Chapter 2 - Setting and Submission of Assessments

  1. Setting and Submission of Assessments
    1. Principles for Setting Assessment
      1. When designing assessments the following principles must be applied:
        1. The volume, timing and nature of assessments must be designed with the intention of enabling students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the relevant intended learning outcomes.
        2. All intended learning outcomes should be assessed.
        3. Information to students about what is expected of them must be provided clearly and explicitly at the beginning of each module and/or programme.
        4. Assessments must support student learning as well as measuring achievement.
        5. Information on any arrangements for re-assessment must be made available to students at the beginning of each module.
      2. When setting assessment(s) consideration should be given to the need to eliminate opportunities for academic misconduct.
      3. There should always be more than one assessment for a module although it is permitted to have only one summative assessment element.
      4. Guidelines on the use of assessment methods, criteria and feedback should be made available by Faculties (or delegated Schools) to all staff involved in the assessment and feedback process.
    2. Timing
      1. All undergraduate students should have an opportunity to undertake at least one assessment in the first six weeks of the commencement of their programmes.
      2. Students must be informed of the submission dates of all assessments. This should be done by the end of the first week of the start of each module. Where this is not possible, students should be given at least four weeks’ notice of the deadline for submission.
    3. Information to be Made Available to Students
      1. Students should have access to the marking criteria that will be applied to their assessment(s).
      2. Information for students should make it clear to whom, and how submission takes place. In order to provide unambiguous evidence of the date and time of submission, the methods of submission must include a mechanism for recording the submission. It should also include a mechanism for asserting on the part of students that the work in question is their own.
      3. Functions of Assessment
        1. Formative Assessment: An assessment item for which the mark does not contribute to the final mark for a module. Formative assessment may or may not be compulsory and penalties for non-completion may not apply. Formative assessment has a developmental purpose. It should indicate what is good about a piece of work and why this is good; it should indicate how the work could be improved.
        2. Summative Assessment: An assessment item for which the mark contributes to the final mark for a module. For summative assessments the module descriptor must indicate the percentage weighting of the final mark. Summative assessment is used to gauge the extent to which students can demonstrate attainment of the intended learning outcomes of a module or programme in relation to published marking criteria.
      4. When setting assignments the following information must be provided to
        students, as applicable:
        1. Word count, including details on what should be included within this.
        2. Referencing style and associated guide.
        3. Link to Academic Conduct and Practice (Chapter 12, Assessment Progression and Awarding Handbook).
        4. Style guide (if the department does not have their own guide students should be asked to use the University guide for taught students - see supporting information below).
        5. Method of submission.
        6. Marking criteria.
      5. The information under 2.3.4 must be available through the ELE page for the module (except where inappropriate), either through links to other documents or as part of an assignment brief. (An example assignment brief can be found under supporting information below)

        Supporting Information:
        Style Guide
        Assignment Brief
    4. Methods of Assessment
      1. Over the course of a programme of study a diverse range of areas of knowledge and skills should be assessed to mark achievement of a diverse range of intended learning outcomes, and utilising a diverse range of forms of assessment. When designing assessment(s), consideration should be given to the most appropriate method of assessment to support student learning and ascertain whether students have manifested attainment of intended learning outcomes. Advice on setting appropriate methods of assessment can be sought from the University’s Academic Development team.
    5. Setting Re-assessments
      1. Students who have been referred in an assessment, or have been given permission to defer an assessment, must be assessed on the original syllabus.
      2. Where there are practical reasons why the original form of assessment on a module cannot be replicated for referral or deferral purposes, an alternative form of assessment must be used. Examples of when this approach is justified include where the original assessment relied on fieldwork, group work, access to specialist equipment, or input from visiting staff; or where the process of assessment throughout the module was intricate, involving many assessments. The method of reassessment should address as many of the module’s intended learning outcomes as is possible. The rationale for using alternative forms of assessment should be explained to students when their assessments are referred or deferred.
      3. Where reassessment in the form of an exam is via the same format as the original assessment, any questions/ tasks set should be different.
    6. Setting Examination Papers and Rubrics
      1. Assessments are an integral part of the learning process and should therefore be planned with appropriate care and rigour. The process for the setting of assessments is outlined below. The Director of Education and Student Experience should inform the Head of Department and Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education (or nominee) of any issues or obstacles to meeting processes or timescales; at the end of the process, any outstanding issues will be reported to the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty.
      2. For each module, a member of academic staff should be nominated as a Module Moderator. The nominated staff member should be from the same department as the module to which they have been assigned, but not involved in teaching on this module; the Module Moderator will be required to review all examination papers and instructions for coursework associated with this module.
    7. Role of External Examiners
      1. External Examiners must approve the methods of assessment, assessment criteria and feedback processes for all summative assessments which contribute to the final award classification. For assessments delivered within a limited timeframe, during which students have no recourse to immediate academic assistance (i.e. examinations), External Examiners should approve the form and content of prepared questions/tasks. For assessments delivered over a longer timeframe, during which it is possible for students to submit and receive responses to academic enquiries, it is sufficient that External Examiners review the form of the assessment only.
    8. Instructions for Setting Assessments
      1. Instructions for Assignments; Assessments not undertaken under controlled and timed conditions e.g. essays, fieldwork, lab reports etc.
        1. All instructions for assignments must be reviewed by the Module Moderator. Normally, improvements/revisions to the instructions for assignments will be finalised and agreed with the Module Convenor/ Leader in advance of the term in which the module is taught. However, in some modules, the nature of the assignment requires co-construction by both staff and students; in such cases, the instructions will be finalised and agreed by a date agreed with the Director of Education and Student Experience.
        2. All assignment deadlines set should be reviewed by the Director of Education and Student Experience before publication to students to check for potential overlap between modules and review of assessment deadline bunching within a programme or cohort.
      2. Instructions for Examinations: Assessments undertaken under controlled and timed conditions e.g. exams, in-class tests, presentations etc.
        1. All draft examination papers (including full rubric) should be completed no later than twelve weeks before the start of the relevant exam period.
        2. All draft examination papers must be reviewed by the Module Moderator and improvements/revisions agreed with the Module Convenor/ Leader. An example of good practice is the use of an internal ‘scrutiny group’ to review the content of the draft papers and the associated process ahead of submission to the External Examiner.
        3. Once agreed internally, draft examination papers must be sent to the External Examiner for review and approval.
        4. Following any required revisions determined by the External Examiner, examination papers must be returned to the Module Convenor/ Leader for further amendments if required.
        5. Where any revised papers (with rubric) include any complex calculations or data analysis, these papers must be subject to appropriate checking by an impartial academic colleague as a trial exercise, with a worked answer provided for assistance.
        6. Once the Module Convenor/ Leader is satisfied that the above checks have been appropriately completed, a PDF must be generated, checked against the original and provided in electronic form to the Exams Office no later than 6 weeks before the relevant exam period. To check that all fonts are embedded within a PDF document, please click here; Checking Embedded Fonts (PDF conversion). For those wishing to embed fonts, please click on the following link Embedding Fonts (PDF conversion).
        7. At the point of electronic submission to the Exams Office, the Module Convenor/Leader should indicate whether they require sight of the final printed paper to check the resolution/clarity of graphs, tables or images or to address any issues which may have been generated in the PDF conversion or printing process. Upon receiving such a request, the Exams Office will provide a sample paper for the Module Convenor/Leader to check. This sample will be as close as possible to the version that would be presented to students. Module Convenors/Leaders will be invited to check and sign off the hard-copy sample within a week of the original deadline (i.e. no more than 5 weeks before the relevant exam period).
        8. Prescribed timescales for this process for each examination period are included in Table 1 below. Failure to comply with timescales may result in further action as described in 2.6
        9. A report confirming completion of the above process is to be submitted to the Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education (or nominee) of the Faculty (or delegated School) one week following the deadline for submission of papers to the Examinations Office. Any issues outstanding at this stage should reported by the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of College to the Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Education) for action and VCEG for record.
        10. Any issues which are experienced in the exam itself must be communicated to the relevant markers.
      3. Standardisation of the format and basic layout of examination papers and rubrics throughout the University provides clarity and consistency for students and supports the Examinations Office and its staff in preparations prior to and during examination sessions. Detailed notes on the presentation and preparation of examination papers and rubrics are found in Annex A.
      4. Examination papers should be prepared and stored only on computers which have physical and software security measures that are fit for purpose, i.e., it should be beyond reasonable doubt that examination papers have been kept secure at all stages of their preparation prior to use.
      5. All examination rubrics should be available for students to view in advance of the examination.
      6. Past examination papers must be made available via the library and students must be made aware of how to access these in the library archive and via ELE.

        Supporting Information:
        Exam Setting Flow Chart
        Example Exam Setting Approval Form
        Example Module Moderator and Module Leader/ Convenor Checklist

        Table 1:
        Examination Submission Deadline  
         First draft submitted to Module Moderator No Later than 12 working weeks before the relevant Exam period 
         Submission to External Examiner No Later than 8 working weeks before the relevant Exam period
         Submission to Examinations Office No Later than 6 working weeks before the relevant Exam period
         Approval of hard copy sample paper (if requested) No Later than 5 working weeks before the relevant Exam period
    9. Accessibility
      1. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the grounds of disability. In this context, a disabled student is defined as someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial effect on her or his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
      2. The Equality Act also contains the Public Sector Equality duty with which all public sector organisations must comply. This involves removing or minimising disadvantage suffered by people with a disability, and states that compliance with the duty may involve treating some people differently than others. The Equality Act 2010 continues the existing duty upon higher education institutions to make reasonable adjustments where students with a disability might otherwise be substantially disadvantaged.
      3. The University has an anticipatory duty under the Equality Act (Amendment) Order 2012, which means that consideration must be given to how assessment(s) are made accessible to students with disabilities. This consideration forms an essential part of programme and module design, and review. It is the responsibility of all staff members to ensure that their teaching and the process of assessment is accessible. Staff should be aware of their anticipatory duty to make reasonable adjustments to any part of the teaching for students with a disability.
      4. Adjustments and suitable adaptation to a student’s specific needs should be made in dialogue with the student. An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) will often be agreed in collaboration with AccessAbility or the Wellbeing Service and includes advice on appropriate adjustments to meet the student’s specific needs.
    10. Principles of Submission
      1. Deadlines for submission must be communicated to students; this communication should be clear, explicit and easily accessible;
      2. The consequences of late or non-submission must be made clear to students;
      3. Methods for the granting of extensions to the submission deadline for assessed work must ensure that all students are treated fairly and consistently.
    11. Late Submission of Coursework and Online Examinations
      1. Coursework
        1. Coursework submitted within one hour of the deadline, and which has reached the standard of the module pass mark or above, will be awarded a penalty of 5% of the total available marks for the coursework, down to a minimum score of the module pass mark. Coursework submitted within one hour of the deadline, which does not reach the standard of the module pass mark, will not be awarded a penalty of 5%. Late submission of coursework more than one hour after a submission deadline and up to 24 hours beyond a submission deadline must receive a mark capped at the module pass mark, unless an application for mitigation is approved. First submissions submitted later than 24 hours after the deadline will receive a mark of zero. See also the table in 2.11.3 below.
        2. Referred coursework which is submitted beyond the submission deadline must receive a mark of zero, unless an application for mitigation is approved.
        3. Students may apply for mitigation for a one week (7 calendar days) or up to two weeks (14 calendar days) extension. In exceptional, severe and complex circumstances, a third week may be granted. Please see Chapter 10 - Mitigation: Deadline extensions and deferrals for more information. Where an exceptional three-week extension has been granted, work submitted at any point beyond the extended submission deadline will receive a mark of zero. Any students requiring additional time should submit a further application for mitigation within 24 hours of the extended deadline in order to be granted a deferral.
        4. Work resubmitted as a result of a Penalty C Academic Misconduct outcome (see: the Tariff of Penalties in Chapter 12 Academic conduct and practice) must receive a mark of zero, unless an application for mitigation is approved.If the Academic Misconduct penalty had been applied to a first submission the student would still have a right of referral on the assessment.
        5. If a student receives an Academic Misconduct Penalty against a piece of work that was submitted late but then submits the resubmission on time, the resubmitted assessment should not receive a late cap.
        6. A set of Late Submission of Coursework FAQs are provided for clarity.
      2. Online Examinations
        1. The following applies to examinations submitted via BART. These penalties are not relevant to examinations submitted via systems such as ELE and Pratique where the software will automatically stop the exam as soon as the submission deadline has been reached.
        2. Late penalties for online examinations can be found in the tables in 2.11.3 below. Penalties vary according to the extent to which the submission is late. Penalties are applied to work that has reached the standard of the module pass mark or above.
        3. Referred examinations which are submitted beyond the submission deadline must receive a mark of zero, unless an application for mitigation is approved. 
      3. Tables of Late Penalties
        1. First Submissions including a submission as a result of a Penalty B Academic Misconduct Outcome

          Assessment Type  Time Available for completing Assessment  Penalty to be applied:

           
          No penalty
          Reduce by 5%Cap at pass markMark of zero
          Online Examination – Option 1 24 Hours   Up to 59 secs 1 min up to 4 mins, 59 secs 5 mins up to 29 mins, 59 secs 30mins or more
          Online Examination – Option 2 

          As set by rubric, typically less than 24 hours. When submitting to BART, students are permitted an additional 30 minute upload window on top of the examination duration

            Up to 59 secs 1 min up to 4 mins, 59 secs 5 mins up to 29 mins, 59 secs

          30mins or more

            Where a student submits within the total fixed duration for their Option 2 examination, but after the end of the 24 hour window, then the following penalties will apply: Up to 59 secs 1 min up to 4 mins, 59 secs

          5 mins up to 29 mins, 59 secs

          30mins or more

          Online Examination – Option 3

          Option 3 examinations are no longer in use          

          Online Examination – Option 4

          Single start time, fixed duration   Up to 59 secs 1 min up to 4 mins, 59 secs 5 mins up to 29 mins, 59 secs  30mins or more 
          Coursework  Usually at least 4 to 6 weeks     Up to 59 mins, 59 secs 1 hr to up to 23 hrs, 59 mins 59 secs More than 24 hrs
          Short duration coursework / “take home papers” Typically less than 2 weeks     Up to 59 mins, 59 secs 1 hr to up to 23 hrs, 59 mins 59 secs More than 24 hrs
        2. Referred submissions and submissions as a result of a Penalty C Academic Misconduct Outcome

            Penalty to be applied
          Assessment TypeTime Available for completing AssessmentMark of Zero
          Online Examination As set by rubric, typically less than 24 hours Any submission after the deadline
          Coursework Usually at least 4 to 6 weeks Any submission after the deadline
          Short duration coursework / “take home papers” Typically less than 2 weeks Any submission after the deadline
      4. Submission Errors - Coursework
        1. Where a student submits the incorrect file, or the file is corrupted, and realises their error, they may choose to submit the correct file late and accept the late penalty that applies at the point at which the replacement submission is made.
        2. Where a student has submitted their assignment on time, but to the wrong location (such as a different assessment submission link) within a University of Exeter system, the student will be responsible for providing details of where the submission can be found, within the relevant timeframe set out in the table of late penalties above. Providing it can be accessed, the piece of work should be marked and a non-capped mark awarded. Where a student does not provide this information and/or the submission cannot be accessed, the relevant late penalty will be applied at the point at which the student submits their assignment to the correct location. 
      5. Submission Errors - Examinations
        1. Where a student submits the incorrect file, or the file is corrupted, if a student realises their error, they may choose to submit the correct file late and accept the late penalty that applies at the point at which the replacement submission is made.
        2. Where a student has submitted their examination on time, but to the wrong location (such as a different assessment submission link) within a University of Exeter system, the student will be responsible for providing details of where the submission can be found within the relevant timeframe set out in the table of late penalties above. Providing it can be accessed, the piece of work should be marked and a non-capped mark awarded. Where a student does not provide this information and/or the submission cannot be accessed, the relevant late penalty will be applied at the point at which the student submits their assignment to the correct location.
      6. Faculties (or delegated Schools) must publish the University penalty for the late submission of assessed work in the relevant programme, module or Faculty (or delegated School) handbook.
      7. External Examiners should be informed where students’ overall marks for modules have been affected because of penalties applied for late submission.
      8. The scheduling of Mitigation Committees should allow for the consideration of applications for extensions to submission deadlines in advance of submission deadlines, either through scheduling ad-hoc meetings or through the delegation of such decisions.
      9. For students experiencing disabilities there may be specific requests for exceptions to the above in relation to extensions or the spreading out of deadlines. These will either be detailed within the students’ individual learning plans (ILPs) or through discussion at a Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study meeting.
      10. Illegible Scripts
        1. In the event that students hand-write their answers for an examination, it is their responsibility to provide a script that is clearly legible. Candidates who submit scripts which examiners are unable to read will be invited to produce a word-processed transcript. This transcript must be a true copy of the original. If any embellishments are found, this will be treated as suspected academic misconduct following guidance under Chapter 12 – Academic Conduct and Practice.
    12. Non-submission and Non-attendance
      1. Students are expected to complete all assessments whether they are formative or summative. Failure to attend or submit a summative assessment should be accompanied by an application for mitigation with supporting evidence, in accordance with Chapter 10 - Mitigation: Deadline extensions and deferrals.
      2. For students experiencing disabilities there may be specific requests for exceptions to the above, in relation to non-submission or non-attendance. These will either be detailed within the students' individual learnings plan(s) (ILPs) or through discussion at a Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study meeting.
    13. Module Completion Timeframe and Deferral
      1. Modules must be completed by the end of the academic year following that in which they were started. Periods of interruption are not included within this timeframe. Exceptions to this rule may be granted in exceptional circumstances and with the authority of the Dean for Taught Students.
      2. If students are prevented from completing an assessment for a module (or modules), and mitigation has been approved, then deferral may be recommended. Deferred assessment(s) should be taken at the next available opportunity in the official Referral/ Deferral assessment period. As detailed in Chapter 2, a deferred candidate should be assessed on the original syllabus, but alternative methods of assessment may be employed in certain circumstances, for example, following interruption.
      3. Where a student has successfully completed individual assessment components in a module, these marks will be retained and combined with the marks from any outstanding part(s) of the assessment process for which they have been deferred. If outstanding components remain at the end of the maximum module period (see 2.13.1), students may lose their right to referral and those outstanding components will be given a mark of 0.

Late Submission of Coursework; Frequently Asked Questions 1.I have submitted my assessment up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds late after the deadline, what will my late submission penalty be? Your marked grade will be reduced by 5 percent (%) of the total percentage available for the assessment (i.e. 100%), if your coursework has reached (or is above) the standard of the module pass mark. For example, if you had 65% out of a possible 100%, and submitted up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds late, you would receive a 5% penalty, and receive 60%. If your assessment was judged to be a pass based on quality of work but in the 40-44 (UG) or 50-54 (PGT) boundary, your marked grade will be reduced to the minimum pass mark e.g. 40% for UG, 50% for PGT. Information on the individual pass mark for modules is available here: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/aph/marking/#PassMark Please see the table of late penalties: 2.11.3 for more information: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/aph/settingandsubmission/#late  Assessments judged to be under the pass mark for the module will not receive the 5% penalty (see FQA 8 for more information).
2.I am submitting my piece of coursework between 1 hour and up to 24 hours late, what will my late submission penalty be? Your work will be capped at the pass mark for the assessment (40% for UG, 50% for PGT), unless an application for mitigation has been approved. For more information on Mitigation, please see Chapter 10 - Mitigation: Deadline extensions and deferrals. 3.I am submitting later than 24 hours after my coursework deadline, what will my penalty be?First submissions submitted later than 24 hours after the deadline will receive a mark of zero.
4.I have had an extension agreed to my submission deadline, does the same penalty apply? Yes – you would receive the exact same penalty as  those students submitting at the original deadline time (FAQ 1). 
5.I am submitting a deferred piece of work, does the same penalty apply? Yes – you would receive the exact same penalty as  those students submitting at the original deadline time (FAQ 1).
6.I am submitting a referred piece of work, does the same penalty apply? No – if a referred piece of work is submitted late you will automatically be capped at a zero as soon as the deadline has passed, unless mitigation has been approved. For more information on Mitigation, please see Chapter 10 - Mitigation: Deadline extensions and deferrals. 
7.Is the mark that I can see in the online submission system my final capped mark? This will be advised to you locally. If you are unsure of this, please speak to your Info Point / Hub: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/infopoints/In all cases, the marks released to you in early February (provisional marks) and June (final marks) will show your capped mark. 
8.Where do I find further information about Late Submission of Coursework? Please see the TQA guidance on Late Submission of Coursework which can be found here: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/aph/settingandsubmission/#late. 
9.Why will assessments judged to be under the pass mark not receive the 5% penalty? This would unfairly penalise students who submit failed work within the hour after the deadline, compared to those who submit failed work after this time. Example: a student submitting work at 58 minutes past the deadline gets 37%. If the 5% penalty were to be applied, they would receive 32%, but if they submitted at 62 minutes past the deadline, they would receive 37%.
10.I have an exceptional three-week extension and I am submitting past my revised submission deadline, what will my penalty be?Where an exceptional three-week extension has been granted, work submitted at any point beyond the extended submission deadline will receive a mark of zero. Any students requiring additional time should submit a further application for mitigation within 24 hours of the extended deadline in order to be granted a deferral.
The following information is also available: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/infopoints/yourinfopointservices/mitigation/mitifaq/ 
 Please always check you’re submitting the right piece of work to the right place.
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