London Metropolitan University Department of Academic Administration A Guide to Assessment Processes 2007/8 Contents Section Contents Page 1 Introduction 3 2 The Department of Academic Administration 3 3 Assessment patterns, the Student Records System, and data confirmation 4 3.1 General principles 4 3.2 Module Assessment Information Gathering (MAIG) 4 4 Coursework 5 4.1 Deadlines and the arrangements for submission 5 4.2 Submission, logging and collection 5 4.3 Late submission and non-submission 6 4.4 Return of work and feedback to students 7 4.5 Summer reassessment coursework tasks – provision and publication 8 5 Examinations 8 5.1 Arrangements for examinations 8 5.2 Moderation and submission of examination papers 9 5.3 Conduct of examinations 10 5.4 Special examination and coursework arrangements 11 6 Mitigating Circumstances 11 6.1 Mitigating Circumstances forms and their submission 11 6.2 Consideration of Mitigating Circumstances 12 6.3 Outcomes of a claim for Mitigating Circumstances 13 7 Reassessment / Late Sit 14 8 Marking and the recording of marks; the responsibilities of module leaders 14 8.1 Submission of marks 14 8.2 Samples of assessed work 16 9 Subject Standards Boards and the monitoring of taught provision 17 9.1 General principles 17 9.2 Confirmation & publication of module results – SSB sub-committees 17 9.3 Monitoring provision – Performance Review meetings 18 9.4 Arrangements for collaborative provision 19 10 Subject Standards External Examiners 19 11 University Awards Board 20 11.1 Role and membership 20 11.2 Student profiles 20 11.3 Meetings 20 12 Publication of results 20 13 Regulations governing appeals against decisions of assessment boards 21 (student appeals) 14 Key Regulatory changes effective in 2007/8 22 15 Key Regulatory changes envisaged for 2008/9 23 Appendix A Key staff in the Department of Academic Administration involved in 24 assessment processes (with contacts list) Appendix B Checklist for module leaders 27 Appendix C Key web addresses 29 Appendix D 1 - SSB sub-committees – responsibilities of Secretaries 30 2 – Collaborative provision assessment and performance 31 Dates: Note that the Assessment Calendar and the 2007/8 schedules for SSB sub-committees, Performance Review meetings, Collaborative Assessment Boards, the Awards Board are at: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. Other key dates affecting students are at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 2 of 31 1. Introduction This Handbook is an introduction to the administrative arrangements for assessment in operation at London Metropolitan University in 2007/8. It should be read in conjunction with two key documents both approved through the University’s committee structure: The Academic Regulations of the University which provide the regulatory framework in which these administrative processes are located. See http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/academic-regulations The University Assessment Framework which provides guidance and policy on the academic principles that the University believes should underpin assessment and which offers guidance (and examples) covering assessment design, marking and feedback. This document may be found by at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ltsa/strategies-and-documents.cfm This Handbook is available on the University’s intranet from the link at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/$assessment/information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/ This location also houses supporting documentation covering arrangements for special examination arrangements for disabled/dyslexic students, assessment boards, recording of marks for students and other assessment-related processes. This site is for use solely by staff, and students should not be referred to it. In fact it may only be accessed by staff with a current London Met network User name and password. Staff are urged to bookmark this site as it is designed to be their primary source of assessment information and is frequently updated. Similarly the site at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/examiners/ is not for students but for external examiners and (for information) for University staff who are involved with external examiner processes. However the information at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/ is designed for both students and staff, and provides the key details students need to know about assessment, including deadline dates, summaries of procedures, and forms. 2. The Department of Academic Administration (DAA) This DAA supports – amongst other functions - the processes around student assessment. Assessment policy and processes are coordinated through the Academic Coordinator for Assessment and the Manager, Assessment. Within the Department the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Registries focus on interfacing with and supporting students and on coursework. They are located at: Calcutta House Undergraduate Registry Room G12 Calcutta House Calcutta House Postgraduate Registry Room 201 Calcutta House Moorgate combined UG/PG Registry * Room 101 Moorgate Tower Building Undergraduate Registry Room TM132, Tower Building Tower Building Postgraduate Registry Room T1-01, Tower Building Ladbroke House combined UG/PG Registry * Room G22, Ladbroke House * The Moorgate and Ladbroke House UG/PG Registries may be open for more limited periods / hours and offer a more limited range of services than other sites. See Appendix A for key staff in the Department of Academic Administration who are involved in assessment. 3. Assessment Patterns, the Student Records System, and Data Confirmation 3.1 General principles The number, weighting and type of assessment used in modules is approved as part of their validation. Changes to assessment instruments and their weightings are governed by the processes outlined in the Taught Provision Manual. All modules validated by London Metropolitan University have their full assessment component breakdowns recorded on the Student Records System (SITS). All undergraduate degree modules have a pass mark of 40% (unless alternative regimes have been exceptionally approved) and are normally ‘pass on aggregate’ whereby a student can compensate for failure in some components by good marks in others. Where explicitly approved at validation there may be specific components that have to be passed (a ‘qualifying mark’ of 40% is required) or particular groupings of components may have to be passed (they are said to form a ‘qualifying set’). These should be clearly indicated in the summary description of assessment in the module specification. Modules on postgraduate courses normally have a pass mark of 50% and any students on courses originally validated by the University of North London or London Guildhall University with pass marks of 40% have now migrated to London Met regulations. Where modules have been validated under the London Met Undergraduate and Postgraduate Modular Schemes module leaders are responsible for entering marks directly onto SITS via the Evision mark entry interface. See Sections 8 and 9 below. 3.2 Module Assessment Information Gathering (MAIG) To ensure consistency with validated specifications and across information sources, the Assessment Office runs at the start of each semester the Module Assessment Information Gathering (MAIG) exercise. In this exercise data sets of assessment information for each modules are issued to academic departments for confirmation / amendment by module leaders and subsequent quality assurance at a senior level in the department. When completed returns are received the Assessment Office updates SITS accordingly. From this point there should be no reason or justification for any subsequent modification of assessment data – barring unforeseeable emergency situations. There should be no subsequent request to change data regarding whether the module is running, the module leader, the number / type / weighting / qualifying mark of components, the exact submission date for coursework, the type and length of exam, any exceptional arrangements (non-central submission of coursework, non-central submission of samples, and coursework marking split by tutors), etc. This exercise is the means by which the module leader definitively confirms all these aspects, and the Head of Department or Quality Rep confirms that all data in the departmental returns is complete and accurate. Correct information is essential, to enable Registries to know coursework submission deadlines (and therefore for work to be correctly recorded as on time or late), for students to be able to see their coursework deadlines via their Evision accounts, for the exam timetable to be prepared, to enable mark entry rights to be provided to the correct people, and to enable overall module results to be calculated from component results, and of course correct module results are necessary for correct progression decisions and awards recommendations. All these elements depend upon correct data in SITS, which in turn depends upon academic departments providing full and accurate data in their MAIG returns. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 4 of 31 4. Coursework 4.1 Deadlines and Arrangements for Submission by Students Written coursework must be centrally submitted, logged and receipted through the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Registries. The Registries at Calcutta House and Tower Building operate a full counter service while the Moorgate and Ladbroke House locations offer a restricted counter service (primarily coursework collection). There are also ‘drop box’ facilities which are emptied each working day. Where the nature of the work being submitted makes central submission inappropriate (particularly artefacts in the areas of Art and Design or Architecture and laboratory logbooks) then departments should make alternative arrangements in consultation with the Manager, Assessment. These arrangements will only be by exception and must be specified for each component during the Module Assessment Information Gathering exercise each semester. All written work will be submitted through central locations. In all cases students will be expected to submit work using a standard University coversheet that acts as a receipt for the student and includes a declaration that all work submitted is their own. WebLearn may only be used for the submission of coursework if these arrangements have been agreed with the Manager, Assessment and if details of work submitted by students (and any late submissions) is passed to the Department of Academic Administration for logging on SITS. With the exception of the specifically-agreed bulky / artefact coursework, tutors must not accept work direct from students. It is essential that coursework deadline information is agreed and that the consolidated list of deadlines held by the Department of Academic Administration (and against which submissions are logged) is accurate. (Note that, for modules approved at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the week in which coursework is to be submitted is part of the validated module specification and is published on the University’s web site). To ensure common understanding of deadlines the DAA asks academic departments to confirm the week and specify the day of coursework submission for all of their modules at the start of each semester, as part of the Module Assessment Information Gathering exercise; deadlines can only be varied after this process in exceptional circumstances. Module Leaders can check the deadlines held for their modules via Evision (http://evision.londonmet.ac.uk). If there are any inconsistencies between dates held here and those given to students in classes they must be resolved before submission to prevent disruption to students and a delay in the release of coursework for marking; please check as soon as possible that all dates are accurate for your modules referring any inconsistencies to Matt Arney (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Marshall (email@example.com) in the first instance. 4.2 Submission, Logging and Collection All items of assessed work must be submitted on or before the due date; drop boxes will remain open on all main sites until 15 minutes before the building closes (30 minutes before at Calcutta) and work submitted through these boxes will be on time if received by these times on the due date. Work received through the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Registries will be sorted and logged on SITS; this will enable students to confirm on-line (through their Evision account) that their work has been received and recorded by the University. Coursework logging on SITS will also allow checks to ensure that all work submitted has a mark recorded and will enable Undergraduate and Postgraduate Centres to intervene where it appears students are not engaging with their studies. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 5 of 31 Sorting and logging work will normally take 24-72 hours depending on the time of year and the size of the module. Once the work is logged module leaders will be contacted to inform them that work is available for collection. For summer reassessment coursework there is a common submission deadline, and arrangements for module leader collection will be publicised prior to this. Work should normally be collected from the Undergraduate or Postgraduate Registry for the building in which the academic department teaching the module is located. Note that coursework is not sent in the internal/external mail under any circumstances. However on request secure transportation may be arranged where work has been submitted at a different location from where the module leader is based. Arrangements for submission of coursework will have been covered as part of Welcome Week for all new starters; where arrangements differ from those that have operated previously they should be described to students in module booklets and at the start of teaching. The University will in due course be implementing a bar code system for electronic logging of coursework. This will be fully publicised before implementation. Electronic submission of coursework to Registries is not available. If electronic submission is deemed essential to the learning process, course leaders should discuss possible arrangements with the Manager, Assessment. 4.3 Late submission and non-submission As outlined in the Academic Regulations work submitted after the published deadline will only be credited to the student if valid mitigating circumstances are demonstrated (see Section 6 for the mitigating circumstances procedure operated by the Department of Academic Administration). Where a student believes they have mitigating circumstances they may submit work up to two weeks beyond the published deadline; such work will be logged with an indication that it is late. If the claim for mitigating circumstances is accepted the student will receive the full mark for the assignment as if it were received on time. If the claim for mitigating circumstances is not accepted a mark of zero will be recorded as if the work was not submitted. For rejected claims in relation to first sits, students will then normally be eligible for reassessment if they have not passed the module overall, but this would be at a later date and would normally require submission of a separate assignment. No work may be submitted more than two weeks after the published deadline; after this date there is no opportunity to submit work until the reassessment point. A student who is unable to submit in the two weeks after the deadline may still claim mitigating circumstances (subject to the same deadline for claim submission) and may be awarded a ‘late sit’ or ‘first sit’ for the next reassessment opportunity – normally the summer period - when their submission will be considered as if for the first time. It is important to stress that, in the interests of clarity and equity, there is no facility for course organisers or module leaders to agree coursework submission date extensions with students. Students unable to submit in time should be advised of the above arrangements and may make a claim under the mitigating circumstances procedures. It is not possible for students to claim mitigating circumstances in respect of performance; where work of a pass standard is submitted and marked there is no opportunity for a further resubmission at a later stage. This applies to all students. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 6 of 31 Students who consider they are unable to submit satisfactory work for the appropriate deadline (and are confident that their claim for mitigating circumstances can be independently documented and meets the criteria for a valid claim) should consider carefully whether they might be best advised not to submit their work but instead to wait until the next reassessment point and submit an assignment at that time. (It is still essential for such students to submit a claim for mitigating circumstances, before the published mitigating circumstances deadline in the semester during which they are not submitting.) 4.4 Return of Work and Feedback to Students The University’s Assessment Framework (Section 6) provides guidance on designing feedback and ways of providing feedback so that it is of most value. It is important that feedback is given to students in a timely and structured fashion. The following processes apply to formal feedback relating to summative work, i.e. work contributing to the overall module mark. They do not apply to informal feedback relating to work that is purely formative, i.e. does not contribute to the overall mark, 4.4.1 Format for written feedback. Feedback on coursework may be provided on the standard coursework coversheet, and/or on a feedback proforma that is attached to it. Annotation of the script at appropriate points is recommended. Where feasible, assessment feedback may also be provided through module websites or other online means. 4.4.2 Returning work submitted up the end of week 9. Where work is submitted before or during the 9th week of the semester, written coursework annotated with assessor’s comments, together with the coversheet (student’s pink copy) and any additional proforma, should be returned to students, within 3 weeks of the submission date, and by week 12 (the last teaching / revision week) at the latest. Work should be returned in class or made available for collection via Department Offices or other location designated by the Department, but not posted. It need not be retained for scrutiny by external examiners; however module leaders should retain their (yellow) copy of the cover sheet and a copy of any additional proforma. 4.4.3 Returning work submitted after week 9. Coursework submitted after week 9 needs to be available for external examiners to consider and comment on the marking standard via the sample process. However if it has been marked in time, module leaders are encouraged to provide feedback in class and provide students with copies of the cover sheet and of any additional proforma. When it is not possible for students to obtain feedback direct from the module leader, copies of the coversheet and additional proforma may be made available for students to collect from Undergraduate or Postgraduate Centres. Actual scripts submitted after week 9 must not be returned to students until at least 10 working term time days after the publication of module results, to allow for any appeals. The work may then be returned by the module leader or via any other collection (not posting) arrangement determined by the department. 4.4.4 Postgraduate dissertations. Postgraduate dissertations submission dates are outside the range of submission dates for other coursework. They must still be handed in to Registries (normally two copies) using a standard cover sheet, and additional more detailed feedback is normally provided on proforma sheets. They are subject to the usual external examiner sampling process. Normally the module leader should return the dissertation with feedback sheets directly to each student, but where this is not possible the department may make alternative arrangements, for example via the Department Office (not the PG Centre). 4.4.5 Examinations. Feedback on students’ performance in examinations is not routinely provided, but students have the option to request feedback, which should be provided by the module leader (or tutor/s delegated by her/him) after the publication of the relevant Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 7 of 31 results and after scrutinising the work and examiners’ comments. Exam scripts should not be returned to students. 4.4.6 Storage and retention. Marked coursework and coversheets / additional proformas for collection should be kept secure and made available only to the student(s) who produced it. Centres are not able to store coursework or exam scripts. It is for academic departments to identify where work is stored. Unclaimed coursework must be kept for a minimum of 6 months after publication of results and after that time it may be destroyed. Coversheets and any additional proformas should be systematically filed and retained for at least a similar period in case of queries. Similarly exam scripts should should be kept for a minimum of 6 months after which time they may be destroyed. Separate arrangements apply for postgraduate dissertations. 4.4.7 Non-standard coursework. The same principles apply for bulky / artefact / portfolio coursework which has been agreed as exempt from central submission via Registries, including the differential procedure for work with submission date by and after the end of week 9, but departments will organise their own appropriate methods for students to collect the work. 4.4.8 Information to students. Module booklets should include arrangements for coursework and feedback return, including dates for coursework submission, dates when up–to-week-9 feedback will be distributed in class, and dates when (and locations where) after-week-9 post-result publication feedback may be collected, as well as advice that unclaimed coursework will be destroyed 6 months after the results have been published. 4.5 Summer reassessment coursework tasks – provision and publication All summer reassessment coursework tasks are published to students on a common date, 4th July 2008, via the Assessment web pages at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/home.cfm. To enable this, module leaders need to supply the tasks electronically, either by email or CD by the task submission deadline of 23rd May 2008. Logging, preparing and loading the tasks so that they are all ready for publication on the single date takes considerable time, so it is important that they are provided by the deadline. The date for students to submit their completed coursework is 15th August 2008. 5 Examinations Regulations covering the conduct of examinations form part of the Academic Regulations (Section 10.2) and the following sections should be read in conjunction with that document. 5.1 Arrangements for Examinations The University operates three main exam periods; in January for Autumn Semester modules, in May for Spring Semester modules and in August for postgraduate modules delivered in the summer period and for reassessments and late sits from the January and May cycles. Exam arrangements are made through the Assessment Office in conjunction with academic departments according to a schedule of activities. Lists of exams followed by draft exam timetables are produced for consultation starting during week 6 of the relevant semester and are published to students via ExamTrack on the University’s intranet at http://webapps.londonmet.ac.uk/apps/examtrack/ and on Registry noticeboards no later than 3 weeks before the start of the exam period. The rooms for exams are published later, normally one week before the start of the exam period. ExamTrack is the definitive source of exam information Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 8 of 31 and students are responsible for checking regularly in case it is necessary to change exam date, time or location, or to add or delete exams. The University has reasonable provision of rooms suitable for holding examinations at its North Campus but has few such rooms at City Campus. Students studying at City Campus may therefore be expected to sit their examinations at North Campus. Conversely in certain circumstances students studying at North may have their exams scheduled at City. Each examination shall only be scheduled once in a semester or during the late summer examination period. Where an exam is offered in both the day and the evening, students should attend the exam corresponding to the mode in which they attended teaching. Modules taught in the evening will normally be examined in the evening while modules taught in the day will normally be examined in the day. Any variation to this pattern must be approved by the Chair of the relevant Subject Standards Board and agreed by the Department of Academic Administration and should normally be communicated to students through Course and/or Module Handbooks and other relevant media at or before the start of the relevant semester. (Extracted from the Academic Regulations, Section 10.2 Para 5). 5.2 Moderation and Submission of Examination Papers All proposed exam papers need to be internally moderated (reviewed and agreed by a suitably qualified colleague). All exam papers that contribute to awards classifications (essentially all except Certificate level) must also be sent to external examiners for comment. In order to allow sufficient time for proper scrutiny such papers should have completed internal moderation and been sent to external examiners (by the relevant academic department) by the end of week 9 of the relevant semester. The paper intended for reassessment in the summer period should also be included to ensure comparability and to serve as a reserve in case of a breach in security. Module leaders and internal examiners are expected to give due consideration to the comments made by external examiners and to ensure that finalised exam papers are with the Assessment Office by the date advised by the Assessment Office and published in the Assessment Calendar, for reproduction, accompanied by any materials – such as case studies or tables- that are to be made available to students in the exam. Papers must be submitted electronically, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on a CD. In respect of seen exam papers, seen questions from part seen papers, and case studies issued in advance, these papers have an earlier submission date (communicated in the same way), which is necessary so that they can be published to students by the Assessment Office at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/ seen.cfm. Submission dates for 2007/8 papers are Semester 1: seen 13 December 07, unseen 2 January 08 Semester 2: seen 22 April 08, unseen 1 May 08. Each paper must be prepared using the standard format cover sheet as the first page (recognising that the precise date of the exam will not be known at that stage and will be added subsequently by Assessment staff). In the covering email the Subject line should specify the module code and the relevant exam period and year e.g. Semester 1, 2007/8. A document ‘Preparing exam papers and submitting them to the Assessment Office’, which gives full details of the process and requirements, is revised and republished each semester, at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. Remember that exam papers you submit (other than those for the summer reassessment exams) will automatically be published a few weeks after the exam period on the University Past Papers Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 9 of 31 website unless you specifically request when submitting a paper that it is not published. It is the University’s policy that exam papers should normally be published in this way, but it is the module leader’s responsibility to ensure that the paper is would not incur any copyright problems when published in this way. Further guidance on this area is in ‘Preparing exam papers and submitting them to the Assessment Office’. 5.3 Conduct of Examinations Invigilation of examinations is covered in the Academic Regulations. The provision of sufficient invigilators (one per 30 students and at least two present in the examination room) is the responsibility of academic departments. Invigilation rotas should be compiled and communicated to the Department of Academic Administration prior to the start of week 12 of the relevant semester. If the academic department is unable to supply the full number of invigilators required for an exam Academic Administration will supply external invigilators to make up the shortfall and recharge the academic department accordingly. During the August examination period academic departments will need to supply a Senior Invigilator to each exam room in which their department’s modules are being examined but additional invigilation support can be arranged by the Department of Academic Administration on a recharge basis if needed. Regulations state that normally staff involved in teaching a particular module shall invigilate the relevant examination, and that where this is not possible an internal examiner able to address queries about the question paper is present for the first 30 minutes. Regulations also require that all invigilators shall be fully conversant with the procedures in the Regulations and with the additional examination procedures and guidance published by the Department of Academic Administration via its web pages (http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information- for-members-of-teaching-staff/) and in invigilators’ packs. Sufficient copies of exam papers together with lists of students and forms for completion by the Senior Invigilator are prepared by the Assessment Office and should be collected by the Senior Invigilator at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam. The collection point depends on where the exam is being held. Exam location Collect papers from Tower Building, Stapleton House, Eden Grove, Assessment Office, Room T2-04 Tower Science Centre Building Ladbroke House Registry, Room G22, Ladbroke House, or the Assessment Office will deliver direct to the exam room – detailed arrangements will be publicised each exam period Calcutta House, Goulston Street Assessment Office, Room CM2-02, Calcutta Moorgate, Tower Hill, Jewry Street, Tower Hill, Schoolkeepers in the building where the exam Commercial Road is taking place Details of exam procedures, which reflect the requirements of the Academic Regulations, are included in the invigilator packs provided in each exam room and invigilators should take care to follow the required procedures. Senior Invigilators should not start an exam if there are any unresolved problems, including if there are insufficient invigilators for the number of students, but should report the situation to Assessment staff who will address the problem urgently. It is the Senior Invigilator’s responsibility to ensure that all scripts and completed stationery items are kept secure at all times, and that unauthorised access to unused stationery is prevented. Students’ scripts (completed answer books), together with student lists and completed forms, and also unused stationery, should be returned (to the collection point or other nominated point) or alternatively the module tutor may take the scripts for marking. For evening exams at City, all Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 10 of 31 items (if not taken for marking) should be returned to the building’s schoolkeepers using the envelope provided. For evening exams at North please check with Assessment staff when signing out the papers; it is preferable if scripts can be taken for marking but alternative arrangements are available. 5.4 Special Examination and Coursework Arrangements Where a student has a disability or other identified need they may apply to the Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (D&DS) for special examination (also known as sheltered) arrangements, which will include sitting the exam in a dedicated room other than the main exam room. Reasonable adjustments may include the provision of extra time and / or equipment and / or an amanuensis. Details of the requirements are recorded on a Special Examination Recommendation Form, R1. No-one other than the D&DS has the authority to agree special arrangements. Exceptionally, where the Internal Needs Assessment confirms that sheltered provision would not be sufficient to enable the student to be assessed fairly, the Chair of the relevant Subject Standards Board(s) may agree - on the basis of a recommendation from the Disabilities and Dyslexia Service and in consultation with the Assessment Office - alternatives to examinations / normal coursework or an adjustment to coursework submission time as part of the student’s needs assessment. Such arrangements should be agreed substantially in advance of the due date for the assessment, in line with the timescales specified in Academic Regulations Section 8.1, Regulation 8. Where a student has special exam arrangements agreed it is their responsibility to confirm with the Department of Academic Administration (via a Request for Special Examination Arrangements Form, M1, available at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/home.cfm for download and submission via email, or at the Undergraduate/Postgraduate Registry in hard copy, or via any other channel advised by the DAA) the specific exams that they propose to take each semester. Separate rooms and invigilation will then be sourced by the Assessment Office, who will also make the special arrangements specified such as modified exam papers, computer, special furniture, amanuensis etc, and communicate the individual timetable and location details to the student via the relevant webpage. 6. Mitigating Circumstances The University recognises that on occasions students may be prevented from completing assessment for good reason and endeavours not to penalise a student under such circumstances. Students may claim mitigating circumstances in respect of: Late submission of coursework (up to two weeks beyond the deadline for submission). Non-submission of coursework. Non-attendance at an examination Students may not claim mitigating circumstances in respect of performance in an assignment or examination. 6.1 Mitigating Circumstances Forms and their Submission Students who feel that they have mitigating circumstances that the University should take account of should complete the Mitigating Circumstances form (available from Undergraduate / Postgraduate Registries and Undergraduate and Postgraduate Centres and the University intranet) as soon as possible. The completed form with supporting evidence must be submitted to Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 11 of 31 one of the Registry offices not later than the deadline date, which in respect of the two semesters is the Wednesday following the end of the semester in which the module was taken. For 2007/8 the dates are: Autumn Semester: 6th February 2008 Spring Semester: 4th June 2008 Summer reassessment period: 4th September 2008 PG Dissertations: 12th September 2008. In order to have a claim for mitigating circumstances upheld the student must provide evidence (independent documentation) to support their claim; the documentation (which will vary depending on the student’s circumstances) should demonstrate that the circumstances were: timely (that the circumstances affected the date of submission/examination or immediately before); unforeseen and outside the student’s control (that the student could not reasonably have made alternative arrangements to ensure submission of the work / attendance at the exam); acute (that the circumstances were sufficiently serious to significantly affect the student’s ability to produce assessed work to the standard they would otherwise have been capable of, and that the circumstances were temporary – as for long-term conditions alternative assessment arrangements should have been requested ). Where a student claims mitigating circumstances on medical grounds they must provide certification from their GP or the hospital at which they have been treated. Medical Certificates must cover the date of submission or the period leading up to submission. Post-dated medical certificates would not normally be acceptable evidence. The form has space for the student to obtain where appropriate an endorsement from the University’s Counselling Service confirming that the student has been in regular contact with them. In general the University would expect to receive and retain the original copy of any supporting documentation but exceptionally the accepting officer may make a copy of the original and return the original. This applies to death certificates. Any evidence not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation into English. Claims submitted after the deadline, claims without evidence, claims not on the Mitigating Circumstances form, and claims where essential details requested omitted, are not valid and will not be considered. Claims based on minor ailments (even if supported by a medical certificate), IT failures of any kind (computer, printer or data storage problems), or on minor or predictable transport disruption, will not be accepted. To avoid disappointment students are advised to read very carefully the guidance notes on the Mitigating Circumstances form and the information on the website at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/graduation-and-conferments/mitigating- circumstances/home.cfm 6.2 Consideration of Mitigating Circumstances Responsibility for the consideration of claims for mitigating circumstances in line with Academic Regulations rests with the Director of Academic Administration. Decisions on claims are determined by an appointed panel of senior, experienced members of University staff drawn from academic departments, Centres and Academic Administration. Initial receipt of forms is logged by Registry staff. Thereafter collation, logging, organisation of panel members to consider and Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 12 of 31 decide upon claims, recording of outcomes and communication of those outcomes to the secretaries of the relevant Subject Standards Board sub-committees is the responsibility of the Manager Assessment via the Graduation and Conferments Office. Checks are carried out to ensure that evidence provided is genuine, and regular audits of decisions are undertaken to ensure consistency and fairness. Students are notified of the outcomes of their claims for mitigating circumstances via their Evision account at the time module results are published. 6.3 Outcomes of a Claim for Mitigating Circumstances If a student has a claim for mitigating circumstances accepted the outcome will depend on their individual circumstances: if the claim is in respect of late (up to 2 weeks) submission of coursework the assignment will be marked as if it were submitted on time and no penalty for lateness imposed; there will be no further opportunity to submit the work unless it is failed on academic grounds and a reassessment is offered. if the claim is in respect of non-submission or non attendance at an examination the student will be awarded a late sit/first sit, which will be considered as if it were the student’s first attempt. Where the claim relates to a module taken in either the Autumn or Spring semesters their first sit/late sit will normally be taken during the summer period at the end of the current academic year, however where the module is offered in both semesters the late/first sit from an Autumn Semester claim may taken at the same time as the Spring Semester cohort. The late/first sit may not be deferred beyond the summer reassessment into the following academic year unless there are further mitigating circumstances. exceptionally, where the circumstances are such that a student has not engaged with a module due to illness or other valid cause, the outcome of a claim for mitigating circumstances may be No Take rather than the opportunity to repeat only the assessment. Students may also claim mitigating circumstances over the reassessment period. Claims should be documented as above and received in UG/PG Registries no later than the published date, which this year is 4th September 2008. For any one particular item of assessed work a claim may be accepted if justifiable on two occasions, but thereafter if not attempted at the next available opportunity a mark of zero will be recorded with no further entitlement to reassessment. The appeal process cannot be used to challenge mitigation outcomes. However if there is demonstrably good reason why the student was unable to apply for mitigating circumstances by the published deadline (which could include there being a good reason why supplying evidence in that timescale was impossible), then the student may submit an appeal under the University’s appeal procedures, when the same criteria will be applied. If there is no good reason why the mitigating circumstances claim with adequate supporting evidence could not have been submitted by the deadline date, then the appeal will not be considered further. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 13 of 31 7 Reassessment / Late Sit All students on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes who enrol in 2007/8 are subject to the London Met Academic Regulations. (This includes students who started under heritage regulations, who will have moved to the London Met Regulations.) The 2007/8 Regulations normally provide for an automatic right to (uncapped) reassessment after an initial failure in a module. Coursework tasks set for the reassessment period must be different from those set for the first assessment (except in the case of projects, dissertations and portfolios). Reassessment exam papers should be moderated (including where appropriate by external examiners) and submitted to the Assessment Office alongside the paper used for the original sitting, by email or on CD-ROM. Coursework tasks for students with reassessments will be made available to students via the web at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/resitcoursework/. Module leaders need to submit their reassessment coursework tasks in electronic form, by the deadline of 23 rd May 2008. A reminder briefing about submission arrangements will be issued about a month before. Module Leaders should note that the deadline for students to submit reassessment coursework is 15th August 2008, some two weeks earlier than in previous years. 8 Marking and the Recording of Marks; the Responsibilities of Module Leaders 8.1 Submission of Marks University policies on marking are set out in the Assessment Framework at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ltsa/strategies-and-documents.cfm and module leaders should refer to that document for guidance on anonymous marking, second marking and sampling for external examiners. The key requirements for second marking are: sample double marking is to be carried out for all modules (including certificate level) every component of assessment should be second marked to sample second mark normally a minimum sample size of 20%. the sample for second marking should be chosen to ensure a range of scripts are considered, but at certificate level the focus is on the pass/fail borderline. (For undergraduate assessment at Intermediate and Honours levels the sample should be spread across all degree class bands and failing grades, while at Certificate level all work within the 35% to 45% range must be double-marked.) it should be apparent (to external examiners and for future audit) that second marking has been carried out. Second markers should initial scripts that they have considered. Once marks have been agreed between the internal examiners they need to be recorded. This is normally via http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/evision/ with direct input by module leaders to SITS through the web. Where necessary module leaders will receive training in the mark entry system during the Autumn Semester and will enter marks for the agreed components of assessment for the module. As the weightings and rules for passing the module are coded in SITS the module outcome will then be generated automatically. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 14 of 31 The arrangements for submitting marks have changed significantly in 2007/8 following discussions at Academic Board around the role of Subject Standards Boards, Performance Review Meetings and the role of the External Examiner. As previously all first and second marking must be completed in time for the Board Secretary to be able to prepare paperwork (incorporating decisions on mitigating circumstances and late work) and in time for External Examiners to be able to submit comments. The paperwork and comments will be considered by a sub-committee of the Subject Standards Board rather than, as previously, by the full board, and the dates of the sub-committee meetings can be viewed in the appropriate schedule at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. Deadlines for the completion of marking are tied to the dates of meetings: Where a sample of work needs to be considered by an External Examiner, all internal marking must be completed and marks submitted at least 7 working days before the sub- committee date. This is shown as the Sample Submission Deadline on the Board Schedule, as samples together with the Sample Submission Form, a print of the marksheet and other documentation, need to be sent to the external examiner by the Assessment Office by that date (unless exceptional arrangements for on-site sampling have been agreed as part of the Module Assessment Information Gathering exercise). Where work at Certificate or Preparatory Level is not sampled, all internal marking must be completed and marks submitted 3 working days before the sub-committee date. Once internal marking has been completed (including sample second marking) the Module Leader confirms this via their Evision account in which they will find a new option entitled Submission of Marks. Confirming that internal marking is complete via this facility has the following effects: Mark Entry is switched from the Module Leader to the Secretary so that the Secretary can prepare the results for presentation to the board meeting; if further marks need to be entered following submission, Mark Entry can be reopened by contacting the Mark Entry support on email@example.com. An email is sent to the Board Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary confirming that marks have been submitted and the Board Secretary’s logs are updated. Further training materials describing the marks and grades that can be recorded on SITS is available through the SITS Mark Entry manual circulated to all module leaders and available through Evision. It is important to stress that a mark and grade must be recorded for all students registered to take a module (including those who do not submit assessment for whom the correct grade is 0 R2 – UG modules, or 0 R – PG modules). Where there is a need to record the marks of students who are not registered on a module and so do not appear on the Evision list the additional marks should be entered on a Non Registered marksheet, available from http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/londonmet/library/i18261_24.doc, and emailed to the Board Secretary. Where the marks submitted do not permit unambiguous processing of outcomes they will be remitted to the Module Leader by the Chair or Secretary for urgent remedial action. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 15 of 31 8.2 Samples of Assessed Work All modules leading to the classification of an award (i.e. not normally Certificate Level modules or Preparatory Level modules on an Extended Degree but all others) are subject to the scrutiny of Subject Standards External Examiners. This will normally be through a sample sent by post in advance of the meeting of the sub committee of the Subject Standards Board (see below) and external examiners are asked to comment on and approve the marking standards of the samples they have seen. A sample for a module should consist of at least 20 (10 for postgraduate dissertation modules) pieces of assessed work (or all pieces when there are less than 20 pieces available to sample) covering all significant components of ‘end of module’ assessment and the full range of passing and failing grades. In order to allow external examiners sufficient time for proper scrutiny, the samples must be sent from the University according to a schedule linked to the date of the Subject Standards Boards (see board schedule for the deadlines for the submission of samples). Module Leaders should note that, in accordance with the University’s policies on feedback and the return of work to students, components of assessment submitted before week 9 do not normally form part of the sample. See http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/londonmet/library/x79986_24.doc for further details. All samples will be despatched by the Department of Academic Administration and will need to be accompanied by the documentation specified on the Sample Submission Form (e.g. copy of marksheet printed out from Evision, exam paper or assignment specification, marking scheme, case study, module booklet etc). Samples and associated documentation should be lodged by the module leader with the Dept of Academic Administration at one of the following locations: Assessment Office Room 202 Calcutta House Assessment Office T2-04 Tower Building UG/PG Registry, Room MG101, Moorgate UG/PG Registry, Room G22, Ladbroke House (or alternative rooms may be advised at the start of the sample period) Departments may not submit samples direct to external examiners. Local arrangements may be made by ASD, CCTM and JCAMD with the Manager, Assessment for local acceptance of samples at specific buildings, with Assessment Office staff organising subsequent collection of samples for despatch processing. Such arrangements may apply where needed at Tower Hill, Jewry Street, Central House, Commercial Road and Spring House. However it is anticipated that much of the work in these areas will be bulky and/or artefact based and therefore more appropriately sampled by external examiners on site. Academic departments should advise the Manager Assessment of specific modules / components for which on-site sampling is considered appropriate and of the plans for such on-site visits by external examiners. Such advice should be provided as part of an academic department’s response to the Module Assessment Information Gathering (MAIG) exercises. Departments may additionally wish to prepare and provide a single list of any such cases shortly before the period when samples are prepared. The samples date specified in the Board Schedule should be seen as the last date by which samples should have been sent. Earlier submission is possible (and indeed desirable) but samples can only be sent once internal first and sample second marking has been completed and a full marksheet produced. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 16 of 31 9. Subject Standards Boards and the Monitoring of Taught Provision 9.1 General Principles A number of very significant changes have been made to the operation of assessment boards and the location of the developmental discussions that take place to review the delivery of a module and improvements for the future. The changes were proposed to Academic Board for three principal reasons: Both internal and external members of Subject Standards Boards had indicated they felt constrained by a model of meetings that concentrated primarily on the formulaic confirmation of results for publication without the opportunity to look across student performance. A recognition that the academic health of a subject’s provision can only be guaranteed by looking at the performance of students and cohorts of students on courses (rather than student results by module) but that this was difficult to carry out in the timescales required for publication to students. A desire to provide information to students about the outcomes of the modules they have taken as efficiently and as early as practicable while still maintaining standards. Academic Board has therefore determined that business that has previously been conducted in a single meeting of a Subject Standards Board be separated into two processes and two meetings. 9.2 Confirmation and Publication of Module Results – SSB sub-committees All London Met taught provision will confirm marks and grades through a Sub-Committee of a Subject Standards Board. There are over 60 of these covering all London Met-taught modules (see http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/ for the configuration and planned schedule of dates) and they meet at the end of each assessment cycle. The confirmation of marks and their release to students is a process that requires the monitoring of three activities. The University needs confirmation that: All internal marking (including sample second marking) has taken place. Any necessary adjustments to marks to reflect mitigating circumstances and late work have taken place. Copies of the logs reflecting these adjustments will be presented to the meeting by the Secretary. Where required, a sample has been viewed by an External Examiner who approves the marking standards set by the Internal Examiners. These processes will be monitored by a sub-committee of the Subject Standards Board whose quorum consists of the Chair or Vice Chair (nominated by the Head of Department), the Secretary (appointed by the Department of Academic Administration) and a third internal member of the board appointed by the Chair. (Neither External Examiners nor further internal examiners are invited.) This sub-committee will meet once marks have been submitted, review the comments of External Examiners and authorise for publication the results for modules where the due process has been completed. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 17 of 31 Provided all internal marking and mark processing has been completed the sub-committee may agree the release of results to students on a ‘provisional’ basis as hitherto but these are subject to review once External Examiner comments are received. There is no “internal” board in the cycle. No longer is the Chair of the SSB required to gather printed marksheets from internal examiners, check them and provide them to the Secretary at the end of a designated internal board. Instead the process will be instigated by the Secretary based primarily on data directly entered to the Student Records System. The Secretary will, on receipt of the automated email for each module indicating mark entry has been completed and closed, produce the printed marksheet, refer any issues of data quality and any modules whose marking is overdue, chase any overdue external examiner confirmations, modify marks to allow for mitigating circumstances, and produce the paperwork for the SSB sub-committee, including all marksheets received and the log showing the status of each module. Following a brief review of the paperwork the meeting will determine, for each module, whether the results may be fully published, provisionally published, or not published (deferred). After the meeting the Secretary will process the decisions onto the Student Records System ready for the single module results publication date, and follow up as usual with minutes and processing any Chair’s Actions. In addition the Secretary will produce co-ordinated external examiner comments and post publication module performance statistics for the Chair, for use at the Performance Review meeting. For the information of Chairs, further detail on the responsibilities of Secretaries is at Appendix D1. For 2007/8, the meetings will take place during four overall periods: Autumn Semester: Monday 25th February to Tuesday 4th March Spring Semester: Friday 20th June to Monday 30th June Resit: Tuesday 9th September to Friday 12th September PG Dissertation: Monday 6th October to Friday 10th October The schedule of meetings is at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. 9.3 Monitoring Provision – Performance Review Meetings Following the publication of confirmed results to students a second cycle of meetings will take place; while these will largely follow the configuration of Subject Standards Boards, with at least for 2007/8 the same Chair and membership, their business will fall under the auspices of the department’s Taught Provision Committee. These Performance Review meetings will replace the discursive and developmental parts of the Subject Standards Board and will review student performance, receive the Module Leader’s Log/Report and determine if modification or improvement is to be taken forward for the following year. Further information about monitoring processes of which these form a part may be found in the Taught Provision Manual at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/services/quality-&-standards/qu/tpo/index.cfm.cfm All Internal Examiners and all Subject Standards External Examiners will be invited to attend Performance Review meetings, which will be scheduled at the end of the Autumn and Spring Semesters and following the reassessment, postgraduate dissertation and awards cycle that takes place in late October. While at this stage no specific quoracy requirement is specified, dates should not be confirmed if it is known that no external examiner is able to attend. The University requires External Examiners as part of their contract to attend at least one meeting each year, in order to maintain links with course teams, and attending two or more is the expected norm. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 18 of 31 The purpose of the Performance Review meetings is to review the health of both modules and courses; because the meetings take place after the assessment round has taken place it will be possible to develop enhanced statistical information that looks at the performance of students across a range of modules. The November meetings will also have an opportunity to review progression and award information from the previous cycle. For 2007/8, the meetings will take place during 3 overall periods: 7th March to 19th March 4th July to 17th July dates in November currently to be confirmed. The schedule of meetings is at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. Note that while the meeting schedule is co-ordinated and published by Academic Administration, including arranging rooms and communications with Chairs and External Examiners, Academic Administration do not attend these meetings, and secretarial support is provided by the academic department. 9.4 Arrangements for Collaborative Provision The arrangements described above apply to the UG and PG taught provision delivered at the University and overseen by the Departmental Taught Provision Committees. Because of the timing and location of much collaborative provision it is intended that for a single SSB meeting continues to deliver both the mark confirmation and performance review functions in most instances of off site provision, namely where there is a dedicated SSB for the link. There are currently over 30 such boards. However in the case of collaborative provision where there is no separate SSB and the partner- taught modules are considered as part of a standard London Met SSB, the new standard arrangements (including the consideration of performance and improvement options by a separate Performance Review meeting) apply. Further details of processes where there is a dedicated board for the link will only be of interest to staff involved in the link and have therefore been provided in an appendix – Appendix D2. Chairs of Subject Standards Boards for collaborative provision (and/or the Academic Liaison Tutors) are invited to discuss aspects of the process for their courses with the Manager, Assessment if necessary. The schedule of collaborative board meetings is at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. 10 Subject Standards External Examiners An external examiner is required for all modules that contribute to an award classification. The allocation of Subject Standards External Examiners to modules needs to be agreed via the external examiner support team in the Assessment Office early in each academic session. The tenure details and the allocation to modules of external examiners is now recorded on SITS. All nominations to cover vacancies arising in the 2007/8 sessions should have been made by May 2007, but if further nominations are needed or a change in the allocation of duties is proposed these should be forwarded urgently to Ben Turner, the Senior Administrative Officer (External Examiners), Assessment Office, Room T2-04, Tower Building, telephone 020 7133 2609. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 19 of 31 See http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/examiners/introduction.cfm for comprehensive information about the responsibilities of external examiners, together with necessary forms. 11 University Awards Board 11.1 Role and membership A single Awards Board formally confers all London Met awards, based on individual student profiles (prepared by the Assessment Office) which specify the appropriate award based on the module results confirmed by Subject Standards Boards. This body also carries out an important developmental role, monitoring academic standards and assessment policy, and keeping under review trends in the awards made by the university and the way in which its Regulations operate. It reports to and has delegated authority from the Board of Governors and Academic Board. A number of External Awards Examiners have been appointed by the University to sit on this board, along with (ex officio) heads of academic departments who attend meetings on a cyclical basis. The Board is chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and there are also two Vice Chairs – currently the Directors of the Undergraduate Operations and of the Graduate School. Administration and support are provided by the Department of Academic Administration. 11.2 Student Profiles In advance of the Awards Board the Assessment Office calculates recommended awards for all students expected to complete at the end of the current semester. These are updated and circulated to key departmental contacts in the days prior to Awards Board meetings. Key contacts are asked to ensure that Course Leaders are consulted about the recommended awards and given the opportunity to identify any student who should be added to the list of those proposed for graduation or propose any corrections to the profiles. Certain collaborative partner assessment boards may additionally consider the situation of completing students and provide recommendations to assist the review of profiles. 11.3 Meetings The Awards Board meets three times a year, as specified in the Awards Board schedule. For the 2007/8 academic year awards the meetings dates are 17th/18th March, 16th/17th July, and 22nd/23rd October 2008. 12 Publication of Results Module results will be published on 6th March, 2nd July, and 16th September 2008. Awards decisions will be published on 20th March, 18th July, and 24th October 2008. Students will be able to view module results and further details via their individual login on the Evision facility. Exceptionally, a number of collaborative courses and a small number of London Met-taught courses / modules are not operated in line with standard semester deadlines for coursework &/or exams. In these cases marking and Subject Standards Boards are scheduled outside of the defined standard periods which in turn means that results and awards are not published on the standard dates. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 20 of 31 13 Regulations governing Appeals against decisions of Assessment Boards (Student Appeals) The University’s Procedures regarding appeals against Assessment Board decisions are intended to protect students against the possibility of unfair assessment or from unforeseen circumstances affecting the student. No student appealing under these Procedures shall be treated less favourably than would have been the case had an appeal not been made. The grounds under which a student may appeal are very specific and are as follows: 8.1 that the University did not act in accordance with the relevant Regulations and/or Procedures in the provision and execution of the assessment process and that this, in turn, had a significant impact on the student; 8.2 that the student had been affected by mitigating circumstances which prevented him or her from submitting an item of assessed work by the due deadline or attending an examination, to which the student was unable, for good reason, to draw proper attention via the University’s Mitigating Circumstances Procedures For Appeals to be valid, they must be made in writing on an Appeal Form (this can be downloaded at: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/sco/sco.cfm). They must also include all appropriate independent supporting evidence and be submitted by the relevant deadline, ten working days from the publication of results, either in person to the Student Casework Office (31 Jewry Street, EC3N 2EY) or to an Undergraduate/Postgraduate Registry. Appeals submitted by post must be sent to the Student Casework Office only and the University cannot accept any responsibility for the receipt of late delivery of such an appeal. Appeals decisions are determined only on the statement that students make on the Appeal Form and the independent evidence that they submit to corroborate their statement. The statement should provide a concise account of the circumstances, explaining their impact upon the student, and make reference to the evidence that the student has submitted in support of their appeal. Any document submitted as evidence should be the original or a photocopy authorised by a University office. Where translations of documents are required these must be approved translations. Appeals may not be made in respect of an academic judgement of an Assessment Board, or in respect of rejected claims for mitigating circumstances where no further evidence is submitted. An appeal based on computational error or failure to assess all work submissible and properly submitted for assessment will be rejected. In such circumstances a student should submit a Module Query Form to the appropriate Undergraduate or Postgraduate Registry within ten working days of the publication date of the result of the assessment concerned. If no response is received within twenty working days, then a student can appeal under ground 8.1. In the first instance, all enquiries should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org Students will be advised in writing of the outcome of their appeal. The full appeals process is described in Section 10.4 of the Academic Regulations: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/academic-regulations/ Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 21 of 31 14 Key Regulatory Changes effective in 2007/8 The principal regulatory changes affecting the assessment process and the operation of Subject Standards Boards are listed below; the full Academic Regulations may be viewed on-line at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/academic-regulations/.The 2007/8 Academic Regulations were extensively rewritten and reordered as an aid to clarity and in an attempt to reduce duplication; what follows below are the major issues of principle debated by Academic Board at its recent meetings. 14.1 Quoracy Criteria for a Subject Standards Board to Confirm the Marks for a Module The move to confirmation by a sub-committee is described in Section 9.2 above. The minimum quorum for these meetings is the Chair/Vice Chair, the Secretary and one other nominated SSB member, as specified in Section 8.1 Para 57 of the Academic Regulations. 14.2 Samples of Assessed Work At the request of the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee (and to improve the timeliness and quality of feedback) assessed work submitted during or before the 9 th week of the semester should be returned to students with feedback without being retained to form part of a sample for External Examiners. Samples should still consist of a minimum of 20 items of assessed work (except where the cohort is too small to generate this number) but this should be drawn from the summative end of module assignments/examinations. Work submitted by students during or before the end of week 9 should normally be marked, sample double marked and returned to students within 3 weeks of submission and before the end of the teaching sessions scheduled in weeks 1-12. Full details of the process of returning work to students and for providing feedback are described in Section 4.4 above. 14.3 APL – Accreditation of Prior Learning Academic Board approved, in March 2007, the maintenance of maximum AP(E)L arrangements at undergraduate level (two thirds of a University award) and the reduction of maximum credit on a postgraduate award to 50% although it was noted that specific variations would be considered. It was also accepted that there would be a transition period during which offers to applicants might need to be honoured. 14.4 Merit Band for Taught Postgraduate Programmes Academic Board approved, in March 2007, a widening of the Merit band from 65.00-69.99 to 60.00-69.99 for taught postgraduate provision. The first cohort of students to be considered under this revised regulation will be those completing their courses at the end of the Autumn Semester 2007/8; students who registered to submit their dissertations in Sept 2007 but deferred submission to a later point will only be awarded a Merit if their average exceeds 65%. 14.5 The Award of an Honours Degree to Direct Entry Students Academic Board approved in March 2007, an amendment to the classification algorithm for students admitted directly to Honours Level of an Undergraduate Degree. Instead of classifying on the best 7 out of 8 the rules were amended to the effect that students admitted to the third year of an honours degree should be classified on 15 out of 16 marks as is the case for other students. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 22 of 31 Classification for direct entry students would be calculated by duplicating the 8 marks for the final year to give 16 marks and then discarding the worst mark. 15 Key Regulatory Changes envisaged for 2008/9 Module Leaders and those advising students should be aware that the University’s Academic Board has agreed in principle that the marks for modules passed at reassessment should be capped at the minimum pass mark starting in 2008/9. Considerable work is ongoing during the current year to develop the necessary regulatory changes and to work through the impacts that this will have on, inter alia, mitigating circumstances procedures, awards classification, the processing of late coursework and the pedagogic approaches to reassessment. A further update will be available in the next edition of this guide. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 23 of 31 Appendix A Key Staff in the Department of Academic Administration involved in assessment processes Director Ray Smith Principal Manager David Ealey Assessment Office General enquiries North: 020 7133 4466 City: 020 7320 1037 Manager David Tye Academic Co-ordinator Graham Taylor-Russell Senior Assessment Officers David Brown (Exams Planning & North Campus Operations) Chris Marshall (Information & Systems) Simon Williams (Collaborative Links & City Campus Operations) Senior Administrative Officer (External Ben Turner Examiners) Senior Administrative Officer (Information & Matt Arney Systems) Administrative Officers (Assessment) Katrina Moore Jonathan McCree Jatinder Manku Rizwan Uddin Mike Buckley Susan Lloyd Matthew Clegg Administrative Officer (External Examiners) Nicky Catterwell Student Registration & Records Manager David Ealey Acting Assistant Manager Natalie Abeid Undergraduate & FE Registry (North Campus) – Room TM132 Tower Building General enquiries Underreg.email@example.com 020 7133 4015 Registry Office Manager (North) Denise Ward (Acting) Senior Administrative Officer Phil Brummell Senior Administrative Officer Diahann Licorish Undergraduate & FE Registry (City Campus) – Room G12 Calcutta House General enquiries Underreg.firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7320 2273 Registry Office Manager (City) Alison Sorrell Senior Administrative Officer Abda Bibi Senior Administrative Officer Stephen Fitzell (Acting) Postgraduate Registry (North Campus) – Room T1/1 Tower Building General enquiries Postreg.email@example.com 020 7133 4019 Registry Office Manager (North) Denise Ward (Acting) Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 24 of 31 Postgraduate Registry (City Campus) – Room 201 Calcutta House General enquiries Postreg.firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7320 3170 Registry Office Manager (City) Alison Sorrell Senior Administrative Officer Satvinder Singh Student Casework Office – Room JS1-53 Jury Street General enquiries email@example.com Manager Amanda Lane Co-ordinator Peter Evanson Graduation & Conferment Office General enquiries 020 7133 2034 Co-ordinator Vacancy Systems Office Manager Julia Edwards Deputy Managers Paul Ashton, Kate Wilson, David Bullen Contacts list Query Contact Evision login page http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/evision/ Evision training manuals http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/systems/staff/markentry Mark entry help desk: Mark entry: using software, queries about codes & grades, allocating firstname.lastname@example.org modules to your name, etc or by phone (10 – 5, M – F, during marking period): 020 7133 4455 Mark entry: Request from Chair of 020 7133 4455 Board to reopen a closed module Collection of module information / Chris Marshall; any variations to module assessment patterns variation of module assessment will need approval through departmental quality process and a patterns. revised module specification must be lodged with the Academic Partnerships and Audit Unit (email@example.com). Mitigating Circumstances – info for See students http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/graduation-and- conferments/mitigating-circumstances/home.cfm Forms available from UG / PG Centres and from UG / PG Registries, to be submitted with evidence by students to UG / PG Registries by the published deadline. Last date for submission of coursework for which mitigation is to be claimed is 2 weeks (= 10 term time working days) after the relevant coursework submission deadline. Mitigating Circumstance lists for SSB Secretary Subject Standards Board. Late Coursework lists for Subject SSB Secretary Standards Board. Marksheets SSB Secretary Submission of samples of Room 2-02 Calcutta House, Room T2-04 Tower Building, assessed work for sending to Room MG101 Moorgate, Room G22 (or alternative rooms External Examiners advised) Ladbroke House. Enquiries to 020 7133 4466 (North) Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 25 of 31 or 020 7320 1037 (City). Assessment Boards and Schedules are published at Performance Review meeting http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/information-for- schedules members-of-teaching-staff/ University Awards Board - David Tye Subject Standards Boards & Performance Review meetings – Ben Turner or David Tye Collaborative Boards – Simon Williams or David Tye Implementation of arrangements SSB Secretary for individual Boards, and minutes Assessment Regulations Graham Taylor-Russell or David Tye External Examiners: Duties/Role, Ben Turner, Senior Administrative Officer (External approval, extension, variation to Examiners), telephone 020 7133 2609. area covered, annual reports, fees and expenses Appeals / Academic Misconduct Student Casework Office – Amanda Lane, Peter Evanson. Appeals forms and further information on Academic Misconduct may be accessed at www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/sco/sco.cfm Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 26 of 31 Appendix B – Checklist for Module Leaders Activity Action Required Dates and Key Further Details Contact Maintaining Check for current or anticipated external Ben Turner, who provides to Section 10; adequate external examiner vacancies for all modules and Quality Reps in April an http://www.londonmet Subject where necessary seek then nominate initial list of forthcoming .ac.uk/examiners/ Standards suitable candidates. (Exercise co- vacancies due to expiry of Examiners. ordinated within departments by tenure so that nominations departmental Quality Reps.) can be received by end May, with periodic updates thereafter. Accuracy of Date of submission to be confirmed by Week 1; Chris Marshall Sections 3.2 & 4.1 Coursework module leaders at start of semester in Deadlines their response to the Module Assessment Information Gathering exercise (MAIG). Subsequently, when the data has been confirmed to the system, both students and module leaders can check dates held at http://evision.londonmet.ac.uk Recording of All module leaders to confirm exact type Week 1; Chris Marshall Section 3 Assessment of assignment or exam, weightings and Patterns recorded qualifying marks, as part of the MAIG. Subsequently check data at http://evision.londonmet.ac.uk Assignment of Module leaders should confirm that the Week 1; Chris Marshall Section 3 Modules for correct modules are recorded against Marking them as part of the MAIG. Subsequently check data at http://evision.londonmet.ac.uk Exam timetable Module leaders should co-operate with Consultation process Section 5.1 development the 3 stage consultation process for commences Week 6 in developing the exam timetable as semesters (5 Nov 07 & 10 cascaded within academic departments, Mar 08) and at 18 Jun 08 for with a view to ensuring that all summer reassessment, with unnecessary exams are excluded, and deadlines for responding to that all necessary exams are included, each stage; scheduled at an appropriate date & time, examtimetable@londonmet. and finally located in a suitable room ac.uk Invigilation rota Module leaders should co-operate with David Brown; all returns in Section 5.3 development the process operated in their department response to consultation for confirming invigilators for particular process required by exams, in order to enable complete beginning of Week 12. details to be entered on the department spreadsheet and returned. Booking of necessary external invigilators is dependent upon this information. Preparation and Module Leaders must prepare their firstname.lastname@example.org Section 5.2 Submission of examination papers, have them internally By publicised dates around Exam Papers moderated, forward them to the external weeks 10 and 11. examiner for consultation (where Unseen papers by 2/1/08 necessary i.e. except for first year (Autumn Semester) or 1/5/08 modules not affecting award (Spring Semester). classification) and once having received Seen papers, seen questions and allowed for the external examiner’s from part-seen papers, and response, submit the final paper seen case studies required electronically. earlier - by 13/12/07 or The paper should be submitted to 24/4/07. email@example.com or via CD-ROM (Seen material published at to nominated Assessment Office Staff. http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ The resit paper should be supplied at the admin/assessment.) same time as the semester paper, but in a separate email / separate CD. Second Marking 20% of assessments to be second Second Markers assigned by Section 8 marked, prior to mark entry. Module Chair of SSB or Subject Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 27 of 31 leader confirms via Mark Entry process Leader nd that 2 marking completed. Mark Entry Marks for ALL REGISTERED For mark entry support ring Section 8 and Mark STUDENTS to be entered via Evision (79) 4455 or Entry Manual st nd after 1 and 2 marking. firstname.lastname@example.org When entering marks the module leader during mark entry periods. confirms that sample second marking has taken place. When all marks entered confirm via this Evision, which will close down mark entry for the module and enable the secretary to prepare the marksheets for the SSB sub-committee meeting. Samples for (Not required for level C and most level F Submit samples with prints Section 8.2 External modules.) For I, H, M level a sample of of marks sheets and other Examiners 20 pieces of assessed work is required necessary documentation at (10 pieces for PG Dissertations), or less least 7 working days before where fewer pieces have been produced SSB sub-committee meeting; by students. for dates see Board Schedule at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ admin/assessment/informati on-for-members-of-teaching- staff/. All samples to be submitted to Assessment Office for despatch except where specifically otherwise agreed as part of MAIG exercise. Module The Module Log (End of Semester Should be produced in Section 9 Monitoring Module Performance Evaluation) needs advance of Performance to be completed. Review meetings. For dates (At the appropriate time Course Leaders of these meetings see will also need to complete the Course http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ Log (Annual Course Performance admin/assessment/informati Evaluation).) on-for-members-of-teaching- staff/. For process details see Taught Provision Manual. Summer Reassessment coursework tasks to be Coursework tasks to be sent Section 7 Reassessment lodged via email or CD at the end of the to Coursework Spring Semester. reassessmentcoursework@l ondonmet.ac.uk by 23/5/08 and will be published via http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/ admin/assessment on 4/7/08. Summer Reassessment Exam Paper should See submission Section 5 Reassessment always be submitted at the same time as arrangements and deadlines Exam Paper the first attempt (semester) paper (see above. above). Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 28 of 31 Appendix C – Key web addresses Primary assessment sites There are two primary web addresses concerned with London Met assessment: Student-facing: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/home.cfm This is designed for both students and staff, and aims to include or link to all the assessment information students might need. It should be considered the main vehicle for communicating assessment information to students, and students should be encouraged to bookmark this site. Staff-facing: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/ This is designed only for staff, and contains information about assessment that students do not need to know. Between them the two addresses provide access to all necessary assessment information staff are likely to need, and it is recommended that staff bookmark both. This staff- facing site is only accessible using a current member of staff’s network User name and password. Other Assessment-managed sites In addition to these two sites the Assessment Office is responsible for four other sites whose URLs are not ‘children’ of the above, though they are available by links from them. Available via the student-facing site: https://webapps.londonmet.ac.uk/apps/examtrack/ - ExamTrack: tells students when and where their exams are being held https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/library/past-papers/ - Past Papers: gives students access to the past 3 years of semester exam papers. Note that the actual papers on this site are accessible only using a current student’s or member of staff’s network User name and password. http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/graduation-and-conferments/mitigating- circumstances/home.cfm - Mitigating Circumstances: provides full advice about Mitigating Circumstances as well as the necessary form Available via the staff-facing site: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/examiners/ - External Examiners: designed for the University’s External Examiners (Subject Standards and Awards) – and for information for London Met staff Other assessment-related sites There are a number of further London Met sites which contain information directly concerning assessment but are not managed by the Assessment Office. Again these are available via the two primary assessment sites. Available via the student-facing site: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/evision/ (Evision home page) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/academic-regulations/ (Academic Regulations) https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/dyslexia-disabilities/support-for-disabled-and- dyslexic-students.cfm/disabilities/exams.cfm (Disabilities and Dyslexia Service) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/sco/sco.cfm (Student Casework Office) Available via the staff-facing site: https://evision.londonmet.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_lgn (Evision log in page) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/services/qu/tpo/index.cfm (Taught Provision Manual) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/academic-regulations/home.cfm (Academic Regulations) http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/londonmet/library/c71911_3.pdf (University Assessment Framework) Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 29 of 31 Appendix D1 - SSB sub-committees – responsibilities of Secretaries Prior to the meeting, the Secretary will: produce printed marksheets for each module (on receipt of the automated email confirming that mark entry for the module has been completed and closed) check data quality and refer back for action any instances of gaps or invalid grades make adjustments to raw marks on the basis of late logs and mitigating circumstances reports received report to the Chair on any modules not marked 5 working days before the SSB sub- committee meeting, and again 2 days later chase any outstanding external examiner responses 24 to 36 hours before the board meeting produce a first set of board paperwork for the Chair where possible 24 hours before the board (how this reaches the Chair is for discussion between the Secretary and Chair) produce a final set of board paperwork, incorporating any updated information received, and bring 3 copies to the board meeting. The board paperwork produced by the Secretary will comprise: each marksheet submitted the board log showing the status of each module (i.e. marksheet received, sample despatched, external examiner response on marking standard received, etc) External Examiner comments received Mitigating circumstances summaries Late Log summaries agenda. The meeting will review the paperwork and determine, for each module, whether the results may be fully published, provisionally published, or not published (deferred). After the meeting the Secretary will: process the results onto the Student Records System ready for the single module results publication date produce brief minutes for Chair’s approval which comprise the attendance, log of statuses for each module, whether the module can be published, and any further action required for publication or any other issues the Chair wishes to formally record prepare a co-ordinated record of external examiner comments received and provide this to the Chair as part of the material that will be available for consideration by the Performance Review meeting help produce post-publication module performance statistics, again to provide to the Chair for the Performance Review meeting chase and then process any External Examiner responses on marking standards which are still outstanding process Chair’s Actions received as usual. Guide to Assessment Processes 2007-8.doc/ P: 30 of 31 Appendix D2 - Collaborative provision assessment and performance Dual purpose meetings. In many cases assessment for collaborative links is of necessity outwith normal London Met equivalent periods. The location of the teaching institution may be remote from London Met. The cohort of students may be small. It may not be feasible for external examiner sampling and approval of marking standards to be completed much (if at all) before the date when meetings need to be scheduled. For these and other reasons it may be appropriate to have less frequent meetings. Therefore a single SSB meeting will continue to deliver both the mark confirmation and performance review functions for most off site provision. There are currently over 30 such boards. Quoracy. All SSB members, i.e. all internal members from both London Met and the partner institution and all External Examiners, are invited, but for the purposes of deciding whether marks may be confirmed and published, the quoracy requirement is the Chair (or if unavailable the Vice Chair), the Secretary (from DAA), and at least one senior member of the partner teaching institution. Formal confirmation of marking standards from the relevant external examiner will need to have been received in respect of each module before marks can be published as confirmed rather than provisional. Target attendance. However it is not intended that these meetings should be less well attended than hitherto, and the agenda will have an increased focus on reviewing performance and options for improvement. They will still be held at the normal location (in most but not all cases at the partner’s premises), attended by the Chair and London Met Academic Liaison tutor(s) for the course(s), the DAA secretary, the external examiners, as many as possible of the partner’s teaching staff, plus where appropriate any other senior partner staff directly involved in managing the content, delivery and overall quality of the taught provision. Since meetings may be less frequent and since there is not the day to day involvement which pertains with London Met taught provision, dates for collaborative boards should be set to ensure that the usual level of attendance, particularly by external examiners, is possible. Dates should not be confirmed if no external can attend. Performance data. Insofar as possible, performance statistics which are the same as or similar to those generated for London Met taught provision will be provided for consideration by SSB members, but these are likely to be provided in different timescales. Particularly in cases where such standard data cannot be provided by or at the meeting, locally produced performance data and analysis should be provided and discussed. Queries and schedule. Chairs of Subject Standards Boards for collaborative provision and/or Link (Academic Liaison) Tutors are invited to discuss aspects of the process for their courses with the Manager, Assessment if necessary. Staff involved with partner institutions (teaching London Met validated courses to achieve London Met awards) who find their link is not recorded in the collaborative schedule should alert the Manager Assessment. The schedule of meetings is at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/admin/assessment/$information-for-members-of-teaching-staff/. Where no separate board. In the case of collaborative provision for which there is no separate board and the partner-taught modules are considered as part of a standard London Met SSB, the new standard arrangements (the consideration of performance and improvement options by a separate Performance Review meeting) apply. In these cases, therefore, external examiners and staff from the partner institution will be invited to the Performance Review meeting but not to the SSB sub-committee. Exceptional London Met provision arrangements. There are currently three specific SSBs for London Met provision - IPSE, MRES and IFP - which consider very small numbers of modules involving small numbers of students, and it would be inappropriate to set up separate mark confirmation and performance review meetings in line with the new standard model. Exceptionally in these particular cases (each agreed with respective Heads of Departments / Chairs) the dual purpose SSB meetings are continuing, as per the collaborative model.
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