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Review of Final Unit Grades Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy sets out the principles for students to seek a review of a final unit grade and the timeframes in which QUT will respond.

(2) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the procedural information provided on the  HiQ website (QUT staff and student access only).

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Section 2 - Application

(3) This Policy applies to domestic and international students, undergraduate and postgraduate students. The policy applies to review of the final grade for a unit after release of results and does not apply to review of individual assessment item results during the course of a teaching period.  Queries relating to individual assessment item results, as those items are completed, should be addressed through receipt of feedback, as outlined in Section 4 below.

(4) This Policy is not designed to respond to Special Circumstances (where unforeseen or unavoidable events or circumstances may affect a student’s capacity to successfully complete assessment). The Student Academic Concessions Policy responds to those.

(5) The Policy is not a feedback mechanism for students’ learning experiences. The university conducts activities such as the Student Voice Survey for that purpose

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Executive Dean
Determines the outcome of an appeal against formal review of unit grade.
Faculty Review Committee
Makes recommendations to the executive dean on appeals against formal review of unit grade outcomes.
Reports to the Faculty Academic Board on review of grade statistics.
Head of School (or equivalent)
Determines the outcome of a formal review of unit grade application.
Unit Coordinator (or equivalent) (may be delegated)
Considers informal review applications.
Recommends changes to grades for students.
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
Approves protocols for the review of grade processes.
Director, Student Administration
Manages the review of unit grade process and advises students of outcomes.
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Section 4 - Assessment and Feedback

(6) Students are entitled to timely access to feedback on, and the results of, their own individual assessment items, including examinations (Assessment and Feedback Policy). During a teaching period, students should discuss their achievement in all assessment items with relevant teaching staff, and can expect to be provided with a clear indication of the extent to which they have or have not achieved the objectives set for each assessment item, as provided in the Assessment and Feedback Policy. This should be undertaken normally within five working days after the release of the grade/mark for the assessment item. This provides students with an opportunity to obtain further feedback on assessment items, and to ask questions or seek clarification from teaching staff, where required, about their achievement against the assessment criteria for individual assessment items completed during a teaching period.

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Section 5 - Review of Unit Grades

(7) Students who dispute the final grade received for the unit may initiate the Review of unit grade (QUT staff and student access only) process. Review of unit grades may lead to no change or to a less favourable or a more favourable outcome for the student regarding the grade for the unit in question.

(8) Initiation of the review of unit grade process will not affect the final grade for a unit and any consequential prevention of enrolment in other units that require the unit as a requisite, until the review process is finalised.

(9) Review of a passing grade for a unit under step 2 and the Appeal stage attracts a charge (schedule of administrative charges) which is reimbursed if a higher grade is awarded for the unit following the review. There is no charge for review of fail grades for units.

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Section 6 - Step 1 – Informal Review

(10) As a first step, the student should have accessed:

  1. feedback in relation to achieving the objectives of the individual assessment items (Assessment and Feedback Policy); and
  2. the component marks for individual assessment items and their relative weightings making up the overall grade (Assessment and Feedback Policy).

(11) Following release of the final grade for the unit, if a student is unclear on the reasons for the overall grade for the unit or believes that an error has occurred in the compilation of the overall grade from component assessment items, they should consult the Unit Coordinator, normally within 5 working days. If the Unit Coordinator confirms that an error has occurred, they will recommend to the Executive Dean, in accordance with the Grading Scales and Awards Policy (Section 9), that the grade be corrected.

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Section 7 - Step 2 – Formal Review  

(12) After completing step 1 of these procedures, if the student disputes the final grade received for the unit, they may apply for a formal review of the unit grade, on either of the following two grounds, normally within 10 working days of the release of the grade:

  1. An error has occurred in the compilation of the overall grade from component assessment items, which was not corrected at Step 1; and
  2. The result awarded does not reflect the demonstrated achievement of the assessment criteria relating to the assessment item/s in dispute. 

(13) The application must include a clear written submission (preferably limited to three pages) which is supported by documented evidence that demonstrates how the relevant ground/s applies. With regard to the second ground (clause 12(b)), the application must identify which assessment item/s are disputed.

(14) The Head of School responsible for the unit will assign an independent assessor (not previously involved in reviewing or marking the student’s assessment items) to review the student’s written submission and supporting evidence. Where the student’s application includes the second ground, the assessor will have relevant subject matter expertise and will re-assess the item/s in dispute, to determine whether the original assessment was made in accordance with the unit outline and consistent with the assessment criteria.

(15) The assessor will recommend one of the following outcomes to the Head of School:

  1. There is no change to the unit grade;
  2. The unit grade is corrected, in accordance with the Grading Scales and Awards Policy, because an error has been identified in the compilation of the grade from component assessment items; and
  3. The student’s unit grade be altered, in accordance with the Grading Scales and Awards Policy, where the re-assessment process resulted in a different unit grade.

(16) The outcome to the student will contain a report by the assessor that will address the matters the student raised in their submission and include the Head of School's decision on the matter with the reasons for that decision.

(17) The student is normally advised of the outcome within 20 working days of submission of the request for formal review.

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Section 8 - Appeal

(18) A student who disputes the outcome of the formal review of unit grade (step 2) may appeal the decision, normally within five working days of notification of the outcome.

(19) The applicant must provide a clear written submission stating why the formal review outcome was inadequate. The student must address the rationale provided in the outcome and may include additional reasons or supporting evidence. Resubmission of the original case for review without addressing the outcome of the formal review will not be accepted.

(20) The application is forwarded to the faculty review committee, established by the Executive Dean, for consideration.

(21) The faculty review committee is a sub-committee of the Faculty Academic Board comprising, at a minimum, a nominee of the Executive Dean as Chair, a member of academic staff and a student representative appointed by the Faculty Academic Board, none of whom were involved in previous levels of this review or marking the student’s assessment items for the unit in question. The quorum of the committee is three.

(22) The committee may seek written input from relevant academic staff.

(23) The committee checks that correct processes have been followed, assesses the adequacy of the Head of School's response to the formal review application, and considers any new matters included in the student's written submission.

(24) The faculty review committee makes a recommendation to the Executive Dean to either uphold the school level (step 2) outcome or to vary the outcome.  

(25) The Executive Dean will consider the recommendation of the review committee and make a final determination. The decision of the Executive Dean is final.

(26) The applicant is normally advised of the outcome within 20 working days of submission of the request for formal review at faculty level. The response to the application for review must include a response to the student's case and the reasons for the decision.

(27) The faculty review committee monitors the number and type of reviews conducted and reports on its activities to the Faculty Academic Board.

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Section 9 - Status of Students Awaiting the Outcome of a Review

(28) The University will make determinations on reviews as soon as practicable but will not necessarily resolve any particular case before the census date for the next teaching period. The final grade for a unit and any related academic outcome will stand until the review process is finalised.

(29) Students whose review will not be resolved before the commencement of the teaching period (where the delay is not the fault of the student) are permitted to enrol in units within the course of study. Students must consult the Course Coordinator about the enrolment program they will undertake while awaiting the outcome of a review. When the review process is finalised, the student remains bound by the ruling or by the consequences of the grade which was the subject of the review and may be withdrawn from nominated unit enrolments (if appropriate) with no adverse consequences upon that unit.

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Section 10 - Definitions

Term Definition
Grade Means the final grade awarded for the unit.
International Student Has the same meaning as "overseas student" in the  Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth).
Executive Dean Includes Executive Director, QUT College.