Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedures effective from 1/1/2022
These Procedures support the Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy and underpin JCU’s approach to excellence by assuring the quality of learning, teaching, and assessment so that students have every opportunity to achieve academic success.
The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedures applies to staff across all JCU campuses including Singapore and Brisbane, and to students enrolled in subjects within JCU’s diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework courses.
It does not apply to students admitted into higher degrees by research, or JCU students enrolled in subjects at other institutions or participants or students enrolled in short courses or modular learning.
The definitions of the terms used in this policy reflect those in the Policy Glossary. At JCU, the term assessment is used to include all assessment methods, including examinations.
Introduction Core Principle 1
These procedures support Core Principle 1 of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy, which states: Students’ success is built on their whole-of-university experience. JCU is committed to student engagement and success by working in partnership with students and responding to the student voice.
Core Principle 1 supports JCU’s intent to provide supportive, inclusive and equitable teaching and learning environments that recognise academic freedom, promote academic development, and motivate all students to achieve success. It underpins JCU’s Academic Plan, which includes encouraging students to acquire a deeper understanding of Indigenous peoples across the tropics, including their knowledge, world views and contemporary challenges.
Learning, teaching and assessment activities and support services at JCU are designed and delivered so that students can:
- Participate fully in scheduled learning experiences;
- Take part in the wider intellectual life of the university, such as joining academic events, exhibitions, and seminars;
- Expect a manageable academic workload;
- Effectively communicate in the context of learning and the workplace;
- Engage with the distinctiveness of our region;
- Learn from subject matter experts (including industry professionals), high-profile researchers, and other stakeholders;
- Take responsibility for their own learning; and
- Access a range of timely support services, online modules, and workshops to help achieve satisfactory academic progress in a course or subject.
1.1 Student experience of learning and teaching
1.1.1 Students’ transition into graduate employment is developed in courses, subjects and extra-curricular activities which include explicit, staged development of transferable skills, professional requirements, and employability strategies. This is enacted through authentic course design and contextualised course learning outcomes.
a) Students access careers resources that have a skills-focus and are aligned to current employer/professional needs.
b) JCU provides students with opportunities to take part in informal learning through networking, collegial and team building activities, and participation in communities, including online communities.
1.1.2 JCU provides forums and groups for students to engage and interact with other students and staff, and have a voice in decision-making. For example:
a) All students can nominate to be considered for the JCU Academic Board and JCU Student Advisory Forum;
b) All students are invited to JCU Academic Board summary forums;
c) All students have the opportunity to join peer-led study programs and initiatives; and
d) All students are able to participate in College-based consultative groups.
1.2 Student support
1.2.1 Students receive consistent access to virtual learning environments and learning resources, library collections and services, creative works, notes, laboratory/clinical/practical facilities, studio sessions, simulations and software, that are:
a) Specified or recommended for a course of study;
b) Directly related to course and subject learning outcomes; and
c) Fit-for-purpose, current, and relevant to employability.
1.2.2 Students refer to the Student Digital Experience Policy to fulfil the University’s expectations for engagement with virtual learning environments, including online learning and teaching. Additionally, students are supported to gain skills and confidence in using digital tools through:
a) Orientation and training in University-wide and discipline-specific virtual environments;
b) LearnJCU training modules;
c) Learning Centre resources; and
d) Library self-help resources.
1.2.3 Students receive explicit learning and teaching information which uses commonly accepted terminology and language appropriate to the discipline. The information includes recommendations about how students can meet academic expectations and take responsibility for their own progress including:
a) Before each study period accessing course and subject learning outcomes, in accordance with the Course and Subject Handbook.
b) During each study period clear instructions to access learning activities and assessment items, as outlined in the Subject Outline Procedure.
1.2.4 Students can provide feedback on all subjects in which they are enrolled to measure satisfaction with learning and teaching, as outlined in the Student Evaluation of Subjects and Teaching Policy.
1.3 Diversity and inclusivity
1.3.1 Students are offered a variety of resources, teaching methods, and flexible approaches to learning in recognition of their learning needs and acknowledging their social and culturally diverse backgrounds. Resources are made available to provide all students with the academic skills, advice, and assistance to study in order to achieve success.
1.3.2 Students’ needs are considered through the practice of inclusive course design, see CP2.
1.3.3 Students who have a disability, a temporary injury, or an ongoing medical condition, are offered consultation and specialised support services, and individual learning and teaching plans, in accordance with the Students with Disabilities Policy.
1.3.4 Students who have a disability, a temporary injury, or an ongoing medical condition, are required to attain course learning outcomes and meet any Inherent Requirements of a course. Any adjustments made for students with a temporary or permanent health condition, or disabilities, temporary injury or ongoing medical condition must comply with section 3.1.6 of this Procedure.
1.4.1 JCU considers flexible learning, teaching and assessment arrangements and provides equivalence in learning, teaching and assessment in all modes of delivery by:
a) Ensuring a virtual environment to access core learning materials, and extending options through technologies where appropriate;
b) Ensuring subject learning outcomes, assessment methods, and assessment item weighting are the same for all attendance modes;
c) Ensuring learning technologies and teaching approaches are selected to meet the course/subject learning outcomes and attendance modes; and
d) Responding to the student voice through:
- Informal feedback;
- Working groups; and/or
Introduction Core Principle 2
These procedures support Core Principle 2 of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy, which states: Students participate in engaging and futures-orientated courses and subjects. Students are supported through an aligned approach with clear statements of intent and demonstrable learning outcomes that respond to professional and discipline requirements.
Curriculum design promotes student-centred and authentic learning, through contemporary disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching approaches. Core Principle 2 (CP2) enacts the JCU Curriculum Framework, which “embodies our ambitions around the distinctiveness of our programs and graduates and incorporates this with best practice pedagogy to provide the model on which programs are developed. With an eye on the successful graduate, the Framework integrates curriculum design and enhancement processes and priorities with JCU strategic and higher education legislative imperatives” (JCU Academic Plan 2018-22, p.8).
The procedures in CP 2 ensure that the learning outcomes for TEQSA-accredited qualifications are consistent with the level classification for that qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework (HESF, 1.5.3), by building students’ knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills.
2.1 Curriculum design
2.1.1 Curriculum design assures equivalent opportunities, student preparedness, and pathways for progression, in accordance with the University’s Course Proposal process, and the requirements of TEQSA and the AQF. Curriculum design is enacted by:
a) Ensuring clear statements of JCU’s Strategic Intent are considered in course and subject design;
b) Providing students with opportunities to engage with Aboriginal knowledge and perspectives and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives in the curriculum;
c) Ensuring course and subject design is inclusive and anticipates student diversity without lowering academic standards;
d) Identifying discipline-specific Inherent Requirements in the relevant Course Handbook;
e) Enabling and encouraging interaction, collaboration and communication, enhanced by incorporating relevant educational technologies;
f) Enabling students to demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills and application through aligned assessment (see Section 3);
g) Incorporating changes as a result of student feedback;
h) Undertaking comprehensive course reviews as required by professional accreditation bodies, or at least every seven years in accordance with HESF, whichever is sooner;
i) Collaborating with key stakeholders (industry representatives, professional bodies); and
j) Incorporating current and relevant discipline specific research in course and subject design.
2.1.2 Curriculum is aligned with legislative requirements, such as the HESF and the AQF, and with discipline standards, Graduate Attributes, the JCU Curriculum Framework and JCU strategic planning documents. Where applicable, it must also address the accreditation requirements or standards of accreditation outlined by regulatory bodies to allow registration to practice.
a) When undertaking course approvals and external professional accreditation, curriculum must comply with the Curriculum Approval, Accreditation, Monitoring, Review and Improvement Policy.
b) Courses and subjects are designed to have an appropriate volume of learning. The volume of learning includes all teaching, learning and assessment activities that are required to be undertaken by a typical student to achieve the course and subject learning outcomes.
c) Subject design recognises the requirements of students at different levels of the course, and the number of assessment items are appropriate to the level code of the subject, and student and staff workload expectations.
d) Volume of learning design is typically based on a 130-hour student workload for a three credit point (3CP) subject and referred to as typical student workload in the Courses and Subject Database (CSDB) and Studyfinder. This includes all study-related activities, including attendance, assessment and self-directed study, over the duration of the subject, with equivalency across all modes of delivery.
e) Design of subjects that are entirely, or partly, comprised of student placement, is based on the amount of time required to achieve the expected subject learning outcomes, while considering student workload and professional accreditation expectations (where appropriate).
f) An honours or postgraduate coursework research thesis word length should reflect the proportion of the course it comprises. Normally this would be 1,000 to 1,250 words per credit point: i.e. 6 credit points represents 6,000 to 7,5000 words, 12 credit points 12,000 to 15,000 words, 15 credit points 15,000 to 18,75, and 18 credit points 18,000 -22,5000 words.
2.1.3 Each undergraduate and postgraduate coursework course must have an expert and/or disciplinary consultative panel, comprising internal and external stakeholders, and the panel consults/meets at least once per academic year to provide input on curriculum.
2.2 Skills development
2.2.1 Curriculum design enables authentic learning by:
a) Aligning with current and future workplace needs through consultation with careers and industry representatives, to ensure authenticity and accuracy;
b) Providing opportunities for student placements (including simulated placements) and/or authentic projects within the course;
c) Incorporating ethical decision-making examples and case-studies in curriculum; and/or
d) Incorporating appropriate skill development before, during and after a student takes part in a placement, fieldwork or project.
2.2.2 Curriculum includes career development learning, and is designed to prepare students for the workplace, and lifelong learning by considering:
a) The current and future needs of the region and other priorities and strategies listed in JCU’s Academic Plan;
b) The development of JCU’s Graduate Attributes;
c) Domestic and international benchmarks;
d) Input from subject matter experts;
e) Current research and evidence-based practice;
f) Opportunities for student mobility;
g) Developments in practice, equipment and technology;
h) Opportunities for collaboration with peers;
i) The application of transferable skills in the context of the field(s) of education or disciplines involved;
j) Learning and teaching approaches that develop intercultural competencies; and
k) Employment trends, career development research and resources to ensure students are suitably prepared and skilled to participate in the workforce, including the development of skills to operate successfully in a globalised world.
2.3 Learning outcomes
2.3.1 Course and subject design:
a) Has clear, valid and demonstrable learning outcomes, see: Writing Learning Outcomes;
b) Has both discipline-related and generic learning outcomes that include the specific knowledge and skills, and their application, which characterise the field of education and/or disciplines involved;
c) Fosters progressive and clear achievement of learning outcomes; and
d) Enables the achievement of course learning outcomes and subject learning outcomes regardless of the mode or method of delivery.
2.3.2 The design process:
a) Complies with the requirements of HESF and the AQF;
b) Maps the relationship between course and subject learning outcomes and assessment, within and across the subjects in a course, in order to assure the veracity of course learning outcomes;
c) Incorporates a variety of assessment methods that promote academic integrity, and equitable assessment items which respond to diverse student backgrounds;
d) Selects the results system appropriate to the knowledge, skills and application requirements, discipline standards, and/or accreditation requirements;
e) Includes ways to develop and assure the knowledge, skills and application required for employment (also see 2.2.2) and further study, related to the course of study, including those required to be eligible to seek registration to practice, where applicable;
f) Includes direct and explicit reference to the JCU Curriculum Model;
g) Considers the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
2.3.3 Course and subject learning outcomes are written from the point-of-view of student learning. With the exception of student placements, fieldwork, and projects, between three and five subject learning outcomes are recommended for a three credit point (3CP) subject in all coursework.
2.4 Course and subject feedback and review
2.4.1 The course and subject feedback process for JCU academic staff involves engaging with:
a) Reviewing and considering any national higher education performance data (such as Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) and International Student Barometer) surveys annually; and
b) Learning analytics data and reviews of student feedback.
2.4.2 Subject Coordinators undertake a biennial peer review of a subject that includes YourJCU student feedback, learning analytics data, assessment plans, moderation processes and grading practices. Course Coordinators collate, review and action the reports to monitor course quality and identify curriculum improvements/enhancements. On an annual basis, Subject Coordinators must:
a) Conduct an annual review of student feedback;
b) Monitor and consider survey and learning analytics data to improve current and future subject content;
d) Communicate the actions taken in response to subject review to other staff and students, see Subject Outline Procedure.
2.4.3 Course Performance Reports (CPRs) are conducted annually by Course Coordinators (except in a year following the Academic Course Review) and are reviewed by Directors of Academic Quality and Strategy. CPR must include a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a course as outlined in the Course Performance Reports Procedures.
2.4.4 In addition to the annual CPR process, an Academic Course Review must be undertaken every 5-7 years for the purpose of internal re-accreditation, in accordance with the Academic Course Review Procedure.
Introduction Core Principle 3
These procedures support Core Principle 3 of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy which states: Assessment is valid, fair, authentic, developmental, transparent, and varied across subjects and disciplines. Aligned and authentic assessment enables students to demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills and application.
Assessment frames student learning and provides evidence of achievement. Assessment design and learning and teaching activities have an overt alignment to subject knowledge and skills, and their application to assure standards.
Core Principle 3 is aligned with the JCU Curriculum Framework and the University’s initiative to “extend the use of authentic learning and assessment that promotes inquiry, problem-based learning and work-related studies across the curriculum” (JCU Academic Plan 2018-22, p.11).
JCU provides students with the right to equity and fairness when undertaking the assessment components of their studies. The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy and its Procedures align with, and link to, the University’s procedures for Academic Integrity, Subject Outlines, and Special Consideration.
3.1 Assessment requirements
3.1.1 All students must make themselves available for assessments (including examinations) at the scheduled times.
3.1.2 Learning outcomes and assessment are aligned, transparent in assessment descriptions, and in rubrics that contain criteria or scales which define the standards that are expected of students to attain a particular grade on a criterion-referenced assessment item. Also see: Subject Outline Procedure.
3.1.3 Assessment methods within each subject must be the same across attendance modes and campuses, and have the same subject learning outcomes, weightings, and workload, in each academic calendar year. See: Section 3.2, Assessment Methods and the Subject Outline Procedure.
Any variation in assessment (from that which is published in the CSDB) must:
a) Remain consistent with the subject learning outcomes;
b) Be consistently communicated throughout all JCU platforms; and
c) Be authorised through relevant College/Division processes and endorsed by the Academic Head.
- For variations prior to the commencement of the study period it must be documented in the Subject Outline(s), and communicated in the learning management system (LMS) (LearnJCU).
- For variations to assessment where the subject has commenced in the study period, students are to be consulted, and where there is no dissent, approved and documented in this Subject Outline(s), and communicated in the LMS (LearnJCU).
3.1.4 Every subject learning outcome must be assured through assessment.
a) Assessment items and associated rubrics including criteria and/or scales must align with subject learning outcomes, which in turn align with course learning outcomes.
b) Every assessment item is aligned to at least one subject learning outcome.
c) The alignment between assessments and subject learning outcomes is published in the Subject Outline.
d) There is a maximum of four assessment items per 3 credit point (3CP) subject, except in subjects with participation-based assessment methods, or must-pass professional and/or technical competency assessments, where additional items are permitted based on College approval and are stipulated in the Subject Outline. Assessment items can include various assessment tasks (or parts) while considering student workload.
e) Staff must assess English language and numeracy proficiency as appropriate to the course of study, to ensure attainment of course and subject learning outcomes. Also see English Language and Numeracy Policy.
f) Demonstration of professional and/or technical competencies and transferable skills can be required in addition to graded assessment to assure learning outcomes, and students are informed of this before the start of each subject in the Subject Outline. These may be referred to as must-pass, or subject passing requirements.
3.1.5 Assessment weighting rules:
a) Each assessment item is assigned a weighting. Weighting of assessment is commensurate with the knowledge, skills, and their application, required for a particular item, the level code of the subject and the selected results system, with expected workload considered (see Section 2.3.2).
b) Where a subject has an assessment or examination in the Examination Period, any other assessment item due for submission within the final 25% of the study period (for example, the last two weeks of a 10-week study period) must carry no more than 25% weighting due to student workload (see clause 3.1.9) and feedback (see clause 3.5.2). Any variations are to be approved by College Dean.
c) No assessment item is weighted less than 10% or more than 70% (except for placement, research component, must-pass professional/technical competency assessment or a designated project).
d) There must be no more than 50% assessment for group work, unless there is scope for individual differentiation of the components of the shared group grade.
e) The total weighting allocated to peer or participation-based assessment in a subject must not exceed 20%.
f) In cases where oral or performance presentations are assessed and weighted more than 20% in a subject, staff must provide a means by which a review of assessment is possible.
g) In cases where a must-pass or professional/technical competency assessment item is required a 0% weighting can be utilised.
3.1.6 The University is obliged by the Disability Standards for Education 2005 to provide reasonable adjustments (see guidance notes) for students with temporary or permanent health conditions and/or disabilities. Subject Coordinators make reasonable adjustments to assessment methods and/or items to ensure equal access to education. Reasonable adjustments do not alter the need for students to be able to demonstrate the course learning outcomes and Inherent Requirements.
Any adjustments to assessment must:
a) Ensure that the fundamental nature of any assessment remains the same;
b) Ensure that any modification does not affect the value or integrity of the assessment;
c) Assure the relevant subject learning outcomes can be demonstrated;
d) Not impose unjustifiable hardship on the University; and
e) Safeguard student and public safety.
3.1.7 Early assessment (pre-census) must be used to monitor student progress against subject learning outcomes and to identify additional support requirements.
a) Early assessment takes into account the level code of the subject (and developmental level of student in 'piggy-backed' subjects) when considering learning expectations.
b) An early assessment item is not compulsory for students undertaking research and projects; however, students should receive developmental feedback on their progress.
c) Formative or summative early assessment can be used.
3.1.8 Assessment marking, participation and attendance:
a) The JCU grading system is used for marking; and can be added to with marks (numbers), or + or -, if appropriate, as included in the Subject Outline.
b) Staff must not practice ‘negative marking’ of any assessment item, specifically the deduction of marks for any wrong answer, or no answer/blank answer.
c) Assessment can be graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory if all students are required to meet a stated level of competence, and if assessment has a 0% weighting.
d) A uniform formula of penalties is imposed for submission of an assessment item after the due date. This formula is 5% of the total possible marks for the assessment item per day including part-days, weekends, and public holidays. If submitted after 20 days, the assessment item thus would be awarded 0 marks (i.e. 5% x 20 = 100% of total possible marks in penalties). For assessment items weighted 0%, and submitted after 10 days a DNS grade is awarded.
e) Attendance may be a must-pass assessment with a 0% weighting, while participation must be a graded assessment, in accordance with 3.1.5., attendance requirements are provided in the Subject Outline and records must be kept for subjects which have mandated attendance.
3.1.9 The scheduling of assessment items must be conducted with an awareness of overall course requirements within a study period while considering typical student workload. Due dates that occur during study vacation must be avoided wherever possible.
3.1.10 Assessment decisions are complex and occasionally decisions need to be made about specific circumstances not covered by clause 3.1 of this Procedure. In those circumstances, the relevant Dean has the delegated authority to make a decision and retain a record at College level.
3.2 Assessment methods including examinations
3.2.1 Assessment methods are purposeful and varied and selected from written or oral, performance/practice/product, or participation, or multi-method, or other, to reflect the subject learning outcomes, discipline and student needs, and levels of engagement.
a) All methods are documented in the Assessment Methods List.
b) Assessment methods must be listed with assessment items and described in each Subject Outline.
c) For a multi-method assessment item, the description must combine at least two different methods, e.g., written and performance/practice/product.
d) Where other is selected, a description must specify the context-specific method.
e) Oral assessment or examination can be used to assure technical competency, professional skills, and/or the necessary knowledge, skills and application, or to assure the authenticity of written assessment.
3.2.2 The assessment methods in each subject is to be balanced with respect to the number and volume of assessment items and learning activities, and must ensure that students have appropriate opportunities for feedback on their assessment items to inform subsequent items.
3.2.3 The approach to group work assessment must be clearly communicated to students, see Subject Outline Procedure.
a) Group work can be assessed by giving the same mark for each group member, or by the combination of a whole group component and an individual component.
b) Students must be provided with plans for alternative individual assessment (that considers student workload) where a Subject Coordinator has agreed that a group is disbanded, ceased, or group membership has changed.
3.2.4 The approach for honours project/thesis and postgraduate coursework research assessment must be clearly communicated students, see Subject Outline Procedure.
a) All students are required to give an oral presentation on their research/project to the staff and other students in their discipline or area.
b) A minimum of two people must examine each research assessment. Examination by supervisor(s) is not allowed. Supervisors are required to report on the student's candidacy.
c) Disciplines must use assessment criteria for grading honours and postgraduate theses with the criteria published in the Subject Outlines and/or Honours handbook.
d) Disciplines must use a Moderation Plan approved by the Academic Head to deal with disparate thesis marks, with the process published in the Subject Outlines/Honours handbook.
3.2.5 All students must comply with the rules governing examination conditions and conduct. the rules cover all methods and modes of examination, as outlined in the Examination Procedures.
3.2.6 Examination papers for the examination period are securely prepared, approved and submitted to the College Administration and Examinations Unit in a timely manner in order to meet deadlines, as outlined in the Examination Procedures.
3.2.7 Examinations are scheduled during the teaching weeks (by College), during the published Examination Period, during the published supplementary/deferred Examination Period, or any other time deemed reasonable by the College Dean, as outlined in the Examination Procedures.
3.2.8 A deferred assessment (including an examination) is a delay (postponement) to the start date of an assessment item. A deferral can be awarded due to:
a) The cancellation of an assessment item by the University, for example disruption by natural disasters, or government restrictions. The student does not have to apply if all students were affected.
b) Impact to all students taking part in an online assessment item due to technology or equipment issues which prevented equitable access. The student does not have to apply if all students were affected.
c) Staff illness or accident preventing an assessment (including an examination) from taking place. The student does not have to apply in this instance.
d) Circumstances outlined in the Defence Force, National Service and Elite Athlete Friendly University Procedure. The student has to apply for a deferral and must have supporting documentation.
e) A pre-arranged and formal commitment to jury service/attending court/hospital on the scheduled day of the assessment/examination. The student has to apply for deferral and must have supporting documentation.
f) A decision declared by the Dean or Chair, Academic Board relative to the circumstance and study period.
For circumstances covered in clauses 3.2.8 a) – c) or f) a student or students do not need to apply as the deferred assessment will be offered by the College. In all other circumstances, students must apply following the Special Consideration Procedure.
3.2.9 An extension to an assessment item is an adjustment to the due date. An extension may be granted by the Academic Head due to Special Circumstances, which prevented all students taking part in the assessment item.
3.2.10 A supplementary assessment (including examination) is permitted in some courses and subjects and is stated in the Subject Outline. Where applicable:
a) A College Assessment Committee, College Dean or Chair of an appeal committee, can grant a supplementary assessment or examination for a student to determine whether the student has achieved the subject learning outcomes and/or requirements to pass the subject. The College Dean can also grant a supplementary assessment or examination after considering assessment results and moderation processes.
b) The supplementary assessment or examination must assess the subject learning outcomes and/or the assessment requirements necessary to pass the subject that the student has not yet evidenced.
c) The supplementary assessment or examination must be peer checked and approved by the Academic Head.
d) A supplementary examination must be scheduled in the published supplementary/deferred examination period in accordance with clause 3.2.9 i), or organised by the College in accordance with clause 3.2.9 h), and the supplementary assessments must be due no earlier than five University working days after the result release date.
e) A supplementary examination can be granted for the following reasons:
- When a student did not pass the final examination and achieved an accumulative subject score within 5% below the passing score required for the subject, and has met all other requirements to pass the subject; or if the exam is a must pass assessment item and the student failed the exam but achieved the passing score for the subject; or
- as a result of an application for Special Consideration; or
- as an outcome of a review or appeal, a special examination request, or an academic misconduct investigation; or
- in accordance with the supplementary examination progression requirements stipulated in the Subject Outline; or
- as a result of a recommendation of a Subject Coordinator.
f) A supplementary assessment (non-examination) may be granted for the following reasons:
- When the subject does not have a final examination and the student achieved an accumulative subject score within 5% below the passing score required for the subject; or
- if a student passes the final examination, and the student achieved an accumulative subject score within 5% below the passing score required for the subject; or
- when a student passes the final examination and achieves the passing accumulative score for the subject, but has not passed all ‘must pass’ assessment items in the subject; or
- when the subject has a pass/fail result system and the student has not passed one ‘must pass’ assessment item in the subject; or
- as a result of an application for Special Consideration; or
- as an outcome of a review or appeal, a special examination request, or an academic misconduct investigation; or
- in accordance with the supplementary examination progression requirements stipulated in the Subject Outline.
g) An interim subject result of FSE (Fail (supplementary examination granted)) shall be awarded for a supplementary examination, and an interim subject result of FSA (Fail (supplementary assessment granted)) shall be awarded for a supplementary assessment.
h) Where an FSE result has been awarded, and the College determines that the Supplementary Examination is organised by the College, the College must:
- Advise Student Services not to schedule a supplementary examination; and
- Notify the student by email of the examination schedule no later than five University working days after the result release date of interim subject results.
i) Where an FSE result has been awarded and Student Services have not been advised by the College that the College will organise the supplementary examination in the published supplementary/deferred examination period, Student Services must:
- Schedule the Supplementary Examination; and
- Notify the student by email of the examination timetable no later than 5 University working days after the result release date or update of interim subject result.
j) Where an FSA result has been awarded the College must:
- Notify the student of the requirements of the supplementary assessment no later than 5 University working days after the result release date or update of interim subject result; and
- The student must pass the supplementary assessment or examination in order to pass the subject.
k) If the student passes the supplementary assessment/examination a SP or SS subject result is awarded (pass after sitting a supplementary examination or supplementary assessment).
l) If the student does not sit the supplementary examination, does not submit the supplementary assessment by the due date, or does not pass the supplementary examination/supplementary assessment, a subject result of F (Fail) or U (Unsatisfactory) is awarded.
3.2.11 A special assessment (including examination) is permitted in all courses and subjects. Where applicable:
a) A College Dean or Chair of an appeal committee can grant a special assessment or examination for a student to determine whether the student has achieved the subject learning outcomes and/or requirements to pass the subject. The College Dean can also grant a special assessment or examination after considering assessment results and moderation processes.
b) The special assessment or examination must assess the subject learning outcomes and/or the assessment requirements necessary to pass the subject that the student has not yet evidenced.
c) The special assessment or examination must be peer checked and approved by the Academic Head.
d) A special examination must be scheduled as soon as practicable once awarded, organised by the College. A special assessment must be due no earlier than five University working days after the result release date.
e) A special examination or assessment can be granted for the following reasons:
- as a result of an application for Special Consideration.
- as an outcome of a review or appeal, or an academic misconduct investigation.
- As a result of the College Dean’s determination that the student should be re-assessed in the subject due to concerns relating to competency, equity or fairness.
f) An interim subject result of SPE (special examination granted) shall be awarded for a special examination, and an interim subject result of SPA (special assessment granted) shall be awarded for a special assessment.
g) If the student passes the special assessment/examination a result will be applied in accordance with the Subject Outline specifications to pass the subject and any conditions nominated in the outcome letter for misconduct, review/appeal.
h) If the student does not sit the special examination or does not submit the special assessment by the due date or does not pass the special examination/special assessment, a result will be applied in accordance with the Subject Outline specifications to pass the subject and any conditions nominated in the outcome letter for misconduct, review/appeal.
3.3 Special Consideration
3.3.1 All students must make themselves available for assessments and examinations at the scheduled times and may apply for special consideration if affected by special circumstances. This applies to all methods and modes of assessment, see Special Consideration Procedure.
3.4 Academic Integrity
3.4.1 Students are responsible for ensuring the integrity, authorship and authenticity of all assessment materials submitted, in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Instances of suspected academic misconduct are investigated in accordance with the student Academic Misconduct Procedure.
3.5 Feedback on Assessment
3.5.1 Feedback on examinations must be consistent with the criteria or scales outlined in rubrics published in the Subject Outline.
a) Feedback including grades or marks on examinations undertaken during an examination period are accessible either:
- In the LMS (LearnJCU Grade Centre) after the results release date; or
- Available upon formal request by a student, after the results release date (see section 3.8.4).
b) Written or verbal feedback on automated tests is only required if it is formally requested by a student.
3.5.2 Feedback on assessment items (excluding examinations) including grades or marks is provided in a timely manner relative to the length of the study period.
a) Students receive feedback on an assessment item (which has been submitted on time) before the next related/cumulative assessment item is due.
b) Students receive feedback on early assessment before the census date.
c) Timeframes for feedback including grades or marks on individual assessment items are relative to the length of the study period:
- Within 15 University working days of the submission date for a 13-week subject and within seven University working days of the submission date for a 7-week subject.
- Feedback on assessment items that have been approved for an extension of time are dealt with by the Subject Coordinator on a case-by-case basis. Feedback, in formative and summative forms, is clear, explanatory, diagnostic and focusses on students improving their practice in order to achieve the learning outcomes.
3.5.3 Individual or group feedback, is delivered in a variety of forms which could include face-to-face, in hard copy, electronically, through self-assessment, peer-review or part of a group review.
3.5.4 Feedback is provided to students who are at risk of not achieving (or have not achieved) academic progression requirements. Support is offered through central units to assist students to meet their course requirements. See Academic Progression Policy and Unsatisfactory Academic Performance Procedure.
3.6.1 Subject Coordinators must:
a) Report on the subject assessment moderation process at College assessment meetings;
b) Implement moderation processes of pre-marking and/or during marking, and/or post-marking to assure validity and reliability of the assessment item;
c) Select the sample for moderation: individual assessment items, or whole-of-subject assessment;
d) Implement subject-level moderation processes that consist of an analysis of top grades, borderline pass/fail grades and a selection of mid-range grades; and
e) Engage in moderation during the results certification process.
3.6.2 Assessment moderation methods include: pre-determined criterion-based standards/rubrics, comprehensive marking guides, peer review of assessment, double marking, exchange marking, blind marking, and confirmatory review.
3.6.3 Consensus moderation of final results is essential in the certification process, and takes place at College assessment meetings. This includes consistent and fair moderation of assessments (including examinations) for students who applied for Special Consideration, see Section 3.3.
3.6.4 Where major differences emerge in the grading of the same assessment item, the Subject Coordinator determines strategies to resolve the final grade by convening a moderation panel or using an external examiner. Where moderation outcomes are irreconcilable, matters should be referred to the Academic Head to determine the grade.
3.6.5 Moderation processes are reviewed by Course Coordinators at Assessment Committee Meetings.
3.7 Grades and results
3.7.1 Assessment grading rules:
a) Students are given the grade that their work deserves, based on a clear set of criteria or scales outlined in rubrics. Marks (numbers) may be used to augment the grade.
b) Assessment grades are appropriate to the level code of the subject, and the course and subject learning outcomes and subject result system.
c) Assessment is graded fairly and consistently. The University can use computer-aided marking to grade assessment (for example, machine-readable multiple-choice quiz sheets, online automated marking).
3.7.2 Staff must inform students of their grade and/or mark for each summative assessment item in a subject via the LearnJCU Grade Centre. Timeframes for notification are outlined in 3.5.1 and 3.5.2.
3.7.4 Subject results must always undergo final ratification for each study period. No single grade or mark represents a final result in a subject, see Subject Outline Procedure.
3.7.5 Amendments to student grades/marks:
a) Where a student has received an assessment mark before a College Assessment Meeting has confirmed the subject result then the Subject Coordinator can amend the mark in (LMS) (LearnJCU Grade Centre) to update a mark.
b) Assessment items or subject results finalised after the results release date of the subject result must be made in accordance with the Finalisation and Publication of Student Results Procedure.
3.7.6 The Subject Coordinator must undertake a biennial peer review of a subject’s assessment plans and grading practices in accordance with 2.4.2.
3.8 Review of grades and results
3.8.1 Students have a right to access copies of examination responses and other assessment materials that have not been returned to them during the period and such materials must be retained by the University for such purpose. Subject Coordinators must retain these assessment materials in a secure repository for 2 years.
3.8.2 The release of assessment materials (including examination papers) must not prejudice future assessment items, for example if an examination question is used repeatedly. In such cases, a student can arrange with the Subject Coordinator to read their examination responses in the presence of the Subject Coordinator or their nominee.
3.8.3 Students can request a review of any assessment item (including examinations) within 10 University working days of the grade or mark for that work being published in the LMS (LearnJCU Grade Centre) or being provided to the student. To request a review of an assessment item, the student must:
a. Check the stated assessment information in the Subject Outline; and
b. Email the Subject Coordinator to seek out and receive feedback about their performance for the assessment item.
c. The Subject Coordinator must respond with 5 University working days of receiving the request for review.
d. If unresolved, within 5 University working days of the Subject Coordinator’s notification, provide a substantial case to show how the grade or mark awarded does not reflect their performance with respect to the published assessment criteria for that assessment, in writing to the Academic Head.
e. In considering a request for a review of an individual assessment item the Academic Head is mindful of equity matters relating to other students in the subject. A decision to accept a late application for review of an examination mark or grade is made by the Academic Head.
f. The Academic Head, will review the information provided by the student and make a decision within 7 university working days of receiving the request from the student.
a request for a review of an assessment item can result in a re-mark of the assessment as determined by the Academic Head. If a request is granted, the Academic Head nominates an alternative qualified person to grade or mark a blind copy of the assessment item. That review of assessment must occur within 7 university working days of the decision to grant the review.
in all cases where a review and re-mark is granted, (at the discretion of the Academic Head) the revised grade or mark replaces the original grade or mark in the calculation of the final result, including in instances where the grade goes down. Where the Academic Head is also the Subject Coordinator, the initial application for a review is directed to the relevant Dean.
g. The Academic Head will provide a written response, and information regarding the student’s right to an appeal at the completion of the subject, to the student, and the relevant College or Divisional office for record-keeping purposes
3.8.4 A student who has requested access to assessment materials under clause 3.8.1 and been denied access by the University can appeal against the decision under the Student Review and Appeals Policy.
Introduction Core Principle 4
These procedures and rules support Core Principle 4 of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy which says: Student learning is facilitated by teaching that is inspiring, motivating and research informed. Teaching develops and draws on a repertoire of skills and strategies in order to respond to students’ needs, changing contexts and settings.
At JCU, our learning and teaching activities are arranged to foster progressive and coherent achievement of expected learning outcomes throughout a student’s course of study (HESF, 2.3.3).
Teaching practices at JCU:
- Model and encourage a student-centred approach to learning;
- Build student research capacity;
- Motivate and challenge students;
- Support academic interactions among students outside of formal teaching;
- Encourage and enable students to take responsibility for their own learning;
- Consider the diversity of JCU students; and
- Incorporate face-to-face and online learning experiences that are responsive to changing technologies and attendance modes.
4.1 Teaching requirements
4.1.1 Teaching incorporates:
a) Authentic learning examples, practices and experiences;
b) The application of current research and creative outputs in the planning and developing of teaching materials in accordance with the Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance; and
c) Teaching practices that support student learning, for example, situated and place-based learning, flipped classrooms, small group enquiry, problem-based learning, and discipline-specific approaches.
a) Improving students’ knowledge of different cultural backgrounds;
b) Embedding international perspectives;
c) Modelling ethical behaviour in learning and teaching activities; and
d) Encouraging research and evidenced-based practice.
4.1.2 Institutional systems and data are used to inform teaching practice and to enhance the quality of future learning opportunities.
4.1.3 Subject Coordinators provide leadership for all staff teaching within the subject, including sessional, professional/technical staff, and external placement and project supervisors across all campuses, in accordance with the Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance.
4.1.4 All teaching staff will have a qualification in a relevant discipline at least one level higher than is awarded for the course of study, or equivalent relevant academic or professional or practice-based experience and expertise. Teachers who teach specialised components of a course of study, such as experienced practitioners and teachers undergoing training, who may not fully meet the standard for knowledge, skills and qualification or experience required for teaching or supervision must have their teaching guided and overseen by staff who meet the standard.
4.1.5 If a student is employed to undertake teaching, they must be appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline for their level of teaching (qualified to at least one AQF qualification level higher than the course of study being taught or hold equivalent professional experience).
College Deans are responsible for ensuring that:
a) A student is not employed to teach or participate in the assessment of a subject in which they are enrolled; and
b) In a case where a student is employed in a teaching role (and when they have equivalent professional experience but do not hold a formal qualification at least one higher AQF level than the students), the Dean of College must provide details of the selection, training, supervision and moderation practices that ensure standards are appropriate and confidentiality is maintained. These details must be presented to the relevant College Assessment Committee meeting.
4.2 Learning and teaching environments
4.2.1 Face-to-face and online teaching environments have up-to-date and relevant equipment and resources that enhance a range of different teaching approaches.
a) Teaching staff are provided with ongoing training in the use of the LMS, educational technologies and library resources;
b) Environments include teacher-led, collaborative, simulated, and student-directed learning spaces ;
c) Physical learning environments, including examination spaces, must be fit-for-purpose. This includes consideration of:
- The amount of space and how rooms are arranged;
- Internal and external noise-levels, including acoustics; and
- Correct laboratory equipment, space, and safety checks.
4.2.2 Learning and teaching environments are student-centred.
a) Learning activities and teaching strategies cater for, and encourage, student equity, diversity and inclusion.
b) A variety of high-quality learning and teaching practices are used to create engaging and interactive face-to-face and online learning environments that support transition and the development of learning communities for all students. Staff are supported to design, create, embed, manage and evaluate sustainable, ethical and innovative learning and teaching practices to meet and redefine current and future needs through ongoing professional development.
c) Digital technologies are utilised by staff to provide innovative and interactive learning experiences. Staff are supported to design, create, embed, manage and evaluate sustainable, ethical and innovative digital solutions to meet and redefine current and future needs through ongoing professional development.
d) Professional, industry, clinical and work-integrated learning practices and experiences are incorporated into teaching practice and the curriculum.
e) Institutional systems, policies, procedures, and data are used to inform, create and monitor student-centred face-to-face and online learning environments across a variety of attendance modes.
4.2.3 The effectiveness of learning technologies and physical learning environments are reviewed annually by the College or discipline in collaboration with the Dean, Centre for Education and Enhancement, College Associate Deans, Learning and Teaching, and Estates as follows:
a) Current research and best practice is applied in reviewing learning technologies and making recommendations for change;
b) Multiple sources of data are used to monitor students’ digital engagement to improve technology-enhanced learning (TEL) approaches;
c) Review takes into account the current and future needs of students and systems; and
d) Annual reports are prepared by the Learning Technologies Advisory Group and summarised for the Digital Advisory Committee.
4.3.1 Consultation arrangements must be communicated to students in Subject Outlines (see Subject Outline Procedures).
Process for consultation with students:
a) Teaching staff and other stakeholders (for example supervisors) must be available for student consultation (face-to-face or online) at set times or by appointment during each study period, and/or when teaching is conducted outside a study period.
b) Staff also consult with students using other forms of communication such as email, LearnJCU and other forums such as additional revision or feedback sessions.
c) Provisions for consultation during a study vacation, the associated examination period, and during the release of results for that study period, are arranged with students before completion of the formal study period and/or placements.
d) Where academic staff hold part-time or sessional positions, a pro-rata provision of consultation time must be offered.
4.4 Professional development
4.4.1 Professional reflective practice informs effective teaching and assessment practices and involves systematic and critical evaluation of practices through various methods including:
a) Formal surveys, feedback and reviews;
b) Informal feedback;
c) Institutional data; and/or
d) Placement and fieldwork, and stakeholder evaluations.
4.4.2 New academic staff must undertake induction to learning and teaching at JCU. Induction includes online modules, virtual and face-to-face professional development sessions. Completion of induction is recorded in accordance with Human Resources procedures.
4.4.3 Sessional staff inductions to learning and teaching at JCU are conducted at least twice yearly in virtual and/or face-to-face sessions. Records are kept in accordance with Human Resources procedures. It is recommended that sessional staff must undertake sessional staff induction every three years (at the discretion of the Academic Head).
4.4.4 JCU provides resources and/or workshops to enhance the quality of teaching and assessment and record professional development activities aligned to teaching, TEL and other supervisory responsibilities, see workshops and events.
4.4.5 The Peer Review of Teaching process is used in promotion, recognition/awards, and professional development plans (PDP) to provide a collaborative approach to reviewing and renewing teaching practice.
4.5 Teaching excellence
4.5.2 JCU acknowledges continuing professional development as a platform for enhanced personal and professional practices. See:
Related policy instruments
Related documents and legislation
Reference points for CP1: HESF Domain 1 Student Participation and Attainment, plus HESF 2.3.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, HESF 4.3, the JCU Academic Plan 2018-2022, pp. 11-12, Discrimination Guidelines, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the AQF Report 2019, and the TEQSA Guidance Note: Diversity and Equity.
Reference points for CP2: The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), AQF Council, Volume of Learning: An Explanation, 2019 Review. HESF Domain 1 and 3.1, HESF 5.3. JCU Academic Plan 2018-2022, p.18.
Reference points for CP 3: HESF 1.4 Learning Outcomes and Assessment, Domain 3, (3.3.1 and 3.3.2), Domain 5 (5.3), TEQSA, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), and the JCU Curriculum Framework.
Reference points for CP4: HESF Domain 3 Teaching. HESF 2.2 Diversity and Equity. HESF 2.1.3, HESF 5.3.6 and 5.3.7. APDF learning and teaching domain.
NOTE: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
|Policy Domain||Learning and Teaching|
Deputy Vice Chancellor Students
Deputy Vice Chancellor Students
Date for next Major Review
|22-2.1||Administrative amendment||21/12/2023||Administrative correction made to clause 3.8.1 (noted below as clause 3.8.3) to amend requirements for length of time assessment materials need to be kept accessible reduced from 7 years to 2 years. |
Clause 3.8.3 reinstated per advice from Student Services.
Deputy Director, Student Services
Amendments made to incorporate changes to the Student Special Consideration Policy Suite.
Changes made as suggested by ADLT’s as follows:
Director, Student Services
Dean, Centre for Education and Enhancement
|22-1||10/12/2021||01/01/2022||Clarification of requirements regarding assessment of honours thesis/project and postgraduate coursework research. Clarification of terms and language.||Associate Director, Student Services|
|21-1||08/04/2021||18/05/2021||Amendments to clause 3.8 t o clarify timeframes regarding review of grades and results||Manager, Student Facing Policy|
Procedure established to support the Learning Teaching and Assessment Policy.
Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement.
Learning, teaching, assessment, students, feedback, examinations, assessment methods, flexible, inclusive, curriculum design, learning outcomes, moderation, marking, student experience, career management, authentic, assessment methods.
|Contact person||Dean, Centre for Education and Enhancement|