As previously advised on Teche, a new assessment policy is set to launch on 1 July 2021. A number of policies have been merged to a new assessment policy and accompanying procedures. The new policy will apply to assessments offered in Session 2, 2021.

This post will explore changes to grade appeal grounds and timelines for appeal submission as well as a shift towards a more consistent treatment of late submissions. Previous articles have covered limits to group marking, limits of exam duration, timely provision of assessment criteria and feedback and defining assessment workload (hours).

The changes to appeal grounds and the treatment of late submissions are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

Changes to appeal grounds

The “Grade appeal” policy and procedures are being merged into the assessment policy and procedure. The implementation of changes that were recommended by a previous review by the Grade Appeal Policy Review working group. The changes will appear in the new assessment procedures as:

a) Clause 137: a simplification of the previous 5 grounds for appeal into 3 grounds.

A formal Grade Appeal must be supported by evidence. Grounds for a Grade Appeal are limited to:

  • an administrative error occurred in the calculation of the final grade;
  • the outcome of an approved Special Consideration application was not correctly applied; or
  • the student did not receive the same opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes as their cohort due to the conduct of their assessment task or examination being different from that of the cohort.

b) Clause 145: a reduction in the deadline for submission of a grade appeal from 20 working days to 15 working days.

What staff need to do to get ready:

Ensure any information communicated to students that is produced by you does not contradict the new rules. It is best to refer or link directly to the new policy/procedure in the web policy bank. Do not duplicate the specifics of published policies or procedures/rules in content elsewhere. E.g. You may use the text “Please refer to the Assessment procedures for details and deadlines for grade appeal”, with a link.

Towards standardisation of late penalties

There currently exists no standard formulation of late assessment submission penalties from one unit to the next. This has led to confusion on the part of students. To address this concern it was recommended that Faculties create a regime of consistent late penalties for use in each faculty in consideration of the context of their disciplines.

The new assessment policy, procedure clauses 57-59, encourages a move towards more consistent treatment of late assessment submission penalties at a faculty level. This will mean students will encounter less variation in late penalties. However it will be important to communicate the changes clearly to students because some courses, departments or units will see a relaxation of penalties while in other units penalties may increase to meet a faculty standard.

What staff need to do to get ready:

Check the late submission penalty guidelines in your faculty and update information given to students in unit guides, iLearn and reminder messages. Note: it is a requirement that the unit guide provides details of whether late penalties apply and if so, the nature of such penalties.

If possible, it is best to point students to a faculty information source rather than repeating information elsewhere.

The following faculty rules for late submissions are in force for session 2, 2021:

Faculty of Arts

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.

Reference: ‘Late Submissions’ section of the L&T hub assessment page.

Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences

Late submissions will receive a 5% per day penalty including weekends and public holidays. If you submit the assessment task 10 days or more beyond the due date, without an approved extension, you will be awarded a maximum of 50% of the overall assessment marks.

FMHHS Education Committee

Macquarie Business School (Faculty)

Late assessment submissions must be submitted through the appropriate submission link in iLearn. No extensions will be granted unless an application for Special Consideration is made and approved. There will be a deduction of 10% of the total available marks made from the total awarded mark for each 24 hour period or part thereof that the submission is late. Late submissions will not be accepted after solutions have been discussed and/or made available.

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Note this is a work in progress but is expected before s2 2021. This statement will be updated when information is finalised. In the mean time please continue existing practice.

Note: Information correct as at date of article publication. Always check Policy Central for the up to date versions of all policies.

Posted by Mathew Hillier

Mathew has been engaged by Macquarie University as an e-Assessment Academic in residence and is available to answer questions by MQ staff. Mathew specialises in Digital Assessment (e-Assessment) in Higher Education. Has held positions as an advisor and academic developer at University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, Monash University and University of Adelaide. He has also held academic teaching roles in areas such as business information systems, multimedia arts and engineering project management. Mathew recently led a half million dollar Federal government funded grant on e-Exams across ten university partners and is co-chair of the international 'Transforming Assessment' webinar series as the e-Assessment special interest group under the Australasian society for computers in learning in tertiary education. He is also an honorary academic University of Canberra.

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