Grade Appeal

Grade Appeal

SUMMARY

The Grade Appeal Policy establishes the University's expectations and requirements involved in a review of the final grade for a coursework unit of study. The Procedure documents key roles and responsibilities associated with an appeal by a student against the grade they have been awarded.

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

To outline the expectations and requirements involved in a review of the final grade for a coursework unit of study.

2     BACKGROUND

The University is committed to promoting excellence in its learning and teaching. The final grade a student is awarded through this learning and teaching is a reflection of their performance against the stated aims and objectives of a unit of study. It is a permanent record of the performance of the student. It is imperative that the University has in place policies and procedures to ensure that the grade that is awarded is appropriate and correct. The emphasis is on procedural fairness – that is, on the procedures used in the grade appeal process, rather than the actual outcome of the appeal. It requires a fair and proper procedure be used when making a decision.

The University expects students to take an active role in their learning and to assimilate and incorporate feedback received throughout their studies. Students are encouraged to discuss their progress with relevant teaching staff and to reflect on their expectations against the stated learning outcomes of each unit they attempt.

In promoting excellence in its learning and teaching, the University is committed to ensuring it continuously improves. It has therefore built-in a requirement for a review of the grade appeal process as part of its quality assurance processes.

3     SCOPE

This policy applies to any student enrolled in a Macquarie University or Macquarie University International College (the College) coursework unit.

It is relevant to all Foundation, Diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students; research students enrolled in coursework units; academic and professional staff involved in the teaching, assessment, management and review of units.

It applies to the final Standardised Numerical Grade (SNG) a student receives for a unit of study. It is does not apply to results received for individual assessment tasks.

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary.

5     POLICY STATEMENT

The University will operate a quality assured system for the recording and awarding of a final grade for each student officially enrolled in a coursework unit of study.

A student who has been awarded a final grade for a unit has the right to appeal that grade.

FEEDBACK
Coursework units involve continuous assessment. A student is expected to seek feedback on individual assessment tasks prior to the award of a final grade. In particular, a student is expected to view their final examination paper in advance of submitting a grade appeal, if this is relevant to their case.

Students also have the right to request feedback from the Unit Convenor/ Macquarie University International College (the College) Teacher on their overall performance in the unit, including in a final examination. This can be done at any time in the six month period starting from the day on which the final grade of the relevant unit is published

GROUNDS FOR APPEAL
A formal Grade Appeal must be supported by evidence. Grounds for a Grade Appeal are limited to:

  • a clerical error occurred in the determination of a final grade
  • the Unit Guide was not in accordance with the Unit Guide Policy
  • due regard was not paid to an illness or misadventure that had been found to be eligible for special consideration
  • the student had been disadvantaged in some way due to the conduct of an assessment task
  • the student had been disadvantaged by variation of the assessment requirements or feedback provisions laid out in the Unit Guide.

PROCESS
Requests based on a suspected clerical error will be processed administratively.

An appeal will not be reviewed by an individual who has been involved in the assessment processes or the determination of the final grade of the relevant unit.

Where the student believes there has been a procedural irregularity in the consideration of their Grade Appeal, they may submit a written appeal to the University Grading Appeals Committee [addressed to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar] via Academic_Appeals@mq.edu.au. Appeals on this basis are limited to procedural grounds only.

All requests will be managed through the University’s official Grade Appeal system.

SYSTEMS AND DEADLINES
The absolute deadline for submission of a Grade Appeal will be 20 working days from the published result date for the relevant unit. Any exceptions to this requirement will require documented exceptional circumstances and approval by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar.

A Grade Appeal must be submitted via the University’s approved Grade Appeal system.

The successful submission of a Grade Appeal will be acknowledged.

The student will be notified of the outcome of their Grade Appeal.

Executive Deans / the College Director will ensure that Grade Appeals are reviewed in a timely manner.

Each Grade Appeal will be considered on its own merits.

OUTCOME
A Grade Appeal may result in no change, an increase or a reduction to the awarded Standardised Numerical Grade (SNG).

The notification of the outcome of a Grade Appeal will detail the grounds upon which the reviewer came to that finding.

The University will ensure the absolute minimum number of staff will have access to the documentation related to a Grade Appeal.

REPORT
The University’s approved Grade Appeal system will have reports available for use by Executive Deans / the College Director, Heads of Department,  Associate Director - MUIC Programsand the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC), in which de-identified data is provided on:
  • the number and type of Grade Appeal submissions during the last calendar year, by unit and Faculty
  • the outcome of each application
  • the grounds upon which these decisions had been made, and
  • a comparison of this information with that from previous years.

Executive Deans / the College Director will also report to the SLTC on the operation of the Grade Appeal process within their Faculties by 1 April each year. The reports (see Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma) will detail issues that arose in the operation of these processes and the strategies to be implemented to address them.

The College Director will report to the MUIC Sub-Committee of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee on the operation of the Grade Appeal process within MUIC by 1 April each year.

The University will implement quality enhancements strategies to reduce the number of Grade Appeals received.

6     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

7     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Assessment Policy
Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma
Grade Appeal Procedure (see tab above)
Online Grade Appeal System

8     NOTES

8.1

Contact Officer

Chair, Senate Learning and Teaching Committee

8.2

Implementation Officer

 

8.3

Approval Authority / Authorities

Academic Senate

8.4

Date Approved

4 September 2012

8.5

Date of Commencement

For units with a teaching start date of 10 December 2012 or later

8.6

Date for Review

September 2015

8.7

Documents Superseded by this Policy

Grade Appeal Policy approved 11 August 2009

8.8

Amendment History

8 November 2017 – Updated references for Deputy Registrar to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar.
8 May 2017 – addition of Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma
13 Feb 2017 – addition of Academic_Appeals@mq.edu.au email for appeals concerning procedural irregularities.
August 2016 - Following introduction of new Assessment Policy, replacement of link from the old to the new Assessment Policy in Key Related documents
24 May 2016 – removal of ground for appeal, Academic Senate Resolution 16/183
19 Feb 2016 – updated Contact Officer 
30 October 2015 – reference to Macquarie University International College (MUIC); alignment with Policy Framework template.

PROCEDURE

1     PURPOSE

To outline the roles and responsibilities associated with an appeal by a student against the grade they have been awarded for a coursework unit of study.

2     SCOPE

This policy applies to any student enrolled in a Macquarie University or Macquarie University International College (the College) coursework unit.

3     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the accompanying Policy.

4     RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIRED ACTIONS

This procedure requires actions by the following:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar
  • Executive Dean / the College Director
  • Faculty / the College Student Administration and Services Manager
  • Grading Appeals Committee
  • Head of Department/Associate Director – Macquarie University International College (MUIC) Programs
  • Student
  • Unit Convenor / the College Teacher

UNIT CONVENOR / the COLLEGE TEACHER

Ensure feedback on academic performance is provided to students throughout the session by all staff involved in the teaching of the unit.

STUDENT

Request Feedback
Receive and reflect on all feedback received during the session, including that provided generally to all students in the unit and that provided individually.

Note that it is not possible to appeal the result for an individual assessment task completed during the teaching of the unit. An appeal is only possible once the final grade has been released.

Request feedback from the Unit Convenor / the College Teacher on your overall performance in the unit.

Perceived Problem
Where there appears a discrepancy between the grade received for a unit of study and that expected, and where this discrepancy can be demonstrated with sufficient documentary evidence, consider submitting a grade appeal.

Submit Appeal
Where appropriate, log in to the grade appeal system and within 20 working days from the published result date for the particular unit of study, submit a grade appeal. Ensure all necessary supporting evidence is provided. Note that applications not supported by sufficient evidence are invalid and will not be considered eligible for consideration.

Late applications will not be considered unless supported by valid reasons for the delay.

Perceived Procedural Irregularity
After receiving notification on the outcome of a grade appeal, and where there appears an irregularity in the conduct of that appeal, submit a written appeal to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar via Academic_Appeals@mq.edu.au. The appeal must include details of the perceived procedural irregularity.

FACULTY / the COLLEGE STUDENT ADMINISTRATION AND SERVICES MANAGER

Oversee the process for all appeals.

Ensure all appeals are conducted in a timely and efficient manner.

Arrange for the University’s online grade appeal and student systems to be updated appropriately.

Notify the student of the outcome of their appeal.

Review Validity

Undertake an initial review of all appeals to determine if there is sufficient evidence, and that the evidence supports the selected grounds, for the appeal to be considered valid.

Where the evidence submitted does not provide sufficient grounds for the appeal to be considered valid, advise the student that the appeal is invalid and will not considered.

Where the evidence provided is sufficient arrange for the appeal to be processed.

Process Appeals
Establish an administrative system within the faculty to process appeals based on the grounds:

  • of a clerical error
  • that the Unit Guide was not in accordance with the Unit Guide Policy.

Where no grounds for the appeal can be found, advise the student that the appeal is dismissed.

Where there are grounds for the appeal, submit a recommendation on the outcome of the appeal to the Head of Department / Associate Director - MUIC Programs.

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT / ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR - MUIC PROGRAMS
For all appeals ensure the approved process has been undertaken.

Determine Reviewers
On receipt of a grade appeal based on one or more of the following grounds, assign a staff member to undertake a review:

  • due regard was not paid to an illness or misadventure that had been found to be eligible for special consideration
  • the student had been disadvantaged in some way due to the conduct of an assessment task
  • the student had been disadvantaged by variation of the assessment requirements or feedback provisions laid out in the Unit Guide.

Receive Recommendation
Receive a recommendation on the outcome of each valid grade appeal.

Review and then forward the recommendation to the Executive Dean/the College Director.

Receive from the Executive Dean/the College Director the determination as to whether the appeal is to be upheld or dismissed.

Where the determination involves a change to the student’s SNG, arrange for the SNG to be amended.

Notify the Faculty / the College Student Administration and Services Manager of the outcome and actions to be undertaken.

EXECUTIVE DEAN / THE COLLEGE DIRECTOR

Quality Assurance
Ensure no grade appeal will be reviewed by a person who was involved in the assessment process or determination of the final grade for the unit in which the grade appeal has been received.

Determine Outcome
Receive and consider the recommendations related to all valid grade appeals.

Determine if there are grounds for an appeal to be upheld, and if so, whether there is to be an amendment to the SNG.

Notify the Head of Department / Associate Director - MUIC Programs accordingly.

Report
Provide a report (see Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma) to the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) by 1 April each year indicating:

  • the issues that arose in the operation of the grade appeal process for units offered by the Faculty / the College in the previous calendar year
  • the strategies being implemented to address these issues.

DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR (ACADEMIC) AND REGISTRAR

Late Appeals
Receive and consider grade appeals submitted after the due date. Review, and where there are valid reasons for the delay in submission, arrange for the appeal to be considered by the relevant Faculty/the College.

Procedural Irregularity
Receive appeals where the student believes there has been a procedural irregularity in the grade appeal process.

Arrange for the Grading Appeals Committee to consider these appeals.

Notify the student, Head of Department / Associate Director - MUIC Programs and Executive Dean / the College Director of the outcome.

GRADING APPEALS COMMITTEE

Receive and consider appeals against the outcome of a grade appeal noting that such appeals are limited to procedural grounds only.

Advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar of the Committee’s determination.

5     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

6     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma
Grade Appeal Policy (see tab above)
Online Grade Appeal System

7     NOTES

7.1
Contact Officer
Chair, Senate Learning and Teaching Committee
7.2
Implementation Officer
 
7.3
Approval Authority / Authorities
Academic Senate
7.4
Date Approved
17 October 2012
7.5
Date of Commencement
For units with a teaching start date of 10 December 2012 or later
7.6
Date for Review
Three years from date of approval
7.7
Documents Superseded by this Procedure
 
7.8
Amendment History

8 November 2017 – Updated references for Deputy Registrar to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Registrar.
8 May 2017 – addition of Grade Appeal Faculty Summary Report Pro-Forma
13 Feb 2017 – addition of Academic_Appeals@mq.edu.au email for appeals concerning procedural irregularities.
24 May 2016 – removal of ground for appeal, Academic Senate Resolution 16/183
30 October 2015 – included reference to Macquarie University International College (MUIC); alignment with Policy Framework template

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