Unit Coordinators are responsible for developing all ‘continuing’ assessment materials as per the Assessment Policy. It sets out parameters on assessment and provides guidance on the following, also outlining what needs to be clear in the Unit Guide:
- Requirements to pass a unit
- Maximum assessment weightings
- Supervised assessments
- Marked participation
- Submission requirements (online preferred)
Assessments include but are not limited to: assignments, in-term tests, oral presentations, online quizzes and examinations. The Assessment Procedure dictates that each 3 credit point undergraduate unit should have three or four summative assessment items that attract marks. Each 3 credit point postgraduate unit should have two to four summative assessment items that attract marks; while in units of six, nine or twelve credit points, Unit Coordinators must ensure Assessment Items meet the requirements specified above increased proportionately. Only one Assessment Item can include periodically assessed activities (of no more than 12) where the effort for students is commensurate with the weighting of the whole Assessment Item.
As TNE students are just like other Murdoch students and have the same rights and responsibilities, equivalent standards must be applied to the assessment of learning outcomes of units offered transnationally. Equivalence does not necessarily mean that the assessments must be identical, rather equivalent assessment means “where each is of equal value, worth or importance to the assessor in making judgements about a learner’s achievements or performance against the same Learning Outcomes.” When a unit is offered in differing modes or locations, there may be valid reasons for varying assessment. It is recommended that the Unit Coordinator considers the use of innovative and creative methods of assessment appropriate to the TNE context for assessment and assignment marking, and that all assessment items should be created following appropriate dialogue with the Affiliate Lecturer(s). Unit Coordinators will need to set the deadline for each assessment piece in consideration of the TNE Calendar when developing unit materials for any given teaching period, as well as outline all respective deadlines in the Unit Guide.
Any changes to published requirements in the Unit Guide must be clearly communicated to all students in the unit by no later than the end of the second week of Trimester (or pro rata for units of shorter or longer duration). Changes must be published in a reliable and recoverable manner (eg. published and announced on the unit website such as message boards or forums and/or notified via individual email) as it is not sufficient to merely advise students orally. Any changes that are proposed after the end of the second week are only permitted in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the Dean Learning and Teaching. You can view the Assessment Policy, Procedure and other supporting documentation by searching for them in the Policy & Procedure Manager.
Submission of Assessments
Requirements relating to the submission of all assessment items should be clearly stated in the Unit Guide. Students should also be clearly made aware of the use of formal moderation and its rationale. Online submission via LMS is the preferred mode of submission because it aids in the moderation process and means students’ work is securely kept in the same place for future reference if required.
It is integral that Unit Coordinators clearly outline their expectations related to marking as well as deadlines/timeliness of assignment return to Affiliate Lecturers prior to the start of teaching. This includes, but is not limited to, guidance on: assessment and delivery methods; standard of student work; and the type and amount of feedback required on assignments. Feedback should go beyond simply editing grammar etc. and should be critical, but supportive to learning in order to encourage a student’s confident scrutiny of their future work. Feedback should also be related to Learning Outcomes and assessment criteria so that students are very clear on what was and will be expected of them. In turn, the Affiliate Lecturer is expected to clearly communicate this information about assessment methods, due dates, assessment weighting and teacher expectations regarding assignment standards to their students in class.
Our objective is to provide students with meaningful feedback on their work within 10 working days from the submission date. While the official Murdoch policy allows for a 15-working-day turnaround, our shorter trimester-based TNE system necessitates a faster feedback process. As an affiliate lecturer, it is your responsibility to gather any evidence and report instances of student misconduct in assessments through the portal available via ServiceNow.
All continuing assessments are marked by Affiliate Lecturers in accordance with the relevant partnership agreement and by closely following the relevant marking guide; except for online Multiple Choice assessments which can be marked electronically on LMS. For information on physical MCQ please visit: Computer Answer Sheet Processing Service.
Unit Coordinators and markers should provide feedback on assessed work that has been submitted by the due date in time to support the completion of subsequent items of assessment. Assessment that encourages students to utilise the advice provided through feedback to benefit their performance is encouraged.
Students should generally receive their mark and feedback on their work three weeks after submitting their assessment, so it is imperative that Affiliate Lecturers commence marking assignments immediately after the assessment piece is due. They must mark the assignments fairly and maintain the confidentiality of the students’ submitted work and grades until after the moderation process is complete (see below).
Marking of assessments is dictated by the transnational agreement and any other relevant rules dictated by accrediting bodies (if applicable) and is subject to moderation. The marking of final exams will depend upon where the unit is offered and the partnership agreement:
- Singapore and Malaysia: The final exam will be marked by the Unit Coordinator. In this case all final examinations will be sent to the Exams Office who will arrange distribution.
- Dubai: The Affiliate Lecturer will mark all assessments including the final examination; except for units that require marking to be done by the Unit Coordinator.
For more information about examinations, see Exams Administration.
There are different marking requirements for Final Examinations, depending on the TNE location, based on the individual partnership agreement.
Singapore & Malaysia:
- The Unit Coordinator sets and marks the exam paper.
- After the Transnational Partner returns the completed examination scripts to the Exams and Assessment Office, the Unit Coordinator will collect the scripts from the Office for marking.
- The Unit Coordinator sets the exam paper and provides a marking guide to the Affiliate Lecturer who marks the students’ papers as per the guide. It is particularly important that the guide be provided, no later than the final exam date.
- A sample of the exam papers is selected by the Unit Coordinator for moderation. The sample will be 10 papers or 10% of all papers, whichever is the greater.
- The Unit Coordinator must advise the Affiliate Lecturer of any adjustment to student exam marks.
Moderation is a quality assurance strategy directed at ensuring the reliability and validity of assessment. It is a process of independently evaluating whether there is consistency in the standard of marking being applied across particular assessment components or whether significant deviations have occurred from some previously defined standard. The goal of moderation is so that students will have an equal opportunity for a fair and accurate assessment regardless of the marker or where the marking has taken place.
For more information please see Formal Moderation.
Once the Unit Coordinator has received the component marks from their Affiliate Lecturer(s) and has finishing marking the exams, they must provide their finalised spread sheets with marks and grades to the Results team. Unit Results must not be released informally to students by Unit Coordinators or any staff members prior to the Results Committee meeting unless they are notifying students of an intention to offer a supplementary assessment subject to approval of the Results Committee.
For more information on the meaning of letters grades and submission deadlines, see Submission of Unit Results for Staff.