New Assessment Policy came into effect January 1, 2021!

After extensive consultation and considerable work, the Assessment Policy Working Group (which includes representation from all colleges and the student body) are pleased to advise that the new Assessment Policy was approved at Academic Senate at the November 2020 meeting.

The new policy and associated procedures can be found in the Policy Library (Academic and students > Admission, enrolment, assessment and progress).  The Assessment Policy and supporting documents (as well as other guides and resources) are intended to work together as a framework that supports student success in the way it fosters and certifies students’ learning and provides opportunities for them to reflect on and monitor their learning progress.

It is important to carefully read the new policy and procedures, however, below is a summary of key positions/changes which are approved:

Document Key positions/changes
Assessment Policy The policy principles have been refreshed with a focus on student success.
Assessment Practice Procedures


·       Examinations to be included in topic assessment only where they are demonstrated to be the most appropriate method for assessing student learning or required for professional registration or accreditation.

·       Attendance is not to be included as a component of the topic’s final grade, unless it can be linked to the demonstration of the achievement of learning outcomes, safe practice, professional competencies, or registration/accreditation requirements.

·       The number of assessment activities is to be kept to a minimum.

·       Any larger assessment activity that makes up a major percentage of the final topic grade is to be clearly scaffolded with staged opportunities for students to review their learning progress.

·       Moderation to occur at three stages in the assessment cycle: at the time of topic assessment design, during the teaching period and when submitting topic final grades.

Grading Scheme


·       Dean (Education) replaces the responsibilities of the Examinations Board for finalising topic grades.

·       Grade Point Average value for a Fail grade has been changed from 0 to 1.5 to align Flinders’ practice with that of the other South Australian universities.

·       Emphasis on grades over marks.

Assessment Variation Procedures


·       Supporting information (e.g. a medical certificate) for extension requests only required for extensions greater than three University business days.

·       Penalties for late submission to be determined by the Dean (Education) to ensure consistency of consequences within each course.

·       Consistent practice for resubmission and supplementary assessment:

·       a student will be given a single opportunity to resubmit a failed assessment activity worth 20% or more, provided they meaningfully attempted the assessment activity, submitted the activity by the due date and did not receive an opportunity for feedback on a draft or answer guides as part of the feedback

·       any student that has not achieved a passing grade for a topic will be offered a supplementary assessment provided they completed all the required assessment activities, used all opportunities for resubmission and passed all NGP hurdle requirements.

Bringing in such a wide-reaching policy can be tricky and as such the implementation is a stepped approach so that practices that can be readily implemented – e.g. the provisions on extensions and the requirements for supporting information and the approach to resubmission can take immediate effect, while practices that will take more time and will require topic assessment redesign will be progressively realised.

This means the Assessment Policy, Grading Scheme and Assessment Variation Procedures came into effect from 1 January 2021, whereas the Assessment Practice Procedures will not come into effect until 2022 to allow time for alignment of course and topic assessment with the new practices.  In the interim, to ensure continuity with key procedural matters that will fall under the Assessment Practice Procedures, relevant provisions from the current Assessment Policy will be extended. These are captured in Schedule A to the new policy and apply from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

It is recognised that a number of topics started in 2020 and continue in 2021.  In these cases, the 2020 policy will apply however, it would be wise for topic coordinators to adopt key student facing approaches from the new Assessment Variation Procedures as soon as possible and practicable.  Similarly, topic coordinators preparing SAMS for Semester 1 topics should ensure that information provided to students is in line with the new policy.

During 2021, all topic coordinators will be supported to carefully review, reflect and improve assessment within and across topics and courses and align to the new Assessment Practice Procedures through a series of university wide and college-based activities.  A suite of resources is also being developed which includes templates for key processes, Good Practice Guides and Tip Sheets and a streamlined governance process for topic changes related to the new policy and procedures.

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