The current Disruption to Studies (DTS) process is being replaced with a new Special Consideration policy which takes effect from Session 3 (4th December 2017).

What is the major improvement of Special Consideration?

A new policy has been written with simplified English and all previous contradictory statements have been removed.  A process with defined roles, escalation points and responsibility guidelines will be introduced.

Withdrawal without Academic Penalty will now be a separate process and will no longer be linked to Special Consideration. This is to reduce confusion and prevent withdrawals occurring without the student’s express consent.

Who is assessing the application?

The assessment of whether a student’s circumstances were serious and unavoidable is made at the administrative level by Faculty Student Centre staff.  The Student Centre staff member processing an application may provide remedies according to the agreed Remedy Matrix, or seek input from the relevant Academic staff or Unit Convenor regarding the remedy. If a special consideration request is escalated to the Unit Convenor, it has already been assessed and approved.

Privacy changes – Documentation will not be available for academics except in exceptional circumstances due to the enforcing of privacy legislation by the university.

Will I still have to grant outcomes to Special Consideration requests??

With this new policy and procedure, there will be a significant decrease in the number of applications received by academic staff. Mainly requests for online quizzes and class tests will come to you for an outcome.

How do I get notified about the outcome?

You will receive regular reports with detailed information on the remedy outcomes that Student Centre staff have applied.

What if students contact me regarding a Special Consideration application?

If students have not lodged the Special Consideration application, please encourage them to apply within 5 working days after the assessment task due date, examination or test date.  Late applications will not be assessed.

The process for students is outlined here (click on image to enlarge):

If students have any questions regarding the application process, please refer them to the Student Centre.

What is the possible outcome?

If an application for special consideration is approved, the University will attempt to provide students with one (1) additional opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes of a unit. Students must make themselves available for the alternative assessment activity, otherwise, they forfeit the marks. Outcomes will be decided based on the agreed Remedy Matrix.

How long will it take for a student to be notified of the outcome?

The university aims to communicate the outcome to students within 5 working days of receipt of application and all necessary supporting evidence.

Can students withdraw an application for Special Consideration?

Once the student has submitted a Special Consideration application the student may not withdraw the application, and must either submit themselves to partake in the alternate assessment activity(s), or accept the mark received for the relevant assessment item.

Will this change be reflected in 2018 Unit Guides?

Yes, the pre-filled ‘Policies and Procedures’ section in all unit guides has been updated. This is how it will appear (click on image to enlarge):

Special consideration change in unit guides

Special consideration change in unit guides

Contact the Faculty Student Centre for further advice and information.

Posted by Kylie Coaldrake

Learning and Teaching Development Coordinator Office of PVC (Learning and Teaching)

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