Higher Education Monitoring and Moderation of Grades Policy

Fact box

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Alphacrucis College (AC) maintains an appropriate degree of fairness and consistency in Higher Education (HE) subject grades allocated and to establish and ensure academic standards by comparison across institutions.

Scope

All HE subjects

Policy

Internal Monitoring of Grades

Grades of student assessment should be awarded by faculty and differentiated in accord with the Grading Policy. Faculty are to submit final grades by the date set by the Learning and Teaching Committee (or delegated representative) each teaching period so that grades can be reviewed through the process of internal monitoring of grades and sent to students in a timely manner.

External Moderation of Grades

External Moderation of Grades is used to ensure that grade allocations are fair and reliable. The process establishes and promotes standards and equity at a proper level in each subject, and ensures comparability in quality terms between other institutions teaching comparable courses.

The College requires that:

  1. Learning and Teaching Committee takes responsibility for appointing appropriate mechanisms for external moderation of grades. The Learning and Teaching Committee will determine each discipline to be moderated in a rotational basis. Each discipline being moderated will include a reasonable sample of subjects taught that semester within that discipline, across various delivery sites and modes, including Higher Education Third Party Arrangement (HETPA) delivery.
  2. Learning and Teaching Committee will ensure that moderation activities are completed and required changes or improvements are actioned.

Responsible for implementation

Chair, Learning and Teaching Committee

Key stakeholders

All faculty and students


Procedures

Higher Education Monitoring and Moderation of Grades

Internal Monitoring of Grades Procedure

The College requires that:

  • Learning and Teaching Committee appoint an Internal Monitoring of Grades subcommittee that includes Program Directors and Program Administrators. The Learning and Teaching Committee should also appoint a chairperson for this subcommittee;
  • After each teaching period, the subcommittee will review grades across all subjects completed in that teaching period at AC campuses, online and through HETPAs. The subcommittee is tasked to evaluate the grades awarded to ensure consistency of distributions of marks both within and between subjects. The monitoring shall include consideration of the distribution of grades within each subject and comparison of assessments across campuses within the same subjects;
  • The monitoring of grades process will also note any students needing to be placed on an Academic Progress Intervention Strategy in line with the Course Progression Policy, or any students needing to be excluded from a course in line with the Exclusion from a Course or Subject Policy;
  • The subcommittee shall be provided (upon demand) a copy of subject handouts given to students that include learning outcomes, assessment guidelines, and any other requirements specific to the course being monitored. They shall also be provided (upon demand) with sampling of student work;
  • The subcommittee shall report any matters of concern to the Learning and Teaching Committee and propose changes to improve outcomes in assessment practice and equity across all AC campuses;
  • Following the internal monitoring of grades process, the chairperson of the Internal Monitoring of Grades Committee may authorise the official dissemination of grades to students.

External Moderation of Grades Procedure

External moderation of grades is undertaken by an appointed external moderator with expertise in the relevant discipline. This external moderation may be conducted individually or through an inter-institutional moderation agreement. The Learning and Teaching Committee will appoint an administrator to invite relevant and qualified academics external to act as External Moderators. An External Moderator will be selected for each subject to be moderated.

The administrator will provide for each subject being moderated:

  • Student Subject Handout – which should include assessment expectations and marking grid;
  • A selection of graded papers for each assessment as follows: top, middle and bottom graded assessments. Where the moderation relates to delivery in a LOTE, the External Moderator shall be bilingual in both A and B (normally English) languages.

Moderators are asked to:

  • Review the graded assessments. This specifically refers to the standard, fairness and consistency of marking;
  • Prepare an External Moderation of Grades Report for the College's review that includes:
    •  
    • Comments on the standard, fairness and consistency of marking with respect to that expected in degree studies in an Australian higher education institution;
    • Constructive feedback on the assessment tasks themselves (optional);
    • Any other matter considered relevant to the delivery of higher education courses of study highlighted by the content supplied.

The external moderation of marks and grade distributions is necessarily post-hoc in nature. Consequently, it informs subsequent assessment practices rather than alters the outcomes of the internal grading process conducted each semester. 

Once the External Moderation of Grades Report has been received, it is to be forwarded to the appropriate Program Director for review and response to the Learning and Teaching Committee. The Learning and Teaching Committee is responsible to ensure that any required changes or improvements are actioned, including Professional Development activities if needed.

A final report on all External Moderation of Grades activities for each semester will be tabled at Academic Board in the Learning and Teaching Committee Report.