. course outcomes and mapping of course assessments to course outcomes;
  5. site(s) of delivery;
  6. compulsory course requirements;
  7. assumed knowledge;
  8. mode of delivery;
  9. contact hours;
  10. types or methods of assessment;
  11. availability, when used as a core or compulsory course within programs [Note: if course is utilised by other Faculties, then endorsement must be received from that Faculty prior to approval]; and
  12. transition arrangements following approved changes and listing of courses as "not to be counted for credit with".
*Changes to course titles and grading basis cannot be implemented if students are already enrolled in a current or forthcoming term.

(50) Faculty Boards are also authorised to approve changes for the School responsible for teaching the course.

University Level Revisions to Courses

(51) The Program and Course Approval Committee is authorised to approve amendments or alterations to a course:

  1. course code;
  2. unit value;
  3. Compulsory Program Requirements for courses that are monitored for academic progression purposes – refer to the Program Management Procedure Manual;
  4. requisites; and
  5. level.

(52) Changes to unit value or level of a course results in the creation of a new course.

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Section 4 - Course – Quality Assurance

New Courses

(53) All aspects of new courses will undergo a quality assurance check before submission to the Program and Course Approval Committee for approval. This will be undertaken by colleagues from within the discipline.

(54) The quality assurance check for new courses will consider:

  1. the content of the course in relation to existing bodies of knowledge and research;
  2. if the learning outcomes of the new course are valid, achievable, and at the appropriate level;
  3. the proposed academic level of the course;
  4. the alignment of learning activities, teaching methods, assessment requirements and learning outcomes;
  5. the appropriateness of the timing, level, and weighting of assessment items; and
  6. the existence and clarity of the proposed Nustar entry.

Established Courses

(55) After each offering the Course Co-ordinator will evaluate and make necessary adjustments to a course, considering staff and student feedback and student outcomes (pass and fail rates, withdrawals and achievement levels) (see Academic Reflection on Courses & Course Reflections Summary). Any adjustments required may then be incorporated into the next iteration of the course.

(56) The course evaluation should be documented by the Course Co-ordinator and stored centrally as required by the School (e.g. in the Course Assessment Return (CAR) or Faculty Quality Assurance Folder) to assist Schools, Faculty Boards and Academic Senate with tracking the quality assurance of courses.

(57) Academic Senate and the Program and Course Approval Committee may request periodic reviews to ensure that all courses continue to offer distinct content and appropriate learning outcomes.

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Section 5 - Course – Structure

Unit Value

(58) 'Unit' means the academic credit allotted to a course. This term is used to:

  1. define the requirements for an award of the University; and
  2. indicate a student's enrolment load.

Student Workload

(59) A student should expect to spend, on average, 120 – 140 hours of effort or total load (contact and non-contact including assessment) per 10 unit course. This applies to all courses for all fields of study and modes of delivery, including placement courses.

Academic Subject Codes/Areas

(60) An academic subject code is the four letter prefix at the beginning of a course code denoting the unit of academic instruction in a particular subject area or field of education, for example: EDUC or MATH. For enabling courses, the academic subject code it is a six letter prefix for example EPMATH.

(61) Active and inactive academic subject codes are contained within NUSTAR.

(62) New academic subject codes should, where possible, broadly cover one of the narrow Field of Education codes listed in the Australia Standard Classification of Education.

(63) To seek approval for a new academic subject code, a Faculty or Division must complete the required New Academic Subject Area form:

  1. New Academic Subject Area – limited to four letters (For example EDUC). For Enabling courses, limited to six letters (For example EPMATH).
  2. Description of the new area (For example: Education)
  3. Owner Academic Organisational Unit code and name
  4. First Term Valid – this is the first term that a course using the new subject area will be taught
  5. Field of Education Code and Title
  6. HECS Band (if code will be applicable to undergraduate programs)
  7. Fees by 10 unit course for International students
  8. Fees by 10 units course for Full-Fee paying Domestic students.
  9. Detailed justification for why the new academic subject area is required.

(64) The form is available at Forms, Guides and Templates.

(65) The relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor will need to provide the completed form to the Academic Registrar and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for approval.

(66) An academic subject code may be deleted by Student Central following a request from a Faculty that the Academic Subject Code is no longer required as it has been replaced by a more appropriate code or is no longer available at the University.

Course Levels

(67) EPXXXX123 level – denotes enabling, bridging and foundation courses.

(68) Undergraduate courses:

  1. The learning outcomes, knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills for each course level will vary depending on the field of study. When approving the level the Faculty Board will be guided by the following:
    1. 1000 level - introductory;
    2. 2000 level - mid program;
    3. 3000 level - senior
    4. 4000 and 5000 levels - advanced
  2. Successive levels reflect a greater depth of knowledge, skills and capacity to apply knowledge and skills.

(69) Postgraduate courses:

  1. 5000 and 6000 levels - postgraduate courses;

(70) Higher Degree by Research courses will be identified by higher level course codes.

(71) Key Words for Each Course Level *

*Note: 1000 (introductory), 2000 (mid program), 3000 (senior), and 4000 (advanced) level courses reflect incremental increasing levels of knowledge, skills, and the application of knowledge and skills in a program and course.

Courses at higher levels have assessment tasks that require a demonstration of greater depth and breadth of knowledge and greater complexity in skills. Assessment tasks in higher levels of courses usually require more critical analysis/research skills/independent thinking and production than tasks in lower levels.
 
Typical
Programs
Enabling
(Non-AQF)
Undergraduate (AQF levels 5- 8 except Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma) PG (AQF Level 8 and Level 9 (coursework & extended 9C & 9E) Research Higher Degrees (AQF 9R and 10)
Course Level Enabling
(Entry level)
1000 level
(Introductory)
2000 level
(mid-program)
3000 level
(senior)
4000/5000 level
(advanced)
6000 level
(postgraduate)
9000 level
(RHD)
Key Words to use in Proof of Learning Outcome attainment for each Graduate Profile statements *Foundational
*Preparatory
*Pathway
*Entry level
*Introductory
*Foundation
*Elementary
*Preliminary
*Growing awareness
*Basic
*Intermediate
*Mid-level
*Developing
Senior
For 3 year programs:
*Capstone
*Specialised
*Advanced
*Capstone
*Advanced
*Capstone
*Expert
*Substantial
*New Knowledge

Re-badged Undergraduate Courses

(72) An undergraduate course cannot be re-badged as a higher level undergraduate course.

(73) Undergraduate courses may be re-badged as postgraduate courses and offered jointly to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

(74) When postgraduate and undergraduate students study the same course, different course codes must be used. If the coursecode is less than a 6000 level the following will apply:

  1. Postgraduate students will:
    1. be required to access additional extension material needed to contribute to meeting the relevant learning outcomes (at least 20% of the postgraduate course must be different from the undergraduate course);
    2. complete different and more challenging assessment items; and
    3. complete targeted learning activities such as tutorials, workshops or laboratories, face to face or online. This is essential to provide the necessary depth of analysis or treatment of the course content for postgraduate students.

(75) Postgraduate students may attend the same lectures as undergraduate students.

Course Types

(76) A core course is a course within a program, which is essential and must be satisfactorily completed to fulfil the requirements of that program.

(77) A compulsory course is a course within a Major, which is essential and must be satisfactorily completed to fulfil the requirements of that Major.

(78) A capstone course provides the opportunity for a student to integrate and consolidate knowledge and skills learned throughout the degree program, enabling a mature reflection upon and cogent analysis of a problem so that the student may develop and demonstrate the capacity and attributes expected of a professional discipline graduate.

(79) A directed course is a course chosen from within a list or group of courses. A directed course list may be attached to a program, or a Major within a program.

(80) An elective is a course chosen by a student from outside the core or compulsory courses of their program from all courses available at the University (unless an Enrolment Requisite restricts availability).

Course Requisites

(81) Refer also to Clause 79 in the Program Management Procedure Manual.

(82) Guidelines for course requisites:

  1. A course requisite must meet one or more of the criteria for course requisites as listed under Clause 82;
  2. A course will not usually have more than two (2) requisites;
  3. The Program and Course Approval Committee (PCAC) must approve all course requisites;
  4. Faculties must ensure all applications to PCAC for the approval of course requisites provide sufficient and appropriate information, including an indication of which criteria in Clause 82 are being met; and
  5. The Program Convenor on the advice of the Course Co-ordinator may waive course requisites for students on a case by case basis.

(83) Criteria for Course Requisites:

  1. Enrolment limited by program - enrolment in a course is limited to students enrolled in specified programs. This may be due to resource limitations.
  2. Professional placement - successful completion of listed courses or compulsory components is required prior to enrolment in approved clinical or professional experience courses.
  3. Health and safety reasons - prior successful completion of listed courses or compulsory components is required for safety reasons.
  4. Required Prior Learning - a requisite may be approved when the prior successful completion of a course or unit of study is necessary to ensure successful progression of a student cohort. Appropriate evidence must be provided that prior knowledge affects the outcomes for a student cohort e.g. mapping of course content, the correlations between prior knowledge and student cohort outcomes.
  5. Capstone course - where the course represents the culmination of study in a program, and is described as such in Nustar.
  6. Course Anti-Requisite – where courses contain substantially similar content, such that both courses should not count together towards any program.
  7. Program/Major Anti-Requisite – where a course cannot count towards a given program, because it is substantially similar to content already delivered through the program  core or the chosen Major.
  8. Course Co-Requisite - The content delivered in the course, and its required activities and/or assessments, are interrelated with another specified course to the extent in which it would be impractical for the student to enrol in the courses in separate terms.

(84) Course Requisite Types:

  1. Enrolment by Program Requisite – Students must be active in a specific program to enrol in the course.
  2. Program Anti-requisite – Students may not be able to core courses.
  3. Major Anti-requisite – Students may not be able to enrol in a course  if they are active in a specific Major in a program. The course contains substantially similar content to courses in the student's chosen Major, and thereby would not introduce the student to new content or offer learning outcomes not already provided through the specified Major.
  4. Course Pre-requisite - A Pre-requisite may be approved when the prior successful completion of a course or unit of study is necessary to ensure successful progression of a student cohort.
  5. Course Co-requisite – Students may be prevented from enrolling in a course unless they are also enrolled in another specified course in the same term.
  6. Course Pre-requisite or Co-requisite – The student may only enrol in the course if they have successfully completed/have credit for; or are concurrently enrolled in another specified course.
  7. Course Anti-requisite – These may be approved to prevent a student enrolling in a course which is substantially similar to another course a student has already successfully completed in their program.
  8. General Enrolment Requisite – Limitations placed on enrolment in a specified course, based on a student's prior study outside of the University.

Assumed Knowledge

(85) Assumed knowledge may be confirmed on the basis of:

  1. an advisory listing of (a) prior course(s) for which the student has a passing grade; or
  2. a diagnostic test probing student background knowledge.

(86) Assumed knowledge for a course is approved by Faculty Board on the recommendation of the Head of School.

Multi – Term Sequence Courses

(87) Single semester courses are the norm, the preferred option. Multi-term sequence courses are the exception.

(88) Multi-Term Sequence courses will usually have a unit value of 20, 30 or 40 units only. The unit value of a multi-term sequence course is the total value of the sequence and is not divisible.

(89) If a course is taught, it must be semesterised/trimesterised. If a course is supervised (for example, a project, a thesis, fieldwork or a practicum), it may be a multi-term sequence course. Justification must be provided for the creation of a multi-term sequence course.

(90) Any existing multi-term sequence course with clearly identifiable components must be semesterised/trimesterised.

(91) Usually, multi-term sequence courses  will be created only for projects or practical courses.

(92) Except for professional placement requirements, Faculties will usually offer no more than one multi-term sequence course per program. The multi-term sequence course will usually be offered in the latter part of the program.

(93) The preferred option for the offering of multi-term sequence courses is Part A in Semester 1 and Part B in Semester 2 of any particular year. However, Part A can be offered in Semester 2, followed by Part B in Semester 1 of the following year. This would allow the offering of Part A and Part B in the same semester but the two Parts cannot be taken in the same semester (ie, concurrently) by an individual student.

(94) Students undertaking a multi-term sequence course must complete all the elements or parts in the sequence in sequential sessions i.e. in consecutive terms; study of the second part may not be deferred until a later term.

(95) Multi-Term Sequence courses must be approved by the Program and Course Approval Committee.

(96) Faculties can make a case for diverging from Clauses 86 – 91. The Program and Course Approval Committee is authorised to approve variations.

Compulsory Course Requirement

(97) A compulsory course requirement is an assessment item or other element in a course which will be:

  1. listed as compulsory and approved for inclusion in the Nustar entry for the course;
  2. specifically linked to course learning outcomes;
  3. listed in the course outline;
  4. may or may not be awarded marks; and
  5. must be satisfactorily completed before a pass mark (or greater) can be awarded for the course.

(98) The Nustar entry will:

  1. clearly state the nature of the compulsory course  requirement in the Compulsory Course Requirement field;
  2. demonstrate the relationship between the learning outcomes of the course and the compulsory course requirement;
  3. describe how the compulsory course requirement will be assessed as having been satisfactorily completed; and
  4. detail any opportunities for students to re-attempt the compulsory course requirement if unsuccessful in only this component of the course (including provisions for cases where Adverse Circumstances are granted). If it is not possible to re-attempt the compulsory course requirement, the rationale explaining this must be provided.

Approval

(99) Faculty Boards are responsible for the:

  1. approval of compulsory course requirements; and
  2. ensuring that compulsory course requirements are achievable for all modes of delivery used and at each site of offering.

Types and Uses of Compulsory Course Requirements

(100) Compulsory Course requirements may be:

  1. Course Assessment Requirement - Part of the assessment requirements for a course; for example, students may be required to achieve a specified result in all or in identified assessment items; or
  2. Placement Requirement - For example students may be required to:
    1. successfully undertake a placement requirement; or
    2. complete a police or other type of check; or
    3. successfully undertake a First Aid certificate; or
    4. complete any Work Health and Safety requirements.
  3. General Course Requirement – For example, students may be required to:
    1. satisfy a particular requirement such as attendance and participation, where it can be demonstrated that attendance and participation is required to meet an intended learning outcome; or
    2. attend and pass a Work Health and Safety laboratory induction requirement before attending laboratories; or
    3. submit a document relating to a specific task within a defined time period.

(101) Compulsory Course requirements should not usually cause the student workload for the course to exceed the 120-140 hours of effort per 10 unit course.

(102) Where a compulsory course requirement may extend the total workload beyond the 120-140 hours of effort per 10 unit course (e.g. a placement course), justification must be provided for consideration and approval of the relevant Faculty Board.

Completion of a Compulsory Course Requirements

(103) Irrespective of a student's mark, if a student has achieved overall marks greater than 50% in a course but has failed to satisfactorily complete a compulsory course requirement then the School will enter a CF mark and grade against the course and fail grade (FF) will be recorded on their transcript.

General Provisions for Placements

(104) Placement supervisors, placement agency supervisors and students will be provided with appropriate preparation regarding their role and responsibilities before, during and after the placement.

(105) Documentation for placement will provide a clear statement regarding:

  1. the procedures for allocation of placements;
  2. criteria regarding eligibility for placement (e.g. completion of required courses or program requirements);
  3. the completion by students of compulsory course requirements, compulsory program requirements and/or enrolment requisites (e.g. vaccinations, First Aid certificate, course prerequisites);
  4. provision by students of required documentation (e.g. Criminal Record Check, Commission for Children and Young People Working with Children check, Student Declaration or health checks);
  5. risk assessments undertaken by the Course Co-ordinator, School and/or placement agency;
  6. procedures for students with a disability seeking adjustments;
  7. how the placement fits the course and program learning outcomes;
  8. placement compliance with relevant professional accreditation;
  9. specific learning outcomes of the placement;
  10. assessment, including how the assessment will measure learning outcomes;
  11. requirements regarding compliance with privacy legislation within the placement agency;
  12. procedures for dealing with absences, conflict or other difficulties, including breakdown of the placement due to student performance and/or other circumstances;
  13. the cost involved in the placement and clear advice that the cost is borne by the student; and
  14. the date determined by the Head of School and advised in the course outline after which a student may not withdraw from a placement course without academic penalty other than in exceptional circumstances and with approval from the Head of School.

(106) Students on placement will be supervised by a professional in the field preferably with at least two years professional experience, or a designated individual supervisor of equivalent clinical/professional/industrial experience.

(107) Students on placement will:

  1. actively participate in safety training or instruction provided by the placement agency until deemed competent by the agency to perform tasks in a safe manner;
  2. be in regular communication with agency and/or University supervisors;
  3. be provided with feedback during the placement regarding their progress towards the learning outcomes of the placement.

(108) Placement agencies will provide, where appropriate, an induction prior to the student commencing at the placement agency.

(109) Placement agencies and placement agency supervisors will be provided with the necessary information, training and support to fulfil their role and responsibilities to the satisfaction of the University, placement agency and students.

(110) Placement agencies, placement agency supervisors and students will be advised of their responsibilities under Anti-Discrimination, Work Health and Safety (WHS) and Privacy Legislation and the University's Risk Management Policy.

Placements for Students with a Disability

(111) The University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for students with a disability to complete placement requirements for programs in which they are enrolled.

(112) The University Placement Supervisor and/or the Course Co-ordinator will:

  1. liaise with the University's AccessAbility Support Services to ensure that an accurate assessment of the implications of the student's disability and the requirements of the placement are conducted;
  2. liaise with the Program Convenor to identify the essential requirements of the placement in relation to the course and program;
  3. liaise with the University's AccessAbility Support Services and the Program Convenor to determine how the essential requirements of the course might be achieved while accommodating the needs of the student;
  4. take account of the particular needs of the student in the selection of the placement agency and the arrangements made (e.g. access, furniture, communication, flexibility of attendance, assessment changes/exemptions as appropriate);
  5. ensure that implications for WHS, duty of care and legal liability are assessed particularly in the context of Anti-Discrimination, WHS, and Privacy legislation. The University and the placement agency have the right to refuse a placement if either considers that there is a danger to the student, fellow workers or clients of the agency; and
  6. ensure that any additional support mechanisms or review/monitoring processes that may be required are in place.

Class Attendance and Participation

(113) Marks may not be awarded for attendance or participation alone, except within a placement course. Attendance and participation may contribute up to 100% of the marks for a placement course and may be either graded or ungraded.

(114) Attendance and/or participation may only be a compulsory course  requirement if the intended learning outcomes require attendance or participation.

(115) When attendance and/or participation is a compulsory course requirement:

  1. attendance records must be maintained for all sessions included in the assessment, for example, tutorials, seminars, workshops etc;
  2. the attendance record must be retained with the Course Assessment Return;
  3. students must be advised in the assessment section of the course outline that attendance and/or participation records are being kept, and the means by which they are being kept, for example, a sign-in sheet;
  4. a student unable to attend due to approved Adverse Circumstances must be provided with an appropriate option to complete the course.

Learning Outcomes

(116) In accordance with the AQF (Second Edition), learning outcomes are the expressions of the set of knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills a person has acquired and is able to demonstrate as a result of their learning.

(117) Core, compulsory and directed courses together contribute to both the graduate and level specific learning outcomes for a program. This topic is addressed in the Program Management Procedure Manual.

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Section 6 - Course – Content

Learning Outcomes and Assessment

(118) Each course must align learning outcomes, assessment items, course content, learning activities and teaching methods.

Course Content

(119) The content of a course must be current, appropriate for the field of study and the level at which it is offered.

(120) The total workload required must correspond to the unit value of the course.

(121) A course taught at multiple locations within the same academic term, must have equivalent weightings and coverage of the learning outcomes across the assessment items. The assessment items should be consistent in the course  handbook, but local assessment instances may be indicated in the course outline to enable flexibility for courses run across sites or with different modes of delivery.

(122) With approval from the relevant Head of School some course content may be contextualised for specific off-shore requirements, mode of delivery or in response to feedback.

Learning Activities and Teaching Methods

(123) Learning activities and teaching methods must be appropriate to the content, field of study, level offered and mode of delivery.

(124) Assistance and advice are available from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

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Section 7 - Course – Availability

Course Availability List (CAL) Approval

(125) The Course Availability List (CAL) is finalised before the commencement of the enrolment period.

(126) The Head of School is responsible for the inclusion of course offerings for the School in the CAL prior to the commencement of the enrolment period.

(127) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on the recommendation of the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor, is authorised to approve any changes to the CAL after the commencement of the enrolment period for courses in which students have enrolled. The removal of a course from the CAL after the commencement of the enrolment period, which has no students enrolled, can be approved by the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor.

(128) Where there is any change in the CAL, the Faculty(s) responsible must make all reasonable provision to allow students to enrol in an alternative equivalent course to complete their award. Such alternative arrangements must not disadvantage students in terms of completion times.

Course Handbook

(129) Each approved course will be listed in Nustar, and published on the web in the Course Handbook.

Non-Enrolled Course Attendance – Auditing a Course

(130) A student may be advised or required to audit a course in which they are not formally enrolled.

(131) Students auditing a course are permitted to attend, or access online, the lectures, tutorials etc. without enrolling in the course. Those auditing a course are not required to submit assessment items and will not receive a mark or grade for that course unless completion by the student is required for a research higher degree.

(132) Members of the University community may audit any courses that do not require the completion of an enrolment requisite such as practicum, laboratories, placements or have any other restrictions on enrolment and attendance including Work Health and Safety (WHS) requirements.

(133) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) is authorised to approve an application to audit a course.

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Section 8 - Course – Delivery

Communication

(134) Staff must advise students of their availability for consultations in the course outline. Regular interaction is strongly encouraged.

(135) Students' queries should be addressed within an appropriate timeframe (usually two University working days).

(136) Details of the means of regular communications with students must be provided irrespective of the mode of delivery. Course Co-ordinators must always explain in course outlines the communication/interaction mechanisms to be used. For general issues these may include group emails, discussion boards, forums, blogs, chat rooms and meetings. For private or sensitive issues these may include email, phone, or face to face meetings.

Course Locations and Modes

(137) A course may be offered at single or multiple locations in the same term.

(138) A course may be offered using different modes of delivery during the same term.

Online and Distance Delivery

(139) When hard copy materials are to be provided they must be available to enrolled students at least one week prior to the commencement of the term. Details of how to obtain additional course materials will usually be provided electronically.

Learning Management System (Blackboard)

(140) The University uses a learning management system, Blackboard. Every course has a site in that system, available on the first day of term.

(141) The course outline for each course will be provided to students via Blackboard.

(142) Course Co-ordinators are responsible for ensuring that their Blackboard site and the course material provided complies with copyright legislation.

(143) Additional teaching material and information may be provided via Blackboard, including:

  1. teaching staff availability and contact details;
  2. an outline of discussion group topics, if relevant;
  3. details of educational design of the course including how the course is taught and the pedagogical reasons for this;
  4. study guides;
  5. presentation style guides;
  6. bibliographies (a list of course readings must be given for online and distance education students);
  7. an announcements page for news about the course  or messages relating to the course;
  8. additional resources; and
  9. laboratory exercise sheets etc.

(144) The University will maintain the 'For Students' tab within Blackboard. This tab provides student policy information relating to assessment, academic integrity, Accessibility Support Services, enrolment and making complaints.

Course Materials

(145) The library  provides a short loans service in which essential course readings are either placed on reserve (2 hour loan) or, for material that can be scanned or linked online, a digital copy is available through the catalogue (Short Loans Online). This ensures that all students can access essential reading material throughout their course.
Note: For comprehensive information about short loans and short loans online, including the types of materials which can be included, processing times and what to do if your course is run at multiple sites, please refer to the library website.

(146) To assist students with a disability, individual lecturers must make materials available to AccessAbility Support Service upon request. When appropriate, the Adaptive Technology Centre will adapt these materials.

Ethical and Safety Aspects of Student Class Experiments and Practical Exercises

(147) When delivering a course all teaching staff must comply with the University's and other relevant ethics requirements; and, with the University Work Health and Safety policy and related procedures, guidelines, and other health and safety documentation within the Policy Library and the University Health and Safety Management System.

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Section 9 - Course – Coordination

Course Co-ordinator Appointment

(148) A "Course Co-ordinator"; is the academic (or for some ELFS Centre courses, a teacher) appointed by the relevant Head of School to manage a particular course.

(149) Each course is required to have a duly appointed Course Co-ordinator. They will oversee the course, including offerings on different sites and in different terms.

(150) A Head of School may appoint joint Course Co-ordinators for a course with multiple offerings or where there is need to have a Course Coordinating Team.

(151) The Course Co-ordinator will usually be a Level B academic or above but may be a Level A academic or a conjoint academic member of the University if suitably qualified and experienced.

(152) The Course Co-ordinator should be appointed at least four weeks prior to the start of a term in which the course is offered.

Course Co-ordinator Role and Responsibilities

(153) The delivery and management of a high quality course is primarily the responsibility of the Course Co-ordinator, with support from the relevant Head of School.

(154) The Course Co-ordinator has overall responsibility for planning and the delivery of the course, assessing student learning outcomes in the course, ensuring students are given constructive and timely feedback, and managing course quality.

(155) The Course Co-ordinator will liaise with the Program Convenor for each program in which the course is offered as a core, compulsory or directed course  regarding the teaching and learning outcomes of each offering.

Student Placements

(156) University Placement Supervisors and/or Course Co-ordinators will ensure that:

  1. there are explicit procedures for allocating students to placements;
  2. students are eligible to undertake placements, in accordance with the schedule and/or approved program/course requirements (e.g. course prerequisites and/or compulsory course requirements);
  3. mechanisms are in place to enable, where appropriate, individualised learning goals for each student;
  4. all Placement Requirements (e.g., health checks, Commission for Children and Young People Working with Children Check - Student Declaration, Criminal Record Check or insurance) has been completed by students;
  5. students with a disability which may affect their placement are assessed and have the opportunity to negotiate accommodations with placement agencies and supervisors;
  6. students' progress is systematically monitored during the placement and that University staff and support systems are available to students during the placement; and
  7. students keep a log of the work undertaken in the placement;
  8. placement agency supervisors are professionals in the field preferably with at least two years professional experience, or an appropriate level of equivalent clinical/professional/industrial experience; and
    1. have been provided with information regarding their roles and responsibilities;
    2. conduct an induction with the student including information relating to any WHS and privacy legislation requirements for the placement agency;
    3. provide the student with access to shared office space and a desk (when appropriate and available);
    4. are insured with appropriate contracts in place to cover any legal and safety related liabilities associated with working as a placement agency supervisor;

Course Management

(157) The Course Co-ordinator is responsible for:

  1. ensuring they are familiar with the relevant academic policies and procedures;
  2. the timely preparation and provision of course materials including assessment items and assessment criteria;
  3. planning teaching activities including lectures, tutorials and online options;
  4. establishing and maintaining the learning management system for the course (Blackboard) and other online systems supporting teaching and learning including text-matching systems;
  5. developing the course outline (see Section 10);
  6. planning course  assessment that is consistent with the course learning outcomes, course content, learning activities, teaching methods, and delivery mode;
  7. organising resources including text books and reference materials, online materials and support, the availability of particular facilities or equipment, and inviting and scheduling any visiting lecturers;
  8. ensuring regular student access to staff for consultations, either online or by direct meetings throughout the term. Responses should usually be provided within two University working days;
  9. obtaining approval, from the appropriate body, for any proposed course changes as outlined in Section 3.
  10. actively working with those delivering the course, including placement supervisors by:
    1. communicating effectively with all teaching/tutoring staff to review notes for teaching sessions;
    2. discussing course details including learning outcomes, assessment, marking and student feedback;
    3. supporting new and casual teaching staff in their teaching roles; and
    4. working with joint Course Co-ordinators.
  11. coordinating responses to administrative requests related to the course including:
    1. developing options for students who provide an Reasonable Adjustments Plan obtained from AccessAbility Support Service;
    2. addressing requests for approval of Adverse Circumstances applications.
  12. coordinating the collation of all marks, checking, arranging assessment moderation when required, and providing all students' results in accordance with the relevant section of this manual;
  13. ensuring the timely delivery of student feedback after each assessment in accordance with the relevant section of this manual;
  14. evaluating each offering of the course after considering formal and informal student feedback, feedback from staff teaching the course and student academic outcomes, including:
    1. documenting the course  evaluation to assist Schools, Faculty Boards and Academic Senate with tracing the quality assurance of courses.
    2. liaising with all relevant Program Convenors to ensure that the needs of all participating student cohorts are considered when altering a course.
    3. obtaining approvals for any necessary adjustments to the course learning outcomes, course content, learning activities, teaching methods, assessment tasks and delivery modes in response to the outcomes of post offering follow-ups.
  15. all other activities related to the course, as directed by the Head of School, or as required by the policies of the University.

Checklist

(158) To assist Course Co-ordinators, a checklist has been developed (see Course Coordinator Checklist).

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Section 10 - Course – Outlines

(159) A course outline is made available by the Course Co-ordinator for each course at the commencement of each term in which the course is offered. The course outline must be produced from Nustar.

Approval

(160) The course outline must be approved by the Head of School (or nominee) prior to distribution.

Availability of Course Outlines

(161) An approved course outline will be available by the first day of term for every course offered that term.

(162) After the first week of term the content of a course outline can only be changed in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the relevant Head of School.

(163) All students in a course must be notified of any approved revision to a course outline and the revised version will be provided in the same manner as the original.

Delivery of Course Outlines

(164) All course outlines will be supplied electronically via Blackboard.

(165) The Course Co-ordinator must arrange for a course outline to be provided in an appropriate format and timeframe to students where indicated in their Reasonable Adjustments Plan.

Storage of Approved Course Outlines

(166) The approved course outline and any subsequently amended and approved versions must be stored electronically in the Faculty Quality Assurance Folder.

Course Outline Content

(167) Course outlines have at least two sections including a preface and body. All areas of the University offering courses must provide the required information.

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Section 11 - Academic Integrity

(168) Academic integrity is covered in the Student Conduct Rule and Student Academic Integrity Policy. This policy applies to all courses and programs offered. All new students are required to complete the University Academic Integrity Module (AIM) before the end of their first term of enrolment.

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Section 12 - Assessment

Assessment Purpose and Focus

(169) The purpose and focus of assessment is to:

  1. help ensure the educational standards of courses and programs meet the relevant AQF level and any other requirements e.g. professional accreditation;
  2. determine if course learning outcomes have been met;
  3. demonstrate that specific program requirements have been met;
  4. assist teaching staff to encourage, challenge and stimulate learning;
  5. upport students' learning; and
  6. identify high achieving students and those in need of additional academic support.

Assessment Practice

(170) Clear assessment requirements and criteria are essential components of quality course design. This applies equally to formative assessment and summative assessment.

(171) Assessment documentation must clearly identify what is required of students for each assessment item.

(172) Students must be familiarised with the course assessment expectations, requirements and criteria early in a course. Such instruction should help students to develop their own ability to evaluate the quality, completeness, and accuracy of their work.

(173) Students will usually be provided with the following details at least three weeks before the due date of an assessment item:

  1. for all formal examinations, the examination type (i.e includes / excludes use of the default Memory Aid or fully open book) details of the structure of the exam, and the weightings of the sections;
  2. for all other items, clearly written assessment criteria.

(174) Courses will have at most one University supervised examination with that examination component not contributing to more than 50% of a course result.

(175) No other single assessment item will contribute to less than 10% of a final course result except, when approved by the Head of School who must be satisfied that a group of assessment items are linked:
Examples of excepted items are:

  1. small multiple choice quizzes i.e. end of class tests
  2. weekly lab reports or other progress statements

(176) No other single assessment item will contribute to more than 50% of a final course result, except, when approved by the Head of School who must be satisfied that the weighting rationale is linked to the course  learning outcomes and that individual feedback is to be provided to students in advance of the large assessment item.

(177) Examples of exceptions may include:

  1. creative projects;
  2. capstone projects; or
  3. a thesis.

Conflict of Interest

(178) Staff members must avoid being placed in a situation where they are taking action, making a decision or have the ability to influence any action or decision of the University that involves a conflict of interest, or the reasonable perception of a conflict of interest. Where staff think they may have a conflict of interest they should report this to their line manager as soon as possible.

(179) A conflict of interest will certainly exist if a staff member is involved in the admission, supervision, assessment or examination of students with whom he or she has, or has had, a close personal relationship.

(180) The UON Conflict of Interest Policy states 'A staff member shall not take part in any matter in relation to any student who is a member of their immediate family, or is currently or has recently been involved in a close personal relationship with that staff member'. See also: Conflict of Interest Policy and the Code of Conduct.

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Section 13 - Assessment Design

Choice of Assessment Items

(181) Using a variety of assessment methods can provide a fairer and more valid assessment of diverse student populations, engage students and assist the achievement of learning outcomes of the course and program.

(182) In some structured programs the selection of assessment methods within the constituent courses may be considered holistically to provide a balance across the program.

(183) The assessment load within a course, including examinations, must align with the advice on Student Workload in this Manual (see Section 5 Course – Structure).

Design of Assessment Items 

(184) Assessment items:

  1. must be aligned with the course  learning outcomes, course content, learning activities, teaching methods, and delivery mode;
  2. must be weighted so the marks for the assessment item reflect its demands and importance to the course learning outcomes;
  3. should be scheduled to allow the spread of assessment items across the term (date due).
  4. should be usually be scheduled to facilitate individualised feedback to be provided to students in the first half of the term to enable them to identify their level of progress to date.

Major and Minor Assessment Items

(185) Major assessment items are any assessment items (e.g. formal examinations, quizzes, in-class tests etc.) weighted as 20% or more of the overall value of the course.

(186) All assessment items weighted at less than 20% of the overall value of the course are considered minor assessment items.

Group Work Assessment

(187) Group work can contribute to students' ability to work constructively together. The following are to be provided to all students undertaking group work within a course:

  1. a clear induction into group work processes at the commencement of the course or at least 3 weeks prior to the item being due;
  2. details of:
    1. the purpose and function of the group work and how it will be assessed;
    2. the process for allocating students to groups;
    3. the roles, responsibilities and expectations of group members;
    4. the conduct of group meetings;
    5. the processes for managing any group conflict;
    6. the evaluation of individual performances within the group;
    7. feedback stages; and
    8. some strategies to:
      1. promote equitable workload within and across groups;
      2. ensure each student is accountable for their personal contribution to the group work;
      3. maintain regular communication with each group.

(188) Group assessment items should not contribute more than 50% of the total marks for a course.

(189) Group assessment items should be highly structured and managed by staff experienced in group work. Where these staff have not previously managed group work assessment, or other experience staff would like additional support, they should contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Self-Assessment and Peer Assessment

(190) Self-assessment can develop a student's ability to think critically about their learning, to determine what criteria should be used for their assessment and to apply these criteria to their own work.

(191) Peer assessment can encourage students to work cooperatively and provide critical appraisal of their own and others' work.

(192) Assessment items marked by students or student peers within the course must not contribute more than 10% to the final grade. Where the course also includes a 50% weighted group work component both group work and the peer marking components should not exceed 50% of the final grade.

(193) All uses of self and peer assessment must develop mechanisms and provide details to students in advance to ensure:

  1. the outcomes of the assessment are equitable and credible;
  2. clear guidelines and criteria.

(194) The Course Co-ordinator must ensure there are mechanisms for moderating the results or ensuring fair assessment.

Assessment Mapping

(195) For information on assessment mapping and the input required from Course Co-ordinators, refer to the Program Management Procedure Manual.

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Section 14 - Assessment Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

(196) Actively engage in all learning activities in each course e.g. lectures, tutorials, labs, workshops etc. Active engagement is necessary for students to obtain the full benefits of the learning opportunities provided.

(197) Read prescribed materials and submit assessment items by the due date.

(198) Notify the Course Co-ordinator at the earliest possible opportunity of any circumstances that may affect the completion of assessment items, and follow the procedures detailed in the course outline relating to applications for Adverse Circumstances.

(199) Act ethically in the preparation and submission of all assessment items.

(200) Comply with any instructions given by the course teaching staff, Head of School or other supervisor relating to an assessment item.

(201) Attend all assessable activities prescribed for each course in which they are enrolled.

(202) Comply with the University of Newcastle Work Health and Safety policy and related procedures, guidelines, and other Health and Safety documentation within the Policy Library and the University Health and Safety Management System.

(203) Comply with the rules for supervised examinations (see the Secton 18 – Examinations section).

(204) Provide the Course Co-ordinator with any Reasonable Adjustments Plan in a timely manner.

University Responsibilities

(205) Coordinate examinations held during the formal and supplementary examination periods for standard terms (Semesters and Trimesters).

(206) Organise alternative examination arrangements for students with a disability or other adverse circumstances within the formal and designated supplementary examination periods for standard terms.

(207) Manage all arrangements for the administration of supervised examinations conducted in the formal examination period and designated supplementary examination periods for standard terms.

(208) Ensure adherence to procedures for formal examinations as set out in section 18 of this manual.

(209) Report final results and maintain student academic records.

(210) Publication of final results on myHub.

(211) Undertake a review of examination processes for supervised examinations held during the formal examination period and designated supplementary examination periods for standard terms.

School Responsibilities

(212) For School responsibilities see School Assessment Body Responsibilities Guideline.

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Section 15 - Assessment Item Submission

(213) Where possible the University requires electronic submission of assessment items.

Assessment Item Submission Details

(214) For each assessment item the course outline will provide:

  1. due date and time;
  2. the location and mode of submission; and
  3. any particular requirements such as the submission of an assessment item to a text-matching system (e.g. Turnitin) or the hand delivery of an assessment item (e.g. a creative work submission on a weekday).

(215) Where a hard copy is required the assessment item must have a completed coversheet.

Penalties for Late Submission of Assessment Items

(216) The mark for an assessment item submitted after the designated time on the due date, without an approved extension of time, will be reduced by 10% of the possible maximum mark for that assessment item for each day or part day that the assessment item is late. Note: this applies equally to week and weekend days.

(217) With the approval of the Head of School, a Course Co-ordinator may determine that an assessment item cannot be submitted after its due date e.g. an online quiz or a laboratory test may only be available for a set period of time. The course outline must advise that failure to complete such an item within the set period of time will result in a zero mark for the assessment item. Exceptions for such items will only be possible if the student has an approved Adverse Circumstances application.

Return of Assessment items

(218) Except for exam papers, assessment items are usually returned following marking.

(219) Since Student hubs will no longer return course work, electronic return of assessment items and course work is recommended.

(220) Details of how and if assessment scripts will or will not be returned will be indicated in the course outline.

(221) Items not returned to students (e.g. multiple choice questions and other exam scripts) will be made available for review by the student, upon request, in a controlled and monitored setting.

Retention of Assessment items

(222) Assessment items will be retained for six months after the fully graded date for the term and may then be destroyed.

(223) Examination scripts will be retained by the relevant School for six months after the final result is published. After this period the examination scripts may be destroyed.

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Section 16 - Assessment Item Marking

Assessment Criteria

(224) Assessment criteria must:

  1. inform students of the knowledge, skills and other outcomes they are required to demonstrate in an assessment task;
  2. describe the level or standard of achievement a student must demonstrate to achieve a specific grade;
  3. align with the learning outcomes of a course;
  4. be consistent with appropriate course levels; and
  5. be written in clear and simple language.

Marking Assessment items

(225) Assessment marking must be based on the assessment criteria made available to students in the course outline and/or other materials. That is, norm-referenced marking is not acceptable.

(226) All markers must have identical information to provide a shared framework for judgments and to facilitate marking consistency.

(227) Staff marking items must be familiar with the criteria for all assessment items as early as possible in the delivery of a course.

(228) When the same assessment is being conducted at multiple locations the same marking criteria must be used.

(229) Markers must ensure the marking process produces feedback that contributes to student learning.

Quality Assurance and Marking

(230) Quality assurance of marking (grading) is important to safeguard the academic integrity of a course and ensure fairness for students through processes of formal or informal moderation. This is primarily a responsibility of the Course Co-ordinator, as is the design of the assessment for a course (see Course Co-ordinator Role and Responsibilities, Clause 153-155).

(231) All marking related quality assurance outcomes and processes are to be documented and available if required.

Single Marker

(232) When a single marker is responsible for 75% of the total assessment of a course then a sample of 10% or up to 10 assessment scripts should be moderated by another examiner. The examiner should moderate an assessment item accounting for 20% or greater. This enables them to examine for consistency and reliability. If significant consistency or reliability issues are identified with the sample, all scripts should be re-marked (see ‘Re-marking’ Clauses 235-240) and further moderation processes conducted for the other assessment items.

Double Marking

(233) Two markers provide a jointly agreed mark or separate individual marks. If the latter, the process for establishing the final result must be described in advance. Double marking is usually used only for marking Honours theses (see section on marking the Honours research component, Clauses 253-256).

Multiple Markers

(234) Where more than one marker is marking assessment items within a course, 'calibration' meetings should be held prior to the commencement of formal marking. Calibration is a simple moderation process designed to promote consistency of judgement between markers. Each marker reviews the ratings of others of the same selected set of student assignments or examination scripts. The items should have been chosen to represent a range of marks obtained in the item.

Re-marking

(235) A single assessment item, or part of an assessment item, may be re-marked. This usually follows the identification of concerns about the mark(s) awarded.

(236) A re-mark of an assessment item may be initiated at the request of the Course Co-ordinator, the Program Convenor, the Head of School, the School Assessment Committee, the Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee or the Pro Vice-Chancellor.
Details of how the issue will be resolved must be provided to the student in advance of the re-marking. Options include:

  1. by default, using an average of all marks for the assessment item unless the difference accounts for 10% or more of the overall course mark, upon which markers should meet and agree and document an agreed mark. If the markers cannot agree a third marker will be appointed whose mark will be final; or
  2. using only the results of the second marker; or
  3. using an average of all marks for the assessment item; or
  4. variations on these options.

(237) The Course Co-ordinator is responsible for managing the re-marking process and recording the outcome.

(238) If the Course Co-ordinator is the initial marker of an item, they will usually ask an independent marker to do the re-marking. The independent marker is to be provided with the assessment criteria for marking the assessment item and the course details. The independent marker is not to be provided with the original mark prior to marking the item. The Course Co-ordinator must also provide the independent marker with a copy of the student's answer(s) with all initial marks, comments and annotations removed.

(239) The resultant mark may remain the same, or be higher or lower than the original mark.

(240) The Course Co-ordinator is to provide the mark and a recommendation to the initiator of the re-mark and to advise the initial marker of the outcome. If the Course Co-ordinator initiated the re-mark, they must be able to justify the final mark to the Head of School or Pro Vice-Chancellor, if requested.

Moderation

(241) Informal moderation is the process of independent review of the marks of all, or a randomly selected set, of students for one or more assessment items in a course. This may be routinely done to ensure consistency across multiple markers.

(242) Formal moderation is the process of independent review of the marks of all, or a randomly selected set, of students for one or more assessment items in a course. This may be used when a Course Co-ordinator, Head of School, Pro Vice-Chancellor or the University requires a formal investigation of marking in a course. If initiated by a Course Co-ordinator a formal moderation requires the prior approval of the Head of School.

(243) A formal moderation might be initiated in response to the identification of Major discrepancies or other issues to address uncertainty about the validity of an assessment outcome, or to confirm equivalence of the University's expectations with national or international benchmarks.

Student Request for a Review of Assessment item Mark

(244) This section applies only to marks achieved in an assessment item. For a review of a final result in a course refer to Section 20.0 Review of Final Result in a Course.

(245) A student who believes that an error has been made in the determination of their mark for an assessment item should email the Course Co-ordinator no later than three University working days after their mark has been made available.

(246) The student must clearly specify the error that they believe has been made in the determination of their mark and how they reached this conclusion, providing evidence and specific examples wherever possible.

(247) The Course Co-ordinator may elect to seek a recommendation from the original marker.

(248) The Course Co-ordinator will respond to the review request in a timely manner, and may determine to:

  1. leave the original mark unchanged;
  2. amend the mark; or
  3. ask an independent marker to undertake a re-mark of the assessment items.

(249) The Course Co-ordinator will email the student and marker once a determination has been made.

(250) Students unable to contact the Course Co-ordinator within three University working days after their mark has become available should contact the Head of School. The student must provide evidence of their attempts to contact the Course Co-ordinator, and the details provided to support their request.

Examination of the Research Component in Bachelor Honours Degrees

(251) For a research component that is 40 units or more in the Bachelor Honours Program:

  1. there will be a minimum of two examiners of the research component, selected following advice from the supervisor(s);
  2. at least one of the two examiners is to be external to the School unless an external moderator is appointed by the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor to monitor the quality of research dissertations in the field of study;
  3. the supervisor is not to be an examiner of their students' research component. The supervisor may provide a report to the Program Convenor, for consideration by the markers, when the research component is submitted for examination; and
  4. the Faculty will provide the student and examiners, including the moderators, with the assessment criteria for the research component.

(252) For a research component that is less than 40 units in the Bachelor Honours program:

  1. all individual research components larger than 10 units must have at least two markers. The supervisor may be one of those markers. When the research component is submitted, the supervisor should provide a report to the Program Convenor (or nominee), for consideration by all markers;
  2. where the research component is aggregated across multiple 10 unit courses, or elements thereof; a single marker is sufficient for any 10 unit course providing that no single marker contributes marks for more than 10 units of the overall research component of the degree program;
  3. the Faculty will have a regular process of moderating the quality and grading of the research component with an external moderator appointed by the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee); and
  4. the Faculty will provide the student and examiners, including the moderators, with the assessment criteria for the research component.

Marking the Research Component in Bachelor Honours Degrees

(253) [Academic Policy Note: Clauses 252-255 apply to students completing a Bachelor Honours program that was approved in 2013 or 2014 under the pre-2015 Bachelor Honours Policy (such as the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)). Refer to clauses 19-22 in the Bachelor Honours Policy for students completing the requirements for an AQF level 8 Bachelor Honours program (for example Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and the Bachelor of Teaching (Humanities) (Honours) and the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)) from the 2015 academic year.]

(254) If there are two examiners, the final mark will be an average of their marks.

(255) If the difference between examiners' marks is more than ten marks (from 100 total marks), a third examiner is to be appointed (not the supervisor).

(256) If the mark from a third examiner is more than ten marks from either original marker, the final mark will be as decided by the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor (or nominee).

Adverse Circumstances

(257) The University acknowledges the right of students to seek consideration for the possible impact of allowable Adverse Circumstances that may affect their performance in assessment item(s), including formal examinations. For further information refer to the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Policy and Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure.

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Section 17 - Feedback on Assessment Items

(258) Effective feedback is integral to the learning process and can greatly enhance student engagement and success.

General Provisions

(259) The Course Co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring that feedback is provided to students.

(260) Students must be advised in the course outline of when and how feedback will be provided.

(261) At least one form of individualised feedback, which identifies strengths and weaknesses in relation to the specific assessment criteria, should be provided to students per course.

(262) Formative feedback should be provided to students when possible. Depending on the type of assessment item, this may be individualised or given to the group of students enrolled in a course.

(263) Feedback should be provided to students within 15 University  working days of submission of an assessment item so that they can incorporate it into their learning and future assessment items.

(264) Feedback can be provided to individuals, or to a group of students in a variety of ways. It may be:

  1. provided verbally by the teaching staff ;
  2. by peer interaction and self-reflection, provided appropriate prior preparation of students has occurred; or it may be
  3. written and provided online or in hard copy on the item or in a separate report.

(265) Where feedback is not able to be provided in this timescale, such as for very large classes or due to staff illness, students should be informed as quickly as possible when the feedback will be provided. Every effort should be taken to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn from their feedback prior to their next assessment submission.

(266) All feedback must:

  1. refer to the assessment expectations and criteria provided to the student prior to their commencing the assessment;
  2. be in constructive and supportive language; and
  3. advise what students need to do to improve (formative) and/or provide a statement of how the student performed against the assignment criteria (summative).
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Section 18 - Formal Examinations

(267) This section describes the end of term examinations held in the scheduled examination and supplementary examination periods each term.

General Provisions

(268) Students are required to be available during the scheduled examination and supplementary examination periods each term. This includes being available for examinations scheduled on Saturdays and in the evenings.

(269) Students are expected to sit for all examinations prescribed for the courses in which they are enrolled.

(270) Except for on-line / distance courses where other provision may be made, students are expected to sit examinations at the site of their enrolment.

(271) Examinations undertaken at all venues and organised on behalf of the University must comply with all University approved policies and procedures.

(272) Examinations conducted outside of the scheduled examination and supplementary examination periods are the responsibility of the relevant Head of School (or nominee).

(273) Unless granted a rescheduled examination under the Adverse Circumstances policy, students who fail to attend an examination identified on the examination timetable will be awarded a mark of zero for that examination.

Preparation and Quality Assurance of Examination Scripts

(274) Course Co-ordinators are responsible for the preparation of examination scripts, including an alternate examination script, for their course in accordance with the requirements and timelines specified by Examinations, Student Processes.

(275) An examination script must be the same for each course taught within the same term, irrespective of location of offer or mode of delivery. The content may be contextualised for specific offshore requirements with approval from the relevant Head of School.

(276) The Head of School must ensure that the master examination scripts, including any alternate master examination scripts, are quality reviewed (see Examination Papers Review Checklist). This review must ensure that the:

  1. review is conducted by an individual from the appropriate discipline area;
  2. scripts are reviewed for clarity, spelling, grammar, format and content, and all mark allocations are checked; and
  3. review is completed in time to allow the examination scripts to be corrected and transmitted to Examinations if required.

Supervised Examinations

(277) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) through the Academic Registrar is responsible for administering formal examinations held within the scheduled examination and supplementary examination periods for standard terms. Unless advised by the School such examinations will be supervised by Examinations and must:

  1. be identified by the Head of School as being the responsibility of the Academic Registrar;
  2. be of two, two and a half, or three hours duration; and
  3. contribute at least 20% to the final result in the course.

(278) The responsible officer will publish timetables showing when and where examinations will be held prior to the examination period. Students will not usually be expected to sit more than three formal examinations within a 48 hour period.

(279) All students are required to present their current UoN Student Card or other current photo identification (such as proof of age card, driver's license or passport) to the exam invigilators upon entry into an examination room. Students who fail to present suitable photo identification at the time of the examination:

  1. Will have their name recorded by Student Central on a register of students who fail to present suitable identification at a formal examination. Students who appear on the register more than once, may be reported in accordance with the Student Conduct Rule;
  2. Will have their photograph taken at the end of their examination and will be required to present their identification for verification at a Student hub within 48 hours of the examination. The Course Co-ordinator will be advised that that student attended the examination without suitable identification and if the student has/has not had their identification subsequent verified. Students who do not appear at a Student hub within the required timeframe may be reported in accordance with the Student Conduct Rule;
  3. May be refused entry into an examination venue.

(280) Students must comply with all requirements and instructions relating to materials that can be taken into an examination room.

  1. Students may bring water in a clear plastic bottle, pens and pencils. Students are permitted to bring the Memory Aid into the examination room unless otherwise notified in the course outline and noted on the front cover of their examination paper. A Memory Aid is a single double sided A4 sheet of handwritten or typed notes, Memory Aids must be left on the examination table and cannot be removed from the examination venue.
  2. Taking material that breaches these requirements into an examination room will be deemed as student misconduct. For closed or otherwise exempted examinations this includes notes written on one's person. Such evidence may be photographed and used to determine an outcome in a Student Conduct hearing. Should a student refuse to be photographed, the lack of cooperation by the student may be considered as evidence against the student.

(281) If asked, the student must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the supervisor of their examination that material they have does comply with requirements and instructions.

(282) Unless notified in advance by the School, communication devices such as laptop computers, electronic dictionaries, electronic tablets or similar devices are not permitted to be utilised in the examination room.

  1. Mobile phones or other electronic devices are permitted in the exam room provided they are switched off and placed under the student's chair for the duration of the examination. During an examination, students who fail to switch off the phone or device and place it under their chair or access the phone or device or are found to have the phone or device on their person following a visit to the bathroom will be reported for academic misconduct and/or may have their phone or device confiscated.
  2. Smart watches are not permitted on desks and must be placed under the student's chair. Other watches are permitted in to the examination room. However, students are required to take off the watch and place it on the desk in view of invigilators.

(283) Students, in some circumstances, may be required to supply additional support items such as calculators or log tables.

(284) Where students are permitted to bring support items into an examination the following will apply:

  1. the Head of School will specify in advance the support items which may be used;
  2. the opportunity to have additional support items will be detailed in the course outline; and
  3. it is the responsibility of the School offering the course to scrutinise the support items to be used in the examination at the request of an examination supervisor.

(285) Students cannot take a thesaurus, standard English language dictionary or an English translation dictionary into an examination room. Law dictionaries may be utilised in open book Law examinations.

Procedures for Supervised Examinations

(286) All examinations undertaken on behalf of the University must comply with the provisions for Formal Examinations within this document.

(287) Reasonable Adjustments Plans may specify changes to examinations processes or conditions as appropriate to the needs of the student.

(288) Supervised examinations will be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. students may only enter the examination room within the first thirty minutes of writing time;
  2. students must provide suitable photo identification (e.g. student card, current driver's licence, current passport) in accordance with clause 278;
  3. students must comply with all instructions given by an examination supervisor. This may include one-on-one directives and/or room wide announcements made before, during and at the conclusion of the examination;
  4. a student may bring into the examination room only those items specified in clause 279 and/or papers, books, written materials, devices, calculators, aids or other items which have been approved in advance for the particular examination and which do not contain additional markings, e.g. notes;
    1. students who bring unapproved materials/ devices/ property into the exam room may have those items confiscated.
    2. students are not to bring any food or drink into the examination with the exception of water in a clear plastic bottle
  5. any student found to be involved in an activity which is deemed to be academic fraud, cheating, plagiarism or any other dishonest conduct will be dealt with under the Student Conduct Rule;
  6. students may not leave the examination room during the first thirty minutes of writing time or the last ten minutes of an examination except under exceptional circumstances;
  7. students may not begin reading their examination paper until granted permission by the examination supervisor;
  8. unless otherwise noted on the examination paper or by the examination supervisor, reading time during a formal examination is to be used for reading only. Students doing anything other than reading during the reading time may be reported for suspected academic misconduct;
  9. a student may not remove from the examination room any examination answer book, examination paper, graph paper, drawing paper or other material issued during the examination unless the Course Co-ordinator has expressly permitted their removal;
  10. students may re-enter the examination room after leaving it only if they had approved supervision throughout the full period of their absence;
  11. students must comply with any other requirements specified by the University; and
  12. examination supervisors will record and report student absences from examination rooms.

(289) The procedures for supervised examinations may be relaxed by the supervising officer in the event of an emergency.

(290) All instances in which procedures are relaxed during an examination must be reported in writing to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Head of School and the Course Co-ordinator immediately following the examination.

(291) The Coordinator, Examinations will be responsible for the development and maintenance of a set of guidelines to be made available to all examination supervisors.

Materials and Devices

(292) The type of the examination must be approved in advanced and indicated on the course outline:

  1. by default all exams permit the use of a Memory Aid. Note: Memory Aids must be left on the examination table and cannot be removed from the examination venue.
  2. exemptions  to the use of the Memory Aid must be approved by the relevant Faculty Assistant Dean (Teaching and Learning) and explicitly listed as a 'Closed book examination' on the Course Outline. The reason for the exemption should be included on examination paper. A form is available at Forms, Guides and Templates
    1. Fully open book examinations are also permitted – that is students may bring any or specific materials into the examination room. The examination paper should clearly indicate what is permissible for students to use within the examination.
  3. The Course Co-ordinator must advise students and the Examinations unit in advance and in writing of the specific examination requirements. These requirements should be consistent with the course outline.

(293) Calculators, except calculators within mobile phones and similar devices, may be used by students in an examination if approved by the appropriate Course Co-ordinator. The Course Co-ordinator must:

  1. advise students in advance and in writing of the type of calculator permitted, such as programmable or non-programmable calculators, and that instruction booklets or cards (e.g. reference cards) on the operation of calculators are not permitted in the examination room as students are expected to familiarise themselves with the calculator's operations beforehand;
  2. include a detailed description on the Examination Cover Sheet of the types of calculator permitted, providing sufficient information for examination supervisors without technical knowledge to assess the appropriateness of calculators students take into examination rooms;
  3. consider specifying calculators listed as approved scientific calculators by the NSW Education Standards Authority.
  4. If no description is provided by the Course Co-ordinator the Examinations Office will refer to the NSW Education Standards Authority list of approved scientific calculators.

Rescheduled Examinations

(294) Rescheduled examinations may only be granted in accordance with the Adverse Circumstances Policy.

(295) Rescheduled examinations will only be supervised by Examinations if held within the formal examination period.

(296) Rescheduled examinations held outside the supplementary examination period are the responsibility of the School.

(297) All rescheduled examinations will be conducted in the same manner as formal examinations (refer to clauses 266 to 291 above).

(298) A rescheduled examination will – except in exceptional circumstances – be scheduled: (i) only once; and (ii) AFTER the originally scheduled examination. Students cannot apply for a formal rescheduled examination for an already rescheduled formal examination.

(299) A rescheduled examination will not offer advantage to the student who:

  1. has been unable to sit the original examination; or
  2. has attended but been unable to complete the scheduled examination; or
  3. has completed the examination but been affected by adverse circumstances.

(300) Students undertaking a rescheduled examination will therefore complete a different paper, not the paper completed by students sitting the original examination.

(301) A supplementary examination paper, with the exception of a wholly multiple choice paper, must be at least 20% different to the paper that was prepared and used in the main formal examination period.

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Section 19 - Course – Final Results and Completion

Final Course Results

(302) The Course Co-ordinator is responsible for finalising and collating the marks for all assessment items and for ensuring that the final results are available for publication on myHub.

(303) All marks for individual assessment item results and final results, including those provided via Blackboard, are “unofficial results” prior to their confirmation by the Head of School (or nominee).

(304) The Head of School (or nominee) is responsible for the confirmation of final results. They will usually appoint a School Assessment Committee to assist with this task (see School Assessment Body Responsibilities Guideline).

(305) Following confirmation by the Head of School (or nominee) the course results become the official results for the course. They will be available on the fully graded date for the term via myHub.

(306) Final results will be provided as a mark and a grade for each course (see Table 1, Grading Scale – Coursework) except when the course is:

  1. awarded an ungraded pass, in which case the student will receive a UP; or
  2. the first part of a multi-term sequence. The student will be awarded an N/A in this instance.

(307) Results pending finalisation may be recorded using an administrative code (see Table 2 – Administrative Codes).

(308) Final results for Bachelor Honours will be as shown in Table 3, Grading Scale – End-On-Honours programs, and Table 4, Grading Scale – Embedded Honours Programs respectively. See Bachelor Honours Policy for details during the 2013 and 2014 transition process. Table 5, shows the attributes of classes of Bachelor Honours.

Successful Course Completion

(309) A student will be deemed to have successfully completed a course where they have met all three of the following criteria:

  1. have enrolled and accepted all enrolment terms and conditions;
  2. have satisfactorily completed all compulsory course requirements; and
  3. obtained a passing mark, being either:
    1. a mark of 50% or greater; or
    2. an ungraded pass.

Unsuccessful Course Completion

(310) A student will be deemed to have unsuccessfully completed a course where they have not met the criteria listed as those required for successful course completion.

Grading Scales and Administrative Codes

Table 1 - Grading Scale – Coursework (except for Bachelor Honours)

Range of Marks Grade Attributes of Grading Scale
85-100 High Distinction (HD) Outstanding standard indicating comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the relevant materials; demonstration of an outstanding level of academic achievement; mastery of skills*; and achievement of all learning outcomes.
75-84 Distinction (D) Excellent standard indicating a very high level of knowledge and understanding of the relevant materials; demonstration of a very high level of academic ability; sound development of skills*; and achievement of all learning outcomes.
65-74 Credit (C) Good standard indicating a high level of knowledge and understanding of the relevant materials; demonstration of a high level of academic achievement; reasonable development of skills*; and achievement of all learning outcomes.
50-64 Pass (P) Satisfactory standard indicating an adequate knowledge and understanding of the relevant materials; demonstration of an adequate level of academic achievement; satisfactory development of skills*; and achievement of all learning outcomes.
0-49 Fail (FF) Failure to satisfactorily achieve learning outcomes. If all compulsory course  components are not completed the mark will be zero. A fail grade may also be awarded following disciplinary action.
  Ungraded Pass (UP) A grade awarded in a course for which only a pass or fail is available. No marks are provided.
* Skills are those identified for the purposes of assessment item(s).


Table 2 – Administrative Codes

Code Short description Long description
I Incomplete Used where:
- a student has not completed all aspects of the course  and the result in the course is yet to be finalised; or
- a placement or practicum does not align with the term dates and is continuing at the fully graded date;
Incomplete (I) results will become Fail (FF) grades 90 days after the fully graded date of a term for which the result was entered.
 
For courses which have been identified as practicum/placement courses, Incomplete (I) results will become Fail (FF) grades 365 days after the fully graded date of a term for which the result was entered.

For all other courses (ie those which have not been identified as practicum/placement courses) Incomplete (I) results will become Fail (FF) grades 90 days after the fully graded date of a term for which the result was entered.
S Special Consideration Used where:
- a student has been granted special consideration under the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Policy.
Unless resolved, Special Consideration (S) results will become Fail (FF) grades 180 days after the fully graded date of the term for which the result has been entered.
NA Not Applicable Used only for some components of Research Higher Degrees and multi-term sequence courses.
WW Withdrawn Without Penalty Used where:
- a student withdraws from a course by the relevant prescribed date; or
- a student is permitted to withdraw without penalty by the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor and/or the Academic Senate in accordance with the relevant University policy or procedure; or
- a student is permitted by the Head of School to withdraw without penalty due to an administrative error.
EX Credit Awarded Indicates that credit has been approved and added to the student's record in accordance with the University policy.
CF Component Fail Used when student has failed one or more compulsory components of a course. Note: the CF grade will appear on internal transcripts only. A FF grade will appear on external/official transcripts.
Explanatory Notes Regarding Tables 3a and 4a

1. Tables 3a and 4a apply to students completing a Bachelor Honours program  that was approved in 2013 or 2014 under the pre-2015 Bachelor Honours Policy (such as the Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)).

2. Students completing a pre-2015 program  that was not under the jurisdiction of the pre-2015 Bachelor Honours Policy may be awarded Honours in accordance with the Honours requirements as set out in the relevant program documentation or schedule (such as Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)).

Table 3a- Grading Scale - End-on Honours

Criterion One
Overall mark
and Criterion Two
Research Dissertation
= Class Awarded
85% plus   75% plus = Class I
75 – 84%   65% plus = Class II Division 1
65 – 74%   75% plus = Class II Division 1
65% plus   65% plus = Class II Division 2
50 – 64%   50% plus = Class III
0 – 49%     = Fail

Table 4a – Grading Scale - Embedded Honours

Criterion One
WAM
+ Criterion Two
Research Component Mark
= Class Awarded
77 – 100 + 75 – 100% = Class I
72 – 100 + 65 – 100% = Class II Division 1
67 – 76 + 75 – 100% = Class II Division 1
67 – 71 + 65 – 74% = Class II Division 2
50 – 66 + 64 – 100% = Ungraded
50 – 100 + 50 – 64% = Ungraded
Explanatory Notes Regarding Tables 3b and 4b

1. Academic Senate approved the revised Bachelor Honours Policy for implementation from 1 January 2015. The revisions to the policy include the information as listed in Tables 3b and 4b.

2. These tables will apply to students completing the requirements for an AQF level 8 Bachelor Honours program (for example Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and the Bachelor of Teaching (Humanities) (Honours) and the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)) from the 2015 academic year unless specified below.

3. Students completing a pre-2015 program may be awarded Honours in accordance with the Honours requirements as set out in the relevant program documentation or schedule (such as Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)).

Table 3b- Grading Scale - End-on Honours

Overall mark Class Awarded
85% or above Honours Class I
75% to 84% Honours Class II Division 1
65% to 74% Honours Class II Division 2
50% to 64% Honours Class III
0% to 49% Fail

Table 4b- Grading Scale – Embedded Honours

WAM Class Awarded
77 – 100 Class I
72 – 76 Class II Division 1
67 – 71 Class II Division 2
< 67 Ungraded

Table 5 - Attributes of Classes of Bachelor Honours

Honours Class I Outstanding standard in research and reporting indicating comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the relevant field of study; demonstration of an outstanding level of academic ability; mastery of skills*; and achievement of all assessment objectives.
In addition, if embedded Honours, an outstanding performance throughout the program.
Honours Class II
Division 1
Excellent standard in research and reporting indicating a very high level of knowledge and understanding of the relevant field of study; demonstration of a very high level of academic ability; sound development of skills*; and achievement of all assessment objectives.
In addition, if embedded Honours, an excellent or outstanding performance throughout the program.
Honours Class II
Division 2
Very good standard in research and reporting indicating a high level of knowledge and understanding of the relevant field of study; demonstration of a high level of academic ability; reasonable development of skills*; and achievement of all assessment objectives.
In addition, if embedded Honours, a very good to excellent performance throughout the program.
Honours Class III
Available only to students in End-On Honours.
Satisfactory standard in research and reporting indicating an adequate knowledge and understanding of the relevant materials; demonstration of an adequate level of academic ability; satisfactory development of skills*; and achievement of most assessment objectives.
* Skills are those identified as required to meet the AQF level 8 program learning outcomes.
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Section 20 - Review of Final Result in a Course

(311) Students wishing to obtain further information relating to a final result in a course must follow the process described below.

Stage One – Course Co-ordinator Review

(312) A student who wishes to seek advice or clarification of their final results in a course must email the Course Co-ordinator for that course within three University working days of their final result being published on myHub.

(313) The student must clearly specify why they believe that an error has been made in the determination of their final grade and how they reached this conclusion, providing evidence and specific examples wherever possible.

(314) The Course Co-ordinator (or nominee) must be available to consult with students during the three University working days following the publication of the final result in myHub. In the absence of the Course Co-ordinator, the relevant Head of School is responsible for ensuring that appropriate assistance is available to students during this period.

(315) The Course Co-ordinator (or nominee) will respond to the request within three University working days of receipt and after reviewing the result will either:

  1. leave the original mark unchanged; or
  2. recommend an adjusted mark to the Head of School; and
  3. submit an Amendment to Final Result Form if required (see Forms, Guides and Templates).

(316) The Course Co-ordinator will email the student with the outcome once a determination has been made.

Stage Two - Appeal Against Final Result

(317) After seeking a review by the Course Co-ordinator a student may lodge an appeal against their final result for a course.

(318) To lodge an appeal a student must use the Appeal Against a Final Result online system via https://appealfinalresult.newcastle.edu.au/ within five University working days of the publication of the final result on myHub. Appeals must be submitted through this system to be considered by the Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee.

(319) The Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee will consider all valid appeals on behalf of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and determine an outcome for:

  1. appeals by students against a final result in a course; and
  2. appeals by potential graduates against a failure in a course.

(320) A valid appeal is one which addresses one or more of the following appeal criteria and includes relevant supporting evidence in writing:

  1. the mark for an assessment item(s) (including the final examination) is inconsistent with stated marking criteria;
  2. the type or weighting of an assessment item(s) differs from information in the course outline;
  3. the content or topic of an assessment item(s) does not reflect the content of the course; and
  4. extreme circumstances (such as extended hospitalisation) prevented the student from submitting an Adverse Circumstances application at the appropriate time, including new information that has become available that could not have reasonably been provided by the student earlier, and it is probable that this information would have affected the determination of adverse circumstances.

(321) Appeals that do not provide evidence of the student having:

  1. contacted or attempted to contact the Course Co-ordinator (or nominee); and
  2. addressed at least one of the above appeal criteria and included relevant supporting evidence in writing;

(322) will be rejected by the Student Processes Unit, Student Central and the final result for the course will stand.

(323) The Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee may request any additional information required to determine the outcome of an appeal.

Appeals against a final result in a course

(324) The Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee may determine that:

  1. no amendment to the final result is required; or
  2. an amendment to the final result is required; or
  3. an amendment to the final result may be required due to a significant error in the assessment processes. The Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee will then determine what remedial action (such as moderation of marking) may be required. When a moderation process is initiated all students who may be affected will be informed by the Head of School (or nominee) that the process is being undertaken and warned that their marks may be varied upwards or downwards; or
  4. an amendment to the final result may be required, subject to the student completing a supplementary assessment item to be set by the relevant Course Co-ordinator. This determination will be used only when extreme extenuating circumstances have prevented timely action by the student under the provisions within the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Policy.

(325) In accordance with the Delegation Schedule for Academic Governance and Support (AUB1) the Chair of the Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee may undertake urgent business between scheduled meetings. Actions taken under delegation must be ratified by the Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee at the next meeting.

(326) The outcome of an Appeal Against a Final Result request will be forwarded to the Assistant Academic Registrar (or nominee) for action. The student should usually receive notification of the outcome within twenty-five (25) University working days after publication of the final result on myHub. The notification should identify which appeal criteria formed the basis of the decision.

(327) A late appeal will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances provided that the student has not already lodged an appeal against the final result in that course and the late appeal is lodged no more than two months after the publication of the final result on myHub. A student lodging such an appeal must complete and submit the Appeal Against Final Result Form and must provide evidence of having contacted the Course Co-ordinator and, supporting documentation including information about the exceptional circumstances that precipitated late submission.

(328) A review of a final result request against a mark or grade awarded as a consequence of academic misconduct must be made in accordance with the Student Conduct Rule.

Applications for Supplementary Assessment lodged by a Potential Graduate following Failure in a Course

(329) A potential graduate may lodge an application for a Supplementary Assessment in a course  when failure in that course prevents them from completing their program.

(330) The application must meet ALL of the following criteria to be considered by the Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee the:

  1. course is a ten or twenty unit course;
  2. student has undertaken the course in their last year of study and all other program requirements have been satisfied;
  3. final result achieved for the course is greater than 40% and less than 50% of the total marks for the course;
  4. student has not already undertaken supplementary assessment (other than on the basis of Adverse Circumstances) in the course; and
  5. student has submitted all required assessment items throughout the relevant term on time (subject to any applications under the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure.

(331) The Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee shall determine the legitimacy of the appeal.

(332) If the application is upheld, the application will be referred to the Course Co-ordinator who will determine the nature, timing and content of a supplementary assessment item. The outcome of the supplementary assessment item will ensure that:

  1. the student will not be awarded a final mark greater than 50% (a minimum pass) in the course irrespective of the marks awarded for the supplementary assessment item;
  2. the marks awarded in the supplementary assessment item may result in a fail grade being changed to a pass grade; and
  3. if the student does not obtain a pass grade as a result of the marks given for the supplementary assessment item, the fail grade will remain and the student will not be eligible to graduate.

Late Appeals

(333) Students may lodge a late appeal against a final result on extreme circumstances only.

(334) Extreme circumstances include: circumstances that prevented the student from submitting an Adverse Circumstances application and an appeal against final result at the appropriate time, including new information that has become available that could not have reasonably been provided by the student earlier.

(335) Students submitting late appeals can only apply for a Withdrawal without Academic Penalty (WW).

(336) In extenuating circumstances, students may be eligible to apply for a Remission of Tuition fees – refer to Refunds and Remission of Debt for details.

(337) Late appeals must be lodged through the appeals system and clearly indicate in their supporting statement that they are seeking consideration for a late appeal, providing detailed information about the extreme circumstances along with their supporting documentation.

(338) The relevant Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee will consider the validity of a late appeal.

(339) Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee will then make a recommendation to the relevant approval authority for a WW.

Decision is Final

(340) The determination of the Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee is final and there are no further avenues of appeal within the University.

Administrative Error

(341) If an administrative error is identified in a final result an Amendment to Result Form will be completed by the Course Co-ordinator (e.g. not all required items of assessment were included in the final determination of the result). This will be submitted to the Head of School for approval and notification of the student affected.

Reporting

(342) Each Faculty Progress and Appeals Committee will report to their Faculty Board annually on the activities initiated under this section. These reports must be available for compliance and monitoring if requested by Academic Senate.

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Section 21 - Relaxing Provision

(343) To provide for exceptional circumstances arising in any particular case, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on the recommendation of the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor may relax any provision of manual.

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Section 22 - Appendices 

(344) Academic Reflections on Courses

(345) Course Reflections Summary

(346) Course Coordinator Checklist

(347) Assessment Types and Combinations

(348) School Assessment Body Responsibilities Guideline 

(349) Examination Papers Review Checklist