This policy aligns to Swansea University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy. In particular, it aims to improve the effectiveness of assessment and feedback methods for staff and students by setting out clear and fixed principles that guide practice. These principles are derived from academic research and the QAA’s Quality Code for Higher Education: Assessment. Staff can find in-depth guidance for assessment and feedback in the University’s Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment.
1. Assessment is aligned to intended learning outcomes and teaching methods
What this means for students:
- Each Programme and Module has clear and measurable intended learning outcomes; assessment is purposeful and directed towards achieving these outcomes.
- Students understand the purpose of the assessment, how it will develop their knowledge and skills, and how it contributes to their personal development across their entire degree.
What this means for staff:
- Assessment design is approached holistically with reference to intended module and programme outcomes.
- Staff ensure that students understand the intended learning outcomes and their relevance to assessments.
- Intended learning outcomes and assessments are made known to students.
How this can be implemented
- Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Inclusive Assessment Design, Learning Outcomes
- Module Coordinators Guide
2. Assessment within programmes is varied and employs a range of different methods to ensure development of relevant skills and knowledge
What this means for students:
- Students experience a variety of different assessments that develop a range of technical and transferable skills that will enhance their employability and personal development. Students may be involved in assessment design.
What this means for staff:
- Staff employ a range of assessment methods across the programme to best address the intended learning outcomes, ensure inclusivity and promote student progress.
- Staff design module assessments in relation to the wider curriculum and programme of study, in consultation with Programme Directors and programme team.
- Student partnership in assessment design is encouraged.
How this can be implemented:
- Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Assessment Types, A Guide to Assessment Types
- Assessment Definitions
- Module Coordinators Guide
3. Assessment is inclusive and accessible
What this means for students:
- Assessments are designed to enable all students to meet the intended learning outcomes.
- Students will have the opportunity to engage with formative assessments to enhance their development.
- Students may complete assessments and receive feedback in English or Welsh, and assessments submitted in Welsh will normally be marked in Welsh.
What this means for staff:
- Assessments are accessible by all students and support equality of opportunity (including Welsh language provision).
- Assessments are designed inclusively from the outset, and any further reasonable adjustments are made to ensure assessment is accessible to all. Assessment and Feedback conforms to the legal requirements of the Equality Act (2010).
How this can be implemented:
- Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Inclusive Assessment Design, Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Marking and Moderation, external examiners, extenuating circumstances, Welsh Medium Assessment Framework).
- Module Coordinators Guide
4. Assessment and Feedback/forward is effective, fair, and timely
What this means for students:
- Students are supported and prepared for assessment; there are clear and understandable assessment guidelines and marking criteria, including specific information about when and how feedback will be received, with all information available in English and Welsh.
- Students have the opportunity to discuss assessment and feedback with academic staff.
- All students will receive effective feedback/forward on their assessed work. This may be individual, group, peer, or general feedback
- Students are guided on how to engage with their feedback and use it to inform their learning.
- Assessments and feedback strategies meet subject-specific guidelines and external standards defined by relevant Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies.
What this means for staff:
- Staff design and provide assessment criteria that are explicit, transparent, understandable and made available to students in English and Welsh when assessments are set.
- Staff ensure assessments are effectively moderated.
- External Examiners monitor assessment and feedback strategies.
- Feedback is normally provided to students within 15 working days (or 20 working days including moderated marking) so that it contributes to learning development.
- Feedback/forward is constructive, supportive, clearly justifies the grade, and identifies areas for improvement.
- Feedback is provided in the most appropriate way for each assessment.
How this can be implemented:
- Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Marking and Moderation, Approaches to Inclusive Feedback, Assessment Rubrics).
- Marking and Moderation.
5. Assessment encourages academic integrity
What this means for students:
- Students understand the importance of academic integrity and the different forms of academic misconduct
- Students understand the consequences of academic misconduct.
What this means for staff:
- Assessments are designed to promote academic integrity and minimise opportunities for academic misconduct.
- Staff clearly communicate to students the methods for ensuring academic integrity, how this will be monitored, and the consequences of academic misconduct.
How this can be implemented:
- Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Inclusive Assessment Design, Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Academic Integrity
6. Assessment and Feedback is efficient and manageable (for all)
What this means for students:
- At the beginning of each semester, students are made aware of all planned assessment submission and feedback return dates, including examination periods, so they can plan their studies.
- Where possible, assessments are balanced across the academic year; deadline bunching will be avoided.
- Wherever possible, assessment is submitted and marked, and feedback returned, electronically.
What this means for staff:
- Assessments are designed with consideration to the overall programme, considering overall workload and student outcomes to ensure they are effective, manageable and fit for purpose.
How this can be implemented:
- Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment - Ensuring Effective Balance of Assessment.
1.1 Assessment Scheduling
A programme (or subject area) assessment schedule for all assessments1 (all summative and any scheduled formative assessment) is provided for all students at the beginning of each Semester to ensure assessment diversity, regular formative assessment and effective summative assessment is balanced with the need to not over-load students and staff with assessment. The schedule will identify submission dates and methods for submission of assessments, examination periods, the weighting of each assessment method, methods of marking and the date by which students can expect provisional marks and feedback. Student Representatives will have the opportunity to discuss the schedule at the first Student-Staff Forum of each semester.
Assessments are scheduled to spread continuous assessment deadlines throughout the academic year, and around the defined examination periods, across the programme to avoid deadline bunching2. Care should also be taken wherever possible when scheduling assessments, giving appropriate consideration in particular to recognised religious holidays.
Assessments are scheduled wherever possible to ensure that feedback received from each assessment can be used by students to inform development of their next relevant assessment. Assessment submission deadlines should not be set during University closures (including outside of office hours) or defined vacation periods3 to ensure students can access support.
The following item is suspended for the duration of the Covid-19 Pandemic to enable greater flexibility of assessment scheduling:
Scheduling or submission of continuous assessment does not normally occur during defined University Examination Periods where students have scheduled formal, time constrained examinations on multiple days, to avoid overloading students.
This may be permitted in some circumstances where no students in the cohort will be negatively affected, and must be agreed in advance with those students.
1.2 Submission of Continuous Assessment
All continuous assessments will normally be submitted in electronic format through the Digital Learning Platform (DLP) to promote accessibility, efficiency and sustainability of assessment. All students will normally have access to a receipt for their submission (through the DLP where submitted electronically).
Where there is a perceived need for a hardcopy submission, an exception may be requested from the School’s Education Lead. In all cases, the Faculty/School will make known to students the submission method in advance.
Once assessments have been submitted and the assessment deadline has passed, students will not be able to make any changes to their assessments. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that work is complete and checked prior to submission. Students may submit assessments up until the deadline and overwrite any previous submissions where necessary.
The student whose student ID number is associated with the submitted work is deemed to have authored the work and declares it to be their own with reference and acknowledgements to the work of others fully made. Students also may not submit work on behalf of another student, unless a student is submitting an assessment on behalf of a group.
Students who have made false declarations may be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedure.
The intellectual property of assessed work submitted is normally deemed to be owned by the student, except where this is specifically defined through contractual arrangements, for example with industrial sponsors or employers, research councils, professional bodies etc. In these specific cases the intellectual property will be retained either by the University or the external agency as defined by the contract, with students fully informed prior to enrolling on the programme.
1.3 Supplementary Continuous Assessments
Only students who fail modules or compulsory assessments may be granted permission by the appropriate University or Faculty/School Committee, Examination or Progression and Awards Board to submit supplementary assessment(s), in line with the relevant assessment regulations. Any resubmissions may be capped in accordance with the relevant programme assessment regulations.
Supplementary Continuous Assessment will normally be a new piece of work, unless specifically agreed by the Faculty/School that a revised version of the original assessment can be resubmitted (for example in dissertations or extended projects).
Students are not permitted to repeat any modules (or assessment components where relevant) in which they have achieved a pass mark.
1.4 Penalties for Late Submission
Any student submitting an assessment past the published deadline without submitting a request for Extenuating Circumstances (in line with the Extenuating Circumstances Policy) will be deemed to have not submitted and receive a mark of 0% for the assessment.
Students who are likely to be prevented from meeting the assessment deadline due to extenuating circumstances should notify their Faculty/School/University as soon as possible before the assessment deadline. Please refer to the Extenuating Circumstances Policy for further information.
1.4 Penalties for Submission of Work Breaching Defined Parameters (e.g. Word Limit)
Any student submitting an assessment which is in breach of the assessment’s defined parameters (e.g. specified submission format, over word length, video length, font size, poster size etc.) may receive a penalty on the final assessment mark, as outlined in Faculty/School publication materials e.g. Student Handbook).
Any work submitted in Welsh that is translated as a last resort for marking will not be penalised if the translation breaches the assessment parameters, where the Welsh submission is within the defined parameters.
1. Dates for Examination periods will be available, but individual examinations within these periods will be provided closer to the examination period.
2. Depending on the range of optional modules selected, some deadline bunching may be unavoidable. Students should be informed of assessment deadlines at the beginning of each semester, and may choose to change their modules at that time.
3. With the exception of supplementary and some deferred assessments
Please read this section in conjunction with the Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment.
2.1 Marking Assessed Work
All assessments must have clear Marking Criteria, which specify how each assessment will be marked, are published for students in advance of the assessment and enable the use of marks across the full range (0-100), which may be utilised within a step marking approach.
All assessments and examinations must be marked by academic or affiliated staff who have received appropriate training in marking and are familiar with the module’s learning outcomes, marking guidelines and assessment criteria. Postgraduate Research Students may act as first marker for work at Levels 3, 4 and 5, and act as second marker for Levels 6 and 7, provided they have received equivalent training to academic staff.
All markers must be fully aware of and ensure appropriate consideration is given to students with specific learning requirements when marking.
Faculties/Schools will ensure their procedures for marking are clear and accessible for all students.
Provisional marks, along with feedback, for continuous assessment will normally be released to students within a maximum of 15 working days from the date of submission, unless otherwise stated. Faculties/School which moderate marks prior to their return to students, may take an additional 5 working days (for a total of 20 working days).
Where provisional marks or feedback may take longer than 15 working days (for example due to large module size or unforeseen circumstances), a slightly longer timeframe may be agreed in consultation with Student Representatives and the Programme Director, and the discussions and agreement communicated to all students in advance.
2.2 Anonymous Marking
For the purposes of this Policy, students will be anonymised by student number, and names will not be used when marking. Staff will not take steps to identify any students by their student number or meta-data held within submitted electronic documents.
All student assessments submitted via the Digital Learning Platform (DLP) will be marked in an anonymous state to ensure there is no (conscious or unconscious) bias in marking. Work submitted outside of the DLP, or which requires specific marking approaches (e.g. specific marking guidelines or Welsh medium marking) will be identifiable by student number only.
There are necessary exceptions to anonymity where assessments include ‘in-person’ (including virtual) elements including (but not limited to) performance, practical work, presentations, fieldwork, placements, clinical skills and some team or group assessments.
Faculties/Schools will inform students where specific assessments may not be marked anonymously.
2.3 Disclosure of Identity
Student names will not be used while marking is taking place, and for as long as practically possible thereafter. The University acknowledges that:
• preserving the anonymity of a student's marks may not in all cases preserve the anonymity of the student;
• candidates who have submitted an application for extenuating circumstances, or require reasonable adjustments, may need to have their assessment(s) identified in order to consider what further action might be necessary;
• anonymity is not maintained for final degree classifications.
Faculties/Schools may conduct Subject Level Examination Boards either anonymously or by name. The University Progression and Awards Board will not be anonymous and will be conducted by name.
2.4 Conflicts of interest in Marking
Despite the use of anonymous marking, there are some situations in which staff may find they have a conflict of interest during marking. Staff must declare any potential conflicts of interest to ensure students are treated fairly and staff do not feel unduly pressurised. In the event staff find themselves marking work of students with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, they must declare a conflict of interest, following the Conflict of Interest in Marking process.
2.5 Illegible Assessment
Students have a responsibility to make sure that their assessments are legible. If an assessment is wholly or partially illegible, it cannot be marked fully and this will have an impact on the final mark for the assessment. In this case, the Faculty/School may take one of the following three actions:
a. In cases where reading the illegible assessment would take an academic an unreasonable amount of time and would not permit appropriate consideration of the text the Faculty/School may choose to use transcription services with the cost being passed to the candidate;
b. In cases where the assessment is entirely illegible the candidate will be required to attend campus to dictate their script to a third party in the presence of an invigilator. The student will be expected to pay for this service;
c. Where neither of the above options are applicable, the institution reserves the right to award a 0% mark.
It is a requirement that Faculty/School, in liaison with Student Support Services, will ensure sufficient support (normally through Reasonable Adjustments or Alternative Assessments where required) is in place for students with disclosed Specific Learning Difficulties or other documented specific educational support requirements that may affect legibility of assessment, prior to any assessment.
2.6 Moderation of Marking
Moderation of marking is a process separate from the marking of assessments, which ensures that assessment outcomes (marks) are fair, valid and reliable, that assessment criteria have been applied consistently, that any differences in academic judgement between individual markers can be acknowledged and addressed and that feedback is of consistently high quality. All module marks should also be reviewed at an Examination Board. Procedures for marking and moderation must be clear, consistent, transparent and communicated effectively to students.
Moderators are not normally required to make detailed comments on individual pieces of assessment, but rather make overall comments on the sample, the marking and any recommended changes to marks. Moderation must be evidenced and recorded consistently.
As a minimum, moderation will be conducted for assessments at all levels, with the exception of assessment methods that are automated (i.e. the answers are machine or optically read), or in quantitative assessments in which model answers are provided to the marker, which are normally exempt from moderation, but which may need to be checked for accuracy or calibration.
Moderation may, as a minimum, apply to a sample of each assessment element, including samples of failed work and work close to the borderline for tolerated failures (30% for undergraduate modules and 40% for taught postgraduate modules). Samples for moderation must include a minimum of:
• 10% of total assessments representing a cross-section of classifications, paying specific attention to failed assessments and work close to classification boundaries.
For Modules with small numbers (i.e. fewer than 15 students), all assessments will be moderated.
Moderation must be completed before assessments are sent to External Examiners for scrutiny, and evidence provided to the External Examiner with samples of the marked and moderated work.
There is no requirement from the University to complete moderation within the defined 15 working day period for the return of provisional marks and feedback, although Faculties/Schools may choose to moderate before the release of marks.
Normally, effective moderation will eliminate the requirement for full double marking of scripts. However, specific assessments defined by the Faculty/School may need to be Double Marked, and the established process for agreeing marks must be followed. Second or double marking is normally only required where Professional, Statutory or Regulatory bodies demand it, or if any issues with consistency of marking have been identified (including through the moderation process).
Role of the External Examiner in Marking and Moderation
External Examiners, at both the undergraduate and taught postgraduate level act as overseers of the marking and moderation process only, and not as second markers or moderators themselves.
Where marks are disputed, Faculties/Schools are expected to resolve any differences between markers through the use of a third marker or external moderator where required. Any issues must be resolved before being submitted to External Examiners for review.
A sample of all marked and moderated work and the moderation records must be reviewed by the relevant External Examiner(s) to ensure consistency and fairness of marking.
Further information on the role of External Examiners is published in the Code of Practice for External Examiners.
2.7 Assessment in Welsh
Swansea University treats the Welsh and English languages equally in compliance with the Welsh Language Measure (2011) and the Welsh Language Standards. All students have the right to undertake assessment in the Welsh language, unless there is a specific requirement for students to complete assessments in another language, (for example in Modern Foreign Languages programmes). The University has committed wherever possible to ensure the work is marked in the language of submission, and not to rely on translation for marking. Work may only be translated for marking purposes as a last resort in accordance with guidelines issued by the QAA. This is outlined in the Welsh Medium Assessment Framework.
Students who wish to undertake assessment through the medium of Welsh and are not otherwise studying Welsh medium modules must notify their Faculty/School within four weeks of the start of the relevant module(s) to ensure preparations can be made for the assessment to be undertaken in Welsh.
Translation of Examination Questions
Where a Welsh language translation of an examination paper has been provided for an English-medium module, students are also permitted to view the English language paper and to respond through the medium of English, should they choose to do so.
2.8 Assessment and Marking in a language other than Welsh or English
For students pursuing programmes with assessments in languages other than Welsh or English (for example, Modern Languages programmes, students may be expected to complete continuous assessment or examinations in the target language. However if the assessment criteria requires submission in Welsh or English, then this requirement shall prevail.
Markers, Moderators and External Examiners must be sufficiently competent to mark, moderate and externally examine in the relevant language(s), and work may not be translated prior to marking.
2.9 Publication of Student Marks
All marks which have not yet been presented to the University Progression and Awards Board are considered provisional and therefore may be subject to change.
Provisional marks for continuous assessments will normally be available to undergraduate and postgraduate students via their Student Intranet account as soon as the Faculty/School verify them. The Provisional overall module mark will appear once all component marks for the module have been entered. Students will be informed of any exemptions to this.
Module marks are confirmed once they have been reviewed and agreed by the University Progression and Awards Boards and the Programme’s External Examiner. Confirmed marks and results will be available for undergraduate and postgraduate students via their student intranet account
Academic Services is normally responsible for the formal notification of confirmed marks and results to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students following the University Progression and Awards Board. Every effort shall be made to notify candidates of their results within one working week of the University Progression and Awards Board being held.
This function will be undertaken by The College, Swansea University in respect of students of The College.
Any marks/decisions released must be confidential and disclosed to only those who need access and have a right to see it.
Students may apply to verify the accuracy of published marks through the Accuracy of Published Marks Procedure. Students may not challenge the marking itself, as this is based on academic judgement within the defined assessment criteria.
Please read this section in conjunction with the Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Feedback.
All students will receive high quality, constructive and developmental feedback/feedforward on their assessments, including formative assessment and examinations in a variety of formats, and wherever possible have the opportunity to use this feedback to inform future assessments.
Feedback/forward for continuous assessment will normally be specific and individual for each student, providing information on what the student has done well and areas which could be improved. Feedback may be from markers or peers, depending on the assessment approach taken. Group or cohort feedback may also be utilised for relevant assessment types, notably for large scale objective assessments and examinations.
Feedback/forward will be clearly linked to the marking criteria and the intended learning outcomes for the assessment, module and/or programme.
Feedback/forward on every assessment type outside of official University Examination Periods will normally be provided to students within a maximum of 15 working days (or 20 days if moderation is included), unless previously agreed with Student Representatives and the Programme Director, to ensure the feedback is useful for students, with expected return date published in the Student Handbook (or similar). Where this is not possible, it must be clearly communicated to students at the earliest opportunity, and include a revised release date and clear rationale or explanation for the delay.
All feedback/forward is normally returned to students digitally and Faculties/Schools will use a range of approaches and media to ensure feedback is inclusive, engaging and accessible for all students, including the use of separate feedback sheets or digitised annotations where relevant. Where any handwritten feedback is provided, it must be clear and legible, and ideally not written in red ink. For any students who require reasonable adjustments, and handwritten feedback must also be provided electronically for accessibility. In addition, students will be able to seek clarification of feedback from markers, including on examination scripts. Students will not normally be provided with a full copy of their examinations scripts, but may review these with their Academic Mentor or other relevant member of staff.
The release of provisional marks or feedback to students must not be delayed if there are any students who have an extension for any reason, or to consult the External Examiner. Faculties/Schools are required to withhold marks and feedback from individual students where there is an active Academic Misconduct case.
Students will be given clear opportunities to discuss or seek clarification on their feedback on any form of assessment, including examinations, with their Academic Mentor or Module Co-ordinator (or other academic members of staff) as appropriate.
The University has invested in Turnitin and Feedback Studio and academic integrity systems, to ensure that assessments are robust and rigorous, maintain the standard of degrees and to combat contract cheating. All students will be able to access these facilities via the Digital Learning Platform for all modules.
Statement of Compliance
Students agree that by enrolling on a programme and selecting a module or modules, all required assessments may be subject to submission to Turnitinuk.com for a textual similarity review to assist in the detection of plagiarism. All submitted assessments will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting matches in such papers. Use of the Turnitin.com service is subject to the Usage Policy posted on the Turnitin.com site.
The Use of Turntin and Feedback Studio
All appropriate assessments will be submitted via Turnitin to be reviewed for matches to other sources, and feedback will normally be provided through Feedback Studio. Turnitin may also be used as a learning tool, and Faculties/Schools may enable students to submit assessments to Turnitin and receive Similarity Reports as part of their study skills development.
Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct
Information on Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct is provided in the University’s Student Handbooks. Each Faculty/School will also provide supplementary and/or specific information and guidance for students in their Faculty/School/Programme Handbooks where relevant.
This information will be supplemented by additional study skills modules and in student induction. Additional advice and support for students is provided through the subject librarians, or through the Academic Success Programme.
Any student suspected of plagiarism following review of the Turnitin Similarity Report will be subject to the University’s Academic Misconduct procedures.
Interpretation of the Similarity Reports
Similarity Reports provide academic staff with an indication of content which may be plagiarised by comparing and matching records of text. They do not provide infallible proof, and the marker or reviewer must still review the work with the Similarity Report, and apply logic, common sense and academic judgement to determine whether the student may have committed Academic Misconduct.
The Turnitin database will cross-reference any assessment submitted with all previously submitted records on file, and all available sources to provide an assessment of the originality of students’ work.
All Similarity Reports are reviewed by appropriate academic staff. Markers are expected to carefully examinFacultye all work to determine whether there are genuine concerns, and staff may wish to discuss concerns with their Faculty/School Academic Integrity Officer. Cases where concerns are raised should then be escalated through the Academic Misconduct procedures.
Further guidance on the use of Similarity Reports is included in the Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching and Assessment: Approaches to Inclusive Assessment.
Every Faculty/School will appoint an Examinations/Assessment Officer(s), or some other nominated individual, who is responsible for overseeing the management and security of assessment for the Faculty/School/Subject Area, and for reporting into the relevant Boards of Study and Faculty/School Learning and Teaching Committee.
Faculties/Schools must identify the individuals responsible for the accurate computation, recording and checking of assessment decisions, which are normally Module Co-ordinators and Professional Services staff.
The accurate and timely recording of assessment decisions is the responsibility of the Module Co-ordinator and relevant Examinations Officers in the Faculty/School.
Faculties/Schools must have robust and secure systems and processes in place to ensure that assessed work is stored securely, and will be available for review by External Examiners and for submission in the case of suspected Academic Misconduct and/or appeals.
Faculties/Schools must ensure security of assessment at the time of submission (including keeping a record of submission whether by receipt, signature or electronically), during marking and on return of assessments/feedback to students. Assessments and Examination papers must be treated as ‘confidential’ material with regard to security and will be retained in line with the University’s Policy on Records Management.
5.1 Retention of Assessed Work
Assessments must be retained by Faculties/Schools:
• To provide evidence in case of a complaint, appeal or suspected case of unfair practice
• For Quality Assurance and Enhancement purposes
The University must normally retain a copy (normally digital for assessments submitted digitally) of all assessments, including coursework, examination papers and scripts, presentations and digital, audio and or visual submissions which contributes to the final award, along with records of marks, moderation and student feedback, for a minimum period of one year after the student has graduated or ceases to be an enrolled student of the University.
In the case of Postgraduate Taught dissertations, these must be retained for two years following the student’s graduation.
After this period, assessments will be securely destroyed to avoid the build-up of documentation for reasons of data protection and business efficiency.
Assessed material which does not contribute to the final award but is a required part of completion towards the award, e.g. at FHEQ level 3 or 4 for Bachelor or Advanced Initial Degrees (or similar programmes, including MB BCh), must be retained for one year following date of submission to accommodate any requests for the checking of the accuracy of marks, appeals and/or complaints.
Retention of Supervisory records on student progress
All reports on student progress with respect to dissertations or theses (i.e. notes held by supervisors and formal reports submitted to Faculty and University committees for all years of study) must be retained by the Faculty for a period of one year following graduation.
Retention of work for longer periods of time
A Faculty/School is entitled to retain work for a longer period of time for a number of reasons which might include:
• Retaining project work which includes original data and/or analysis.
• Retaining work for longitudinal surveys of trends in student achievement.
• Retaining work to show future students as examples - e.g. of the presentation of a dissertation. (Written consent of students whose work is to be retained for future use should be obtained, and work anonymised prior to being shared).
Retention of work by Turnitin
The service will retain content submitted to it and associated data until the termination of this service or its successor, thus helping to accumulate as large a corpus of knowledge as possible against which to compare submitted content.
Retention of Examination Board decisions
The University retains Examination and Progression and Awards Board minutes and associated paperwork, including Report and Results forms for research students for 10 years (Progression) or 15 years (Awards) for the Progression and Awards Boards. Student marks and progression decisions are held centrally on electronic systems which are also retained indefinitely.
This Policy does not apply to research data / information collected for an ethically approved research project during the course of a research Masters programme (MA/MSc, MPhil, MRes), PhD programme or a staff research project.
5.2 Roles and Responsibilities for Assessment
Staff and Students
Academic staff and students at all levels have a responsibility for contributing to the enhancement of assessment and feedback.
As partners in learning, students must be actively involved in the process of improving and enhancing their experience of assessment and feedback. Students are expected to provide feedback on assessments to their Faculty/School through module evaluation and student surveys, but also take part in discussions both within committee environments and more informal groups.
Students who have not yet disclosed any disabilities, wellbeing or other health issues are encouraged to inform the Disability Office as early as possible. Students will not be able to access formal assessment support from the University if they do not disclose their disability.
Students wishing to undertake assessment in Welsh must notify their Faculty/School within four weeks of the start of the module.
Student representatives are elected for programmes and Faculties/Schools. Reps are responsible for raising issues relating to assessment and feedback, on behalf of their peers. This will normally be enabled via Boards of Studies and/or Student-Staff Fora, unless the timing does not allow.
Academic Mentors are responsible for tracking their mentees’ assessment performance over time, providing support, advice and mentoring to support the student to improve and succeed.
Academic Mentors are expected to provide face to face feedback to students on their assessment performance, as well as helping students to better understand and use their feedback.
Module Co-ordinators are responsible for developing and scheduling assessments for their modules and liaising with their Programme Director(s) to ensure the assessment pattern is effective for the Programme overall, and for ensuring that those assessments are appropriate for measuring students’ progress in achieving the set learning outcomes. This makes setting the learning outcomes for the module a crucial element to assessment design. Module Co-ordinators must balance the requirements of this policy in achieving inclusive and varied assessment, and the resources available to them.
Module Co-ordinators are also responsible for ensuring students receive appropriate and effective feedback on their assessments within the defined time frame.
Module Co-ordinators must ensure that they are familiar with the principles of inclusive assessment and supporting students with protected characteristics and attend relevant training sessions where required.
Module Co-ordinators should work collaboratively with colleagues to ensure parity of provision between English and Welsh language provision.
Programme Directors are responsible for ensuring that assessments across the programme as a whole are authentic, inclusive, diverse and robust. They must ensure that students are exposed to appropriate and relevant formative assessment to enable their development. Programme Directors will also lead the coherent scheduling of assessments across the programme to ensure workload is balanced and there are no ‘pinch points’ or deadline bunching for students.
Faculty/School SAILS Representative(s)
Faculty/School SAILS representatives, in liaison with Directors of Learning and Teaching, will monitor the inclusivity and accessibility of assessment, and work with Module Co-ordinators and Programme Directors to ensure assessment is inclusive.
Boards of Studies
Boards of Studies review the assessment provision annually to ensure it is sufficiently inclusive, varied and balanced for students. Boards of Studies review and approve any new methods of assessment proposed, and ensure that students receive sufficient formative assessment for these new methods. Boards of Studies will also oversee learning, teaching and assessment parity between English and Welsh medium provision. In addition, Boards of Studies will be responsible for monitoring Policy implementation and feedback response times, and reporting these to the Faculty/School Learning and Teaching Committee.
Academic Disability Co-ordinators
Faculty/School Academic Disability Co-ordinators are responsible for providing advice, guidance and support for staff and students within their Faculty/School on inclusive/alternative/adjusted approaches to assessment, and liaising with Student Support Services to ensure students receive the support to which they are entitled.
Examination/Assessment Officers are responsible for overseeing the management of examination provision for all the programmes under their remit, and for liaising with the Examinations Office of Swansea University to ensure examinations processes are fair, robust and transparent. Supporting Programme Directors, they are also responsible for ensuring that any reasonable adjustments or alternative forms of assessment required for disabled students are put in place.
Director of Academic Integrity
The Director of Academic Integrity is responsible for overseeing the integrity of the University examinations, establishing and presenting prima facie cases of academic misconduct, at University level, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and procedures and developing research and evaluation strategies related to the prevention, detection and processing of academic misconduct.
Academic Integrity Officers
Academic Integrity Officers in each Faculty are responsible for progressing and determining all Faculty cases, offering advice to colleagues on regulations, procedures and disseminating information on academic misconduct to staff and students
Faculty/School Learning and Teaching Committees
Faculty/School Learning and Teaching Committees are responsible for implementing and monitoring all aspects of delivering the Assessment and Feedback Policy across their Faculty/School, and for ensuring that assessment is continually enhanced in partnership with students. The Chair of the Faculty/School Learning and Teaching Committee will report to the University Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee periodically on the effectiveness of Policy implementation and enhancement.
The Executive Dean is ultimately responsible for ensuring the University’s Assessment and Feedback Policy is effectively implemented within the Faculty.
University Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee
The University Learning and Teaching Committee oversees quality assurance and enhancement, and monitors progress in assuring the quality and standards of and enhancing assessment and feedback at regular intervals across both English and Welsh medium provision, intervening if the expected standard of student experience is at risk. The Committee also leads the institution’s response to the National Student Survey and the Teaching Excellence Framework.
University Programme Approval Committee (PAC)
The Programme Approval Committee is responsible for reviewing proposals for new programmes, and for approving relevant programmes by Committee where appropriate. As part of the review process, PAC will pay special attention to the assessment and feedback elements of programme proposals to ensure that they meet the requirements outlined in this policy.
University Examinations Office
The Examinations Office (Academic Services) is responsible for scheduling examinations for most programmes (aside from some in class tests and assessments in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science and Franchised provision), and for ensuring students with specific requirements are catered for. The Examinations Office also manages security and integrity of all Examinations under its purview.
Student Support Services: Disability Office and Wellbeing Service
The Disability Office and Wellbeing Service will provide Faculties/Schools with information on support requirements for disabled students, students with health conditions and/or students with mental health issues as soon as possible after enrolment and/or disclosure of the disability/condition to the University. The Disability Office and Wellbeing Service are not responsible for informing staff how to assess students. Where agreement between Faculties/Schools, Student Services and the student(s) concerned cannot be reached, there is an escalation and resolution process to ensure students are appropriately supported.
Academi Hywel Teifi
Academi Hywel Teifi supports Welsh-speaking students and those learning Welsh to engage with their studies through the medium of Welsh. It provides support also to staff who teach through the medium of Welsh or who support students who wish to complete their studies, including assessments, through the medium of Welsh. The Academi can advise Faculties on identifying appropriate external Assessment Advisors as outlined by the ‘Assessment through the medium of Welsh’ guidelines.
Faculties/Schools review all assessment provision against the Assessment and Feedback Policy, paying particular attention to student engagement, assessment load and assessment practices and approaches to ensure they are inclusive. Compliance with the Policy is monitored through the following methods:
• Annual Programme Review and Module Review process.
• Student Module Evaluation
• Student Experience Survey Outcomes and Action Planning
• Regular Reporting of feedback timeliness
The Chair of the Faculty/School Learning and Teaching Committee will report to the University Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee periodically on Policy implementation and the timeliness of feedback.
Review of Policy
The policy is reviewed annually by the University’s Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee to ensure that it is responsive to external and internal requirements and changes in effective practice in assessment in Higher Education. A more substantial Review will be conducted every three years.
There will be a specific review during January-May 2021 with a view towards increasing consistency of approach prior to the formal introduction of Faculties from September 2021.