Student Assessment Policy
To provide clear principles and guidelines for a college-wide assessment framework that ensures fair, transparent and effective evaluation of student academic work.
This policy covers assessment practices applied to all students who are registered in programs offered by School of Engineering and School of Business, including students in English Language Department.
- Any assessment framework that evaluates student knowledge and progress needs to be in accordance with the academic standards expected by the College and as such it must be high-quality, effective and efficient as follows:
- All assessments need to be aligned with expected learning outcomes of a unit using Assessment Matrix for ACK units (ACK.FO.VPAC.10.02) which provides valid and reliable evidence of achievement in each outcome.
- Collectively, Assessments need to test all of the learning outcomes of a unit.
- Amount of work expected on a single assessment or collectively on all assessments for a unit should be proportionate to the credit hours and level for that particular unit.
- An Assessment Plan for each unit, which describes the scope, method, timing and weighting of each assessment, should be included in the Unit Outline prepared using the Unit Outline Template (ACK.FO.VPAC.11.01) and distributed to the students at the commencement of the semester. This plan should detail the learning outcomes covered under each assessment along with the criteria against which performance will be measured.
- All assessments and assessment results are subject to validation and moderation under the terms of the ACK Validation and Moderation of Assessments Policy and Procedure. (ACK.PLR.VPAC.11).
- Any changes to the Assessment Plan other than the minor changes necessitated the changes to the academic calendar (i.e. unplanned school closings, government holidays) should be approved by the Departmental Validation and Moderation Committee chaired by the Head of Department in each department.
- Exams should be conducted in accordance with the Exam Proctoring Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.12).
- All assessments must be completed within the semester of study. Exception is provided for students who are given Incomplete (I) grade for the applicable unit(s) according to Student Attendance Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC. 01).
- All assessments are documented using the Assessment Tool and Marking Guide (ACK.FO.VPAC.10.01).
Guidelines for Grading Assessments
- An assessment should be graded by comparing the quality of work against a set of performance criteria related to the expected learning outcomes of a unit.
- To represent an absolute rather than a relative decision, a grade should be assigned independently to each student as a measure of the extent to which the expected learning outcomes have been achieved rather than as a comparison with the work of other students.
- For units that are moderated under the terms of the ACK Validation and Moderation of Assessments Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.11), no provisional grades should be released to the students before the moderation process is completed.
- 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 Tooland Marking Guide (ACK.FO.VPAC.10.01) and signed by the student.
- Students who are on Academic Hold need to clear their financial obligations as per the terms of Academic Hold Policy (ACK.PL.AR.201) before they can receive results or feedback on their assessments.
To apply to Diploma units offered by TasTafe in programs that are in teach-out only:
- To pass a Diploma unit, a student should demonstrate competency in all learning outcomes of a unit and obtain an overall pass grade in the unit in accordance with the ACK Grading Policy for cohorts prior to September 2014 (ACK.PL.VPA.02) and ACK Grading Policy for September 2014 cohorts and onwards (ACK.PL.VPAC.05).
- To pass an individual assessment in a Diploma unit, a student should demonstrate competency in all tested learning outcomes in that assessment and obtain an overall pass grade in accordance with the ACK Grading Policy for cohorts prior to September 2014 (ACK.PL.VPAC.02) and ACK Grading Policy for September’14 cohorts and onwards (ACK.PL.VPAC.05).
- A registered Diploma student who attempts and fails an assessment may be given one opportunity to reassess for the failed assessment if it is a unit that allows reassessments. The student is required to have a minimum of 80% attendance in that unit to be eligible for any reassessments as per the Student Attendance Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.01).
- It is not a requirement for a Diploma unit to offer reassessments. (Refer to Section 3.16). Diploma units with multiple planned assessments for each learning outcome in their Assessment Plan (i.e. units that provide multiple chances for students to demonstrate competency in all learning outcomes) may not offer reassessments as determined and agreed by the Departmental Validation and Moderation Committees in each department.
- All reassessments are held on a designated date after the last teaching day for a given unit.
- All reassessments need to be significantly different than the original assessment.
- The highest result that can be awarded on a reassessment is a 65% for students in cohorts before September 2014 and a 60% for students in September 2014 cohort and onwards.
ACK Diploma Programs
- There are no re-assessments in ACK Diploma programs that are not offered through international partners.
Guidelines for Make-up Assessments
- A student who misses an assessment is only allowed one make-up assessment if his/her absence is excused as per the Student Attendance Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.01).
- A make-up assessment can be administered during the teaching period for that particular unit or on a designated date after the last teaching day for that unit as determined by the instructor and duly communicated to the student.
- All make-up assessments need to be significantly different from the original assessment.
- Unlike a reassessment (see section 3.17), there is no restriction on the highest result that can be awarded on make-up assessments,
- Except if the make-up exam is for a re-assessment, which will be graded in accordance with section 3.17 of this document.
- In diploma units which allow re-assessments, re-assessments are allowed for make-up assessments.
- All re-assessments and make-up assessments must be validated assessments before providing to students as per ACK Validation and Moderation of Assessments Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.11).
Review of Grading
- Students may appeal to the outcome of an assessment under the Student Assessment Appeal Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.14).
- Any requirements for Assessors to change grades prior to student grades being posted are to be communicated to faculty using Change of Final Grade Form September 2014 Cohorts and Onwards (ACK.FO.VPAC.05.01) or Change of Final Grade Form for Cohorts before September 2014 (ACK.FO.VPAC.02.01).
- ACK does not award Supplementary Assessments or Supplementary Exams except for Business Degree students in cohorts prior to September 2014, who were subject to Victoria University’s policy and procedures in this matter.
Arrangements for Students with Disabilities
- Adequate Reasonable Accommodation arrangements will be made available in accordance with the Students with Disability Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.SA.02) to ensure fairness and equity for students with special needs.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
- Unit1: Also called a course in ACK, is a basic component of a program, which on successful completion gives credit towards completion of the program of study.
- 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.
- Competency: Consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standards required. Standards include Learning outcomes and/or Elements).
- Learning Outcome: Learning outcomes are measures of academic achievement. The assessment process must clearly measure the degree to which students have acquired the knowledge and skills specified for each learning outcome. Learning outcomes must be achieved by a student during their studies and are tested by the College. After graduation, Learning Outcomes are verified by Alumni and employers.
- Performance Criteria: Description of performance required to demonstrate achievement of a learning outcome.
- Department: Refers to a department in School of Engineering, School of Business and the English Language Department.
- Departmental Validation and Moderation Committee: A committee set up in each department to take on responsibilities as set by the Validation and Moderation of Assessments Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.11).
- Diploma Programs in Teach-out: Refers to Business Diploma programs that are offered by TasTafe with final intakes in Spring 2016 semester,
- Reassessment: Is a second assessment offered to a student who has attempted and failed an assessment in a diploma unit under the conditions specified in Sections 3.14- 3.20 of this document. Re-assessments are only offered in Business Diploma Qualifications in teach-out.
- Make-up Assessments: Assessments provided to students with an approved excused absence from the scheduled assessment for unit. Students may only have one attempt at a make-up assessment with the exception of Business Diploma units in teach-out which allow re-assessments.
- Assessment Tool and Marking Guide (ACK.FO.VPAC.10.01)
- Assessment Matrix for ACK units (ACK.FO.VPAC.10.02)
- Assessment Matrix for Units Offered by TasTAFE (ACK.FO.VPAC.10.03)
- For English Language Department, a “Unit” means a “Skill” per level, namely “Reading”, “Writing”, “Speaking” and “Listening”.
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