This brief outlines key changes to assessment policy procedures that apply from 5 Feb 2024.

Refined set of five Principles

A re-write of the Principles outlined in the Assessment Policy occurred following a post implementation review of assessment policy conducted in 2023. This reduced Principles from 7 to 5 with some consolidation and shifting of some duplicated elements to the assessment procedures. The essence of the Principles remains the same:

  • Assessment is shared, authentic, transparent and equitable
  • Assessment is reliable, and assures learning
  • Assessment design promotes academic integrity
  • Assessment is standards-based
  • Assessment is designed to enable a course-based approach

This change appears in the current 2023 version of the assessment policy.

Updates to Assessment Procedures

Key changes coming to the Feb 2024 version of the assessment policy procedures include:

New default submission deadline time

In Short, a default deadline of 11:55pm now applies for assessment tasks.

Clause 55 adds: “The submission deadline for all assessments will be at 11:55 pm on the due date unless another time is deemed necessary by the convenor (or equivalent).”

The applies to assessments tasks that are extended duration time-delayed, submitted tasks such as an essay, report, project, portfolio etc that are typically submitted via iLearn. It does not apply to tasks that are immediate or short duration time limited (e.g. exams, OSCE, a quiz done during a lab tutorial, student presentation in class, a performance assessment).

New default standardised late submission penalties

In Short, a penalty of 5% per day for late submissions now applies, up to 7 days (3 for the College). This applies across all faculties at MQ.

Clause 56 now reads: “A maximum penalty of five (5) percentage points of the total possible marks will be applied per day to late submissions, for up to a maximum of seven calendar days (three calendar days for units delivered by the Macquarie University College). Tasks that have not been submitted within the maximum number of additional late days will receive a mark of zero, unless otherwise specified in the late penalties section of the Unit Guide. Late submission for a task will only be permitted when specified in the unit guide. This provision does not apply to online exams or other assessment with a time-limit of less than 24 hours.”

As a point of clarification: If a student has an approved extension then the clock starts ticking from the date of the approved extension.

Again, this rule applies to extended duration time-delayed, submitted tasks such as essay, report, project, portfolio and the like, that are typically submitted via iLearn.

Timely release of grades

In short:

  • Students should know the grade for tasks they have undertaken during the session before they do a final examination.
  • Final exam marks should be released to students before grade ratification occurs.

Clause 74 now reads: “Grades and / or marks for tasks conducted within a session should be released prior to tasks being undertaken during the examination period, where possible. Grades and / or marks for tasks conducted in the final examination period should be released to students prior to the finalisation of unit marks for ratification, wherever possible.”

What staff should do to get ready

Adjust unit information regarding deadlines and penalties.

Ensure iLearn unit sites, assessment instructions and unit information is updated in alignment with the new policy. With all units across the university adopting a consistent approach to deadlines and late penalties this should see a reduction in confusion on the part of students about these matters.

Planning for a timely release of grades

Consider the timing of assessment tasks to ensure that you have enough time to mark and provide feedback. Keep in mind that moderation of task marks also needs to occur before grades are released. See Assessment Procedures Part D for details of moderation expectations during the marking process.

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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