Will you clear the hurdles in the new assessment policy?

If you haven’t paid much attention to the changes reqarding hurdle assessments since the new assessment policy was approved, now is the time to make sure you’re on board with the new requirements.

The new policy takes effect as of Session 2 2016.

What is a hurdle requirement? 

  • A hurdle requirement is an activity for which a minimum level of performance or participation is a condition of passing the unit in which it occurs.
  • Hurdle requirements that are not associated with marks/results are still regarded as assessment tasks for the purposes of the assessment policy.

What  are  the criteria for a hurdle requirement?

  • It  must be clearly specified in the unit guide including the requirements for performance and / or participation
  • It must be based on pedagogical grounds.
  • It should be used only where it is appropriate to ensure fulfilment of unit and program learning outcomes
  • It may be used to meet minimum competency standards or to demonstrate ‘fitness to practice’ for courses related to professional practice

What is a “serious first attempt”?

In cases where students have made a serious first attempt at a hurdle requirement but have failed to meet it, they must be given one further opportunity to meet that hurdle requirement.

Schedule 2 Clause 3.4 of the Policy states :

A serious attempt at an assessment task is one where the student has made an effort to address the set task, but has failed to reach the required standard of performance.   In an examination, for instance, students are usually required to attempt a range of question types throughout the paper. Simply attempting only the multiple-choice questions is not sufficient for an attempt to be considered serious. Responses that contain only frivolous or objectionable material will also not be considered serious.

Can I seek an exception for Clause 3.4 for a specific hurdle requirement?

Yes. Faculty Boards may grant exceptions for a period of 12 months for a particular assessment task on the basis of a sound pedagogical argument.

If you wish to apply for an exception to Clause 3.4, you need make a case in a formal memo to FSQC (via lia.saunders@mq.edu.au). If FSQC recommends your request, it must then proceed to Faculty Board for approval.

If you have any queries about hurdle requirements – or anything else in the new assessment policy – please email Mitch Parsell.

(Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert_voors/)


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