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Best Practice Standards 3.9


3.9 Examinations and Assessment

Assessment and examination policies, procedures and practices provide students with impairments with the same opportunity as their peers to achieve learning outcomes.

Best Practice Standards

  1. Alternative examination and assessment procedures and arrangements:
    1. Are widely publicised and easy for students to follow.
    2. Operate with minimum delay.
    3. Allow flexibility with assessment.
    4. Protect the rigour and comparability of the assessment.
    5. Are applied consistently across the institution or organisation.
  2. Reasonable accommodations for examinations and assessment are provided as required.
  3. There is evidence that students with impairments have the same opportunity as their peers to achieve learning outcomes.
  4. Policies and procedures exist that ensure a student's subsequent academic progress is not unjustifiably impeded if study is interrupted due to their impairment.

Understanding these Best Practice Standards

  • Reasonable accommodations for examinations and assessment may include:
    • Flexibility in the balance between assessed course work and exams to help minimise issues like stress.
    • Demonstration of achievement in alternative ways - presentations in sign language, oral exams, assignments instead of exams, short-answer instead of multiple-choice exams or vice versa, assessment which vary question and response options (e.g. audio or video tape instead of written answers).
    • Additional time allowances, rest breaks and re-scheduling of exams.
    • The use of computers, note takers, reader/writers and other support in examinations.
    • Examinations and presentation of assessed work in alternative formats.
    • Additional rooms and supervisors for those using alternative arrangements.
    • Extended deadlines for assignments.
  • If evidence is provided that delayed completion of assessed work, non-attendance at examinations, deferral or withdrawal has been due to impairment, policies and procedures should allow this to be recorded in non-prejudicial terms in all academic files.
  • Evidence of students with impairment having the same learning opportunities as other students could be gathered by analysing pass rates and completion rates.
  • Some students with impairments may work through a Disability Office to inform lecturers of their needs, while others may approach teaching staff directly. One safeguard is requiring any teaching staff to:
    • Notify the Disability Office of variations to assessment and teaching methods that students receive.
    • Indicate in course outlines how students with impairments may apply for variations.
  • Providing an 'Alternative Arrangement Examination and Assessment Manual' can ensure consistency by guiding staff on areas such as the use of scribes and computers, additional time and managing oral exams.