Academic and Assessment Disputes

As students you can worry about grades and ponder how a certain mark came to fruition. You are not alone! Concerns about assessments are not uncommon. Issues may range from confusion about how low a mark is, what went wrong in an assignment or exam, or maybe you have received a lower than average grade and don’t know why. There are also more complicated assessment matters, such as marking procedures or the conduct of the assessment.

You are entitled to receive feedback on any work you submit. This can help you to understand what you could do to improve your performance and should also indicate how you have performed against assessment criteria. You are not automatically entitled to have your work remarked or marked by someone else for any reason. However, any work that is marked as a fail should have already been marked by two independent examiners or assistant markers.

You can dispute assessment decisions if the issues raised are not based solely on academic judgement. So if you feel that the mark has been incorrectly derived based on the assessment criteria, or the feedback you have received does not correspond to the marks awarded, you may be able to dispute this.

Steps to resolving Assessment Disputes:

  1. Contact the academic responsible for the mark (i.e. your unit coordinator/tutor/lecturer). Schedule an appointment with them via email – don’t ask them at the end of lecture when they could be in a rush to get to another lecture!
  2. Prepare bullet points and notes for the meeting of any queries you have. Bring your assignment and any feedback you have already received.
  3. Look at the marking criteria again – this may come up in the meeting.
  4. If you are having difficulty setting up a meeting, you are not satisfied with the marker’s response, and/or you believe that the procedure has not been fair, you can approach the unit coordinator or the Head of Department for further assistance. Should the matter still not be resolved, it may be helpful to make an appointment to see one of us at Student Assist as we can assist you in contacting the relevant faculty members.

If you are not happy with the results of your informal action, you can lodge a formal request for a review. This must be done within five University working days, so act quickly.

It is not unusual for students to feel worried that they will be seen as a troublemaker by the department if they ask questions about assessment marks. If you have concerns about how your questions will be received by staff in your department, contact us to get some independent advice on the situation. We can assist you with each step, and in some cases, approach the department on your behalf.

If you feel that you need some help in a matter like this, contact Student Assist at assist@guild.uwa.edu.au or via their online form.



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