The University of Western Australia
Assessment and feedback are integral to the student learning experience - and form a key part of the coursework units that are delivered to students. This policy sets out the principles that govern the approach and management of formal assessment for coursework students within the University to comply with the Australian Higher Education Standards Framework. The policy comprises the following parts:
Part 1: University Standards for Assessment
Part 2: Governance of Assessment Standards
Part 3: Academic Provisions for Coursework Units
Part 4: Examinations
Part 5: Grading System
the University means The University of Western Australia
assessment criteria specify how markers evaluate students' knowledge, understanding and capabilities, and are based on specified learning outcomes
assessment item is a body of work or combination of aligned sub-tasks used to gauge student learning, e.g. an essay, project, assignment or examination
assessment task is a piece of work that forms part of an assessment item
Assessment Mechanism Statement means the details of the way in which the final result for a unit is arrived at.
elite athletes means students identified and recognised as an elite athlete under the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network Agreement
criterion-referenced assessment is designed to provide a measure of students' performance that is directly relevant to the learning outcomes and not determined in relation to the performance of other students, nor in relation to predetermined distribution of grades/marks. This approach to assessment provides an indication of the specific knowledge and skills each student can demonstrate through an assessment task. This approach is consistent with the Australian Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Statements) 2015 that require the learning outcomes for each course of study to be specified (Standard 1.4.1) and that any grades awarded reflect the level of student attainment (Standard 1.4.3)
dissertation means the output of research in a course in which the output constitutes at least 25 per cent but less than 66.6 per cent of the requirements of the course in question
exam timetable deviation involves moving a formal University exam to another time on the day the exam is scheduled to take place, or to the next day. It also involves moving an exam to an alternative location to the one the exam is scheduled to take place in
examination includes end of semester (initial), mid-semester and summer session examinations, tests/exams run by faculties, and practical laboratory examinations, but does not include assignments
Failed Component (FC) is a component that a student must pass in order to obtain an overall pass in a unit.
final grade means the letter code assigned to indicate the level of a student's academic performance in a unit
final mark means the student's aggregate percentage mark in a unit once confirmed by the Board of Examiners
formative assessment is assessment for learning meaning an assessment item or activity that has a developmental purpose with feedback for students about their learning, and may carry a mark
formal University examinations are those that relate only to written exams and administered by the University via Student Administration within Student Services.
invigilator means a person who supervises students during an examination
marking scheme, which is made available to students prior to or at the time an assessment is made available to students, is a scoring tool that provides information about how a student's work is judged for each individual assessed item/task. It is a system for assigning marks that may take the form of a marking guide, marking matrices, marking key and/or marking rubrics. A marking scheme explicitly states the standards or level of achievement against which a student's work is assessed at varying levels of mastery, and is used for all assignments (e.g. papers, projects, oral presentations, artistic performances, group projects, etc.). A marking scheme can be used as a scoring guide, to provide formative feedback to support and guide ongoing learning efforts, or both.
moderation is a process to ensure consistent, fair and reliable marking of each individual assessment item/task consistent with the marking scheme
negative marking is where a mark(s) is/are deducted for unanswered questions or incorrect answers
preliminary marks refer to marks assigned prior to confirmation by the faculty Board of Examiners
relevant board means a board relevant to the case in point. The relevant board may include a position or a body of people with authority to carry out the function concerned (e.g. board of examiners who are responsible for considering assessments made by schools)
summative assessment is assessment of learning meaning any assessment that contributes to the final grade/mark of a unit to provide a measure of student performance in relation to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.
unit outline provides information, as set out in Section 9.42 of this policy, that is published in an University approved template and format via the Learning Management System
University working day means a weekday other than one that is specified by the University as a University holiday
PART 1: UNIVERSITY STANDARDS FOR ASSESSMENT
Part 1 of the policy deals with key standards for the conduct and management of assessment at the University.
1.1 The University is committed to assessment that is fair, integral, valid and efficient. Assessment is:
a) Fair if it:
i. provides opportunities for all students to demonstrate their learning;
ii. promotes behaviour consistent with the University Charter of student rights and responsibilities (UP07/132) and the University Policy on Academic Conduct (UP07/21); and,
iii. is transparent and clearly communicated.
b) Integral to the learning process if it:
i. is used for formative and summative purposes;
ii. is designed to promote student engagement with course content; and,
iii. is timed to promote effective learning.
c) Valid if it:
i. evaluates student learning outcomes;
ii. is criterion-referenced;
iii. conforms to national, discipline and professional standards (where appropriate); and,
iv. is regularly reviewed and moderated.
d) Efficient if it:
i. uses digital tools where appropriate; and,
ii. measures student learning and provides effective feedback with minimal resources.
PART 2: GOVERNANCE OF ASSESSMENT STANDARDS
Part 2 of the policy deals with the governance of assessment standards, including responsibilities for monitoring assessment standards and ensuring consistency with regard to assessment practices and processes across the University.
2.1 The University ensures that assessment processes and practices:
a) are consistent and maintain high standards
b) are in compliance with external higher education regulatory requirement(s);
c) report performance against the specified learning outcomes; and
d) are regularly evaluated (with feedback from staff, students and others).
3.1 Assessment and academic achievement standards are monitored at the school/discipline/faculty/University levels.
3.2 The following are the roles for ensuring quality assessment processes, practices and standards:
A person who is enrolled at the University. This person has a responsibility to participate actively, positively and with integrity in learning, teaching and research activities; complete and submit all required assessment tasks within specified timeframes; and undertake assessment tasks in an honest and trustworthy manner.
A person internal or external to the University, who is in control of assessing any aspect of a student's performance in a unit/course, is responsible for moderating that performance in relation to set standards and assigning marks. Examiners are required to provide feedback to students on their performance.
A person internal or external to the University, who is responsible under instructions from the Examinations Office (Student Administration) for the proper and efficient conduct of an examination.
Course / major coordinator
A person with the responsibility for the management of teaching and assessment of a course / major including developing course assessment plans, standard setting with the teaching team (tutors)/ unit coordinators, undertaking and guiding moderation processes including coordinating moderation between examiners through Boards of Examiners, where applicable, and recommending grades. Where a course is offered on more than one campus, this role is undertaken by the Primary Course Coordinator, who is responsible for assuring that the assessment standards and outcomes are consistent across all campus offerings of the course.
A person responsible for coordinating a unit in a course is responsible for the student learning process including, conveying to students clear advice about the aims and the desired learning outcomes of the unit, the assessment requirements, the relationship between the assessment requirements and the expected learning outcomes, the relative weighting of assessment components, the application of agreed assessment criteria and standards and the provision of feedback. The coordinator is responsible for reviewing, moderating and uploading the marks and feedback provided to students to ensure consistency in academic achievement standards. For more details see Appendix 1.
Head of School/Discipline/
A person, appointed by the Faculty Executive Dean, responsible to the Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) or equivalent for ensuring compliance with University and professional accreditation processes and the quality assurance of units and courses including assessment.
Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) or equivalent
A person responsible for managing a range of student assessment matters including, but not limited to, the following:
reviews honours classification, honours dissertation grades, applications for alternative, central initial and deferred examination;
considers student request for review on grades in accordance with the University Policy on Review and Appeal of Academic Decision (UP15/1), deferred assessment other than central end of semester examinations, and action on inability to locate student assessment; and
reviews individual student's academic progress.
Academic Conduct Advisor
A person responsible for managing student academic conduct, issues and responses to findings of academic misconduct.
4.1 A faculty must appoint a board of examiners to carry out the following roles:
a) consider students' results in units, majors and courses offered by the faculty;
b) decide on student progression;
c) monitor assessment quality in units, majors and courses by reviewing survey and feedback data from students and peers;
d) assure the quality of course/unit assessment plans and moderation processes undertaken within majors/courses;
e) identify units, majors and courses with unsatisfactory assessment outcomes and advise the unit/major/course coordinator on actions to improve outcomes;
f) monitor and compare grade distributions across units, majors and courses by consulting and negotiating with other relevant faculties, where relevant, and reporting annually on this comparison to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education);
g) monitor school processes for safe, secure assessment submission and return, and ensure the quality and security of exam questions, and exam papers;
h) consider students' unit results and ensure they are reported to Student Administration for recording and publication, and carry out any other task relating to students' results that may be delegated to them by the faculty concerned;
i) determine prize and award recipients, and report its decisions to the Prizes Unit within Student Administration; and
j) where necessary adjust marks in a unit in line with the policy principles that assessment is fair, valid, and integral to the learning process.
4.2 A faculty board of examiners is normally chaired by the dean of the faculty concerned, or nominee.
4.3 A faculty board of examiners may delegate one or more of its functions to the dean or another member or members of the board of examiners.
4.4 A faculty governance document must refer to section 4.1 of this policy for identifying the role of its board of examiners together with any faculty-specific delegations.
5.1 By delegation of the Curriculum Committee, the role of the Board of Examiners of the Curriculum Committee is delegated to the Chair of the Curriculum Committee who deals executively with all related academic matters including, but not limited to, the following:
a) the award of honours classifications, where these are not routine in nature, or relate to joint-honours classifications for new undergraduate degree courses;
b) academic progress in exceptional cases that have been escalated for further deliberation; and
c) faculty recommendations on applications for readmission from students who have been previously excluded for a period of at least 12 months from an undergraduate degree course or a diploma course.
6.1 By delegation of the Faculty Board, the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee or equivalent is responsible for quality assurance in the conduct of assessment by:
a) identifying emerging learning, assessment and teaching issues;
b) developing processes in relation to learning, teaching and assessment; and
c) articulating, implementing and monitoring academic standards for learning and teaching at the University.
7.1 The Faculty Executive Dean or delegate has the authority to consider and approve exemptions as provided for in the following clauses of this policy: 9.2.1(b); 9.2.2 (a); 9.2.2 (b); 10.2.2; 11.3; 12.3; and 14.4.
1. Exemptions for non-curriculum related items must be sought in accordance with the procedures set out in Schedule A (for exemptions 10.2.2, 11.3, 14.4, and 16.2).
2. Exemptions for curriculum related items must be sought via the University's Curriculum Approvals Interim Database Online (CAIDi).
PART 3: ACADEMIC PROVISIONS FOR COURSEWORK UNITS
This part of the policy sets out the principles that govern the delivery of formal assessment for coursework students within the University.
8.1 Each unit taught at the University aims to balance and integrate the provision of:
a) formative assessment which may include:
iv. collaborative-assessment; and
b) summative assessment which must also have a formative function.
9.1 General requirements
9.1.1 All formal assessments contributing to the University's award must be:
a) conducted in English, except in the case of units teaching languages other than English; and
b) designed to measure or evaluate the student's knowledge and capabilities.
9.1.2 Each unit must have an assessment plan expressed through a written Assessment Mechanism Statement, which sets out clearly the way in which the final result for the unit is calculated, and a unit outline, published via the Learning Management System.
9.2 Assessment plan
9.2.1 Assessment items and methods
a) Assessment items must be tailored to meet unit learning outcomes that include higher order learning and capabilities.
b) Unless an exception has been granted in accordance with part 2 (section 7) of this policy, and with the exemption of dissertation units, each six-credit point unit must employ at least two summative assessment items and up to three summative assessment items, unless an exception has been granted (or proportional number of assessment items for units with multiples of six credit points (e.g. four to six assessment items for twelve- credit point unit)) of different methods including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) examinations and tests: selected and/or constructed response, practical and oral examinations;
(ii) assignments: written, oral, planning, problem-solving, reports, research-based, practice-based, reviews, research (e.g. dissertations)
(iii) assessment based on:
- observation or record of practice;
- performance, creation or discussion; and
- active participation, which does not include attendance alone.
c) An assessment item may comprise a number of tasks completed at different times in a unit.
d) Assessments for a unit must be designed to assess student learning outcomes in the most efficient manner and must be proportionate to the 150 hours of student workload represented by the credit weighting of the unit (6 credit points).
e) All coursework students must be provided with formative feedback in the first half of a teaching period in each unit.
9.2.2 Assessment item weighting
a) An assessment item comprises at least 10 per cent and up to 70 per cent of a unit's final mark. Exemption may be considered in accordance with part 2 (section 7) of this policy for folio and project units. Assessment item weighting for dissertation units are set in accordance with the University Policy on Courses: Coursework Dissertation (UP15/6).
b) Where a unit comprises a formal University examination component, the component constitutes at least 40 per cent and no more than 60 per cent of the unit's final mark, unless an exception has been granted in accordance with part 2 (section 7) of this policy. Dissertation units are exempted from this requirement.
c) Where a unit comprises a group assessment task which is presented as a single entity and where the contributions of individual students cannot be identified:
(i) the assessment item is limited to no more than 30 per cent of the unit's final mark; and
(ii) all members of the group are awarded the same mark.
d) The assessment of a group item that is prepared and presented as a single entity within which the contributions of individual students are identified, is not limited to the weighting restrictions referred to in 9.2.2 (c)(i).
9.2.3 Assessment criteria and marking schemes
a) In accordance with the Higher Education Standards, each unit adopts a criterion-referenced method of assessment.
b) Each assessment item has explicit assessment criteria expressed in the marking scheme and aligned with the learning outcomes that provide the basis for evaluating and differentiating the quality of a student's work.
c) Assessment criteria are aligned with the University grades and grade descriptors (see part 5 (Grading System) which provides the University grades, grade codes and corresponding marks and descriptors).
d) Each assessment item must publish a marking scheme for assigning marks that is used consistently by all members of a teaching team, across all campuses and all modes of teaching. The marking scheme is published either before or at the time the assessment task is made available to students.
9.3 Assessment Mechanism Statement
9.3.1 The University is committed to communicating the aims and details of all summative assessments items to students.
9.3.2 Each unit includes an Assessment Mechanism Statement that:
a) lists summative assessment items, their weighting and requirements, if any, for passing the items;
b) explains how assessment items relate to the unit learning outcomes;
c) identifies the requirement(s) of any failed component, where relevant in a unit, and the consequences for not meeting that/those requirement(s);
d) specifies submission procedures and deadlines;
e) specifies consequences of late, incomplete or non-submission;
f) outlines academic conduct requirements such as referencing of sources and consequences of academic misconduct as indicated in the University Policy on Academic Conduct (UP07/21);
g notes constraints (e.g. word limits) where applicable, and consequences of breach of constraints;
h) specifies minimum requirements relating to tutorial attendance and active participation where applicable, and consequences for failing to meet minimum requirements;
i) informs about the location of marking schemes and/or grade criteria for each assessment task which must be published either before or at the time the assessment task is made available to students.
9.3.3 Once the Assessment Mechanism Statement is published in the Unit Outline, it may only be altered in minor details (e.g. delayed due dates), with such changes communicated to all affected students via their student email and the Learning Management System.
9.3.4 Changes in the forms, methods or number of assessment items are not permitted once the teaching period has commenced.
9.4 Unit outlines
9.4.1 Faculties must ensure that all unit outlines are available to students electronically via the Learning Management System at least one week prior to commencement of the semester or teaching period.
9.4.2 Unit outlines must include:
a) unit aims and learning outcomes consistent with UWA Handbook content;
b) an Assessment Mechanism Statement;
c) a description about teaching mode, including schedule of topics, readings and other unit activities;
d) the web address for the UWA Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities (UP07/132);
e) advice on the review and appeals process;
f) links to information on Academic Conduct Essentials (ACE) and reference to the University Policy on Academic Conduct (UP07/21);
g) contact details of the unit coordinator and teaching staff;
h) contact details of the Student Guild and Student Services; and
i) information on learning support through STUDYSmarter, UniAccess and the UWA Library.
10.1 Method of submission
10.1.1All works, with the exception of creative objects, performance, practical components and handwritten works, prepared for summative assessment must be submitted electronically through the University's Learning Management System.
10.1.2Students must declare that the work submitted for assessment is their own work. This declaration may be made at the point of submission via LMS or ensure that it accompanies the work submitted for assessment via other means. Students are required to retain their own copy of all work submitted for summative assessment.
10.1.3Where practical and possible, all summative assessments are submitted via the Learning Management System and are passed through the University's approved text-matching software. A range of programs may be used for checking other forms of assessment items. Where a piece of assessment 'passes' an automated checking program, this does not in itself confirm that academic misconduct has not occurred. Markers may make other checks as appropriate.
10.1.4Preliminary marks for each summative assessment task including the final assessment are to be entered into and published via the Learning Management System, which is the University's approved secure repository, in accordance with Section 15.5A of this policy.
10.2 Principles of submission and penalty for late submission
10.2.1Deadlines for submission must be communicated to students; this communication must be clear, explicit and clearly stated via unit outlines.
10.2.2Deadlines for submission of an assessment task must not coincide with the pre-examination study break .
10.2.2.1 Where a unit does not include a faculty or formal University examination it may have an assessment task due during the formal University exam period.
10.2.2.2 Alternate assessments granted as a result of special consideration applications are exempted from setting deadlines in accordance with 10.2.2 and 10.2.2.1.
10.2.3Methods for granting of extensions to the submission deadline for assessed work must ensure that all students are treated fairly and consistently. The following circumstances are not acceptable grounds for extensions:
a) inability to have an assignment word processed by the due date;
b) other assignments due on or about the due date;
c) computer, printer or internet break-down with the exception of a University system or database essential to that assessment item;
d) foreseeable work commitments;
e) holiday travels including overseas.
10.2.4The following consequences of late or non-submission must be made clear to students:
a) a penalty of 5 per cent of the possible mark allocated for the assessment item is deducted per day for the first 7 days (including weekends and public holidays), after which the assigned work is not accepted. Each 24-hour block is recorded from the time the assignment is due. For example, a student, who has submitted a piece of work for an assessment item late by three days and was scored a mark of 45 out of a possible mark of 50, receives after penalty a mark of 37.5 out of 50 (a mark of 2.5 is deducted per day as a penalty for each student from the mark obtained). Where there are a number of tasks within an assessment item, the late penalty may be applied holistically to the assessment item after all tasks have been completed.
b) where assessments are graded ungraded Pass / Ungraded Fail, failure to submit the assessment in time may result in the student not being permitted to take the unit's subsequent summative assessment item(s) ; and
c) assessments submitted later than 7 days after the deadline receive a mark of zero, unless an application for mitigation is approved in accordance with the University Policy on Assessment: Special Consideration (UP11/23).
10.3 Word count (or equivalent in non-alphabetic languages)
10.3.1For all written assessments, where relevant, guidance is given to students on the maximum word limit, expressed numerically (not as a percentage variation), in order for the learning outcomes to be assessed.
10.3.2Where word limits apply, students must be informed of the word limit, and what is included.
10.3.3Where relevant, students must be asked to include a word count in the submission.
10.3.4Where an assignment exceeds the word limit, a penalty of 1 per cent of the total mark allocated for the assessment task applies for each 1 per cent in excess of the word limit or the marking ceases once the word limit is reached. The penalty for exceeding word limit for an assessment item/task in a unit must be clearly communicated to the student in the unit outline.
10.4 Academic referencing
10.4.1Each unit must provide guidance and links to support materials on the most appropriate referencing style for the discipline (See Appendix 2 for more details).
11.1 Marking of all assessment items/tasks must occur on the basis of pre-specified criteria consistent with a criterion-referenced framework, and not determined in relation to the performance of other students, nor in relation to predetermined distribution of grades/marks.
11.2 Wherever possible and practical information identifying students (other than student numbers) are kept anonymous during the marking process
11.3 Negative marking is not permitted to be used as part of any assessment unless an exception has been granted by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) on the recommendation of the relevant Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching).
11.4 Moderation of marking
11.4.1Moderation is employed to ensure appropriate and consistent marking occurs within units, and that assessment is fair and reliable. Outcomes of a moderation process for an assessment item/task are confidential only to assessor(s) and direct reporting lines.
11.4.2Approaches to moderation of marking must be consistent with criterion-referenced assessment and may reflect discipline differences and conventions. These approaches include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) marking moderation exercises: where a group of assessors independently mark sample pieces of work, then compare and discuss the marks to establish consistent marking standards.
b) double blind marking: where two assessors independently mark a piece of work, then agree on a mark;
c) double open marking: where two assessors jointly mark a piece of work; and
d) second marking: where a second assessor reviews a marked piece of work to confirm or challenge the mark.
11.4.3Moderation of marking, using appropriate marking scheme consistent with criterion-referenced assessment, applies to all units, with unit coordinator(s) applying appropriate moderation model(s) by considering the:
a) nature of the material or task to be assessed;
b) number, experience and role of staff involved in the marking process;
c) level of study of the unit;
d) relative importance in terms of weighting of the assessment item;
e) significance of the decision arising from the mark awarded; and
f) expertise and views of any external examiner(s).
11.4.4To ensure consistency all summative marking processes for an assessment item/task are numerical, unless an alternative scheme is approved in accordance with part 2 (section 7) of this policy, and is clearly communicated to students.
12.1 A failed component may be assigned to an assessment item to mandate a minimum level of performance as a requirement for passing the unit. The consequences of not meeting a failed component must be made explicit to students in the Assessment Mechanism Statement.
12.1.1Consequences of not meeting a failed requirement may include being unable to progress to the next level of the course, or to graduate in the case where it is the final unit in the course.
12.2 Failed component requirements must be:
a) determined on pedagogical grounds;
c) used only where necessary to enhance student performance and to ensure mastery of core discipline elements, especially in disciplines where there are professional and/or technical applications that require students to demonstrate minimum competency standards or 'fitness to practice'; and
d) consistent with the University grading system as set out in Part 5 of this policy; and
e) approved by the Curriculum Committee.
12.3 Where a unit comprises more than one failed component requirement, the sum of all failed component requirements must not exceed 70 per cent of the total assessment for the unit, unless an exception has been granted in accordance with part 2 (section 7) of this policy.
13.1 Alternative assessment and arrangements may be made for particular students in the following circumstances:
a) alternative assessment: may, for example, be necessary if teaching resources such as prescribed texts are not available at short notice.
b) special individual arrangements: may need to be made for assessment items to be set for students for whom the carrying out of a specific assessment item, as originally set out, is not possible (such as unanticipated resource access problems or other matters). These arrangements are directly negotiated between the student and the unit coordinator with due consideration given to issues of equity and assessment validity. The agreed arrangements must be placed on the student file and lodged electronically in the student's record.
14.1 The Faculty may approve re-submission of a failed assessment item.
14.2 Where re-submission of a failed assessment item is approved, students have up to five University working days to produce and resubmit their work for reassessment.
14.3 Where resubmission is approved, the reassessed mark is capped at the assessment pass mark, unless an application for mitigation is approved in accordance with the University Policy on Assessment: Special Consideration (UP11/23).
14.4 To ensure consistency and fairness, reassessment in a form different from the original form of assessment to determine marks for borderline students is not permitted, unless an exception has been granted in accordance with part 2 (section 7) of this policy.
14.5 Reassessment is not available to improve upon a mark or grading above the pass level required for an assessment task in a unit.
15.1 Students must be provided with feedback on all assessed work.
15.2 Student feedback needs to be fit for purpose and may:
a) fulfil a range of purposes, including clarifying, troubleshooting, correcting, encouraging and explaining;
b) come from many sources, including teaching staff, fellow-students, professional practitioners, students' themselves (personal reflections) and external audiences; and
c) use methods most suitable for student development and engagement, including appropriate technologies (e.g. recording spoken feedback).
15.3 Each unit must provide feedback to students on their ongoing performance and achievements for each assessment item.
15.4 Feedback must be clearly linked to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.
15.5 Feedback must be:
a) prompt: being provided in a standard semester teaching period within 15 University working days of the assessment item's published submission date, and where possible at least one week before the next summative assessment item is due or in a summer school teaching period within 7 University working days or earlier of the assessment item's published submission date, and where possible at least one week before the next summative assessment item is due;
b) informative: highlighting strengths and weaknesses with specific examples and explanations; and
c) helpful: offering suggestions about how to improve.
15.6 The provision of feedback must be regularly monitored in quality assurance procedures (e.g. SURFs, CEQs, course reviews) and appropriate action taken to address concerns raised.
15.7 Where appropriate, feedback on assessment items may take the form of generic feedback to a student group, e.g. in the form of an 'examiner's report' on each exam question or similar.
15.7.1Students are entitled to view their marked examination script within five University working days from receipt of release of results or during the first week of the next semester or trimester; however, this examination script remains the property of the University.
16.1 The treatment of assessment during a period of study abroad must be clear and transparent.
16.2 Results obtained overseas during approved study abroad/exchange programs are normally recorded on a pass/fail basis only, and normally excluded from any calculations for postgraduate or honours applications.
16.3 Where host universities are well known, and especially where exchange agreements are in place, the University may recognise the grades awarded (where appropriate) and create conversion tables so that grades achieved abroad may be used within a WAM calculation at Level 3. If such tables are produced or updated, they must be presented by the Admissions Centre to the Dean of Coursework Studies for verification on an annual basis.
16.4 In advance of choosing a study abroad unit, students must be informed how their marks, grades or credits are treated when they return.
17.1 Students hold the intellectual property inherent in all work produced for assessments.
17.2 Material produced by students for assessment (essays, projects, dissertations, artworks, digital artefacts, etc.) may be retained pending confirmation of marks awarded by the assessor/board of examiners, possible reviews and appeals and quality audits.
17.3 With the exception of examination scripts, the University endeavours to return to students all assessed work, where applicable.
17.4 With the exception of examination scripts non-digital assessment tasks that have not been collected by the student are retained by the University for one month after the publication of results after which time they may be disposed of. Arrangements for the disposal of such work are the responsibility of the relevant School.
17.5 In accordance with the Western Australian University Sector Disposal requirements all examination scripts completed by students are stored for a period of one year after action then destroyed except where they are required for accreditation purposes.
18.1 The University investigates all cases of alleged cheating and academic misconduct and where upheld imposes penalties in accordance with the University Policy on Academic Conduct (UP07/21).
19.1 In cases where there is dissatisfaction with the results of an assessment a student may request a review of the academic decision under the University Policy on Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions relating to Students (UP15/1).
PART 4: EXAMINATIONS
Part 4 of the policy deals with the types of examinations held at the University and sets out the principles for ensuring consistency in the conduct and management of examinations.
20.1 Types of examinations offered to students may include:
a) formal University examinations held during the official examination period and administered by Student Administration; or
b) formal University exam timetable deviations administered by Student Administration; or
c) faculty or school examinations held outside the official examination period.
20.2 The frequency and nature of examinations must be decided by faculties in line with any constraints imposed by policies of the University.
20.3 Student Administration, Faculties and the Albany Campus determine appropriate venues where examinations are to be conducted.
20.4 In extreme mitigating circumstances, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor's delegate (Associate Director, Service and Engagement, Student Services) may approve a venue other than as in 20.3.
21.1 Formal University examinations referred to in 20.1 (a) include the following:
Initial semester / trimester exam / summer exam
Following each semester, trimester or summer session
8.30am - 6.30pm Monday to Saturday inclusive
Generally Crawley and Albany campuses
Venue on the campus at which the unit was taught
Usually in the first week of February and where practicable the week before commencement of second semester in consultation with Student Administration
same campus as the initial examination
Venue on the campus at which the initial examination took place
Deferred exam (excluding summer session)
21.2 All formal University examinations are administered for 2 hours only.
21.3 Where examination is available in a unit, the exam paper must be set in a way that demonstrates a level of distinctiveness (at least 50 per cent) from that set in the unit's previous teaching period.
21.4 Non-standard duration formal University examinations must be approved by the relevant board and Student Administration.
21.5 Deferred examinations may be approved by the Faculty, in liaison with Student Administration, in one or more units if a student was absent from an examination thorough circumstances that fall under the University Policy on Assessment: Special Consideration (UP11/23).
21.6 Where supplementary examination is available in a unit, the examination is normally available in relation to the:
a) initial semester / trimester examination; and
b) deferred examination unless it is not feasible to offer such opportunity because of logistical limitations.
21.6.1Where supplementary and/or deferred examination is available in a unit, the exam paper must be set in a way that demonstrates a level of distinctiveness (at least 25 per cent) from that set for the initial exam.
Procedures - main round examination
1. Student Administration commences Stage one examination data collection in Week 1 and Stage Two examination data collection process in Week 8 of the teaching period.
2. The examination question paper must be submitted along with the Stage Two examination data collection process by Week 8 of the teaching period.
3. As part of Stage two data collection process the submitting officer is asked to declare that 50% distinctiveness exists from the previous teaching period examination paper.
Procedures - deferred and Supplementary examination
4. Student Administration commences examination data collection process for Deferred and Supplementary exams the Week after the examination period.
5. As part of the Deferred and Supplementary data collection process the submitting officer is asked to declare that 25% distinctiveness exists from the main round semester examination paper.
6. Student Administration undertakes a one percent audit on submitted examination papers at the conclusion of the examination rounds to verify distinctiveness; outcomes are reported back to Faculties for consideration
21.6.2The requirements that students must meet to qualify for a supplementary assessment, including examination are as follows:
Requirements to qualify for supplementary assessment, where failed component is available
Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 units
May be available ONLY for unit(s) with failed component(s)
at least a mark of 45 overall in the unit; and
at least a mark of 45 in the failed component
Must be provided if the unit is the last remaining unit in an undergraduate course*
at least a mark of 45 overall in the unit; and/or
at least a mark of 45 in the failed component
May be available if the unit is being taught out or no unit of similar content is available in the next academic year
at least a mark of 40 overall in the unit; and
at least a mark of 40 in the failed component
Level 4/ Level 5/Level 6 units
As per case submitted by Faculty to the Curriculum Committee
*Exception for a particular unit requires the Faculty to apply to the Curriculum Committee.
22.1 The University offers an exam timetable deviation in recognition of religious needs and to ensure ongoing compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Disability Standards for Education 2005, and the Elite Athlete Friendly University Network Agreement.
22.2 Exam timetable deviation arrangements must not result in the lowering of academic standards or affect the integrity of the examination process.
Requests for an exam timetable deviation are administered in accordance with the University Policy on Assessment: Special Consideration. The eligibility requirements for such requests are set out in Schedule B.
23.1 Examinations held outside the official period referred to in 20.1 (c) include, but are not limited to, the following:
Other examination types
Mid / during semester or mid / during trimester examinations.
Deferred summer session examination
Following the initial summer session exam
24.1 Student Administration must:
a) organise all supplementary, deferred formal and standard duration examinations, regardless of the number of students sitting the examination;
b) provide an examination timetable to students including the times, dates and places for initial, supplementary and deferred examinations;
c) notify students via email when the examination timetable is available within the timeframes as follows:
Release of timetable to students
5 weeks before the examination period
10 days before the scheduled examination
10 days before the scheduled examination
Deferred or supplementary exams where a placement or practicum is dependent on demonstrating competence
3 days before the scheduled examination
d) process and issue of final unit results in accordance with Part 5 (Grading System) of this policy as soon as possible after completion of the unit; and
e) provide feedback to heads of schools on matters within the school's control that contribute to difficulties in examinations.
24.2 Information about examination times are not given to students over the telephone.
24.3 No one other than Student Administration publishes examination timetable information on the web.
24.4 Students are responsible for accessing their examination timetable through StudentConnect.
25.1 Invigilation in all central examination venues during the formal University examination periods must be carried out by invigilators appointed by the Examinations Office, Student Administration.
25.2 All invigilators must attend a training session prior to their first invigilation session.
25.3 During the conduct of an examination, invigilators are required to:
a) provide instructions immediately prior to commencement regarding the conduct of an examination, and making students aware they can take notes and start their answers at any time.
b) accompany to the University Medical Centre, where appropriate, any student who needs to leave an examination venue due to illness.
c) report to the student's allocated course advising faculty student office, via Student Administration, any student found with unauthorised material.
26.1 The academic member(s) or staff responsible for writing the examination paper or their delegates with knowledge of the paper content must:
a) be present in the examination venue(s) at the commencement and during the first ten minutes of any examination for which they are responsible.
b) be available to answer questions from invigilators or examination office staff members while any examination, for which they are responsible, is in progress.
c) attend an examination venue immediately to answer any queries, including when:
27.1 Any student who commits any breach of the rules set out in this section or is guilty of any misconduct in relation to the examination is subject to action under Statute 17 - Student Discipline.
27.2 Student identification
27.2.1For all examinations, students must present their student ID card as a form of photographic identification and verification.
27.3 Behaviour during an examination
27.3.1Students must obey all instructions relating to the conduct of an examination given by an examination supervisor or invigilator. Instructions are given prior to the commencement of an examination and students must be aware of them, if unclear or unable to hear they may ask the supervisor to repeat the instructions.
27.3.2Students requiring assistance during the examination must raise their arm and wait for an invigilator to come to them.
27.3.3No communication by word or otherwise between students is allowed in the examination room. Students are subject to disciplinary action if found to be communicating with other students in the examination room.
27.3.4Smoking and, unless authorised, eating is not permitted in any examination venue.
27.3.5Students may only bring authorised materials into the examination room. Any student who has brought any unauthorised material whatsoever into the examination room must declare it to the supervisor immediately.
27.3.6Where a candidate has been found to have unauthorised material, in whatever form, in the vicinity of their desk or on them, whether in the examination room or the toilets or en route to / from the toilets, the matter is reported, via Student Administration, to the student's allocated course advising faculty student office and disciplinary action is normally taken against them regardless of whether the material has been used at the time it is found.
27.3.7A student whose conduct is, in the opinion of the Chief Invigilator, disturbing to other students and who persists in such behaviour after receiving a warning from an invigilator may be required to end their examination and leave the venue.
27.3.8In the event of an emergency, students must follow the instructions given by the invigilators and during an evacuation must refrain from talking or communicating in any other way to anyone except an invigilator.
27.3.9Academic misconduct, including cheating in examinations, is dealt in accordance with Statute 17 - Student Discipline, the Regulations for Student Conduct and Discipline, and the University Policy on Academic Conduct (UP07/21).
27.4 Exam booklets and written responses
27.4.1Students must not remove pages from answer books or the answer books from the examination room. Such action may be treated under Statute 17 - Student Discipline.
27.4.2Students must write their examination answers in biro or ink, unless otherwise instructed.
27.4.3Students whose writing is illegible may be required to have the Schools to organise for their examination answers typed at their own expense or may be recorded as fail.
27.5 Entering and leaving the examination venue
27.5.1Students may not enter the examination venue until instructed to do so by the Chief Invigilator.
27.5.2Students are not permitted to enter the examination room more than half an hour after the commencement of the exam.
27.5.3Arrangements may be made for a student to leave the examination room temporarily under supervision but no student is permitted to leave the examination room until after the expiration of thirty minutes from the commencement of the examination, except in special circumstances.
27.5.4Where the time of a School-based examination is of one hour duration or less no student is permitted to leave the venue after the commencement of the examination.
27.5.5Where a student has been permitted by the Chief Invigilator to leave an examination room due to illness, the student is required to seek medical advice on the same day of the exam.
27.5.6Students are advised ten minutes before the end that the examination is about to conclude. No student must leave their seat until all question papers / answer books have been collected and the announcement is made that students may leave the room.
27.6 Arriving late for an examination
27.6.1Students arriving late for examinations:
a) are admitted to the examination hall without question during the first half-hour of the examination period but no additional time is made available to students to complete their examination.
b) are not permitted to take the exam in its entirety at an alternative time.
27.7 Failure to attend an examination
27.7.1Failure to attend an examination may only be excused in the case of serious illness or exceptional personal circumstances. Applications for mitigation may be submitted in accordance with the University Policy on Assessment: Special Consideration (UP11/23).
28.1 No student may take into the examination room books including dictionaries, papers or electronic aids unless specifically authorised by the Faculty.
28.2 Students bringing pencils, pens and other such items have the option to carry them in a transparent pencil case or bag. Other pencil cases must be left in designated areas.
28.3 Students are not permitted to keep any electronic devices including mobile telephones, music players, digital watches or smart watches, on their person or on their desk during examinations unless with the prior written permission of the Examinations Officer (see section 28.5 on use of calculators in Examinations).
28.4 No student may bring any food and drink into the examination venue, with the exception of water in a transparent bottle from which all labels have been removed.
28.5 Use of calculators in examinations
28.5.1Calculators with the following capabilities must not be taken into an examination venue:
28.5.2Student Administration, in consultation with the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, must approve and publish on its website all calculators permitted to be taken into examination venues.
28.5.3Faculties must adhere to the approved list when stipulating calculators for use in examinations.
28.5.4Students must be informed whether or not a calculator is permitted in an examination, and where permitted, be provided with:
28.5.5All calculators taken into an examination venue must be approved and identifiable by a non-removable and non-transferable approved sticker that has been attached by an authorised body or position comprising staff from Student Administration, Course Advising Faculty Student Office, or the Co-op bookshop.
28.5.6Calculators without an approved sticker taken into any examination or test are removed from the student and returned at the end of the examination or test.
28.5.7Students who do not have an approved calculator are permitted to sit the examination or test but are not provided with a calculator.
Data collection process and publication:
1. Student Administration commences Stage Two examination data collection process Week 3 of teaching period.
2. As part of the examination data collection process referred to in 1, Faculties are required to identify the units in which the use of calculator is authorised during the University's formal examination.
3. Student Administration (Examinations Office) consults and confers with the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics for updates to list of permissible calculators.
4. Student Administration (Examinations Office) publishes reference list on its web at: https://www.governance.uwa.edu.au/procedures/policies/policies-and-procedures?policy=UP07%2F119 and also via AskUWA.
Administration of the use of calculators during formal examinations
5. Student Administration (Examinations Office) provides, through the Examination cover sheet, a list of the Units authorised for use of calculators during examination to invigilators.
6. Students must seek authorisation, in the form of an identifiable, non-removable and non-transferable approved sticker, from one of the following offices for the use of an approved calculator during formal examination: Student Administration, Course advising Faculty Student Office, Co-op Bookshop.
7. Offices responsible for granting authorisation of the use of approved calculator must obtain the approved stickers from Student Administration (Examinations Office).
8. The approved stickers must be affixed to the calculator in a way that it is clearly visible.
9. Any calculators identified during an examination that do not have an approved sticker affixed will be confiscated until the conclusion of the examination.
29.1 A student who is dissatisfied with a decision regarding examinations may request for a review of that decision in accordance with the University Policy on Review and Appeal of Academic Decisions Relating to Students (UP15/1).
PART 5: GRADING SYSTEM
This policy sets out the formal principles and requirements for the provisions of final results for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework units. It also aims to ensure that the amendment of examination results and other academic decisions found to be in error after notification to the student, is both equitable, and an accurate record of student achievement.
30.1 The University ensures that final results appear in notifications of examination results and on academic records.
30.2 Final grades and marks in a unit must not be divulged to individual students before the official release of results by Student Administration.
30.3 The final results for undergraduate units and postgraduate coursework units may be expressed:
a) both as a percentage mark and a grade derived from that mark; or
b) solely as a grade without a percentage mark.
30.4 The University grades derived from percentage marks are:
(equivalent to Honours Class I (H1) in intent)
Excellent performance indicating complete and comprehensive understanding and/or application of the subject matter; achieves all specified unit learning outcomes linked to the assessment tasks; minimal or no errors of fact, omission and/or application present; clear and unambiguous evidence of possession of a very high level of required skills; demonstrated very high level of interpretive and/or analytical ability and intellectual initiative; very high level of competence.
(equivalent to Honours Class II, Division 1 (H2A) in intent)
Very good performance indicating reasonably complete and comprehensive understanding and/or application of the subject matter; achieves all basic and most higher-order unit learning outcomes linked to the assessment items; some minor flaws; clear and unambiguous evidence of possession of a high level of required skills; demonstrated high level of interpretive and/or analytical ability and intellectual initiative; high level of competence.
(equivalent to Honours Class II, Division 2 (H2B) in intent)
Good performance indicating reasonable and well-rounded understanding and/or application of the subject matter; achieves all basic but only a few higher-order specified unit learning outcomes linked to the items; a few more serious flaws or several minor ones; clear and unambiguous evidence of possession of a reasonable level of most required skills; demonstrated reasonable level of interpretive and/or analytical ability and intellectual initiative; reasonable level of competence.
(equivalent to Honours Class 3 (H3) in intent)
Satisfactory performance indicating adequate but incomplete or less well-rounded understanding and/or less well-rounded understanding and/or application of the subject matter; achieves many basic but very few or none of the higher-order specified unit learning outcomes linked to the assessment items; several flaws or many minor ones; clear and unambiguous evidence of possession of an adequate level of an acceptable number of required skills; demonstrated adequate level of interpretive and/or analytical ability and intellectual initiative; adequate level of competence.
Unsatisfactory performance indicating inadequate and insufficient understanding and/or application of the subject matter; achieves few or none of the basic and higher-order specified unit learning outcomes linked to assessment items; numerous substantive errors of fact, omission and/or application present; clear and unambiguous evidence of non-possession of most or all required skills; insufficiently demonstrated level of interpretive and/or analytical ability and intellectual initiative; fails to address the specific criteria; inadequate level of competence.
Poor performance indicating inadequate and insufficient understanding and/or application of the subject matter; achieves few or none of the basic and higher-order specified unit learning outcomes linked to assessment items; extensively numerous substantive errors of fact, omission and/or application present; clear and unambiguous evidence of non-possession of most or all required skills; insufficiently demonstrated level of interpretive and/or analytical ability and intellectual initiative; fails to address the specific criteria; inadequate level of competence.
30.4.1Faculty Board of Examiners is committed to ensuring parity in marking standards across units, courses and disciplines.
30.4.2Suitable, transparent and sound strategies and approaches are adopted to ensure that grades awarded are accurate, appropriate and consistent to ensure parity of academic standards across units, courses and disciplines.
30.5 A final result for a unit may be expressed solely as a grade without a percentage mark under the following circumstances:
(i) When a student has achieved a mark of at least 50 but failed a component that must be passed in order to pass the unit
(ii) Completion of work for a supplementary assessment, including examination
Passed Supplementary, in which case a mark equivalent to the minimum pass mark is recorded
Failed supplementary in which case the original mark remains
(iii) Where certain categories of units are exempt from the requirement to have final results expressed as both a percentage mark and a letter grade (see section 31)
31.1 The broad types of units, referred to in 30.5 (iii), are as follows:
a) Category 1: A unit assessed externally is one in which the involvement of external assessors makes it difficult to compare students' performance in an equitable manner (for example, in-country units, cross-institutional enrolments and practicum units);
b) Category 2: A unit involving group activity in which individual contributions of students cannot be distinguished from those of the group (for example, participation in the University Chorale/Orchestra and compulsory field tours);
c) Category 3: A unit involving skill acquisition and where attendance and participation is sufficient (for example, use of medical equipment, legal skills such as negotiation and mediation);
d) Category 4: A unit in which an acceptable case for exemption has been made for an individual student or an assessment item.
31.2 The ungraded pass and ungraded fail grading scheme, for the categories of units referred to in 31.1, must be approved by the relevant board.
31.3 Proposals for new units or changes to existing units must indicate whether the proposed grading scheme is ungraded pass and ungraded fail, and if so, into which of the exemption categories, referred to in 31.1, the unit falls.
31.4 Ungraded fails have the value of zero in calculations of the Grade Point Average.
32.1 The University must formally amend its records and notify students irrespective of outcome, where errors have occurred in the process of:
a) calculating and reporting final mark or grade;
b) making academic decisions for admission to courses;
c) assigning or removing progress status;
d) awarding scholarships; or
e) similar situations where errors have been made.
32.2 Where possible, the University strives to ensure that an error found to be made after formal notification of an error referred to in 32.1, does not result in any student at the University losing an opportunity already granted, or prevented from accessing an opportunity that may have otherwise been made available.
33.1 The rounding of marks is determined by the Unit Coordinator in accordance with this policy.
33.2 The rounding of marks occurs when calculating the overall mark for:
a) a number of tasks and/or sub-tasks that form part of an assessment item within a unit; and/or
b) a number of assessment items contributing to the calculation of a final unit mark.
Rounding marks for sub-tasks that form part of an assessment task
33.3 Where an assessment task is one single piece of work, a single mark is awarded.
33.4 Where marks of sub-tasks are combined, the overall assessment mark for the task is rounded to one decimal place.
33.5 Where marks of multiple tasks that form part of an assessment item are combined, the overall assessment mark for that item is rounded to one decimal place.
33.6 Where the calculation in 33.4 and 33.5 above results in a decimal number whose second decimal place is 5 above, the mark is rounded up to one decimal place.
Example: If an assessment task has three sub-tasks of equal weighting which are given marks of 54, 61 and 70 then the overall assessment mark for the task is 61.67, which is rounded up to one decimal place of 61.7.
Rounding marks for tasks that form part of an assessment item
33.7 Where an assessment item is one single piece of work, a single mark is awarded.
33.8 Where marks of assessment tasks are combined, the overall mark for the assessment item is rounded to one decimal place.
33.9 Where the calculation in 33.8 above results in a decimal number whose second decimal place is 5 or above, the mark is rounded up to one decimal place.
Example: If an assessment item has three assessment tasks of equal weighting which are given marks of 52.9, 61.8 and 72.7 then the final unit mark is calculated to be 62.46 and rounded up to 62.5.
Rounding final unit mark
33.10 A unit's final mark is expressed as an integer.
33.11 A unit's final mark is calculated by way of combining assessment items to produce a weighted average mark. Such a mark is rounded to the nearest integer, such that a unit mark which has a decimal part greater than or equal to 0.5 is rounded up to the nearest integer and where the decimal part is less than 0.5 the mark is rounded down.
33.12 A unit's final mark is rounded only once, to the nearest integer.
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