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Assessment for Learning Policy

Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The purpose of this Policy and its associated procedures is to ensure that student coursework assessment:

  1. is aligned with the vision, mission, values and behaviours expressed in the University's Strategic Plan, the requirements of the VU Curriculum Blueprint; and with all requirements of unit(s) of competency from National Training Package qualifications or other externally accredited VET courses;
  2. complies with relevant regulatory frameworks, including the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Cth) , the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (Cth) ; and
  3. is congruent with all related university policies and procedures.

(2) The principles underpin the design, conduct and evaluation of student coursework assessments. Courses also need to meet any relevant external regulatory and accreditation requirements.

(3) Adherence to the Guidelines and Standards associated with this Policy is expected.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(4) This Policy applies to:

  1. Higher education coursework assessment at all levels, including postgraduate coursework courses;
  2. National Training Package or other externally accredited VET courses at all levels; and
  3. Non-award courses where performance is being assessed.

(5) This Policy does not apply to:

  1. The assessment of Higher Degrees by Research dissertations or research projects.
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Section 3 - Definitions

(6) Victoria University defines assessment as the methods and procedures by which a student's academic progress and standard, at a given time, are measured. Within this single definition, the University recognises three broad types of assessment:

  1. diagnostic — assessment that identifies the level of competency/performance/ knowledge before commencing learning in a course/ program/ learning experience but does not contribute to the student's final grade;
  2. formative — assessment that provides feedback to the student during the learning experience;
  3. summative — assessment that is focused on the outcomes of the learning experience.

(7) Hurdle requirement, as defined in this Policy, refers to a condition that must be met in order for students to be able to pass a unit or graduate from a course.

(8) Assessment tasks must engage students in learning rather than solely measure student achievement; a quality assessment strategy is integral to quality teaching.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

Part A - Key Principles of Assessment

(9) Assessment plays a central role in student learning at Victoria University.

(10) In addition to principles of assessment articulated within standards of relevant regulatory frameworks, Victoria University applies the following key principles to assessment design, conduct and evaluation.

(11) Assessment is integral to course and unit of study design. This means that:

  1. Assessment design represents best practice as established by research and benchmarking, and is an integral part of curriculum and course planning and delivery from the earliest stages of course development.
  2. Assessment tasks are mapped across a course and aligned with the learning outcomes of units of study and / or the elements, performance criteria and assessment requirements of units of competency and the course as appropriate.
  3. Assessment explicitly contributes to students achieving desired learning outcomes including learning outcomes/ elements and graduate capabilities / employability skills.

(12) Assessment provides an authentic representation of student achievement and provides for diverse learners. This means that:

  1. Assessment tasks are evaluated using a criterion-referenced approach, according to specific criteria that are clearly articulated and communicated to students and are not dependent upon the performance of their cohort.
  2. Assessment tasks specify the grading schemes or measures that will be used to record achievement, including any exceptions or hurdle requirements.
  3. Students can demonstrate their learning, competency and capabilities through a variety of assessment activities.
  4. Assessment design and practice for collaborative tasks such as group work recognises both group contributions and individual attainment.
  5. Where graded assessment is applied in National Training Package or other externally accredited VET courses, this only occurs after assessment for competency is applied.

(13) Assessment feedback is used to enable and enhance student learning. This means that:

  1. Feedback is provided in a timely and constructive manner, and an early assessment task is included so that students can be provided with feedback that supports and directs their ongoing learning.
  2. Formative feedback is used to provide information or advice about the academic standards and expectations of a unit or course and informs students of how they can improve.
  3. A variety of opportunities are provided to engage with feedback processes through teacher, self, peer and workplace feedback.

(14) Assessment is fair and equitable. This means that:

  1. An assessment task's purpose, method, requirements, standards and marking criteria are clearly articulated.
  2. The type, amount and timing of assessment is manageable and commensurate with the weighted marks and level of the course, as defined by the relevant University and professional standards and the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  3. Assessment is equivalent and comparable across diverse locations and learning situations.
  4. Students have access to clear guidelines on assessment due dates, submission methods, conditions of assessment, conditions for variation or adjustment, penalties for late submission and relevant procedures such as the granting of extensions, applying for adjustments such as special consideration, alternative exams and supplementary assessment.
  5. Assessment variations / adjustments and processes for allowing and recording any variations / adjustments to the stated conditions of assessment, submission and grading rules are in line with the University Student Equity and Social Inclusion Policy.
  6. Processes for recording results ensure their integrity, security and timely publication.
  7. Students who disagree with an assessment result have access to a review process, as outlined in the relevant procedure.

(15) Assessment practices and processes are continuously monitored for quality assurance and improvement purposes. This means that:

  1. Assessment practices and processes incorporate moderation, validation and review procedures that assure the quality and standards of assessment tasks and outcomes.
  2. National and discipline benchmarking activities are carried out on a regular basis to ensure appropriate levels of learning outcomes and assessment.
  3. Assessment practices and processes assure the equivalence of learning outcomes or performance criteria (as appropriate) for all modes of delivery and locations.
  4. Relevant stakeholders (employers, industry, clients, teaching team) are actively involved in the setting of standards.
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Section 5 - Procedures

(16) Assessment for Learning - Adjustments to Assessment Procedure (HE). This Procedure sets out the requirements for staff and students in relation to:

  1. a short extension of time,
  2. special consideration,
  3. ongoing modified assessments; and
  4. alternative examination.

(17) Assessment for Learning - Supplementary Assessment and Conceded Pass Procedure (HE) 

(18) Assessment for Learning - Moderation and Validation Procedure (HE)

(19) Assessment for Learning - Examination Administration Procedure

(20) Assessment for Learning - Management of Results and Grade Sets Procedure (HE)

(21) Assessment for Learning - Review of Individual Assessment Outcomes Procedure (HE)

(22) Assessment for Learning - Standards for Assessment Procedure (HE)

(23) Assessment for Learning - Resulting Procedure (VET)

(24) Assessment for Learning - Assessment Procedure (VET)

(25) Assessment for Learning - Assessment Validation Procedure (VET)

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(26) Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Framework

(27) Graduate Capabilities Guidelines

(28) Minimum Standards for Online Presence Guide

(29) Unit of Study Guide template