Student Assessment Appeals Policy and Procedure
To outline College’s policy on student assessment appeals to ensure that they are addressed in an efficient, transparent and objective manner.
This policy applies to all ACK registered students enrolled in programs offered by the School of Engineering and School of Business, including students in English Language Program.
- ACK is committed to ensure that all student academic work is evaluated in a fair and consistent manner. To that end, it has transparent policies and procedures for assuring grades are assigned based on valid, reliable and objective methods and students are provided with regular and timely feedback at the end of each individual assessment.
- ACK registered students who are dissatisfied with their assessment outcomes and grades in an assessment and/or a unit have the right to appeal to this result on the basis of the following only:
- Mathematical or procedural errors in recording or calculating the marks on which the final result of the assessment was based; or
- Irregularities or administrative errors in the conduct of an assessment; or
- Evidence of perceived prejudice or bias affecting assessment.
- The College will not consider appeals on grounds other than the ones specified above. In particular, appeals based on ill-health or other circumstances during an assessment which should have been reported to the exam invigilator at the time of occurrence or appeals challenging an instructor’s grading standard are not considered legitimate grounds for an appeal.
- Student appeal fees are not applicable for individual assessments or unit grades appeals.
- Students who want to appeal decisions other than a grade should refer to the relevant policy or the Student Welfare and Grievance Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.13) for details on the appropriate channels for appeal.
CONTROL OF PROCESS
- Students should receive prompt feedback following each assessment. The feedback provided to the student should include details of the assessment outcome, identify gaps in learning and make recommendations for areas of improvement and further study. Verification of written feedback given to the student is required to be included in the Assessment Tools and Marking guide and signed by the student.
- Assessment Appeals in the first instance should be discussed informally with the instructor of the unit concerned. The instructor should explain to the student the assessment requirements for the unit and go over the student’s grades for each assessment, double checking the mathematical calculation of the overall grade. In most cases, the discussion between the student and the instructor should be sufficient and the matter does not need further escalation.
- If the student’s concern remains unresolved after discussion with the instructor, the student can lodge a formal assessment appeal with their Academic Advisors using a Student Assessment Appeal form (ACK.FO.VPAC.14.01).
- Student Assessment Appeals need to be made within five (5) working days of the assessment feedback or in case of appeals against a final grade; five (5) working days after the final grades have been released by the Admissions and Registration Department. Appeals after that will not be accepted.
- The Academic Advisor will ensure that Student Assessment Appeal Form is properly filled and accompanied by the following:
- Any documentation evidencing reason for appeal;
- Up-to-date statement of results for all semesters;
- Attendance record for the unit.
- Once all required documentation is compiled, Academic Advisor will submit the case to the Head of Department for the instructor of record or the Dean of School if the instructor of record is the Head of Department. Students who are appealing units that are taught by their Academic Advisor; they can lodge their appeals directly with their Head of Department. Appeals on units taught by the Dean of School will be submitted by the Academic Advisor to the relevant Head of Department for that unit.
- Appeals will be reviewed by the Departmental Validation and Moderation Committee, chaired by the Head of Department1 and made up of at least two other faculty members chosen from instructor’s department or from an allied department with no apparent conflicts of interest. It is non-voting and the decision lies with its chair.
- The Validation and Moderation Committee will investigate the appeal and determine whether the grade was assigned in a fair and appropriate manner or whether there is convincing evidence that would justify changing of a grade. Investigation steps include reassessing the student’s assessment by an alternative assessor against the assessment marking (answer) key.
- The Outcome of Assessment Appeals could be any of the following:
- Grade remains unchanged;
- Grade is increased;
- Grade is decreased.
- If there is a change in grade, the Committee will request that the instructor to change the grade as agreed by the Committee and using the Change of Final Grade Form for Cohorts before September 2014 (ACK.FO.VPAC.02.01) or Change of Final Grade Form September 2014 Cohorts and Onwards (ACK.FO.VPAC.05.01) coordinate the necessary steps with the Admissions and Registration Department. Student’s attendance record will be taken into consideration during an appeal process.
- The Validation and Moderation Committee will document outcome to the student using Student Assessment Appeal Outcome Form (ACK.FO.VPAC.14.02) within five (5) days of the submission of the assessment appeal. A copy of this form will be submitted to the Admissions and Registration Department to be kept in the student’s file. The timing and frequency of Committee meetings to review appeals are determined internally by each Department.
- Should the student remain aggrieved following decision of the Committee, they may choose to appeal to the Dean of School who will refer the appeal case to the College Grades Appeal Committee, but this can only be on the grounds that the appeal process itself has not been applied as per this policy. In such cases, the College Grades Appeal Committee will meet all relevant parties, including the student, to make a determination. The decision of the College Grades Appeal Committee will be final.
- ACK Quality Assurance processes require that all student assessment appeals and their outcomes are logged and recorded for monitoring purposes and to identify opportunities to improve standards of education and services offered in the College. Accordingly, all appeals need to be electronically logged onto the Student Assessment Appeal Log (ACK.FO.VPAC.14.03) including all details as required per the associated template, kept up-to-date by each Department or School as agreed internally. The Student Assessment Appeal log shall be submitted to the Teaching and Learning Center each semester for analysis.
- The Senior Manager of Teaching and Learning Center shall analyze the Student Assessment Appeal log each semester and complete a report for the College Grades Appeal Committee and to be distributed to Schools and Departments.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
- Assessment: Is the process by which that a student is required to complete gradable work to provide a record of achievement or competence in a unit.
- Assessment Tools and Marking guide: Assessment tools include the general and specific instructions for students to complete the assessment questions or tasks. Assessment tools also may include relevant templates which may be referred to as instruments. Examples of assessment tools include learning tasks, assignments, reports, laboratory work, viva voce, classroom tests and examinations, including re-assessments and make-up assessments. Examples of Assessment Instrument may include templates and proformas or evidence and observation checklists. Marking guides states the criteria against which each task is assessed. Criteria should be linked to the Assessed Learning Outcome. Marking guide also contains a section to provide detailed feedback to student on what they have achieved and what may require improvement.
- College Grades Appeal Committee: Is a committee chaired by the Vice President - Academic Affairs that hears and determines appeals on grades in accordance with the terms of the College’s policies and procedures. The Committee is non-voting and the decision lies with its chair.
- Departmental Validation and Moderation Committee: A committee set up in each academic department to take on responsibilities outlined in the Validation and Moderation of Assessments Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.11) and Section 7 of this document.
- Academic Advisor: A faculty member who helps and advises students on academic matters.
- Viva Voce: An oral examination.
- Student Assessment Appeals Form (ACK.FO.VPAC.14.01)
- Student Assessment Appeals Outcome Form (ACK.FO.VPAC.14.02)
- Student Assessment Appeal Log (ACK.FO.VPAC.14.03)
- Dean of School if the appeal is in a unit taught by the Head of Department.
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