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Assessment Rule

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) This Rule provides the framework for rigorous assessment processes that are essential for the maintenance of academic quality and integrity in the University's operations, and reflects the University's values of providing a formative, inclusive, flexible and innovative environment for the delivery of high quality teaching and learning to its Students.

(2) This Rule acknowledges that the types and volume of assessment used throughout the University are diverse and vary according to the academic discipline.

(3) This Rule must be read in conjunction with the associated procedures.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Rule applies to:

  1. all programs of study undertaken by coursework offered by the University; and
  2. all UNE Representatives and Students and all institutions, domestic and international, with which UNE has a partnership arrangement under which UNE accepts responsibility for assessment.
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Section 3 - Rule

Principles

(5) To support Student learning, assessment at UNE is based on the following principles, which must be observed within all Schools.

Assessment practices maintain academic standards

(6) This principle requires that:

  1. the design of assessment tasks is informed by a whole-of-course or whole-of-major approach;
  2. assessment practices are continuously reviewed to reflect advances in teaching and learning, reliability and appropriateness to the unit, alignment to discipline standards and learning outcomes;
  3. assessment practices are reviewed through academic peer review to inform subsequent practice;
  4. each School has a quality assurance system for moderation of assessment practices; and
  5. each School has a process to certify assessment outcomes.

Assessment tasks advance learning

(7) This principle requires that:

  1. assessment practices align with the unit and course learning outcomes;
  2. constructive, respectful and timely feedback is given to Students in order to progress their learning; and
  3. assessment tasks enable Students to demonstrate the achievement of expected learning outcomes and discipline standards.

Assessment tasks support every Student's opportunity to learn, understand and apply the unit material

(8) This principle requires that:

  1. expectations of Students in relation to assessment are clearly defined in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria associated with each assessment task;
  2. assessment will normally involve a range of assessment tasks (including formative and summative) allowing for valid and reliable judgement of Student performance;
  3. without compromising academic standards of the assessment, reasonable adjustments are made for any disadvantages to a Student that result from the Student's disability, special needs or other unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances;
  4. information on the timing, weighting, method and criteria by which assessed work will be judged, is made available at least one week prior to the start of teaching and is identical to this information in the Course and Unit Repository and Catalogue (CAUR/CAUC); and
  5. inclusive language must be used to avoid gender, racial, cultural or other language bias.

Assessment must enable honest and fair judgements about Student performance

(9) This principle requires that:

  1. all assessment is undertaken by appropriately qualified academic staff;
  2. assessment practices are conducted and undertaken ethically and with honesty and integrity by staff and Students;
  3. allocation of grades and/or marks for an assessment task are decided on pre-determined criteria and standards that link to the specified unit learning outcomes; and
  4. marks/grades reflect the level of achievement of the Student/s.

Responsibilities

(10) Students are responsible for:

  1. complying with assessment requirements, undertaking assessment tasks conscientiously, submitting assessment tasks by the due date, and engaging with feedback provided and ensuring their work is authentic;
  2. actively engaging in activities to develop assessment literacy, including taking the initiative where appropriate (e.g. asking for clarification or advice);
  3. being aware of and abiding by the provisions of the Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules, the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Rule, and satisfactorily completing the Academic Integrity Module; and
  4. behaving respectfully in all assessment environments, whether on campus, online or work-integrated learning settings; and
  5. reading and acting upon, as appropriate, all notices and correspondence (written or electronic) from the University.

(11) Unit Coordinators are responsible for:

  1. ensuring assessment design, implementation and review are undertaken in compliance with this Rule and related procedures;
  2. ensuring assessment requirements for a unit are discussed and understood by all members of staff involved in the teaching and assessment;
  3. ensuring constructive, respectful and timely feedback is given to Students;
  4. where required, requesting a formal examination, providing required details (any resources permitted in the examination specified on the examination coversheet must be consistent with those specified in the unit LMS site) and submitting examination papers, marks and grades in the relevant format to the Examinations and Results Unit according to advised timelines;
  5. amending marks/grades as required;
  6. identifying and reporting cases of academic or behavioural misconduct and plagiarism; and
  7. administering take-home examinations.

(12) Course Coordinators are responsible for:

  1. fostering a whole-of-course approach to assessment that enables Students to demonstrate achievement of course learning outcomes and UNE graduate attributes;
  2. maintaining oversight of academic and discipline standards in the course; and
  3. promoting and coordinating opportunities for internal and external benchmarking of assessment as appropriate.

(13) The School Board of Examiners is responsible for:

  1. reviewing and ratifying final marks, grades and grade distributions in each unit (including Honours); and
  2. identifying units in which the assessment outcomes are unsatisfactory and referring these to the Head of School.

(14) Heads of School are responsible for ensuring:

  1. this Rule is contextualised and implemented in all courses and units for which the School is responsible; and
  2. all staff involved in the marking and/or grading of assessment tasks are appropriately qualified, sufficiently resourced and supported to fulfil their roles and responsibilities under this Rule.

(15) The School Teaching and Learning Committee is responsible for:

  1. facilitating robust assessment practice within the School; and
  2. approving School prizes and recommending the award of University medals.

(16) Teaching and Learning Support is responsible for:

  1. providing professional development for staff to support and develop best practice in assessment across the University; and
  2. maintaining up-to-date resources that can be readily accessed by all staff and that support the design, communication, implementation, marking, benchmarking, evaluation and review of assessment.

(17) The University's Special Needs Office is responsible for assessing and providing support for Students who require reasonable adjustments to assessment methods deriving from any declared continuing disability or health condition.

(18) Student Administration and Services is responsible for:

  1. coordinating the results process including submission and release dates;
  2. overseeing the conduct of supervised examinations including the examination schedule, provision of examination venues and management of examination supervisors; and
  3. coordinating the application process and notification of outcomes for special assessments.

Appeals

(19) A Student who wishes to appeal an outcome of an academic assessment task should refer to the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and the Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures.

Records Management

(20) Electronic records must be kept in accordance with the University's Records Management Rule.

Authority and Compliance

(21) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act, makes this University Rule.

(22) University Representatives and Students must observe it in relation to University matters.

(23) The Rule Administrator is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this University Rule. The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(24) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date.

(25) Previous policy on Assessment and related documents are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Rule.

(26) In the event of a conflict between this Rule and any School policy or practice, this Rule shall take precedence.

(27) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(28) Assessment is the process whereby evaluative judgements are made in relation to a Student's achievements against the learning outcomes of a unit of study.

(29) Assessment criteria are the statements that express in explicit terms how Student performance against the desired learning outcomes is demonstrated.

(30) Assessment literacy means a Student's ability to read, understand, comply with and learn from course and unit assessment requirements, criteria and standards, to produce work of a designated standard.

(31) Assessment tasks are compulsory or optional activities or exercises, which have an explicit intent to assess and guide Student progress or learning achievement in a unit of study. Assessment tasks can be designed for diagnostic, formative, summative, evaluative or informative purposes.

(32) Benchmark is to evaluate processes, practices and outcomes by comparison with sector and discipline norms. Benchmarking can be undertaken internally or externally to the University.

(33) Effective Date is the date on which this Rule will take effect.

(34) Formative assessment refers to a range of formal and informal assessment components evaluated in order for the unit coordinator to modify teaching and learning support to improve Student attainment during a unit. Purely formative assessment does not carry any weighting towards a Student's aggregate mark and final grade in the unit.

(35) Grade means the final letter conversion of the aggregate mark attained by a Student undertaking a unit. The letter conversion translates the numerical aggregate mark into a statement of level of achievement.

(36) Moderation is the process of ensuring that different markers of the same assessment task consistently apply assessment criteria in a marking scheme, and that marks are allocated consistently with reference to how well the stipulated criteria are met.

(37) Student means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.

  1. Admitted Student means a Student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study.
  2. Enrolled Student means a Student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study at UNE or elsewhere and who is enrolled in a unit at UNE.

(38) Summative assessment means evaluating a Student's achievement of learning outcomes through the formal assessment components of a unit to calculate a Student's aggregate mark and final grade in the unit.

(39) UNE Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.

(40) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent) contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories

(41) UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW).