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									 A Guide to the Conduct of

Modular Scheme Assessment

  And Examination Boards




                             November 2004
                           Revised April 2006
                                   CONTENTS

1.0. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………………….…..1

1.1. SETTING ASSIGNMENTS…….……………………………………………………………………………….....1
.
1.2. SETTING EXAM PAPERS.……………………………………………………...………………………………..1

1.3. ASSESSMENT OF OVERSEAS STUDENTS (NON – EXCHANGE)..………………………………………1
.
1.4. ASSESSMENT OF EXCHANGE STUDENTS………………………………………………………………….1

2.0. ASSESSMENT SCHEDULING…………………………………………………………………………………..2

2.1. EXAMINATION SCHEDULING….………………………………..……………………………………………...3

2.2. CREATION OF STUDENT ASSESSMENT RECORDS…………………….………………………………...3

3.0. CONDUCT OF EXAMINATIONS……………………………………………….………………………………. 3

4.0. SUBMITTING COURSEWORK………………………………………………….…… …………………….…. 4

5.0. STUDENTS GIVING CAUSE FOR CONCERN: THE MID SEMESTER REPORT… . ……………………5

6.0. MARKING AND RETURNING ASSIGNMENTS………...…………………………………………………. …5

7.0. SUBMITTING ASSESSMENT MARKS AND GRADES………………………………… …………………..6

8.0. SUBJECT AND EXAMINATION BOARDS, GENERAL STRUCTURE AND PRINCIPLES……………….7

8.1. SUBJECT BOARDS: MEMBERSHIP AND DUTIES……………………………………. …………………...8

8.2. SUBJECT BOARDS: PROCESSES AND DOCUMENTATION……………………………………………...8

9.0 EXAMINATION BOARDS: MEMBERSHIPS AND DUTIES…………………………….………………….. 10

9.1. PROCESSES AND DOCUMENTATION………………………………………………….. ……………….. 10

9.2. PUBLISHING RESULTS……………………………………………………………………………………... 11

9.3. DEFERRED OR FAILED WORK………………………………………………………..……………….…….11

10.0. EXTERNAL EXAMINERS……………………………………………………………………………….…… 12

10.1. PURPOSE OF EXTERNAL EXAMINERS……………………………………………………………....… 12

10.2. DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN EXAMINERS…………………………………………………………… 12

10.3. EXTERNAL EXAMINERS IN THE MODULAR SCHEME………………………………………….......... 13

11.0. MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES…………………………………………………………………………. 14

12.0. UNFAIR PRACTICES……………………………………………………………………………………….....14

13.0. APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS…………………………………………………………………………….....15

14.0. APPENDICES………………………………………………………………………………………15
               A Guide to the Conduct of Modular Scheme Assessment and
                                  Examination Boards

1.0.       Introduction

The following sections describe the assessment process from start to finish - i.e. from the setting of assignments to
the formal approval of Examination Board recommendations by the Academic Board.

1.1        Setting assignments

The assessment scheme for each module is defined in the owning Subject or Award’s Definitive Documents, and may
not be changed without the formal approval of a School Board (or a School Quality Management Sub-Committee).
The assessment scheme is published in the Guides to Modules, which list every module offered in a particular
academic year, and which are supplied to all students and staff. Additionally, Module Co-ordinators are responsible for
notifying students of the nature and aims of each assessment item; this will normally form part of the module
documentation and should be addressed in the introductory meeting with students at the beginning of the module.

1.2        Setting exam papers

The Registry will circulate deadlines for the preparation of exam papers. It is expected that draft exam papers are:

          internally checked at a meeting of the Subject Team including, where appropriate, representatives from
           associated FE Colleges;

          sent to the External Examiner for his/her comments.

Where modules are delivered at more than one location, it is particularly important to ensure that questions are
phrased in a way that will not disadvantage students at one location vis-à-vis another, tutors must not set different
questions for students taking a different module occurrence.

1.3        Assessment of overseas students (non-Exchange)

The largest programme at BSUC for overseas students is UCIS (Undergraduate Comparative International Studies).
Its students mainly come from the Pacific Rim countries, and pay full overseas fees. Most UCIS students follow a
programme identical to other year 1 Modular Scheme students, i.e. 6 modules, in 2 or 3 subjects. Additionally, they
have support classes, which provide extra tuition in their subjects, English language, etc. UCIS students take the full
range of assessments and should be assessed by the same criteria as other Modular Scheme students. There is also
a ‘Year 0’ Foundation programme for students to take before the main ‘Year 1’ programme.

There are also a group of students referred to as IP (Individual Programme), who usually attend for a whole semester
or whole year and take the standard three modules per semester. They come from a wide range of countries,
including European Union countries, other European countries, the Americas and elsewhere. All IP students take the
full range of assessments and should be assessed by the same criteria as other Modular Scheme students.

1.4.       Assessment of Exchange Students

In addition to the students described in the previous section, BSUC also participates in a number of exchange
programmes. Most are within the European Union - the Socrates/Erasmus programme - though there are others, e.g.
with US partners. The University College utilises the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to enable it to transfer
credit for exchange students. The main features of this scheme are:

           1. Credit is awarded by the teaching institution and accepted by the home institution.

           2. Credit is graded, according to a norm-based marking scheme
              (top 10% of marks = A, etc).

BSUC students

BSUC students who go on exchanges receive ungraded credit for the semester in which they are at a partner
institution. The dates of attendance at the partner institution do not have to be exactly the same as BSUC’s semester
dates, nor does the period of attendance have to be exactly the same as a BSUC semester. The Exchange Co-
ordinator should however be satisfied that the workload is equivalent to one semester’s work at BSUC. Credit for the
exchange is awarded on receipt of a certificate from the partner institution confirming that the student has
satisfactorily completed the exchange programme.

Students from partner institutions who study at BSUC
Exchange Co-ordinators should plan programmes of study for incoming exchange students. However, it must be
made absolutely clear that BSUC cannot guarantee places on specific modules. As stated in the disclaimer in the
prospectus, BSUC reserves the right to close or modify all or any of its courses and modules.

All visiting students who enrol on a module at BSUC must take the full assessment load. Where there is an
assessment outside the exchange period, e.g. an exam, an alternative assignment must be arranged in advance by
the Module Co-ordinator. Module Co-ordinators and Subject Boards must record 0 F for any missing assignment
mark, whatever the reason, whether expected or not.

Exchange students should take up to 60 BSUC credits’ worth of modules (i.e. a normal full-time load) per semester.
Like other students, they may not take extra modules on an attendance-only basis.

BSUC credits are worth twice as much as ECTS credits. Thus a full-time semester is worth 30 ECTS credits; and a
full-time academic year 60 ECTS credits. No indication of credit level is given.

Partner institutions will increasingly require graded rather than ungraded credit. The ECTS grading scheme is norm-
based rather than criterion-based, and does not sit easily on BSUC practice. However, a conversion table is given
below.

ECTS GRADES
CONVERSION FROM MODULAR SCHEME MARKS



                          % of successful
BSUC         ECTS         students normally
mark         grade        achieving the grade     ECTS definition
69-100       A            10                      EXCELLENT - outstanding performance with only minor
                                                  errors
62-68        B            25                      VERY GOOD - above the average standard but with some
                                                  errors
57-61        C            30                      GOOD - generally sound work with a number of notable
                                                  errors
49-56        D            25                      SATISFACTORY - fair but with significant shortcomings
40-48        E            10                      SUFFICIENT - performance meets the minimum criteria
-            FX           -                       FAIL - some more work required before credit can be
                                                  awarded
-            F            -                       FAIL - considerable further work required

Erasmus Co-ordinators should use the information given above to prepare certificates, which meet the needs of the
partner institution. Minimally, they should give BSUC credits, ECTS credits and ECTS grades. They must be
forwarded to the Registrar for signature. Please do not generate unofficial letters which award BSUC or ECTS credits,
or certificate a study period abroad.

Where these arrangements do not meet the requirements of partner universities, they should be advised that they
may use their own APEL arrangements to award credit for attendance at BSUC.

2.0.    Assessment scheduling

As soon as the student lists for a module have settled down (i.e. after the end of second teaching week of the
semester, when students are no longer allowed to change their programme of studies for the semester), two
processes begin - planning the examination timetable for the end of the semester, and creating Student Assessment
Records. These are described in the following sections.

2.1. Examination scheduling

The objective of examination scheduling is to produce a clash-free exam timetable for the end of the semester. It
should therefore be recognised that this cannot be done until the list of students on each module is finalised. A full list
of exam dates, times and rooms is published on notice boards at least 6 weeks before the examinations take place.
Any clashes or errors should be reported to the Registry immediately.

At present, there are three exam ‘slots’ per day. Schedule takes place on the basis that no student should have more
than 2 exams in one day, or more than 3 in 2 days. This does not preclude the possibility of two consecutive exams,
however. Nor, of course, can these maxima be guaranteed on a long-term basis - it is obviously a function of the
number of exams to be scheduled and the number of rooms available.

Exams for Level 1modules are of two hours; exams for Level 2 and Level 3 modules are of two or three hours.
Exams at Newton Park generally take place in Moreton MN.G01, though other large rooms such as NE.101 are also
used.

BSUC conducts formal examinations at its Newton Park and Sion Hill campuses, and at associate FE Colleges. It
cannot normally make arrangements for students to sit examinations at other locations. Arrangements cannot
normally be made for students to take examinations at times other than those specified for that semester.

Students who need special arrangements must communicate them to tutors as early in the Semester as possible.

2.2. Creation of Student Assessment Records

Once the list of students on each module is finalised, blank Student Assessment Records are created for each
student in each module they are taking. Student assessment Forms are sent to the Module Co-ordinator towards the
end of each Semester. A blank Student Assessment Form for EB1001 assignment 002 is shown in Appendix 1.0.

3.0. Conduct of examinations

At each examination, the invigilators concerned will be provided with one or more envelopes, each containing:

             Two copies of Attendance List of candidates;
             Two copies of the invigilation certificate;
             Examination Registration Forms;
             Examination papers;
             Any additional material supplied by the Module Co-ordinator.

Invigilators will place the appropriate examination paper Examination Registration Form each desk at least ten
minutes before the start of the examination.

Candidates will be admitted to the room five minutes before the examination is due to commence. On entering
the examination room they must deposit all bags and unauthorised sources of information in a place indicated by
the invigilator. Mobile phones must be switched off and may not be taken into the examination room.

During the five minutes before the commencement of the examination, candidates may read the question paper,
but may not write until the Chief Invigilator announces the commencement of the examination. Normally, the
Chief Invigilator shall be the sole person to make announcements in the examination room.

Only candidates for whom English is not their first language are permitted to use a dictionary to help with
language problems (e.g. French/English). They are not permitted to use a dictionary solely in their first language.

The Chief Invigilator shall be responsible for ensuring that:

a.       no candidate is admitted to the room more than thirty minutes after the commencement of the
         examination;

b.       no candidate leaves the examination room until thirty minutes after the start of the examination;

c.      no candidate leaves the examination room during the last fifteen minutes of an examination.
The Chief Invigilator will announce the length and end time of the examination at the start and warn students
when there are fifteen minutes of examination time left and will announce the termination of the examination at
the proper time. Candidates should be asked to check that cover papers are correctly completed and the scripts
numbered according to instructions.

Candidates are permitted to leave the room for a short period for urgent reasons only, and must be accompanied
by one of the Invigilators. Invigilators may require a candidate to leave the examination room if his or her conduct
is disturbing other candidates.

Invigilators shall not discuss the content of the examination paper with any candidate.

It shall be the prime duty of the Invigilators to ensure that no improper practices occur within the examination
room. Invigilators shall:

a.       stay in the examination room throughout the examination unless another member of the University
         College staff deputises and maintains constant supervision over candidates; Invigilators shall not do any
         other work during the examination which is likely to distract their attention from the supervision of
         candidates;
b.       ensure that candidates are seated in their correct places, preferably with ID card clearly visible on desk.
         Invigilators may ask for other means of identification if a candidate has not produced an ID card;
         candidates may be excluded if they are unable to provide appropriate identification.

c.       ensure that each candidate completes an Examination Registration Form and that the forms are
         collected during the first half-hour of the commencement of the examination;

d.       ensure that each candidate has the correct paper;

e.       ensure that candidates use no unfair means;

f.       complete an invigilation certificate;

g.       tick both copies of Attendance List of candidates indicating those who are absent;

h.       submit a written report to the Registrar on any particular difficulties experienced during the examination.
         The attendance list may be used for this purpose;

i.       collect the scripts of any candidate taken ill during the examination and note on it the times at which the
         candidate left the examination room. Details of the circumstances shall be included in the written report
         required in h. above.

Candidates must remain seated until an invigilator collects their scripts.

Scripts should be placed in alphabetical order by module, and returned to the Registry together with one copy of
the Attendance List. If they are collected by the Module Co-ordinator, (s)he must sign the invigilation certificate.
Examination Registration Forms and the second copy of the Attendance List should be returned to the
Assessment Assistant in the Registry.

4.0.   Submitting coursework

Module Co-ordinators are responsible for informing students of the due dates for each assignment. Although it is
probably inevitable that the majority of formal assessment will take place towards the end of the semester, colleagues
are encouraged to avoid ‘end-loading’ modules unnecessarily. There may well be benefits in moving some deadlines
to an earlier week to reduce pressure on students, library resources and marking staff. Additionally, a Subject Team
may wish to consider staggering the assessment deadlines for its various modules.

The last date for course work in coursework-only modules is the end of the penultimate week of the semester (week
14). The last date for coursework in mixed assessment modules (i.e. those with both coursework and a formal
examination) is the end of week 13.

The procedures for extending deadlines are given in the Modular Scheme Guide and Regulations Handbook. The
person empowered to give extensions is the Module Co-ordinator or, in his/her absence, the Subject Leader. The
extension should always be recorded on paper, and attached to the assignment when it is eventually submitted. The
normal extension period is a week. (This, incidentally, is another argument for spreading assessment deadlines
through the semester - giving extensions is obviously problematic if everything is due at the last possible moment.)
Students should always be reminded that extending the deadline for one assignment may well have knock-on effects
upon other commitments. Colleagues should be cautious about agreeing ‘blanket’ extensions for all the assignments
due from a student.

Submission of work by fax is not permitted. Exceptions to this rule may only be made in highly exceptional
circumstances, and must be agreed in writing by the appropriate Module Co-ordinator or Subject Leader. Where an
exception has been agreed, the work must also be submitted in hard copy, by an agreed date, to the tutor concerned.

Submission of work by electronic mail is not permitted unless the nature of the assignment explicitly requires it (e.g.
design of a Web page). Arrangements should also be in place to ensure that all students on a module submit the work
in the same manner. Exceptions to this rule may only be made in highly exceptional circumstances, and must be
agreed in writing by the appropriate Module Co-ordinator or Subject Leader. Where an exception has been agreed,
the work must also be submitted in hard copy, by an agreed date, to the tutor concerned.

5.0. Students giving cause for concern: the Mid-Semester Report

Students giving cause for concern should be brought to the attention of the appropriate Subject Leader or Course
Director. It is helpful if this is done at the earliest opportunity. However a copy of the current student list for each
module is also distributed to the Subject Leader midway through each semester. If these lists are accurate and there
no students giving cause for concern, simply initial the lists and return them to the Registry. However, any problems
should be briefly described, for example, ‘not seen since the second week’ or ‘this student has not attended any
sessions’ will be sufficient to point out a potential problem, which can then be addressed.
Please note that the auditors now require that Subject Leaders reply to these and other reports, in writing, to
confirm whether or not they are accurate. A response is required, even if there are no problems. Failure to
respond by the due date will lead to the involvement of the Registrar and Head of School. A continuing
failure to respond will be referred to the Director.

6.0.   Marking and returning assignments

For guidance on the marking scheme used in the Modular Scheme, see section 6.2 in the Modular Scheme Guide for
Students, ‘A Guide to Marking Criteria’. This should however be amplified by the documentation on assessment
criteria for the individual module and assignment.

Bath Spa University College’s Modular Scheme continues to accept the principle that anonymous
marking of coursework should be adopted wherever possible. Where a module has a particular
assessment, which cannot be conducted anonymously (e.g. a seminar presentation or performance) then
it would be beneficial if other form(s) of assessment in the module were conducted anonymously.

Examinations, which are centrally scheduled and managed by the Registry, are marked anonymously.

It must be noted that it is not possible to maintain anonymity in all cases. Exceptions might include modules
where the number of students was small; assignments, which reflected the known enthusiasms of particular
students; or where special arrangements had been made for students with special needs. It should also be noted
that anonymity might not be possible where a student had discussed a draft assignment with a tutor. It follows
from this that a breach of anonymity cannot in itself be grounds for complaint or appeal; it would be necessary to
demonstrate that bias had resulted.

Assessed work must be moderated. The sample required for moderation should be 20% of the total , provided that at
least 8 pieces of assessment are available. In cases where 7 or less pieces are available, all should be moderated.

Details of the second marking and moderation process can be found in Appendix 2.0.

No assessed piece of work will be failed without reference to a second marker, unless the nature of the work makes
this impossible.

All first class and failed work above Level 1 will be referred to the External Examiner, unless the nature of the work
makes this impossible or impracticable. A 20% sample across the range of marks for all other assessment above
Level 1 will also be sent to the External Examiner, unless the nature of the work makes this impossible or
impracticable.

Double marking and reference to the External Examiner is particularly important in the case of assignments where the
University College has accepted that anonymous marking is impracticable.

Marks and grades for all assessment items are to be submitted to the Registry as percentages, in whole numbers,
with no decimal points. The Registry using the validated weighting between the assessment items calculates totals for
the module. Always mark a piece of work using the full range of marks, even if you think it is a referred assessment or
has been submitted after the deadline has passed. It may eventually receive only 40% or zero, but this is a decision
for the Examination Board.

Neither tutors nor Subject Boards may apply discretion in respect of mitigating circumstances. All work must be
marked on its academic merits. The Examination Board will take mitigating circumstances into account .

The Modular Scheme uses standard assessment report forms for all coursework assignments, which students collect
from the Registry. One set (2 copies) is attached to each assignment.

Please return coursework assignments to students as soon as possible. The exact turnaround time will depend to
some extent upon the nature of the assignment, but it is reasonable to return assignments within 2-3 weeks of the
due date.

7.0 Submitting assessment marks and grades

Submit marks as early as possible rather than saving them up to the end of the module! Whilst much coursework
assessment will undoubtedly occur towards the end of the module, Registry staff will be most grateful if they can deal
with coursework marks before exam marks begin to come in.

Module Assessment Forms for each assessment item are supplied to the Subject Leader for completion. A partly
completed specimen is provided (Appendix 3.0). It is for EB1001 occurrence A, and is for the second of three
assessment items. It provides an alphabetical list of the students on that occurrence of the module. (Please note that
if there is more than one occurrence of a module there will consequently be more than one list).
In the column headed LS CD, a check digit is pre-printed. This is a unique number for each assignment for each
student, and is used to ensure that we cannot key in a mark for assignment 2 in the place of assignment 3.

The remaining columns are for colleagues to enter marks. For each student, enter:

             the actual mark
             the actual grade
             a check digit


Enter grades for assessments as follows:

70 and above                                     A
60-69                                            B
50-59                                            C
40-49                                            D
0-39 (failed)                                    F
0 (non-submission)                               F
0 (late, but extension agreed)                   L
0-100                                            UP (used to flag suspicion of unfair practice in an assessment. Use
                                                 the actual mark that the work would justify if no unfair practice took
                                                 place; the matter will be resolved at the Examination Board).

(Please note the grades for marks of less than 40.)

A list of check digits is provided for you to use in Appendix 4.0.

Note: Appendix 5.0. details the procedure for those modules, which are assessed on a pass/fail basis only.

When the form is completed, sign it and send to the Registry. On receipt of the completed Module Assessment Form,
the Registry will enter all four data items - the actual mark, the actual grade, and the two check digits. Please note that
Registry staff cannot accept mark sheets, which are not signed and dated or which are incomplete or incorrectly filled
in. If there is a discrepancy between the actual mark and the grade (e.g. 58 B), or between marks and check digit, the
records cannot be input until they have been corrected. Data entry staff will not correct such records, even if they are
pretty sure they know what they should be. Instead, they will always refer back to the Module Co-ordinator, or, if not
available, to the Subject Leader. Additionally, please don’t leave any blanks. Use 0 F (Fail) or 0 L (Late, with
extension). The default, if nothing is known, is always to use 0 F.
This pattern of data entry makes it mathematically virtually impossible for staff to enter marks incorrectly. It does
mean, however, that this is the only format in which marks can be accepted. Data will not be inputted from any mark
sheets, which lack grades or either of the two sets of check digits. If colleagues wish to use, say, a spreadsheet to
hold module marks, a printout will be accepted, but only if it provides all the data items required, and is signed and
dated by the Module Co-ordinator (or Subject Leader).

When all the marks and grades for a module have been input, the module result can be calculated for each student
(i.e. SITS takes the raw marks and applies the relative weightings defined in the module’s assessment scheme). This
will be printed out on a Module Result Form, which provides the documentation for Subject Boards to consider (see
below).

What to do about students you believe to have withdrawn or left the module

The list of names printed on the Module Assessment Form may include some students who colleagues believe to
have withdrawn/intercalated from the University College or left the module.

This anomaly can result from the way in which withdrawal data are recorded. If a student leaves the University
College during a semester, the base student record is retained but all records relating to modules taken in that
semester are deleted. However, records are not deleted until formal notification of the withdrawal by the student has
been received by Registry. This can take some time, especially in cases where the student does not bother to let
Registry know! A similar problem may occur if a student drops a module. If this is done within the first two teaching
weeks, they should not appear on a module list at the end of the semester. But please note that a student who drops
a module after the end of the second teaching week will be recorded as having failed that module, and should be on a
list. The result is that, as stated, some students, which seem to have disappeared long ago will still appear on Module
Assessment Forms. Please enter 0 F in all such cases. However, please also feel free to add a note that a student is
believed to have withdrawn or left the module, or has not been attending.

Matters will be resolved at the appropriate Examination Board.

What to do about marks received after the Module Assessment Forms have been sent to the Registry
Where extensions have been agreed, the Module Assessment Forms will show a mark and grade of 0 L. The actual
marks will probably be received after the forms have been sent in. Rather than sending in these marks one at a time,
they should be retained until the Subject Board meets to consider the module and changes should be made then.
They will subsequently be entered into the database in time for the appropriate Examination Board.

What to do about marks for EC/overseas students

Marks for EC/overseas students can be problematic. Some students do not undertake all the assignments associated
with a module, or are required merely to pass the assignments that they complete. However, normal procedures
should be followed:

             If a student completes an assignment, assess it and record the mark in the usual fashion (i.e. as a
              percentage).

             If a student does not undertake an assignment record it as non-submission (i.e. 0 F).

The appropriate Examination Board will sort it out!

8.0. Subject and Examination Boards: general structure and principles

Arrangements for Examination Boards operate within the general framework set out in the University College’s
Academic Regulations and Quality Assurance Handbook.

There are two tiers to the assessment structure. The lower (‘sub-board’) level is the Subject Board. It is purely
concerned with the assessment of students within the modules they have taken. The higher level is the ‘exam board
proper’, and is concerned with student profiles, progression, classification of awards, mitigating circumstances, etc.

Between the meeting of the Subject Boards and the Examination Boards, there may be a need for various meetings -
such as between Registry/Modular Scheme staff and Subject Leaders, between External Examiners to identify
common issues of concern, etc. However, all such meetings are informal in the sense that they may not make
decisions that are properly the prerogative of the Examination Board itself.

8.1. Subject Boards: Membership and duties

In the Modular Scheme, Subject Boards fulfil the role of the ‘sub-board’. (For this purpose, a ‘Subject’ is identified by a
code (e.g. EN, HS, MU) which is responsible for a group of modules).

The Subject Board consists of all those academic staff with assessment responsibilities for the modules to be
assessed, plus the External Examiner(s) (if appropriate). It includes all staff teaching a Subject’s modules at
associated FE Colleges; at least one representative from each FE College should attend each meeting.

The Chair of the Subject Board should be the Head of School or his/her nominee.

The Head of School should also nominate a Secretary to the Board and inform the Deputy Registrar of who
will undertake these positions at least one month before the Board.

The Chair or his/her nominee should convene subject Boards at the end of each semester. Each board is not
scheduled centrally, though in Semester 1, subject boards are expected to take place during Inter-Semester week,
and in Semester 2 subject boards should take place towards the end of Week 43. In both Semesters a deadline will
be provided by which subject boards should complete their deliberations and pass their minutes to the Registry.

The Subject Board establishes marks and grades for the modules for which it is responsible. It also makes precise
recommendations in connection with any referred or deferred assessment. This information is passed via Registry to
the Examination Board.

The meeting may formulate a point of view about a candidate’s performance in the modules for which it is
responsible, and identify candidates deserving particular deliberation at later stages of the examining process.
However, it may not enquire about, nor discuss, the overall performance of candidates, nor adjust marks to
compensate for performance elsewhere.

It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Sub-Board (or his/her nominee) to:

   liaise with the external examiner(s) for all modules for which the Sub-Board is responsible

   ensure that a full and accurate profile of marks is available for all modules for which the Sub-Board is
    responsible

   check that the list of marks put before the Examination Board is an accurate transcription
      ensure that precise and detailed recommendations on the work required in connection with any referred or
       deferred assessment (including titles for coursework) is available at the meeting of the Examination Board

      forward to Registry any material relating to mitigating circumstances

The Sub-Board is not concerned with the overall performance of candidates, and should not adjust marks to
compensate for performance elsewhere.

8.2. Subject Boards: Processes and documentation

As noted earlier, the task of Subject Boards is to assess students’ performance in individual modules. They should
thus consider results on a ‘one module at a time’ basis, rather than a ‘one student at a time’ basis.

The Registry will provide Module Result Forms for each module for which the Subject Board is responsible. A
specimen is provided (Appendix 5.0). This gives the actual results for three students taking EB1001 occurrence A.
They are described in detail in the following paragraphs.

The first line of each entry gives the student’s number, name, award and route. A two-character check digit, which
uniquely identifies this student and this module result record, is also pre-printed on this line.

Lines 2, 3 and 4 give the description and weighting of each assessment item, and the actual mark and grade
awarded.

Line 5 gives the module result.

The possible module results are as follows:


70 and above                  A
60-69                         B
50-59                         C
40-49                         D
40 and above                  QF
0-39                          R (eligible for reassessment) (i.e. not reassessed before)
0                             N (nothing submitted, no extension approved - may be eligible
                                 for reassessment)
0                             L (late, with approved extension)
0-39                          F (not eligible for reassessment) (i.e. has already been
                                 reassessed once)
0-100                         UP Used to flag suspicion of unfair practice in one or more assignments.
0-100                         U (failed qualifying mark for assessment(s). This is used where a pass
                                 is required for a particular assignment - e.g. School Experience.
                                 Where the required pass is not achieved, the student cannot pass the
                                 module regardless of marks in other assignments.)

Grades A-D lead to a module result of P (Pass), grades QF, R, N, L and U to a result of D (Decision Deferred), grade
UP to a result of H (Held) and grades F and U to a result of F (Fail).

Thus, for the first student in Appendix 6.0. in line 5 calculating the weighted mark for the module results in an actual
mark and grade of 61 B. The module is passed (P) at the first attempt, and 20 credits awarded.

The second student in Appendix 6.0. has actual mark and grade of 55 C. The module is passed (P) at the first
attempt, and 20 credits awarded.

The third student in Appendix 6.0. however, has failed assignment 002 with a mark/grade of 25 F., and has also failed
assignment 003 with a mark/grade of 38 F. Line 5 shows that calculating the weighted mark for the module results in
an actual mark and grade of 44 QF. QF means that reassessment is permitted (this was the first attempt), but a
decision is deferred (D) and no credits are awarded.

Appendix 6.0. also demonstrates how the Subject Board can annotate the Module Result Form to record its
recommendations. For each student record there is a space entitled Exam Board Minutes, which may be used.

For the first student, the Subject Board wishes to accept the actual marks and grades. A tick is inserted against the
module marks.

For the second student, the Subject Board decides (perhaps after double marking) that one of the assessment marks
should be changed from 55 C to 50 C. It inserts the new mark, grade and check digit in the Agreed columns. (Note:
alternatively, if the Subject Board wished, it would be possible simply to change the overall mark for the
module; at this stage, it is no longer necessary for the module mark to agree with the weighted average of
the assessment marks.)

For the third student, the Subject Board wishes to make no changes to the actual marks. It recommends that the
second and third assignments be retaken, and notes that some medical evidence may be presented to the
Examination Board.

The Module Result Forms are signed and dated by the Chair of the Subject Board. Registry also will provide
summary statistics for modules. The Board following the consideration of students’ performance on individual
modules should discuss these.

The External Examiner(s) should sign and date a cover sheet for each module thus confirming the set of
results. These cover sheets are provided by Registry (see Appendix 10), must be returned to Registry after each
subject board, and copies retained by the Chair.

Before concluding its business, the Subject Board should revisit each module, and determine what its
recommendations will be where there is missing or failed work. The recommendations should be sent to Registry on
the spreadsheets provided by the Student Programmes Manager, and should be as specific as possible. For
example, if it is to be recommended that an essay or project should be submitted, the exact title should be given.
Please state the member of staff who will be responsible for marking the reassessed work. By default, this will be the
Module Co-ordinator, who has responsibility for all assessment in the module.

Exception: do not prepare recommendations for Exchange (EX) and Individual Programme (IP) students. They will
mostly have left, and will not wish to be reassessed. You will be asked for recommendations if and when they are
required.

AQSC requires that Subject Boards be minuted. A standard agenda for the minuting of Subject Exam Boards is given
in Appendix 9.0. The minutes of the Subject Boards should reflect this agenda. A copy of the minutes must be lodged
with Registry.

9.0.     Examination Boards: Membership and duties

The composition of the Examination Board proper is:

             Senior Academic nominated by the Director (Chair)
             Registrar or his/her nominee
             Heads of School or his/her nominee, provided that they are fully briefed and identified to the Chair at
              the start of the meeting
             Chief External Examiner(s) as appropriate
             Up to two other members nominated by the Chair

Other members of academic staff (e.g. Chairs of Subject Boards) are welcome to be in attendance at preliminary
meetings of Examination boards.

A member of the Registry will also be in attendance to service the Board and take minutes.

Unlike earlier stages, which are charged with examining performance in individual modules, the Examination Board is
responsible for making judgements about the student’s performance as a whole, considering mitigating
circumstances, and making formal recommendations about awards, credits, and progression. They will examine
results on a ‘student-by-student’ basis.

The Semester 1 Examination Boards are ‘full’ Boards, not ‘interim’ ones; as a general rule, decisions taken in
February will not be revisited in June. As graduation only takes place once a year, in July, awards will be conferred at
the end of Semester 2 only. Consequently any students who complete their studies in Semester 1 may obtain a
transcript of their marks once the Semester 1 results are published. Formal conferment of the award, however, will
take place after the end of Semester 2.

There will be a Modular Scheme Examination Board for students registered for:

             BA/BSc Single and Combined Awards
             Specialised Awards in the Modular Scheme
             Dip HE
             Foundation Degrees
             UCIS/CIS Foundation Programme
             Individual Programmes (International Students)
             EC and other overseas exchange students
             CAT
Examination Boards take place at the end of each semester and early in September, and are scheduled centrally by
the Registrar.

9.1.     Processes and documentation

Examination Boards will look at the students registered for each award, in alphabetical order. The documentation
available will consist of the following:

             Alphabetical list of all students taking the award, together with their results in each module taken during
              the semester (see Appendix 7.0.).

Each student’s results for the semester will be examined in turn; pausing where necessary to check the minutes of
Subject Boards, consider mitigating circumstances, etc.

As soon as the Examination Board has concluded its business, the Chair and the Chief External Examiner will sign a
set of papers.

Following the Examination Board, a copy of the minutes will be prepared, to be signed and dated by the Chair. These
minutes list any student where the results differ in any way from the actual marks originally recorded for assignments
by the Module Co-ordinator.

A complete audit trail is thus provided by Module Result Forms, Student Results Lists, Examination Board Minutes
and confirmed Recommendations on Late or Failed Work.

9.2. Publishing results

Examination Boards are executive sub-committees of the Academic Board. Their decisions have immediate effect,
but results may not be communicated to students until the agreed publication date.

Results are published as soon as possible. Individual transcripts are printed for each student.

9.3. Deferred or failed work

Informing students about deferred or failed work and the resubmission process is the responsibility of the Registry.
Students will receive:

             Recommendation(s) on Late or Failed Work, supplied by the Subject Board and confirmed by the
              Examination Board;

             A covering letter stating the due date and to whom the work should be submitted.

Students will be instructed to send deferred or coursework assignments to Reception at Newton Park or Sion Hill as
appropriate, where they will be logged and a receipt issued. They will then be passed to the Student Programmes
Manager, who will retain them until collected by the Subject Leader. The Subject Leader will be responsible for
distributing work to colleagues.

Please note that this applies to all deferred and referred coursework, no matter when it is handed in. Colleagues
should not accept assignments directly, or tell students to send them direct to tutors or put them in staff pigeonholes.

The Registry is responsible for the management of deferred and resit exams and the distribution of exam scripts to
Subject Leaders.

The procedure for recording and entering marks for late or reassessed work is similar to that used for ‘first time’
assessments.

Late (deferred) or reassessed (referred) work

Marks and grades for late (deferred) or reassessed (referred) work should be recorded on the standard Module
Reassessment Form. A separate Module Reassessment Form for each assessment item in each module where
there are students with late (deferred) or reassessed (referred) work will be sent out. As can be seen from the
enclosed specimen (Appendix 8.0.), the student’s number and name are followed by a two-digit check digit for
Registry use. In the columns for mark and grade, please insert the actual percentage mark and grade, which has
been awarded for the reassessed (referred) work, together with the check digit for the mark (see the list in
Appendix 4.0.). Please note that although a module, which has been reassessed, can only be awarded 40%, the
actual percentage mark and grade for the individual assignment should be recorded. The software will do the rest.

Finally, please make sure that no blanks have been left on the form and sign and date each page before returning it to
the Registry.
Where Examination Boards believe it to be appropriate no opportunity for reassessment need be given. This may be
appropriate, for example, in the case of students who have persistently not attended. Subject Boards must be
satisfied that they have sufficient evidence of non-attendance to justify a recommendation of failure without resit.
Subject Leaders must bring their attendance records to the Examination Board to support such recommendations.

Where students are allowed to resit/resubmit, unless explicitly determined by an Examination Board, this should be
within the current academic year, and will not require additional attendance. Where the nature of the assessment
(seminar presentations, ensemble playing, etc.) cannot readily be duplicated at the time of referral, colleagues should
substitute an equivalent form of assessment.

Where a student has to be referred into the next academic year, the University College will charge an additional
registration fee. The fee will be waived in the case of deferral into the next academic year.

Where a student fails a module on resit, he/she may be allowed to trail a module into the next academic year, and
continue as a full-time student. If the failed module was a compulsory part of their programme they will have to repeat
it; if it was an optional module, they may decide either to retake it or to take an alternative module at the same level. In
such cases, the retaken or new module is considered to be an ab initio attempt. Students should be informed that:

             they must attend all classes;

             they must do all assignments (whether or not they passed it last time);

             the full range of marks will be available.

Where a student fails two or more modules, he/she usually will not be allowed to trail them and continue full-time.
The options for the Examination Board will usually be to allow the student to rectify the situation as a part-time
student before returning full-time, or to terminate his/her course.

10.0. External Examiners

The external examiner system is the major formal mechanism by which the University College seeks to ensure
that the standards of programmes match its intentions. It is essential that external examiners for University
College awards have the proper objectivity and information to carry out their duties.

At least one external examiner is appointed for every programme above introductory level. Examiners are
appointed typically for a period of four years.

10.1.    Purpose of External Examiners

External examiners are asked to examine the programme/subject as validated, within the regulations made by
the Academic Board. Their function is different in kind from internal examiners’. The role is not “second marker”
or even “third marker", or adjudicator between conflicting judgements of internal markers. Their role is to ensure
that the marks of internal examiners are consistent both internally, and with marks awarded for similar subjects in
relation to similar awards elsewhere in the UK HE system.

In addition to their independent judgements on the relationship of marks to the declared assessment criteria, their
reference points will be their experience in other HEIs, and such expressions of national consensus as the QAA
“benchmark” statements. On the basis of samples the external examiner moderates or confirms the marks of
cohorts, or runs of marks, not individual marks or assessment items.

The rights and responsibilities of external examiners are formally defined in the BSUC Academic Regulations.

10.2.    Disagreements between examiners

Final judgements on, or approval of marks and classes of awards must be academic peer group processes. As
with any such process, it is possible that members of the group will disagree. Where the dispute is between an
internal marker and the others, the means of resolution is straightforward: discussion and vote. Where the
dispute is between an external examiner and the internal examiners, or between external examiners, it is more
problematic, since the mark sheet that forms part of the record of an assessment board’s decisions is not valid
unless it is signed by the appointed external examiner(s).

The Academic Board is the final authority for any award of Bath Spa University College, or for any marks
assigned in connection with a BSUC award. Therefore any dispute that cannot be resolved at the level of an
assessment board (i.e. where an external examiner has not signed an assessment board mark sheet) may come
to Academic Board for resolution. Clearly this is cumbersome and a means of last resort.
However, when an external examiner proposes to moderate a whole run of marks upwards or downwards in the
interests of preserving the standard of the BSUC award, then he or she is performing precisely the function for
which he or she was appointed. In such a case an assessment board should consider rejecting the view of the
external examiner(s) only after considerable deliberation, and in the recognition that a rejection implies that the
external examiner is unable to perform his or her proper function. Where the external examiner differs from the
assessment board even after discussion, he or she must exercise the right not to sign the mark sheet, and the
Academic Board will make adjudication.

Inevitably, and despite the comments above, external examiners will encounter individual marks with which they
disagree, even where they believe a general run of marks to be accurate. In such cases, it is open to an external
examiner to suggest to the responsible internal marker that an individual mark is anomalous. The difference of
opinion may still not have been settled at the assessment board stage. Even here, the external examiner has the
right not to sign the mark sheet. However, the external examiner will exercise this right in these circumstances
only when he or she considers the perceived error to be so serious as to compromise whole cohorts’ marks.


10.3.      External examiners in the Modular Scheme

External examiners in the Modular Scheme are appointed at subject level or award level or both.

Assessment boards at subject level do not and should not see the “run” of marks for a single candidate, not
should they consider any evidence relating to circumstances which might explain why a candidate has not
performed as well as expected. Their role is to judge performance in a particular assessment item against the
declared criteria for assessment, in the context of their experience and knowledge of marking similar items.

Students’ performances across all assessment items, and circumstances that might have affected their
performances, are considered only at the award level. The unavailability of students’ “profiles”, and the omission
of any consideration of “mitigating circumstances” at subject-level boards are issues of principle as well as
practical difficulty. It is important that any “compensation” or allowance for individual circumstances should be
taken into account once only. The place for such consideration is the award board.

Samples

The Academic Regulations state that external examiners should see all assessed work proposed for the highest
available grade-band and for failure, and samples of the assessed work proposed for each other grade-band,
unless the nature of the work or the approved marking scheme makes this impracticable. The sample should
represent not less than 20% of the total scripts or other items for assessment.

Responsibilities in respect of External Examiners

 It is the responsibility of the Academic Office to communicate with external examiners regarding terms of
appointment, submission of reports and payment of fees and expenses. They will also provide external
examiners with a copy of this document, the University College Regulations for Students, the University Colleges
                                                                       1
Quality Assurance Handbook, the Modular Scheme Guide for Students , the Modular Scheme Staff Handbook,
the Guides to Modules and a fees and expenses claim form. (Further claim forms may be obtained from the
Academic Office as required). The Academic Office book accommodation for external examiners only on request.
It is essential that either the Programme Manager or the external examiner contacts the Academic Office
Administrator with precise accommodation requirements. Accommodation will not be booked automatically. All
other queries regarding assessment boards, and any apologies for absence should be made to the Registrar.

Expenses are paid on receipt of a completed claim form. Fees are paid on receipt of the examiner’s annual
report. Claims should be addressed to the Academic Office Administrator who will answer queries on payment.

The Quality Enhancement Officer will answer all other queries and is responsible for the appointment process
and also for the administration of reports.

An External Examiner shall be appointed to each Subject within the Scheme. Such Examiners will be full members of
the Subject Board. Where expressly permitted by the Academic Quality and Standards Committee, two or more
Subjects may share the same External Examiner.

Subject External Examiners are not required to attend meetings of the Modular Scheme Examination Board.

A Chief External Examiner shall be appointed, with responsibility for the overall maintenance of the standards of
awards in the Scheme. He/she will not necessarily be drawn from the Subject External Examiners, but will be
experienced in the operation of Modular Schemes. He/she will sit on the Modular Scheme Examination Board.

1
    Please note that information on the Modular Scheme is only sent to those examiners working within the
     Scheme.
The provision of External Examiners for a Specialised Award shall be specified in that award’s Definitive Programme
Document.

The appointment of External Examiners, and the correspondence, which results from appointment, is the
responsibility of the Academic Office. Thereafter, all communication with the External Examiner is the responsibility of
the Subject Leader.

11.0.   Mitigating circumstances

In a University College-wide scheme, it is important that there is a uniform and clearly understood policy relating to
mitigating circumstances.

A Mitigating Circumstances Form is available from the Registry for students to use when they consider their
performance to have been adversely affected by personal or medical problems. It is really important to emphasise to
students that they must make any claim for mitigating circumstances promptly, and in writing - supported by
appropriate evidence - medical notes, etc. Unsupported self-certification will not be accepted under any
circumstances. Examination Boards will take all documented evidence into account, but are not allowed to consider
word-of-mouth evidence.

A group consisting of the Registrar (Chair), the Head of Student Services, and at least one other member of staff
nominated by the Registrar, will meet to review claims to mitigating circumstances prior to the formal meeting of
the Examination Board. The group will make a recommendation, which will be communicated to the Examination
Board as to whether a claim should be (i) accepted; (ii) rejected; or (iii) referred to the Examination Board for
further consideration. The Registrar will explain the basis of each of the Group’s recommendations for the
Examination Boards’ endorsement.

In a modular scheme, assessment is closely coupled with each module. Students must successfully complete a
module within the academic year in which it was taken. The academic year is deemed to begin with the start of
Induction Week and conclude with a publication of results by the September Examination Board (normally in the
second or third week of September). All students taking a module will have had similar learning opportunities and
will be assessed according to the same criteria. Assessment is solely on the basis of the academic standard
achieved, marks and award classifications will not be modified according to the circumstances of the individual
student; the submission of mitigating circumstances should therefore be seen as a request to delay the
assessment point, not modify assessment standards.

Where appropriate mitigating circumstance evidence is provided, the Examination Board may defer the
assessment to a later point in the academic year. The deadline for the submission of deferred coursework is the
end of August. Deferred examinations will be taken in the first week of September. In both cases, the
September Board will consider deferred results. Deferred work will not be considered by either the Semester 1 or
the Semester 2 Board. This is to ensure that students have sufficient time to redeem outstanding assessments.
Exceptions will only be made where the University College, for whatever reason, is unable to provide appropriate
assessment opportunities at the normal time.

Deferred work may not be carried over from one academic year to the next. Exceptions will only be made where
the University College, for whatever reason, is unable to provide appropriate assessment opportunities at the
normal time. In such cases, a credit shortfall must be redeemed in the following academic year, either by
retaking the incomplete module or another appropriate module at the same level. Where an Examination Board
determines the attendance on the module was unacceptably low for whatever reason, deferral or referral will not
be allowed.

Where mitigating circumstances are accepted and assessment items have been failed, it is the normal practice of
Examination Boards to defer the student. Where items have been passed, but performance appears below that
expected of the student, Examination Boards may decide to offer the student the option of a deferral. If the student
accepts the offer, the effect is to set aside the original mark and use the later one, not use the best mark. If the student
declines or does not respond, the extant mark will be used.

12.0. Unfair practices

The procedures to be followed where unfair practices are suspected are clearly set out in the Modular Scheme
Guide. To ensure that the formal process can operate properly, it is important that evidence is gathered and
suspected cases are reported through the proper channels as swiftly as possible.

Staff are requested to make it quite clear to students when collaboration between students is required, and when
the assignment is to be conducted and assessed individually.

Students should be left in no doubt that collusion will be considered a serious academic offence, and treated
under the regulations relating to unfair practice.
AQSC has approved the following procedures where unfair practice is suspected:

          Whenever plagiarism or cheating is suspected, a written report, summarising the nature of the offence,
           and providing appropriate evidence, should be made to Registrar.

          The Registrar will write to the student, enclosing the report and a copy of the relevant regulations, and
           requiring a written response by a specified date.

          This procedure is not intended to prevent preliminary meetings between students and tutors. However,
           at least two members of staff must be present at such meetings, and a written record made.

Cases of alleged unfair practice will be considered by the Unfair Practice Sub-committee, which is an executive
sub-committee of the Academic Board. The sub-committee shall consist of the Director or his nominee (Chair),
the Registrar, and two other senior members of the academic staff nominated by the Chair. The sub-committee
shall have a range of powers at its disposal in the case of established accusations of unfair practise, including
referring assessment, failing students in modules and withholding awards. Where necessary the student’s results
will be held until the above processes have been completed.

13.0. Appeals and complaints

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the volume of appeals and complaints is growing in most HE institutions. If
colleagues are consulted by a student about a possible appeal or complaint, please ensure that they are aware of the
Academic Regulations governing appeals and complaints. The appeals procedure covers all aspects of assessment
and the conduct of Examination Boards; the complaints procedure is broader, and covers any aspect of the student
experience at BSUC. Students should certainly be advised of the procedures to be followed, but colleagues should be
very careful indeed about making any ‘moral judgement’ about the validity or otherwise of their case. The appeals
procedure is restricted to all aspects of assessment and the conduct of Examination Boards; the complaints
procedure is broader, and covers any aspect of the student experience at BSUC.

14.0       APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1.0.       Blank student assessment form for EB1001 assignment 002.

APPENDIX 2.0.       Guide to second-marking and moderation

APPENDIX 3.0.       Partly completed Module Assessment Form for EB1001.

APPENDIX 4.0.       List of check digits for assessment.

APPENDIX 5.0.       Using check digits with pass/fail assignments.

APPENDIX 6.0.       Specimen Module results form.

APPENDIX 7.0.       Specimen alphabetic list of student awards and results.

APPENDIX 8.0.       Referral/deferral Module Reassessment form.

APPENDIX 9.0.       Standard Agenda for Subject Examination Boards

APPENDIX 10.0. Specimen cover sheet to be signed by Subject External Examiner




Dr Kate Davies
Deputy Registrar November 2004
31-OCT-2002                                                     Appendix 1.0
Page 1
                           Module           EB1001      /A

                           Title          ORGANISMS AND ENVIRONMENT 1
                           Tutor          DR CLEM MAIDMENT
                           Year           2002/2003 YEAR
                           Period         SEMESTER 1
                           Assessment     002 10% INTERPRETATION TEST

                                                     Due Date


  Candidate   Name                                      Ckd     Mrk Grd

  021000/1    OFM    ARLINGTON, OLIVE                    94

  022000/1    VJ     ASTON, VIVIAN                      86

  023000/1    DS     CAMP, DAVID                        94

  024000/1    KLM    CARSCLIFFE, KATE                   08

  025000/1    JL     CUTHBERT, JOHN                      62

  026000/1    AF     DUNNELL, ADAM                      82

  027000/1    DJ     EASTON, DEREK                      79

  028000/1    HA     FEN, HERMOINE                      16

  029000/1    CL     HARDING, CATHERINE                 34
                                                                                                      Appendix 2.0

Moderation, second-marking and external examiners
Moderation

Moderation is the mechanism most commonly utilised to ensure that student work is handled in an academically
rigorous manner. Moderation is undertaken on a sample basis, the aim being that the second tutor to mark work
makes a judgement on the accuracy of the first markers assessment of the piece. This sample should comprise
all firsts, fails and 10% of other classifications, provided that at least 8 pieces of assessment are available. If 7 or
less pieces are available, all should be moderated/second-marked (see below).

Because moderating tutors are seeing only a sample, it would be unfair on the individual students selected for the
sample to have their marks amended (or, conversely, it might be unfair on those not selected). The moderating
tutor should aim to come to a conclusion about whether the marking of the sample as a whole appears to be
accurate. They are not entitled to amend individual marks. However, if they have specific concerns, they are
free to raise these with the first marker, but have no right to overrule. Should such a dispute occur, with no
resolution, a third marker should be invited to adjudicate. This individual can not be the external examiner.

The moderating tutor might decide that all the marks in the sample are inaccurate, perhaps to the same extent.
In much the same way as external examiners, they may then request that all the marks are adjusted accordingly.
As above though, this should be through a process of academic discussion, and if disputes occur a third
individual should be invited to adjudicate. Again, this should not be the external examiner.

Second-marking

Student work can only be second-marked where all work is available to the second marking tutor. In this case,
the tutor should ideally be marking blind – that is, without knowledge of the original markers grade. Once the
exercise is complete the two markers should discuss each piece and explain how they arrived at the grade
awarded. In cases of unresolved dispute, a third marker can adjudicate. Once again, this should not be the
external examiner.

The role of external examiners

External examiners are asked to examine the programme/subject as approved, within the regulations made by
the Academic Board. Their function is different in kind from internal examiners. The role is not “second marker” or
“third marker", or adjudicator between conflicting judgements of internal markers. Their role is primarily to ensure
that the marks of internal examiners are consistent with marks awarded for similar subjects in relation to similar
awards elsewhere in the UK HE sector. External examiners’ reference points will be their experience in other
HEIs, and such expressions of national consensus as the QAA “benchmark” statements. On the basis of samples
the external examiner moderates or confirms the marks of cohorts, or runs of marks, but not individual marks or
assessment items.

Final judgements on, or approval of marks and classes of awards must be academic peer group processes. As
with any such process, it is possible that members of the group will disagree. Where the dispute is between an
internal marker and the others, the means of resolution is straightforward: discussion and vote. Where the
dispute is between an external examiner and the internal examiners, or between external examiners, it is more
problematic, since the mark sheet that forms part of the record of an assessment board’s decisions is not valid
unless it is signed by the appointed external examiner(s).

The Academic Board is the final authority for any award of Bath Spa University, or for any marks assigned in
connection with a BSU award. Therefore any dispute that cannot be resolved at the level of an assessment board
(i.e. where an external examiner has not signed an assessment board mark sheet) may come to Academic Board
for resolution. Clearly this is cumbersome and a means of last resort.

However, when an external examiner proposes to moderate a whole run of marks upwards or downwards in the
interests of preserving the standard of the BSU award, then he or she is performing precisely the function for
which he or she was appointed. In such a case an assessment board should consider rejecting the view of the
external examiner(s) only after considerable deliberation, and in the recognition that a rejection implies that the
external examiner is unable to perform his or her proper function. Where the external examiner differs from the
assessment board even after discussion, he or she must exercise the right not to sign the mark sheet, and the
Academic Board will adjudicate.

Inevitably, and despite the comments above, external examiners will encounter individual marks with which they
disagree, even where they believe a general run of marks to be accurate. In such cases, it is open to an external
examiner to suggest to the responsible internal marker that an individual mark is anomalous. The difference of
opinion may still not have been settled at the assessment board stage. Even here, the external examiner has the
right not to sign the mark sheet. However, the external examiner should exercise this right in these circumstances
only when he or she considers the error to be so serious as to compromise the award as a whole.
31-OCT-2002                                                   Appendix 3.0
Page 1

                           Module           EB1001      /A

                           Title          ORGANISMS AND ENVIRONMENT 1
                           Tutor          DR CLEM MAIDMENT
                           Year           2002/2003 YEAR
                           Period         SEMESTER 1
                           Assessment     002 10% INTERPRETATION TEST

                                                     Due Date


  Candidate   Name                                      Ckd      Mrk Grd CD

  021000/1    OFM    ARLINGTON, OLIVE                   94       70   A   8

  022000/1    VJ     ASTON, VIVIAN                      86       60   B   4

  023000/1    DS     CAMP, DAVID                        94       50   C   0

  024000/1    KLM    CARSCLIFFE, KATE                   08       46   D   8

  025000/1    JL     CUTHBERT, JOHN                      62      32   F   6

  026000/1    AF     DUNNELL, ADAM                      82       66   B   6

  027000/1    DJ     EASTON, DEREK                      79       87   A   1

  028000/1    HA     FEN, HERMOINE                      16        0   F   7

  029000/1    CL     HARDING, CATHERINE                 34       52   C   4
                              Appendix 4.0
Check Digits Table

Mark       Check
(%)        digit

0          none      30   2
1          7         31   9
2          4         32   6
3          1         33   3
4          8         34   0
5          5         35   7
6          2         36   4
7          9         37   1
8          6         38   8
9          3         39   5

10         4         40   6
11         1         41   3
12         8         42   0
13         5         43   7
14         2         44   4
15         9         45   1
16         6         46   8
17         3         47   5
18         0         48   2
19         7         49   9

20         8         50   0
21         5         51   7
22         2         52   4
23         9         53   1
24         6         54   8
25         3         55   5
26         0         56   2
27         7         57   9
28         4         58   6
29         1         59   3
60    4
61    1
62    8
63    5
64    2
65    9
66    6
67    3
68    0
69    7

70    8
71    5
72    2
73    9
74    6
75    3
76    0
77    7
78    4
79    1

80    2
81    9
82    6
83    3
84    0
85    7
86    4
87    1
88    8
89    5

90    6
91    3
92    0
93    7
94    4
95    1
96    8
97    5
98    2
99    9
100   1




          1
                                                                          Appendix 5.0

Using check digits with pass/fail assignments

1. Marking assignments on a pass/fail basis

Most assignments are marked as a percentage. This enables us to record both mark and grade
and use check digits to check for integrity between the two. A few modules, however - are
pass/fail only.

Please use the following assignment grades only:

S           (Satisfactory)
U           (Unsatisfactory)
L           (Late)

The next section describes how to record check digits for the assignment.

2. Using check digits with pass/fail assignments

Where assignments are marked on a pass/fail basis rather than as a percentage, it is not
possible for the software to check data integrity by comparing the grade with the mark. Instead,
we compare the grade with the second character of the preprinted two-character check digit
which identifies the individual student/module/assignment.

For example, Jon Press has taken ED2007 assessment 001. The preprinted two-character
check digit on the Module Assessment Form is 78 and his grade for the assignment is S
(Satisfactory).

Referring to the chart below, we can see that where the second character of the preprinted
check digit is 8 and the grade is S the correct check digit is 2. The completed record should
therefore be:
                                                            LS
Student number            Name                     CD                Mark           GradeCD

953939/1                 PRESS, JON                78     [blank]   S                2

Using check digits with pass/fail assignments

2nd                     Check
Char       Grade        Digit

0          L             5
1          L             6
2          L             7
3          L             8
4          L             9
5          L             0
6          L             1
7          L             2
8          L             3
9          L             4

0          S             4
1          S             5
2          S             6
3          S             7
4          S             8
5          S             9
6          S             0
7          S             1
8          S             2
9          S             3

0          U             2




                                                                                                   2
1   U   3
2   U   4
3   U   5
4   U   6
5   U   7
6   U   8
7   U   9
8   U   0
9   U   1




            3
Appendix 6.0




               4
Appendix 7.0




               5
Appendix 8.0




               6
                                                       Appendix 9.0




                                    AGENDA


           MODULAR SCHEME SUBJECT EXAMINATION BOARD

                               ####SUBJECT####

                            ####Date, Time, Venue###



01   Apologies

02   Minutes of last meeting

03   Chair’s remarks

04   Results of level 1 modules

05   Results of level 2 modules

06   Results of level 3 modules

07   Summary statistics

08   External examiner’s comments

09   AOB

10   Date of next meeting




                                                                      7
                                                   Appendix 10.0




 MODULAR SCHEME SUBJECT EXAMINATION BOARD

                       ####SUBJECT####

                            ####Date###



I CONFIRM THAT THE RESULTS PRESENTED FOR THE FOLLOWING MODULE ARE
CORRECT.


MODULE CODE
MODULE NAME




NAME OF EXTERNAL EXAMINER…………………………………………………………

SIGNATURE……………………………………………………………

DATE……………………………………..




                                                                    8

								
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