This policy outlines Alphacrucis University College (AC) subject or unit assessment principles and processes.
All coursework subjects in both Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Principles of Assessment
Assessment is a vital part of the learning process, influencing student formation and development. AC principles of assessment include:
- clear explanation of assessment requirements to students;
- valid, sufficient, reliable, equitable and flexible measurement of learning outcomes attainment;
- definition and protection of academic standards;
- adherence to the AC Assessment Workload Calculators;
- conformity to the AC Code of Conduct;
- development of AC graduate attributes;
- variety of assessment tasks to allow students to cater for various learning needs, as appropriate to the subject;
- usually a minimum of two and a maximum of four assessment tasks;
- mapping of assessment due dates across the semester;
- provision of timely, informative and constructive feedback and grading of assessment usually within a maximum of three weeks and before the next assessment is due;
- transparent grading processes;
- group work should be worth no more than 30% of the total assessment in a subject, unless specific learning outcomes for the subject require team work. If learning outcomes require group assessment, then no more than 50% is permissible;
- consideration should be given to the proportion of assessment conducted under controlled conditions (e.g. exam) to safeguard integrity of assessment;
- attention should be given to minimising the possibility of academic integrity or misconduct as described in the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy;
- VET students need to achieve at least satisfactory in all assessment tasks to be competent in each unit;
- HE students should undertake and submit all assessments;
- HE students who fail to achieve 50% overall in a subject, receiving a permanent ‘Fail’ on their transcript, and who then wish to pass the subject, must re-enrol and resubmit all forms of assessment required by the lecturer. Provided the subject has not significantly changed, and if the ‘Fail’ grade was not the result of poor attendance, then with the Lecturer's approval the student will not be required to attend classes. Furthermore, with the prior approval of the lecturer, a student may resubmit assessment work previously submitted in that subject, where appropriate with the necessary improvements to enable them to achieve a passing grade;
- A student will not be permitted to repeat a subject more than once unless under exceptional circumstances, and then with the permission of the relevant Program Director (or equivalent);
- Staff should not be responsible for the assessment of student(s) with whom they have, or have had, a family, personal or other significant relationship.
In this policy, the term 'lecturer' refers to the permanent or sessional faculty member primarily responsible for the delivery and / or grading of the subject or unit.
Submission of Assessment Tasks
It is a student's responsibility to ensure that they submit assessments correctly, and on time. Subject and unit outlines shall contain the clear and adequate instructions on how, where, and when assessment tasks are to be submitted. Every assessment task submitted should be the students' own work, and they will be required to declare that this is so each time.
Students in all VET units are allowed two attempts at each assessment task. The first attempt is to be submitted by the assessment due date. The second attempt must be submitted within two weeks from the date on which the student received feedback on their first attempt. An incorrect assessment submission or non-submission will be counted as the first attempt. Assessment items not submitted by the second due dates will receive a Not Yet Satisfactory.
For VET in School students, the maximum allowed resubmissions will normally be two, but may be adjusted in accordance with the State Education Department's normal policies for VET courses run as a part of their state education.
Extension of Assessment Task Due Date
An extension of the assessment deadline may be granted on the following grounds, with supporting documentation as appropriate (for example, doctor’s certificate, death certificate, or letter from psychologist):
- medical illness;
- extreme hardship;
- compassionate grounds;
- faculty supervised project amendment.
Although the term, compassionate grounds allows some flexibility, such circumstances would usually involves significant disruptive circumstances.
Where a student is prevented by an unavoidable disruption from both submitting an assessment or attending an invigilated exam, and applying for an extension prior to the assessment deadline, the student shall report the circumstances in writing, with supporting documentation as appropriate, to the Program Director, as soon as practical (generally, by no later than seven days after the assessment deadline). Unavoidable disruption to studies is defined as resulting from an event or set of circumstances which:
- could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
- was beyond the student's control.
Students are expected to submit work by the due date. Students who do not do so without an extension or unavoidable disruption are liable to receive a zero mark for that assessment. Variations of this policy may be appropriate for particular subjects or units, and where so this will be detailed in the subject outline.
Students are expected to submit their first assessment attempt by the due date, unless they have an extension approved or other unavoidable disruption circumstances. Students who do not do this, must submit their assessment by the due date of their second assessment attempt (see Submission of Assessment Tasks above) or they will receive a Not Yet Satisfactory for that assessment (unless they have an extension approved or other unavoidable disruption circumstances).
Review and/or Remarking of Assessments
Students have the right to request an explanation of grades awarded for work completed during the semester. Initially, students should discuss any concerns with their lecturer who will consider their request, liaise with the marker (where applicable) and provide a response. If the student is still dissatisfied and feels there are grounds for requesting that an assessment task be re-marked or a supplementary assessment task be completed in the event of a fail or Not Yet Satisfactory grade, they should initially informally discuss the matter with the Subject Coordinator. The Subject Coordinator may arrange for a further grading opinion from an experienced faculty member, or conduct or oversee a re-marking of the paper. If the matter is still not satisfactorily resolved at this time, the student should write to the Program Director (or equivalent) requesting a re-mark or supplementary assessment task within ten days of the Subject Coordinator's response.
If a supplementary assessment task is approved, the relevant Subject Coordinator is to decide the date, time and type of assessment which is to take place and notify the student, in writing, of these arrangements. Where a resubmitted assessment for a failed assessment task is allowed, the student is eligible to earn a maximum of a pass grade (of 50%) or a “Satisfactory” grade.
Lecturers may also, with Subject Coordinator approval, offer a student who has done the work but failed an assessment the opportunity to resubmit an improved version, or a new assessment, for a maximum pass grade (of 50%), or for VET, a "Satisfactory" grade.
In the event of a re-marking request by a student, the re-marked result will be the officially recorded result for that assessment item, thus, the appeal may result in a lower mark or grade being awarded for the assessment task.
Notwithstanding the above, the student has no automatic right to a remark, resubmission or supplementary assessment task. The Program Director may determine that the student has no grounds for a review.
Any further appeals of an assessment grade should be directed to the AC Complaints and Grievance Resolution processes.
In the case that a student needs to complete an exam remotely (i.e., not at an AC location), the student must arrange for a suitable location and an appropriate invigilator (e.g. pastor, professional; not a family member or friend) to oversee the exam and ensure academic integrity. This requirement will similarly apply to online students for any exam. The exception to the need for an invigilator may be for "open-book" exams, or similar.
Remote exam conditions should reflect on-campus exam conditions as far as possible. Students may also be required to submit a declaration that the work is entirely their own, and they did not engage in academic misconduct during the exam.
Students must arrange for their invigilator or exam supervisor to complete the AC Exam Supervision Form and submit this form on Moodle prior to sitting the exam. The form is available on the AC website.
Postgraduate coursework research projects
Postgraduate coursework research projects completed by AC students will be examined by appropriately qualified experts. The project examination process is an integral part of ensuring the academic quality, originality and integrity of AC courses and promotes dissemination of the research.
Research students, supervisors and examiners must adhere to the Grading Policy.
Assessment Word Count
Students are permitted a variance of 10% over or under the stated assessment word count for written assessments, beyond which penalties may be incurred. It remains at the discretion of the marker to determine the extent to which a submission outside of this allowed variance meets the requirements and expectations of the assessment, and to apply reasonable grading / penalties accordingly.
Responsible for implementation
Learning and Teaching Committee
Faculty and students
Applications for Extensions
HE and VET students are to submit the online “Request for Extension Form”.
The request should be submitted before the assignment is due, with supporting documentation. Lecturers are permitted to grant extensions up to two weeks past the due date on the above grounds in this Policy. Program Directors (or equivalent) are permitted to grant long extensions.
Any extension request beyond four weeks due to a student’s circumstances is to be reviewed by the Program Director, in consultation with the Head of School if required. A long extension request must be formally made by the student via the Request for Extension Form. If approved, the Program Director will notify the student and relevant Lecturer of the arrangement. The student will receive an ‘In Progress’ grade in the meantime and incur no financial penalty in this case. Further, once the assessment has been submitted, the ‘In Progress’ grade will be replaced by the new grade.
A request for an extension does not guarantee approval. The decision is at the discretion of the Lecturer, Program Director, or Head of School. Normal appeals processes can be accessed.
Where a student requests an extended deadline due to an unavoidable disruption, the student should report the circumstances that prevented them applying for extension and/or submitting the assessment to the Program Director. The Program Director will review the request and notify the student and relevant Lecturer of the decision, including if approved, new arrangements for assessment.
If approved, the student will receive an ‘In Progress’ grade in the meantime and incur no financial penalty. Further, once the assessment has been submitted and assessed, the ‘In Progress’ grade will be replaced by the new grade.
The decision is at the discretion of the Program Director. Normal appeals processes can be accessed.
Variation of Assessment
Students are encouraged to inform AC of any disability, medical condition or learning need that may impact on their studies prior to census date. This is so a variation of assessment can be arranged, or, in case it is not possible to arrange, a change of enrolment may be advised and facilitated.
To request a variation of assessment due to disability, medical condition or learning needs:
- A meeting is to be arranged by the student with their Program Director (or equivalent) and a Student Experience Department representative to discuss alternative assessment arrangements. Students must provide at or prior to the meeting appropriate documentation (medical certificate, social worker and/or psychologist letter), to support an alternative assessment recommendation. Discussion is to centre on the student's needs, propose reasonable and equivalent assessments, as well as maintain the academic equity and fairness of the course. Advice and support on alternative assessments can be requested from the Chair of Learning and Teaching Committee as necessary.
- If an alternative assessment method is proposed, a study plan is to be tabled at the Student Affairs Committee by the Program Director (or equivalent) with supporting documentation for approval. If approved, this is to be communicated to all relevant stakeholders. If denied, the student can follow AC’s Complaint and Grievance Procedures.
Proposal for coursework research project
After consultation with the Program Director (or equivalent) and/or potential supervisor, a research student should submit a completed Research Proposal Form to the Program Director (or equivalent) prior to the commencement of the research. This includes any required ethics approval documentation if relevant. The research project should not commence until the Program Director (or equivalent) has approved the proposal. Where necessary, the Program Director (or equivalent) will approach and appoint potential supervisors on the student's behalf.
Appointment of examiner for coursework research project
Some postgraduate courses require the completion of an externally marked research project. Such projects will be marked by one qualified external academic whose area of expertise is aligned with the topic of the project. An examiner should:
- hold a degree of a level at least equivalent to the one of the project being marked, or preferably, AQF +1 Level to the student's course;
- have research and/or professional expertise appropriate to the student's research topic.
The student and supervisor should agree to up to three potential examiners, noting any that may have a potential conflict of interest or other reason why the appointment of a marker may be inappropriate. The supervisor then provides the names of up to three suggested examiners to the Program Director (or equivalent). The external examiner will then be appointed by the Program Director (or equivalent).
Once the research is examined, the examiner sends the result to the Program Director (or equivalent) who informs the supervisor and, in turn, the student. The examiner and the student are not to make direct contact until after the examination report has been received. Any grievance must adhere to the Complaint and Grievance Resolution Policy.
Assessment Word Count
If a written assessment is more than 10% under the stated word count, it is likely the requirements of the assessment will not have been met, which will affect the grade. If the assessment exceeds the word count by more than 10%, the marker may stop grading the assessment at that point; if the argument has not been sufficiently made, or requirements such as a conclusion etc. met, the grade is likely to be affected. It remains at the discretion of the marker to determine the extent to which the submission meets the requirements and expectations of the assessment, and to apply reasonable grading and penalties accordingly.