ASSESSMENT POLICY

1. AIM

To ensure that assessment methodology is valid, reliable and does not disadvantage or advantage any specific group of learners or individuals.

To ensure that the assessment procedure is open, fair and free from bias and reflects national (UK) standards.

To ensure that there is accurate and detailed recording of assessment decisions.

2. STRATEGIC APPROACHES

The College has developed a clearly defined Assessment Strategy. This Strategy is focused on setting assessment activity within a well-resourced learning environment that enables all students to add value to their entry position. A series of clearly defined Policies provide a framework for students and staff that ‘facilitate successful transitions and academic progression’ (QAA).

3. FACILITATING DEVELOPMENT AND ACHIEVEMENT

The College has a strong employment record in terms of recruiting and retaining academic staff. A number of staff at Athena Global Education (AGE) have been with the College since its inception, and are very much part of the College community. Many staff are practitioners in industry who bring real life experience to the teaching. A CPD programme will ensure that their academic knowledge is current and focused, whilst the peer observation programme will provide opportunities for the sharing of good practice, both formally and informally, and the enhancement of the overall learning experience. The College ensures that resources for learning are fit-for-purpose and suited to student numbers. As part of its course review process the College solicits views on the adequacy of resources from students, staff and external agencies. The College has a ring-fenced budget for academic resources and ensures that they make available appropriate learning resources, to enable students to develop the relevant skills.

4. THE BASIS OF EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT

In promoting an efficient and effective assessment regime that embodies the requirements of the UK Quality Code and promotes student achievement, Athena Global Education (AGE) will:

• publicise and implement principles and procedures for, and processes of, assessment that are explicit, valid and reliable;

• encourage assessment practice that promotes effective learning;

• publicise and implement effective, clear and consistent policies for the membership, procedures, powers and accountability of assessment panels and Boards of Examiners;

• ensure that assessment is conducted with rigour, probity and fairness and with due regard for security;

• ensure that the amount and timing of assessment enables effective and appropriate measurement of students’ achievement of intended learning outcomes;

• have transparent and fair mechanisms for marking and for (internal verification) moderating marks;

• publicise and implement clear rules and regulations for progressing from one stage of a programme to another, for accreditation of prior learning, and for qualifying for an award;

• ensure that everyone involved in the assessment of students is competent to undertake their roles and responsibilities;

• review and amend assessment regulations periodically, as appropriate, to assure themselves that the regulations remain fit for purpose

• encourage students to adopt good academic conduct in respect of assessment and seek to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities;

• ensure that assessment decisions are recorded and documented accurately and systematically and that the decisions of relevant assessment panels and examination boards are communicated as quickly as possible.

5. DEVELOPING ASSESSMENT LITERACY

The formative assessment process is central to the process of developing assessment literacy. On-line Student Handbooks and Module Specifications build familiarity with the terminology of the assessment process.

The College provides staff and student training on the interpretation and use of command verbs in assessment criteria and learning outcomes.

The student Induction programme explains the modular structure of the Programme - all of which must be passed to achieve the qualification. It further explains that each Module is divided into Learning Outcomes. The assessment criteria are characterised by the command verbs. The demystification of this language and practice is the focus of formative assessment.

6. DESIGNING ASSESSMENT

In order to ensure that learners are provided with assessment vehicles that are fit for purpose, and which enable them to prepare appropriate evidence for assessment, the College will:

• assess learner’s evidence using only the published assessment and grading criteria;

• ensure that assessment decisions are impartial, valid and reliable;

• develop assessment procedures that will minimise the opportunity for malpractice;

• maintain accurate and detailed records of formative and summative assessment decisions;

• maintain a robust and rigorous internal verification procedure;

• provide samples for verification as required by the programme manager;

• monitor standards verification reports and undertake any remedial action required;

• share good assessment practice between all subject programme teams;

• ensure that awarding body assessment methodology and the role of the marker are understood by all programme staff;

• provide resources and regular training to ensure that assessment can be performed accurately and appropriately.

7. TYPES OF ASSESSMENT

7.1 Formative Assessment

This is informal assessment in that the level of achievement does not contribute to the end qualification. It allows the student and the College to track progress and the level of understanding achieved at any point in time.

A wide range of assessment methods are used, many of them time limited. The final formative assessments will help a student undertake the summative assessments which conclude the programme or the module. These formative assessments will build familiarity with the summative assessment process.

Athena Global Education (AGE) utilises the formative assessment process to positive effect, providing a range of reflective experiences that allow the student to manage their own learning, and the College to monitor progress and provide help and remedial support to individuals, as appropriate.

Students are provided with feedback on formative assessment, enabling them to reflect on performance and refine skills and knowledge to improve performance.

All staff will provide formative assessment opportunities. These formative assessments develop skills and competence related to the end summative assessment, but will utilise material unrelated to the summative assessment which follows. These assessments develop skills for employment and for further study.

7.2 Summative Assessment

This is the formal assessment process. Its purpose is to measure student understanding against a set of predefined learning outcomes as found in the module specification. It measures student competence in terms of threshold academic standards and in terms of levels of understanding above that level.

The timing of assessment is within the control of the College and will be planned and communicated to students. The distribution and submission of assignments will be spread over time in order to encourage planning and facilitate the best possible outcomes.

8. JOBS, ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES WHILE MAKING ASSIGNMENT BRIEF

8.1 Faculty/ Assessor

• Before the beginning of each module, the faculty conducting the module will make the assignment brief; he/ she can take the existing assignment briefs available for the module, can modify or make a new brief.

• The assignment brief will be ready at least ten (10) days prior to the beginning of the module, as per the SOPs laid down on the deliverable dates of assignments by faculties and students.

• The assignment brief will be uploaded on LMS well before start of the module.

• Every six (6) months, the assignment brief will be reviewed for any modifications/ changes, if required.

• All latest guidelines given by the partner awarding body/ institution for making of assignments and assessments will be incorporated as per datelines given.

8.2 Internal Verifier (IV)

• There will be a distinct IV nominated to do the internal verification of the assignment brief made by a faculty and will fill up the Assignment Brief IV Form with his/ her comments and feedback.

• The IV will discuss the assignment brief with the faculty/ assessor and if any modifications are to be made, will get them done and then send the assignment brief, along with the IV form to the Lead IV for his/ her feedback.

8.3 Lead IV

• The Lead IV will go through the assignment brief along with the feedback form and give his/ her comments and feedback on the assignment brief in the feedback form.

• Once the Lead IV has ratified the assignment brief, the same can thereafter be issued to the students. This will be completed at least three (3) days prior to commencement of the module.

9. DELIVERY OF CLASSES

• The earmarked module leader will make his/ her lesson plan, update the class presentations, the content available on AGE platform, and ensure that from the module kit available, all case studies and other training aids/ activities desired to be available in the module are up to date and can be accessed by all students.

• The classes will be delivered through pre-shot videos of short duration, and relevant notes and content will be available on AGE LMS for all students going through these videos.

• Videos will also be made on assignment briefs to help students understand the assignment and assessment requirements. Videos will also be made on guiding students on correct referencing using the Harvard Referencing System (HRS).

• Regular webinars will be held by Course and Module Leaders to support the students with their academic requirements.

• Students will be encouraged to send their draft work before the submission/ resubmission deadline dates for a review by the assessor/ faculty.

• Feedback will be taken by the respective Course Administrators after each module from all concerned students.

10. SUBMISSION OF STUDENTS WORK

The following guidelines will be observed for submission of students work.

(a) Work submitted for summative assessment cannot be amended by students after submission, or re-submission.

(b) It will be ensured that all work is submitted on LMS before midnight (UAE Time), after which the LMS will close and again will be opened during the resubmission date line 21 days after the first submission deadline.

(c) Student requests for extensions to assessment deadlines will not be approved unless made in accordance with AGE’s guidelines. Extensions can be granted due to extenuating circumstances after reviewing on a case to case basis.

(d) Where coursework is submitted late and there are no accepted extenuating circumstances, it will be penalised in line with the Submission Policy guidelines given by AGE.

(e) Students who fail to submit work for assessments or attend examinations shall be deemed to have failed the assessments components concerned and will be marked as Zero or Fail.

11. DETERMINING MODULE OUTCOMES

(a) The overall module marks/ grades shall be determined as per the assessment strategy detailed in the module specification and published in the Students Handbook.

(b) A student who passes a module shall be awarded the credit for that module. The amount of credit for each module shall be set out in the programme specification and published on the AGE platform.

(c) In order to pass a module a student must achieve the requirement of the module as set out in the module specification and published on eth AGE platform.

(d) Where a student is registered only for a module (rather than a qualification), the resit and retake provisions will apply.

12. PROVISION FOR VIVA VOCE EXAMINATION

Exceptionally, viva voce examinations may be required by a Board of Examiners/ Academic Faculties:

(a) to confirm the progression/result status of a student;

(b) to determine the result status of unusual or borderline cases;

(c) when there is conflicting evidence from the various assessment components;

(d) as an alternative or additional assessment in cases where poor performance in assessment is the result of exceptional circumstances verified through due processes.

13. MARKING AND MODERATION

13.1 Learning Outcomes

Individual lesson/lecture plans identify learning outcomes for each session related to the Scheme of Work, and specific measurable learning outcomes linked to those objectives.

The learning objectives and outcomes provide a mechanism for both students and tutors to track progress. They provide an objective student focused mechanism to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of individual teaching approaches.

The learning outcomes for individual lectures assist students to demonstrate the extent to which they meet the assessment and progression criteria of the course in respect of both subject knowledge and required skills. They are readily available for all modules on the Intranet.

13.2 Assessment Criteria

The College seeks to ensure best practice for assessment and compliance with the relevant indicators across all courses and validating organisations. All work is marked and feedback provided. The internal verifier (IV) will subsequently review 25% of marked assignments. The College best practice for assessment requires markers to provide constructive feedback to students against the assessment criteria to promote and encourage effective learning. Feedback given to students will:

• be provided in a timely and efficient manner – within 10 working days of submission;

• highlight areas of achievement, areas for improvement, and areas of concern, on the part of the student;

• indicate areas for further development that could have earned additional marks;

• offer comments on style and/or structural issues that are restricting achievement;

• be related to each specific Learning Outcome in the assessment;

• reflect the marking scheme and/or levels of performance issued to the students.

13.3 Expectations

13.3.1 At Masters Post Graduate Level, students are expected to demonstrate all the qualities of critical analysis, sound judgment in interpretation of information, creative synthesis of information and arriving at conclusions and recommendations. At Under Graduate Level also students are expected to demonstrate all qualities of good evaluation and analysis in interpretation of acquired information. All these qualities are expected to be demonstrated to achieve the minimum requirement of demonstrating the learning objectives and assessment criteria.

13.3.2 Students need to prove that they have achieved all the learning objectives and their respective assessment criteria to be declared as a minimum Pass for the Unit. Students will be advised to get a copy of the Unit Specification for the Unit being studied, and study the Learning Outcomes to be achieved and the criteria for proving achievement of the Learning Outcomes. This is essential to ensure that the student does not miss out on delivering the requirements for obtaining at least a Pass in the Module.

14. ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES AND EVIDENCE

Assessment may be conducted using various methods and it may be formative or summative. Tasks will be linked to specific assessment criteria and result recorded

accordingly. Assessment methods may include but are not limited to:

• question and answer sessions;

• written assignments e.g. essays and reports;

• tests or examinations.

The Course Administrator is responsible for keeping assessment records up to date by updating assessment tracking records and keeping copies of all assessment feedback forms, internal verification reports, observation sheets and other paperwork that records students’ achievements. Assessment records are available throughout the duration of the course to student, staff, and internal and external verifiers.

Students’ work is retained in the College until certification is approved and released. Work is retained in electronic format. Assessment records in the form of feedback forms, observation record sheet, internal verification records and other paperwork should be retained, in electronic form, for at least three years after certification.

15. ASSESSMENT ENVIRONMENT

The assessment of all students’ submissions will be done through the indigenous AGE Learning Management System (LMS). The back-end resources are available for technical maintenance of LMS in India, as per the specific requirements from AGE, changes in LMS will be made to cater to the faculties, assessors, students’ specific requirements. The resources for maintaining LMS at work site in UAE will be done with the help of all Course Administrators. The check list to ensure that all resources and processes are in place and actionable at any given time, is as given below:

• The LMS as an integral part of submissions of students’ assignments’ will be maintained by the IT Team in India.

• Back-up server for safety and security of all students’ assignments and other data will be maintained by the Indian Team.

• Students will be oriented to LMS by the concerned module leader/ course administrator once a new student is enrolled and username and password provided to the student.

• All documents, learning materials and assignments, including feedback will be preserved on LMS at all times.

• On completion of the module and requirement of submission by the student, he/ she will upload the assignment on LMS as per the account provided to him/ her.

• In case of a technical problem with LMS, the Course Administrator will help out the student to upload the assignment by due date.

• Once the assignment has been assessed by the faculty by downloading all assignments from LMS, the concerned faculty/ assessor will provide feedback and grades, as per the assignment requirements, and upload the same back to LMS.

• The IV will sample 25% of the assessments, verify and approve the assessment decisions made by the assessor. He will fill up the requisite IV forms and upload these on LMS. Once approved by IV, all the students’ assessments will get released which the students can access and view now on LMS.

• A student will be able to check on his/ her mark

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USA
Athena Global Education LTD
500 Willow Street,
Suite 510, Council Bluffs,
Iowa 51503, USA
Phone : +1 712 283 6085

UK
Athena Global Education LTD
The Sherrington Building, Magdalen Centre,
The Oxford Science Park,
Oxford OX4 4GA. UK
Phone : +44 186 578 4545

MIDDLE EAST
Athena Global Education FZE
Block L-3, First Floor,
P O Box 519265,
Sharjah Publishing City,
Free Zone, Sharjah, UAE
Phone : +971 55 667 7221

USA
Athena Global Education LTD
500 Willow Street,
Suite 510, Council Bluffs,
Iowa 51503, USA
Phone : +1 712 283 6085

MIDDLE EAST
Athena Global Education FZE
Block L-3, First Floor,
P O Box 519265,
Sharjah Publishing City,
Free Zone, Sharjah, UAE
Phone : +971 55 667 7221

UK
Athena Global Education LTD
The Sherrington Building, Magdalen Centre,
The Oxford Science Park,
Oxford OX4 4GA. UK
Phone : +44 186 578 4545