Assessment concerns by coursework students

Examples of queries concerning assessment by coursework students are:

  • failing a unit(s);
  • lack of criteria for assessment;
  • lack of timely feedback;
  • placement difficulties;
  • unfair assessment;
  • unfair examination process;
  • unfair examination questions;
  • unfair timelines.

Where students fail an end of semester examination the work is automatically ‘blind’ re-marked by another academic staff member.  This means the student is not identified to the second marker, and they receive an objective assessment

Where a student feels that their work has been marked incorrectly they should first contact their lecturer and/or tutor and ask to view the work concerned. If the student feels aggrieved by the mark he/she can request an independent remark. Although there is no automatic right requiring a remarking of a work which has received a pass mark or above, the MPA has found that in the past some (not all) departments at Monash University will agree to do this as a gesture of good will towards postgraduate students.

Students should be clear about the criteria and basis for the marking before contacting the lecturer. Being unhappy with a mark is not grounds for an appeal. Students are not deemed to be experts in their acadmic area. There must be evidence of error in the marking process. The Assessment Coursework Programs Policy deals with fail marks verification.

The Unit Assessment Procedures provide that: “ Each faculty must have a specified procedure for review of student marks where a student complains of error in the assessment of their work.  The procedures must specify:

10.4.1     Types of assessment to which the procedures apply

10.4.2     Time limits for applying for a review

10.4.3     Method of application for a review

10.4.4     Grounds for review

10.4.5     Responsibilities for and timing of a response

10.4.6    A process for recording decisions to alter marks under these procedures for audit purposes.

10.5   In all circumstances, where a student's work is remarked because of an error, the last mark must stand.

If an error occurred it will be corrected.  In the event that a student successfully lodged a special consideration application this will also be taken into account when a mark is awarded.

Monash University has a number of policies dealing with different aspects of assessment including special consideration. These include:-

If you have a complaint about exam questions not making sense during the examination, an invigilator will usually contact the relevant academic to clarify the situation at the time of the exam.

If a student asks an invigilator the meaning of a question or word in a question, the invigilator is instructed not to assist in the interpretation of questions. Students should try to do the best they can. Invigilators are not permitted to interpret words or questions for students.  This is because they are not academics, and do not have any special knowledge of the area and there is a risk that even in interpreting a non-technical phrase, they could be providing the wrong information and misleading students.

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There are policies regarding re-marking

More information - Advice & advocacy

The staff of the Monash Postgraduate Association (MPA) provide confidential advice on supervision issues and any other difficulties you may be experiencing as a postgraduate student at Monash.

The best way to contact one of our Advocates is by via email. For those postgraduates located off-campus or studying via distance education, advice can be provided by email, and supported by phone calls (funded by the MPA).

Clayton - zuzana.quinn@monash.edu

Caulfield - janice.boey@monash.edu