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Educational Collaborations Moderation Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Procedure seeks to ensure that assessment marks and/or grades determined through Third Party delivery are awarded appropriately and consistently, and in a manner which accords with the University's Assessment Policy.

Section 2 - Definitions

(2) For the purpose of these Procedures the following definitions apply in addition to the Academic Board's Definitions Policy:

  1. Assessment Kit :
    1. means the Assessment Tasks, Marking Criteria, Grading Standards, Marker's Guide, Student Feedback Sheet and, if required, Exemplars;
  2. Assessment Tasks:
    1. details the individual assessment items required to be completed for a unit;
  3. Grading Standards:
    1. details the descriptions of the standards expected for each grade i.e. Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction;
  4. Exemplars:
    1. provide examples of answers to past or equivalent assessment items (including examination questions) that give a guide to the marker for the level of achievement required for each mark/grade;
  5. Third Party Provider:
    1. means the Third party organisation with whom SCU has contracted to support and deliver the SCU courses;
  6. Third Party Staff:
    1. means the SCU approved lecturer, tutor and/or marker employed by the Third Party Provider to teach and/or mark the SCU unit;
  7. Marking Criteria:
    1. details the performance criteria that, if met, will result in a particular mark/grade for an assessment item;
  8. Marker's Guide:
    1. details the requirements for the assessment item and the marks/grades associated with each requirement;
  9. Moderation:
    1. is a quality assurance process that ensures appropriate assessment standards are maintained within SCU and across its third party educational collaborations, and that marks and grades for assessment items including examinations are awarded appropriately and consistently; and
  10. Student Feedback Sheet:
    1. provides the means by which feedback is returned to students for their marked/graded assessment item.

Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Provision of Materials, Staff and Communication

(3) SCU must:

  1. prior to the commencement of a teaching period provide the Third Party Provider's approved staff with access to the relevant SCU units within the MySCU site; and
  2. provide the Third Party Provider with training in the use of MySCU so that appropriate MySCU advice can be provided to students; and
  3. ensure Third Party Staff are provided access to the relevant units within the MySCU site and have completed Teaching at SCU induction.

(4) As early as possible before the teaching period commences, the Third Party Provider must:

  1. ensure students and Third Party Staff are provided with access to the relevant units within the MySCU site; and
  2. confirm to SCU the name and contact details of each SCU approved Third Party Staff for each SCU Unit.

(5) Before the teaching period commences, the SCU Unit Assessor (UA) must contact the relevant Third Party Staff by phone or email in order to discuss unit content and assessment, and to resolve any queries or issues about the delivery of the unit. The SCU UA has responsibility to inform Third Party Staff of all SCU Rules relating to assessment and applicable academic policies. However:

  1. if phone contact cannot be established, or there is no reply to email contact, the SCU UA must inform the Education Collaborations Team within SCU International who will follow up with the Third Party Provider; and
  2. if the SCU UA cannot establish contact with the Third Party Staff two weeks prior to commencement of the teaching period, the UA must alert the relevant SCU Course Coordinator (see Part D).

(6) The Third Party Provider is responsible for ensuring staff are available and able to meet the delivery and marking requirements for the SCU units.

Part B - Assessments and Examination

Assessments

(7) As close as reasonably possible to the due date of an assessment, the SCU UA will distribute the Marker's Guide and Student Feedback Sheet to the Third Party Staff. Exemplars may also be provided at this time.

(8) All assessment items will be submitted by students online in accordance with the Text Matching Software Policy.

(9) Within five (5) working days of the due date for an assessment item, the SCU Unit Assessor will advise the Third Party Staff of a random selection of not less than 5 students whose assessment items they have selected for co-marking purposes.

  1. The Third Party Staff must mark the selected assessment items if they have not already been marked and provide the marked/graded assessments and student feedback to the SCU UA as requested.

(10) Within three (3) working days of receiving the sample marked/graded assessments provided under clause (9), the SCU UA will review the sample and provide feedback on the marking and the quality and quantity of student feedback to the Third Party Staff.

  1. The SCU UA may determine that a greater sample is required at this time and seek further samples from the Third Party Staff.
  2. The SCU UA may adjust marks/grades for the sample where necessary and advise the Third Party Staff to adjust the marking/grading accordingly.
  3. When the SCU UA is satisfied with the standard of the marking and the student feedback, the Third Party Staff will be advised to mark the balance of the assessment items.

(11) At the end of the marking period (usually 10 working days from the due date for the assessment item) the Third Party Staff will submit to the SCU UA a marksheet setting out all enrolled students' marks/grades for the assessment item.

  1. The SCU UA will review the marksheet and if satisfied with the allocation of marks/grades they will advise the Third Party Staff to return the marked assignments to students and post the grades to Grade Centre.
  2. If the SCU UA is not satisfied with the allocation of marks/grades, they will discuss the matter with the Third Party Staff.
    1. If after discussion with the Third Party Staff the SCU UA remains dissatisfied with the allocation of marks/grades, in consultation with the SCU Course Coordinator, they may request more of the marked assessments be made available to SCU by the Third Party Provider (up to and including all marked assessments).
      • Upon receipt, the SCU UA will review the assessment items provided and may allocate new marks/grades after remarking.
      • When the SCU UA is satisfied that the marks/grades are awarded appropriately and consistently, they will advise the Third Party Staff to return the assessments, preferably online, with the revised marks/grades to students.

(12) The SCU UA will escalate any unresolved matters to the Course Coordinator, who may discuss the matter with the Third Party Academic Coordinator.

(13) The SCU Course Coordinator should report any unresolvable issues with the marking/grading standards of Third Party Staff to the SCU Head of School/College who may in turn choose to take up the issue with the Third Party Provider (see Part D).

(14) Turnaround times for clauses (9) through (11) must be adhered to in line with the University's Assessment Policy.

  1. In the advent that the Unit Assessor or Third Party Staff encounter difficulties which prevent the relevant timelines from being adhered to, the Unit Assessor will inform the Course Coordinator and the Head of School/College and may lodge a request to extend the deadlines. Any plagiarism detected in the assessment activity must be managed in line with the Rules Relating to Awards Rule 3 Section 18 and the academic misconduct rules relating to plagiarism.
  2. The Third Party Provider must ensure that staff receive papers for marking in a timely manner to ensure that marking can be completed by the SCU due dates required under the Rules.

Examination

(15) The SCU UA must ensure Third Party Staff are provided with relevant information relating to examination, and that these staff and students are provided with guidance on the format and relevant study areas to be examined. The SCU UA must ensure updates and advice are provided consistently to all cohorts enrolled in the unit across all SCU delivery locations.

(16) Examination papers will be provided to the Third Party Provider in accordance with SCU Examination Paper Handling Policy as close as possible to the examination date to ensure appropriate examination security.

(17) Where exams are marked by the Local staff:

  1. the SCU UA provides the Marker's Guide and any Exemplars to the Third Party Staff as soon as possible following the end of the examination;
  2. if Third Party Staff are responsible for marking 100% of the examination scripts, the following process will be followed:
    1. within three (3) working days of the examination, the SCU UA will advise the Third Party Staff of a random sample of ten (10) or 10% of the examination scripts (whichever is the greater) required for SCU co-marking;
    2. within three (3) working days of receiving advice under clause (17)b.i, the Third Party Staff must mark, scan and email the selected examination scripts to the SCU UA;
    3. within three (3) working days of receiving the scripts under clause (17)b.ii, the SCU UA will provide feedback to the Third Party Staff on the standard of the marking; and
      • the SCU UA may determine that a greater sample is required may obtain further samples from the Third Party Staff for this purpose;
      • the SCU UA may adjust marks/grades for the sample where necessary and may require the Third Party Staff to adjust the marking/grading accordingly;
      • when the SCU UA is satisfied with the standard of the marking, he or she will advise the Third Party Staff to mark the balance of the exams and submit the marks to Grade Centre; and
    4. if the SCU UA has serious concerns with the allocation of grades following sample marking, they may require all examination papers be double marked, and where this is required;
      • the SCU UA will obtain the papers from the Third Party Staff and inform the Course Coordinator; and
      • adjustments to examination marks/grades will be made by the SCU UA.

Final Grades

(18) The SCU UA must submit the final grades for the unit to their relevant Committee of Examiners in accordance with required SCU timelines. In accordance with the Rules Relating to Awards Rule 1, Section 1 and Rule 3, Section 13 of the University's Rules Relating to Awards, the Committee of Examiners will determine the final grades for the unit.

(19) A students' final grade is the sum of the marks/grades achieved in each assessment task/examination outlined in the Assessment Kit and will correspond to the percentages outlined in the Rules Relating to Awards Rule 3 Section 11.

Part C - Control Processes

During a Teaching Period

(20) During a teaching period, the SCU Course Coordinator should report any ongoing issues with the marking standards of Third Party Staff to the Committees of Examiners, and to SCU Head of School/College who will take up the issue with the Third Party Provider (see clause (26)). The Course Coordinator must report these issues to the Management Committee at the next meeting.

End of Teaching Period - Moderation Report

(21) The SCU UA must complete a moderation report for each location at the end of the teaching period, and explain whether there has been any issue with the standard of the marking at that location (see Attachment 1). The report must:

  1. detail the issues and the moderation outcomes, including a recommendation about whether the Third Party Staff should be used in the future;
  2. be completed for any unit where additional assessment items or examination scripts to the initial sample have been requested from the Third Party Staff; and
  3. be lodged with the Course Coordinator.

(22) The SCU UA is responsible for communication of feedback to the Third Party Staff.

(23) The Head of School is responsible for communication of feedback to the Third Party Provider, including discussion of any issues arising and the matter should be noted at the next Management Committee meeting.

General Control Processes

(24) If a Third Party Staff member fails to contact the SCU UA when required or does not meet the required deadlines for the provision of sample assessments required, the Course Coordinator may choose to discuss the issue with the Third Party Academic Coordinator and if dissatisfied with responses and/or actions taken will report the issue to the Head of School/College who will raise the issue with the Third Party Provider's Management. These issues must be reported to the next Management Committee meeting.

(25) If a Third Party Staff member consistently marks outside the agreed standards for the assessment tasks and does not comply with the advice provided by the SCU UA, the Course Coordinator must report the issue to the Head of School and to the next Management Committee meeting.

(26) A Head of School may advise the Third Party Provider following the final examination that the Third Party Staff is not suitable to teach the unit and must be replaced for the next offering of the unit at that location.

  1. The Third Party Provider may also be required to pay to SCU any additional costs associated with double marking.

(27) If an unsuitable Third Party Staff member continues to be hired by a Third Party Provider following SCU advising that they are not suitable as per clause (26), the SCU UA or Course Coordinator must report the matter to the Head of School immediately who will take up the issue with the Third Party Provider and with the Pro Vice Chancellor (International and Enterprise).

Part D - Variations

(28) Any variation to this Procedure must have prior Chair of Academic Board approval in writing.