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Guidance on Moderation, Fairness and Consistency in Marking

At the March 2016 meeting of the Teaching and Learning Group (TLG), ADs were asked to feed back the views of their Faculties on a paper entitled Principles guiding the Moderation of Taught Units. Feedback was received from two Faculties, the details of which can be found below, along with accompanying documents. Following presentation of the feedback to TLG in May 2016, it was agreed that a new Policies & Guidance sub-group of TLG should be formed to consider the responses received and to produce a further update of the Principles guiding the Moderation of Taught Units. The sub-group produced a draft Moderation Procedure, based on Humanities procedures, and this went out for consultation within Faculties in May/June 2017.

July 2018: A revised version of the document, re-named Guidance on Moderation, Fairness and Consistency in Marking, was agreed by the TLG Policy and Guidance Subgroup and approved by TLG, and published for use.

Guidance on Late Submission (to accompany the Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment)

Following the publication of the updated Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment in 2015, feedback from Faculties led to the development of draft guidance on applying penalties for late submission. A draft document was produced and discussed at TLG in late 2015 and TLMG in January 2016. Faculty Teaching and Learning Committees were asked to consider the draft guidance. Further feedback was collated and considered by TLG in April 2016, where it was agreed that a new sub-group of TLG would be set up to consider the feedback and propose further updates to the Guidance. The new TLG Policies & Guidance sub-group considered the draft guidance and feedback and produced a final version of Guidance on Late Submission in September 2016, for implementation for the 2016/17 academic year.

Policy on Mitigating Circumstances

Suggested updates to the Policy, and the associated Mitigating Circumstances Panels: Terms of Reference, were suggested and considered by TLG at their October 2016 meeting, having previously been considered by TLMG earlier in the year. Faculties were requested to consult within their Schools on the suggested updates to the documents and feedback to TLSO. Feedback was collated and considered in early 2017 and revised versions of the documents will be taken back to TLG for consideration/approval in spring 2017, following which further updates were made in conjuction with the UMSU and the General Counsel. The revised Policy was approved by Senate in June 2017, with the associated Mitigating Circumstances Procedures (made up of the original Mitigating Circumstances Panels: Terms of Reference and parts of the Policy) also approved by TLG. Both documents are to be implemented from September 2017. (See updated Policy on Mitigating Circumstances).

Taught Degree Regulations

Feedback was sought from the Degree Regulations Network and from External Examiners' reports on the operation of the Taught Degree Regulations during the 2013/14 academic year, and a paper summarising the main issues was considered by TLG in March 2015. Subsequently, the paper went for consultation in Faculty Teaching and Learning Committees, particularly in relation to a number of specified issues. Collation of this feedback is summarised on the table below, and the outstanding issues were discussed again at TLG in July, September and November. The updates were approved by Senate in February 2016 and the revised versions of the UG and PGT Degree Regulations will be implemented from September 2016.

Policy on Marking

The Policy on Marking forms part of the Assessment Framework. The ‘Practice’ Sub Group of the Review of Marking and Assessment Steering Group proposed changes to the Policy, with the major changes being the inclusion of a definitions section (section 3) and clarity with regards minimum standards for internal moderation and a revised sample to be sent to External Examiners (Section 7). Consultation took place in February/March 2015 after which, further revisions and discussion areas were considered by TLG at their May 2015 meeting. Additional revisions were made before the draft Policy was reconsidered by TLG in June. A final version was approved by Senate  in November 2015, and published in December 2015 for implementation from December 2015 onwards.

Policy on the Submission of Work for Summative Assessment

The revised Policy was out for consultation up to December 2014, discussed at the February 2015 TLG meeting, then went back out to Faculties for further consultation up to March 2015. The results of the consultation were discussed at TLG at their May 2015 meeting and a further revised version of the Policy was approved by Senate in June. Implementation of the revised version commenced from September 2015.

Policy on Inclusive Teaching and Learning Materials

A new Policy was produced in order to standardise practice across the University in terms of the anticipation, identification and promotion of good practice in the preparation and presentation of teaching materials for the general benefit of all students, but particularly for the support of disabled students by mainstreaming a small number of adjustments. The draft Policy was considered by Senate in April 2015 but further work was recommended to be carried out before it was re-submitted to Senate again, and approved in June. Implementation commenced from September 2015, though it is acknowledged that it will take time for existing material to be amended to be in line with the principles and guidance contained within the new Policy.

Policy on Advising

A Policy on Advising was produced which defines the University’s position on the formalised provision of support and advice, both academic and pastoral, to students during their period of study at Manchester through the Advising role. The Policy was approved by Senate in April 2015 and implementation of the Policy commenced from September 2015. Associated Guidance on Advising has also been produced to accompany the Policy.