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Learning and Assessment Policy Header


Purpose of Assessment Forms of Assessment
Processes and Quantiy of Assessment Attendance Requirements
Changes in Assessable Activities Requirement to Retain Copy of Submitted Assessment Material
Special Consideration For Disadvantaged Students Return of Assessment Material
Completion of Assessment Tasks Progression

This document is intended to be read in conjunction with University Academic Regulation 4, which governs assessment. It is supplementary information and represents Faculty Guidelines for the implementation of those regulations concerning assessment.

1. Purpose of Assessment
Assessment processes are a means for certifying standards, achieved by each student, and provide students with feedback on their learning and their ability to communicate and demonstrate that learning. The assessment tasks operative within the Faculty of Health Sciences are designed to facilitate and monitor the progress of each student's learning. Assessment may determine initial competencies, provide appropriate feedback to students regarding their progress or provide constructive suggestions for improvement. Part of the focus of the formative assessment process is to encourage development of students' critical and creative abilities.

2. Forms of Assessment
Assessment will be based on a range of assessable activities, some of which may require students to be present at a designated venue. Methods of assessment will be appropriate to the objectives of the unit.

3. Processes and Quantity of Assessment
Details of the assessable activities for each unit, and guidelines specifying the marking criteria for each activity to be assessed will be provided in the first week of each unit, via the unit outline. In the case of late enrolments, it is the responsibility of the student to obtain from the Lecturer-in-Charge, the unit outline during their first week of attendance.

The level of performance required from students to demonstrate progress in their learning in particular aspects of the unit will be made clear to students in writing in advance of undertaking an assessable activity.
Assessable activities will be commensurate with the weighting of the unit and level of the course and the needs of the discipline, and the requirements of each assessable activity will be commensurate with the proportion of marks allocated to that activity.

The following are recommended guidelines for student assessment based on unit value and percentage value of written assignments

A. Based on unit value: Credit Points
1. 10 Credit Point Units
For units with a 10 credit point value, there would normally be a maximum number of 3 (three) assessments.

2. 20 Credit Point Units
For units with a 20 credit point value, there would normally be a maximum number of 4 (four) assessments.

3. Where any unit includes laboratory classes, assessments for laboratory performance are classified as part of the maximum number of assessments recommended for the given unit based on credit points.

4. Where a unit includes clinical / field experiences, assessments are normally carried out in addition to the theoretical assessments and are based on the disciplines required competencies.

B. Written Assignments
Equal to or less than 50% weighting = maximum 2,500 words
More than 50% weighting = maximum 5,000 words
Equal to or less than 50% weighting = maximum 3,000 words
More than 50% weighting = maximum 5,000 words
C. Research Project or Thesis
As per requirements stated in a given Course or Higher Degree Regulations.

4. Attendance Requirements
Marks shall not be awarded for attendance. However, where attendance is a unit requirement, and is designated as such in the unit outline, students who do not meet the minimum attendance requirements as set by the lecturer, will not meet the criteria required to pass the unit. However, individual lecturers can decide that material can be covered by some other means and give students this work to do in lieu of attendance, especially where extenuating circumstances exist for a student's non-attendance.
Where attendance is a unit requirement, lecturers will keep an accurate record of student attendance and provide in the unit outline a clear statement of the conditions governing the compulsory attendance component(s) of the unit, for example:
"Attendance for the duration of all scheduled lectures and tutorials is compulsory. The Lecturer-in-Charge may grant an individual student leave from attendance at all or part of any session - it is the student's responsibility to seek such leave. Non-attendance without leave from the Lecturer-in-Charge may result in the awarding of a Fail grade in the unit."
The lecturer will be required to make available the grounds on which an action was based should a decision be the subject of a review of the grade.
All classes in which an assessment task is to be conducted must be so noted in the unit outline.
A student who, through illness or other cause beyond the student's control, is unable to attend a class in which an assessment task is scheduled must notify the Lecturer-in-Charge of the unit concerned on or before the day of the scheduled task. A medical certificate / statutory declaration; substantive evidence, in writing, must be provided within seven days.
On the basis of the evidence provided, the Lecturer-in-Charge will determine whether or not a substitute assessment task is granted. If a substitute assessment task is granted, the Lecturer-in-Charge will set, schedule, and make supervision arrangements for the task. Normally only one substitute assessment task per unit will be scheduled. The Lecturer-in-Charge will advise the student of these arrangements in writing within seven working days of the originally scheduled tasks. If a substitute assessment task is not granted, the Lecturer-in-Charge will allocate a mark of zero for the task.

5. Changes in Assessable Activities
When an assessment program has been approved through the normal University process, it may be varied as a result of individual or collective negotiations with students, within the following limitations:
o the spirit of the original assessment requirements must not be breached;
o all amendments to the original assessment program must be reported in writing and approved by the Head of School within one week of agreement to make such changes;
o any changes to assessment should be acknowledged in writing and each student should be given a copy.

6. Requirement to Retain Copy of Submitted Assessment Material
It is expected that students will retain a copy of all work submitted for assessment, except in the case of tests and or examinations. Where work is computer-generated, the copy should be kept on disk and/or hard copy. Work required to be prepared and submitted on disk, or on hard copy but prepared on computer, must be backed up.

7. Special Consideration for Disadvantaged Students
Students who may experience sociocultural, linguistic, physical or intellectual difficulties should normally negotiate within the first two weeks of the semester, with the Disability Liaison Officer / Course Co-ordinator / Lecturer-in-Charge of the unit whether, as a result of their difficulty, they require an extension of assessment deadlines, an extension to the period of study, variation in the assessment task or medium of assessment and/or academic support.
Academic support may include assistance from the student's lecturer, from the Academic Skills Unit, or from another appropriate source. It must be noted that no student will receive a pass grade in any unit until the criteria for a pass in that unit has been met.
If a student believes that personal circumstances are likely to affect performance in an assessment item, the student is responsible for notifying the Disability Liaison Officer / Course Co-ordinator / Lecturer-in-Charge before the due date for submission of an assessment task. Such requests are to be made in a timely manner on the appropriate form and must be supported by documentary evidence, where appropriate, provided at the time of application.

8. Return of Assessment Material
Except in the case of formal examinations, material submitted for assessment will be returned to the student with comments from the assessor. Strengths and weaknesses will be clarified for each student. Material will be returned, normally, before the due date of the next assessable activity.
Where assessment material is submitted after the original due date, the assessor will return the material as soon as practicable.

9. Completion of Assessment Tasks
Students are required to submit all items of assessment within a unit or as otherwise stated in the unit outline. The failure to complete an assessment task will automatically lead to a grade of NN.
9.1 Resubmission of Assignments
After an assessment task has been submitted, there shall be no provision for a student to improve her/his academic standing in the unit by resubmitting work or attempting to improve the quality of the submission.
9.2 Competency Based Assessment
Where a student is required to demonstrate competency to obtain a pass grade in a unit an extension of the period of evaluation may be granted in exceptional circumstances.

10. Progression
Students would normally complete level one course units before progressing to level two units, and level two course units before progressing to level three units. Students who do not complete units in any one year should clarify with the Course Co-ordinator their progress to the next year.