Assessment

UK Quality Code

Within this section, staff and students should refer to the following Expectation(s) from the UK Quality Code. For additional guidance, reference should be made to the relevant Indicators within the stated Chapter(s) of the UK Quality Code.

Expectation (Chapter B6):

‘Higher education providers operate equitable, valid and reliable processes of assessment, including for the recognition of prior learning, which enable every student to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes for the credit or qualification being sought’.

Indicator(s):

Within Chapter B6: ‘Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning’, there are eighteen indicators of sound practice.

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/quality-code-part-b

Expectation (Chapter B7)

‘Higher education providers make scrupulous use of external examiners.’

Expectation (Chapter A3.4)

‘In order to be transparent and publicly accountable, degree-awarding bodies use external and independent expertise at key stages of setting and maintaining academic standards to advise on whether:

  • UK threshold academic standards are set, delivered and achieved
  • the academic standards of the degree-awarding body are appropriately set and maintained..’

Indicator(s)

Chapter B7: ‘External Examining’, outlines eighteen indicators of sound practice with regards to assessment of students. Staff are required ensure that these indicators are considered and applied where relevant.

The link below gives further details within this chapter and the sound practice indicators:

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/quality-code-part-b

Overview

Because all of our courses are offered in association with academic partners, our assessment policies and strategies are necessarily influenced by those partners. Our academic partners also have a duty to monitor us in terms of standards of assessment and standardisation.

The University of Northampton provide all assessments for the modules on their programmes. Any grades that our staff award are provisional only, and may only be confirmed following submission to the awarding partner university, scrutiny by the external moderator and confirmation by the Examination Board.

Types of Assessment

With regard to assessment for partner university courses, we are required to follow the university principles for assessments.

Assessments may include formal examinations, prepared term-end or staged assignments, practical tests, projects and journals, individually or in combination. In addition, and in compliance with our Academic Strategy and with the UK Quality Code, we employ a step approach to autonomous learning as student’s progress through a course.

Externality in Assessment

Staff and students should refer to the following Expectation from the UK Quality Code. For additional guidance, reference should be made to the relevant Indicators within the stated Chapter of the UK Quality Code.

Expectation (Chapter B7)

‘Higher education providers make scrupulous use of external examiners’.

Indicator(s)

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/quality-code-part-b

 Expectation (Chapter A3.4)

‘In order to be transparent and publicly accountable, degree-awarding bodies use external and

independent expertise at key stages of setting and maintaining academic standards to advise
on whether:

  • UK threshold academic standards are set, delivered and achieved
  • the academic standards of the degree-awarding body are appropriately set and maintained’.

Stages of Assessment (Assignments) – University Courses

Largely, for assignments, the processes shown in the preceding flowchart are mirrored for our university courses. However, there are the following differences:

  • In the case of University of Northampton courses, all assessments are provided by the University. For non-University of Northampton courses, if any amendments are required by the University Moderator, these are referred back to the Course Leader. Upon finalisation, assessments are completed by students.
  • Assignment submission is made through our VLE (Moodle) and passed through Turnitin except for the University of Northampton courses where assignments are submitted through the University’s own VLE – ‘NILE’.
  • First marking is undertaken by the relevant lecturer.

Stages of Assessment (Examinations) – University Courses

For all university examinations, we follow the rules set out in the partner university regulations.  This does not mean that our duty towards ensuring the integrity of the assessment process is reduced, however some parts of the process are within the remit of the partner university. The process is as follows:

  • The examination papers are set by our lecturers and then sent to the university for moderation except, in the case of Northampton modules where all examinations, time constrained in class tests and multiple choice tests are set and provided by Northampton. The moderators at the university might ask for amendments or approve papers we have set. Once approved, these papers are secured within the Registry under the supervision of a designated member of staff.
  • At the time of the examination, the papers are distributed to the students.
  • The responsibility for first marking lies with the relevant lecturer for the module. Once marked, papers are then sent to the university for moderation.
  • The university appoints an External Examiner who selects a sample set of examination papers (and all other forms of assessment).

Provision of Feedback

We set out our policy and detailed procedures for providing feedback within our Assessment Methodology and Procedures documents.  The overall goal of our policy is to provide a consistent and high quality level of feedback to learners in order to maximise their ability to meet their potential and achieve the qualification to which they are working.

Documents relevant to degree courses

Assessment Methodology and Procedures – Degrees

Documents relevant to HND courses

Assessment Methodology and Procedures – HND

 

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