Assessment (Higher Education Courses) Procedure - Applies to Units/Courses Completed Trimester 3 2014


Click here to view the procedure that applies
to units and courses from Trimester 1, 2015.

This procedure was approved by Academic Board on 12 August 2008, incorporates all amendments to 15 April 2014, including those which become effective Trimester 2, 2014.
This document is pursuant to the Assessment (Higher Education Courses) Policy and includes the following legislation and schedules:
Regulation 04.1(2) Academic Misconduct
Regulation 5.3(1) Assessment and Academic Progress in Higher Education Award Courses

Schedule A: Grading Schema for Assessment in Higher Education Courses
Schedule B: Approved Methods for Ensuring Comparability of Assessment
Schedule C: Standards for Administering Unsupervised Online Tests which are Automatically Computer-Marked

This procedure governs assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate award courses other than higher degrees by research.


This applies to assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate award courses other than higher degrees by research (see Higher Degrees by Research Assessment Procedure).


Academic Integrity: a commitment by University academic staff members to adhere, in all teaching, research and related activities, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.

Academic Staff: staff of the University employed to undertake teaching, research and/or related academic duties.

Assessment: an evaluation of a student's academic performance in each of the assessment tasks prescribed for a unit, by whatever means a Faculty Board has determined.

Formative Assessment: assessment primarily used to provide feedback on student learning and the effectiveness of teaching, which does not contribute to a student's final grade and/or mark for a unit of study.

Summative Assessment: assessment primarily used to measure the level of a student’s success in achieving learning outcomes, which contributes to a student's final grade and/or mark for a unit of study.

Assessment Panel: a panel appointed by each Faculty Board for each unit offered by the Faculty in that study period. Each assessment panel will consist of at least two members of the academic staff of the University, one of whom will be the Unit Chair.

Comparability of Assessment: performance by students enrolled within a unit is assessed to the same standard. Approved methods for ensuring comparability of assessment are included in Schedule B.

Faculty Committee (FC): the relevant committee appointed by each Faculty Board to deal with assessment and academic progress matters referred to it under University regulations, in particular Regulation 5.3(1) Assessment and Academic Progress in Higher Education Award Courses.

Grade: a descriptive indicator of a student’s achievement in an assessment task or a unit, awarded by an academic staff member as part of a marking process.

Mark: a numerical indicator of a student’s achievement in an assessment task or a unit, awarded by the academic staff member as part of a marking process.

Marking Rubric: a description of expected levels of performance in the essential criteria associated with an assessment task.

Result: the final grade/mark in a unit awarded to a student based on the assessment for that unit.

Special Assessment: an assessment task undertaken by a student where special consideration has been granted to the student.

Special Consideration: a process which allows eligible students, whose performance in an assessment task or examination was or is likely to be adversely affected due to special circumstances, to apply to undertake a special examination/assessment task or to have their marks adjusted taking into account their special circumstances.

Study Period: a defined teaching and study period specified by a Faculty for the completion of units for a particular course.

Supplementary Assessment: additional assessment tasks undertaken by a student in order to make a determination of result, and required of students where there is genuine doubt about their academic performance in a specific unit.

Unit Chair: the person appointed by the Head of School to be responsible for coordinating the curriculum, teaching and assessment in a unit.

University Handbook: the official University publication in print, electronic or other form, containing details of courses and related information.

1Assessment tasks for each unit are determined by the assessment panel and are subject to approval by the relevant Faculty Board.
2The assessment panel ensures that there are at least two summative assessment tasks for a unit and that these occur across the study period.
3Before the commencement of each unit offering, the Unit Chair is responsible for determining the standard of performance required in each assessment task in the unit, taking account of the level of the unit, the standard used in previous offerings of the same unit and the need to ensure comparability of assessment.
4The following weighting patterns for summative assessment apply to all units unless exemptions are approved by the Faculty Board:
a)with the exception of theses and units worth two or more credit points, the maximum weighting of any assessment task, including examinations, is 60% of the mark for the unit
b)the maximum weighting for the collective component of a group assessment is 50% of the mark for the unit
c)the total maximum weighting of any unsupervised multiple choice tests administered online is 20% of the grade for the unit.
The following amendment becomes effective from the commencement of Trimester 2 2014:
c)the total maximum weighting of any unsupervised tests which are administered online and automatically computer-marked is 20% of the mark for the unit; administration of those tests is carried out in accordance with the standards set out in Schedule C.
5Assessment tasks, including examination papers, must not be repeated in subsequent offerings of a unit in a way that compromises academic integrity.
6When an assessment task allows students to choose from different questions or topics, the standard and degree of difficulty of the alternatives should be the same as far as is reasonably practicable.
7As part of the continuous quality improvement process, the means of assessment for a unit are reviewed during the major course review process that occurs in accordance with the Higher Education Courses Approval and Review Procedure.
Hurdle requirements
8Hurdle requirements (requirements that students must demonstrate a minimum level of performance) are proposed by an assessment panel, and are subject to approval by the Faculty Board.
9The Faculty Board ensures that any hurdle requirements are clearly linked with the course learning outcomes and standards, and explained in the course and unit guides.
10Students who fail a hurdle requirement are ineligible for a pass conceded grade for that unit and will receive a result of no more than 44% for that unit, unless the hurdle requirement is waived in accordance with clause 37.
Alternative assessment arrangements for students with disability or health condition
11To ensure that all students have a consistent and fair opportunity to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes, alternative assessment arrangements are provided for students with a disability or health condition. Alternative assessment arrangements are equivalent in academic standard to assessment provided for other students enrolled in the unit.
Communication and feedback to students
12To ensure that feedback to students is meaningful and formative, it must be clearly linked to the assessment criteria and must be aimed at assisting learning, rewarding achievement, providing encouragement, explaining results and enabling students to improve their understanding and performance.
13Unit Chairs are responsible for ensuring that:
a)the purposes, processes, requirements and standards of assessment in a unit are clearly communicated to students at the beginning of and throughout each study period
b)unit guides include:
i) clearly articulated assessment criteria for any assessment task that requires the exercise of academic judgment
ii) the links between each assessment task, the Unit Learning Outcomes and the Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
iii) due dates and other requirements for assessment tasks
iv) any provision for negotiation of assessment tasks (e.g. allowing students to nominate topics) and a clear statement on the negotiation process
v) rules on submission, including extensions, penalties for late submission and final submission date
vi) details of hurdle requirements, if any
vii) the period of time within which feedback will be provided on assessment.
14Information published in the University Handbook must include a list of assessment tasks for each unit, the percentage each task contributes towards the unit result and, where applicable, any hurdle requirements. Additional details about assessment are provided in unit guides.
15Students should receive feedback on an assessment task in time to benefit them in preparing for the next assessment task.
Changes to assessment arrangements
16Assessment arrangements for a unit may only be changed part way through a study period in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the Faculty Board or the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor or nominee, in accordance with sections 3.3 and 3.4(c) of Regulation 5.3(1).
17Examinations are designed as assessment tasks where the identity of the student and their sole contribution to the task is authenticated. Examinations may be written, computer-based, oral, practical or by performance.
18Examinations will be a minimum of one and a half hours and a maximum of two hours in duration, except where professional accreditation requirements specify otherwise.
19Where the assessment task for a unit includes an examination, two papers are prepared for use during the examination period to minimise the risk to exam security. One paper is randomly allocated for use in Australia and the other for use in other time zones. An additional paper may be required to ensure examination security as determined by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Integrity) and for special or supplementary examinations
20Statutory declarations stating that a student will not reveal the contents of an examination must not be used as an alternative to the above.
21Assessment panels ensure that each different examination is at least 75% different from each of the other examinations set in any one study period.
22The Division of Student Administration (DSA) administers examinations and schedules examinations to ensure wherever possible that examinations in different time zones are held at the same synchronous time or in overlapping periods of synchronous time.
Assessing student work
23For each assessment task in a unit, the assessment panel selects one of the approved methods for ensuring comparability of assessment in Schedule B: Approved Methods for Ensuring Comparability of Assessment. Other methods for ensuring comparability of assessment may only be used with the prior approval of the Teaching and Learning Committee. The assessment panel informs all relevant staff members of the method the panel has selected.
24The assessment panel develops a marking rubric for each assessable task that involves an exercise of academic judgement.
25To facilitate reliable and consistent judgments about student performance, all staff who assess student work must use the assessment panel’s marking rubric and the approved method for ensuring comparability of assessment.
Anonymous marking
26Where appropriate and practicable, assessment panels arrange for assessment tasks to be marked anonymously.
27To facilitate anonymous marking, examination instructions specify that students must not provide their name. DSA staff members will verify, at the time of an examination, the accuracy of the student identity information entered by students on their relevant examination documentation.
28Anonymous marking requires that assessors judge student work without knowing the identity of the students. Information identifying students (other than student numbers) must not be combined with the marks allocated to their work until the end of the marking process.
29Where a result must be reviewed, for example to verify a fail grade or following a request for a review of a result to the relevant faculty committee, the Unit Chair works in accordance with the anonymous marking provisions of this procedure and, where practicable, withholds the name of the student from the other members of the assessment panel until the review has been completed.
Re-marking of assessment tasks and verification of fail grades
30Before recommending a result of ‘fail’ for a unit, assessment panels must ensure that the re-marking and verification process described in clause 31 has been undertaken for all assessment tasks in the unit for which a fail grade has been given, with the exception of assessment tasks consisting of a performance, presentation, exhibition or other event where the student’s work is transient.
31All assessment tasks, including examinations, for which a student receives a mark of 49% or less must be marked by a second marker. One of the two markers must be a member of the assessment panel. Where the two marks differ by 10 percentage points or less of the available marks, the final mark received by the student will be the average of the two marks. Where the two marks differ by more than 10 percentage points of the available marks, the assessment task will be marked by a third marker. The final mark will be the average of the marks given by the two markers whose marks were closest. The same markers must be used for all such cases arising from any one assessment task where practicable.
Special consideration
32In accordance with Regulation 5.3(1), students who consider that their assessment in a unit was, or is likely to be, adversely affected by serious and exceptional circumstances that are beyond their control may apply for special consideration on medical, compassionate or hardship/trauma grounds. If granted, special consideration provides an opportunity for a student to undertake another assessment task or to have his or her marks adjusted.
33Applications for special consideration must be submitted via the special consideration website within three working days from the due date of the assessment task or the date of the examination. Only in extenuating circumstances, supported by medical evidence or relevant documentation, may the application for special consideration be submitted after three working days from the due date of the assessment task or the date of the examination. Students who are not able to apply online must contact their Faculty/School Office or Student Centre who will mail a hardcopy application form or make it available to be collected from Campus.
34Applications must be accompanied by supporting documentation. Applications on medical grounds must be accompanied by medical evidence.
35Supporting documentation should be submitted with the application form. Where copies of documents are submitted, faculties may require the original copies to be provided within seven days of the due date of the assessment task or the scheduled date of the examination. Failure to provide original supporting documentation may result in the withdrawal or rejection of the application for special consideration.
36The Unit Chair assesses applications for special consideration. The FC will review and if necessary amend, in consultation with the Unit Chair, the decisions made by the Unit Chair regarding the outcomes of applications for special consideration.
37Where a student applies for and is granted special consideration, a hurdle requirement may be waived in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the assessment panel.
38There are five possible outcomes of an application for special consideration:
a)outcome 1: special consideration not granted
b)outcome 2: special consideration granted — the special circumstances is taken into account in the marking of the assessment task (marks can be adjusted by a maximum of 10 percentage points of the total available marks for the assessment task/s)
c)outcome 3: special consideration granted — a special examination, administered by DSA, is provided for the student (RIE grade)
d)outcome 4: special consideration granted — a special assessment task, which may be administered by the Faculty, is provided for the student (RIA grade)
e)outcome 5: special consideration granted — a special assessment task, which may be administered by the Faculty, and which must be completed within three months after the special consideration has been granted, is provided for the student (RIA grade).
39Where a student is granted special consideration by way of an outcome 3 (a special examination), or an outcome 4 (special assessment task) and exceptional circumstances then arise which prevent the student from completing the assessment by the due date, the student may apply for further special consideration. If granted, the additional special consideration will be resolved by way of an outcome 5 (special assessment task). No further applications for special consideration in relation to this assessment task will be permitted and the assessment task must be completed within three months after the granting of the outcome 5.
Pass conceded
40Where a student has been awarded a mark between 45% and 49% (inclusive), a pass conceded grade may be awarded for that unit by the FC or delegated subcommittee of the Faculty that manages the course.
41A pass conceded grade may be awarded where all of the following conditions are met:
a)the student is one credit point short of completing their program of study
b)the student has not failed any hurdle requirement for the unit for which the pass conceded grade is being considered
c)the student has not been awarded a pass conceded grade for any other unit in the course or articulated suite of courses
d)the student must have received a fail grade for no more than the number of units specified below for each degree type:
i) three-year undergraduate degree: a fail grade in no more than three other units
ii) four- or five-year undergraduate degree: a fail grade in no more than four other units
iii) combined degrees: A fail grade in no more than two other units in the relevant degree of the combined degree program— a student is eligible to be considered for a pass conceded grade in each of the component degrees
iv) graduate certificate or graduate diploma: a fail in no more than one other unit
v) Masters by coursework: a fail in no more than two other units
42The FC or delegated subcommittee will consider the recommendations of the Course Director when deciding whether to award a pass conceded grade.
Supplementary assessment
43The FC may determine that a student undertake supplementary assessment
44Supplementary assessment may only be used in one the following circumstances:
a)as an outcome of a review of results
b)as an alternative to pass conceded where the conditions for awarding a pass conceded have been met but a pass conceded cannot be awarded due to professional registration or accreditation requirements.
45Where supplementary assessment is awarded as an alternative to pass conceded, a mark of no more than 50% will be given for the unit.
46The supplementary assessment task must be of a comparable degree of difficulty and standard to the original task.
Finalisation of results
47The Unit Chair, on the advice of the assessment panel, recommends a result for each student enrolled in the unit and submits the results to DSA via the student management system.
48DSA provides Faculties with reports consisting of compilations of data on the results for each unit.
49FCs review the content of the results reports, taking into consideration result distributions, student academic progress and any advice from the Heads of Schools, or Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellors, as necessary. If appropriate, FCs make amendments to the results before approving them for release.
50Any amendments to results must be submitted to DSA on an amendment to result form with the written approval of the Chair, FC or nominee and one of the following staff members:
a)member of the assessment panel
b)Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor or nominee.
51Where the Unit Chair is not one of the approvers of the amendment to result form, the FC sends the Unit Chair notification of the amendment. The FC must retain the original copy of the amendment to result form, including the written approval and any other supporting documentation.
52After the date for the official release of results has passed, the approval of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Integrity) must be obtained before submitting late results for a whole unit cohort.
53In circumstances where students have been awarded special or supplementary assessment, results should be resolved and submitted to DSA within 10 working days after the completion of the special examination cycle to which the unit relates.
54The date for the finalisation of results may be varied:
a)pending the outcome of a discipline hearing
b)pending the outcome of an appeal hearing
c)for fieldwork, professional experience, practicums and clinical placements which must be scheduled after the completion of the University teaching period.
55The Faculty must notify the Assessments and Graduations Group, DSA that results have been authorised for release on the specified date.
56Results must be consistent with the grading schema set out in Schedule A of this procedure.
Cross-institutional results
57Students who have completed a unit at another institution under an approved cross-institutional enrolment must provide an official academic transcript for that unit to the Assessment and Graduations Group, DSA, for recording in the student management system, within two weeks of the result being released by the institution.
Student requests for a review of results
58Students may apply to the FC for a review of a result for a unit in accordance with clause 4 of Regulation 5.3(1) – Assessment and Academic Progress in Higher Education Award Courses. Applications must include the grounds for such a review and be made within five working days after the official publication of results (unless the student can show that exceptional circumstances beyond their control have prevented them from lodging the application in time).
59The FC considers each request for review in consultation with the Unit Chair. The
FC determines whether assessment processes have been carried out in
accordance with relevant policies and procedures and whether a review of a result is warranted. The Committee's decision is final.
60If the FC determines that there will be a review of a result, the Committee will be responsible for:
a)if necessary, appointing an independent marker to assess the student’s work
b)determining the final outcome of the review by verifying the existing grade through the process described for the remarking and verification of fail grades in clauses 30-31, approving a variation as required, or requiring the student to undertake supplementary assessment
c)informing the student in writing of the outcome of the review and updating the appropriate records.
61In the case of group assessment tasks, all students’ results will be reviewed, and, where appropriate students’ results will be reviewed individually.
62Where progressive assessment is to be re-assessed then it is the responsibility of the student to provide a clean copy of the assessment task together with the previously marked version.
63If, in the process of reviewing a result, it is determined that a systematic error has occurred that has affected the results for multiple students in a unit, the FC will take appropriate action to rectify this.
Publication of results
64Results are published at the end of each study period on the dates specified in the University Handbook. Information about accessing results is available on the current students (results) website. In accordance with section 5.1 of Regulation 5.3(1), the Executive Director, DSA under the general direction of the Academic Board, will decide the form in which, and the dates on which, results are to be published.
65All staff must ensure that results are not made available to students prior to the official publication of results.
Storage, security and records management
66Faculties and DSA staff members are jointly responsible for the security of documentation relating to examinations and other types of assessment tasks.
67Faculties ensure that records are retained in accordance with the Information and Records Management Policy, including any supporting documentation for decisions about special consideration applications, amendments to results and supplementary assessment.
Academic misconduct
68Unit Chairs provide students with information on what constitutes academic misconduct at the beginning of a unit.
69Students are required to make a declaration when submitting assignments to confirm that the work submitted is their own and that the work has not been submitted for assessment in any other unit or course. In the case of group assessment tasks, each member of the group must make a declaration.
70Instances of academic misconduct by students will be dealt with in accordance with Regulation 04.1(2) Academic Misconduct.
Quality assurance
71Assessment is regularly reviewed as an integral and central part of quality assurance processes for courses and units. Faculty Boards, FCs and assessment panels ensure quality assurance and continuous quality improvement within each Faculty.
72The University monitors assessment practices and compliance with relevant procedures in accordance with processes approved by the Academic Board.
73The Academic Board ensures the quality of assessment by considering the annual reports from Faculties on assessment outcomes for units and Faculty practices.
Deakin University acknowledges that procedural content relating to assessment weighting patterns is based on policy content from the Queensland University of Technology.

Accessibility of Materials Procedure
Amendment to Result form
Assessment webpage
Code of Conduct
Current Students (Results) website
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
Disability Services (Equity and Diversity Unit) website
Higher Degrees by Research Assessment Procedure
Higher Education Courses Approval and Review Procedure
Information and Records Management Policy
Plagiarism and Collusion in Assessment Procedure

Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015