Regulations on Course Assessment

Regulations on Course Assessment at the University of Akureyri was approved in the University Council on 20 September 2018

Shortcuts

  1. Overview of course assessment at the University of Akureyri
  2. Roles and duties of instructors
  3. Roles and duties of the Examinations Manager 
  4. Examiner appointment
  5. Assessment periods and exam registration
  6. Examination procedures
  7. Marks
  8. Breaches to the Regulations on Course Assessment
  9. Entry into force

 

 

 

Regulations on Course Assessment at the University of Akureyri  nr. 921/2018, printable version in Icelandic (pdf):

 

 

Article 1. Overview of course assessment at the University of Akureyri

Course assessment at the University of Akureyri is based on continuous assessment and/or final assessment. By continuous assessment is meant course assessment which takes place outside the regular assessment period, e.g. through continuous assessment exams, essays, oral and written reports, diaries, portfolios, field work or class participation. Final assessment refers to a formal assessment at the end of a course term, such as examination during a regular assessment period, an essay, seminar, oral defence or assessment of practical training.

Course tutors choose the course assessment arrangement in consultation with School administrators (Dean of School, Head of Faculty or Head of Department) and it shall be made available to the students in the course schedule no later than by the course start date. Once the course has begun, any changes to the course assessment arrangement are dependent on the approval of all students and instructors in the course in question. Heads of Faculty and Heads of Department shall seek to coordinate the delivery dates of assignments and examination dates within the Department or Faculty each term, in collaboration with course tutors.

Each Faculty or School can set itself more detailed rules on its course assessment within the framework of the Regulations on Course Assessment at the University of Akureyri, but they are subject to the approval of the University Council.

In course assessment, fair and reasonable assistance shall be provided to students with proven special needs, i.e. in terms of assignment delivery, examination time, necessary equipment and examination locations; in compliance with the “Policy on Equal Access to Study and Work at the University of Akureyri”. If a student requests special arrangements for the delivery of assignments or examination methods, s/he shall submit a professional assessment from a specialist of his/her study needs, in terms of disability, crisis or illness.

Article 2. Roles and duties of instructors

a) Examination preparation. The course tutor coordinates examination questions in a course which s/he supervises, prepares the exam and submits the completed exam to the Examinations Manager in electronic format or ready for photocopying no later than three workdays before the examination date. Exams submitted to the Examinations Manager for reproduction shall be clear and concise and the questions numbered in a consecutive order. If an exam is divided into parts, each exam part shall have a heading, and the weight of the exam part as a percentage of the whole exam stated in whole percentages. The weighting of each question shall be stated in whole percentages. The front page of an exam shall show the course name and number, name of School and Faculty, assessment period, permitted exam aids, and course tutor’s name and phone number. If an answer sheet is to be used for a multiple choice exam, this shall be mentioned on the front page of the exam. If a multiple choice exam is answered on both an answer sheet and the exam itself, those answers marked on the answer sheet apply.

b) Instructor’s role during an exam. During an exam, a student has the right to ask for explanations of the wording of exam questions. Instructors must be available during the exam. In exceptional cases, an instructor is allowed to find a substitute who has professional knowledge of the exam material. In such cases, the instructor and the substitute are required to go through the exam paper together before the exam. The course tutor and the Examinations Manager shall be notified of the substitute.

c) Handling of completed exam papers. The course tutor receives the completed exam papers from the Examinations Manager and signs for their receipt. If there is more than one instructor, the course tutor delivers the completed exam papers to the relevant instructor. The course tutor schedules the exam display date, as per Article 7 c, and delivers the completed exam papers to the Examinations Manager for safekeeping once the display is over. Once two years have passed since the exam date, the completed exam papers shall be destroyed.

d) Marks return. The course tutor registers and posts a final mark no later than on the twelfth working day after the exam date. If there is more than one instructor in a course, marks from individual exam parts shall be submitted to the course tutor no later than ten workdays after the exam date. Marks from continuous assessment elements shall be published to the students within 30 days from the delivery date or exam date. The final mark from exam-free courses shall be submitted no later than on the twelfth workday after the end of the regular assessment period. Students and Head of Faculty shall be notified if an instructor's illness or other uncontrollable circumstances prevent the timely delivery of course marks.

e) Previous exams. Exam questions from all exams from the regular assessment period are kept for 3 years. Exam questions are generally sent to the University Library at the end of the current academic year. Students are given access to previous exams in compliance with the Information Act no. 140/2012.

Article 3. Roles and duties of the Examinations Manager 

The Examinations Manager prepares and conducts regular examinations, examinations during the make-up and resit examination period and on special continuous assessment days. No examination during this period may be held without consulting the Examinations Manager. The Examinations Manager or a substitute shall be available during an exam in an assessment period.

The Examinations Manager's job description is to:

  1. Prepare the examinations schedule, invite feedback on it from academic staff and students, and publish a final version of the schedule.
  2. Ensure a coordinated implementation of examinations in all Faculties and exam locations.
  3. Ensure that course assessment guidelines are followed and violators penalised as per Article 8.
  4. Allocate rooms to exams, hire invigilators and coordinate exam invigilation.
  5. Ensure, in collaboration with other staff, that exam results are sent to the relevant course tutor.
  6. Advise on how to conduct exams and interpret course assessment guidelines.
  7. Give thorough job instructions to exam invigilators.
  8. Ensure that procedures for students with special needs are followed.

Article 4. Examiner appointment 

The Examiner shall be appointed by the Dean of School in the following cases:

  1. For oral and practical exams.
  2. For graduation projects for a graduate degree.
  3. For competitive exams where intake is limited (numerus clausus).
  4. By the specific request of a majority of students or course tutor, that an Examiner review the course assessment in terms of its structure and aims.
  5. At the request of students who have not passed the exam, as per Article 7 d, in which case the grade awarded by the Examiner counts 100%.

The Examiner shall as a general requirement have received an approved university degree (at least a Master’s or a Cand. degree) in the academic field s/he will be examining, or in related fields, or have a track record as a researcher in the field. The Examiner and teacher each awards a grade independently and these count equally in the grading or 50% of the overall grade each, except according to Article 4 e. The Examiner works according to a job description approved by the Quality Council.

Article 5. Assessment periods and exam registration

The regular assessment period is at the end of each teaching semester in December and April/May. The academic calendar shall specify when an exam schedule outline and final exam schedule will be available. A final exam schedule shall be available before the deadline for confirming course registration has passed. Make-up and resit exams for the current assessment period are held at the end of the regular assessment period.

a) Registration for examinations in the regular assessment period. At the start of the semester, students confirm registration for the courses they attend. The confirmation acts as registration for the course examinations. Deadlines for withdrawing from exams are decided by the University Council and published on the academic calendar. Withdrawal from an exam must be in writing and have been submitted to the Student Registry no later than by the final deadline for withdrawal.

b) Exam schedule conflicts. A student who plans to take more than one exam, which will be held at the same time, shall report this to the Examinations Manager with at least a week’s notice, to allow for special arrangements so that the student can sit the exams one after another.

c) Exam absence. A student who does not attend an exam due to illness (including his/her child’s) or other mitigating circumstances, shall report the absence on the same day. A doctor’s or consultant’s note regarding the absence shall be submitted to the Student Registry no later than five workdays after the exam date, otherwise the student is considered to have taken the exam. A student who does not attend an exam and has not submitted a doctor’s or consultant’s note, is considered to have taken the exam and is awarded the mark F.

d) Make-up and resit examinations. When at least 10 workdays have passed since the end of the regular assessment period, make-up and resit exams are held for the courses of the respective semester. Registration for make-up and resit exams shall be finished no later than one week before the scheduled assessment period or within 24 hours of the release of the final grade if it has not already been posted. Make-up exams due to illness for competitive examinations are held immediately after the regular assessment period.

e) Assessment from prior semesters. Before the deadline for confirming course registration expires, a student who has the opportunity to graduate at the next graduation following an assessment period, can apply to the Head of Faculty to be allowed to complete assessment in courses from prior semesters, if the student still has examination rights, as per Article 5 f, in the respective courses, if a course is taught in alternate years, and/or if this is one course in which the student has not attained the minimum grade.

f) Examination rights. Students are obligated to participate in all assessment in the courses which they have registered for. A student who does not attain the minimum grade, has been absent without a legitimate reason or who has not submitted a course element, has a right to re-take the respective course element once. The right to re-take without a legitimate absence does, though, not apply to attendance which is part of assessment. A student who has attained the required minimum grade may re-take the course element if a re-take is held, in which case the second grade counts. A student who has not attained the minimum grade in a course and who has submitted a doctor’s or consultant’s note regarding a course element during the term, during the regular assessment period or the make-up and resit exam period, is permitted to re-take the course element the next time the respective assessment takes place in the course. If a student has at that time not attained the minimum grade, s/he will have to re-enroll in the course.

g) Examination fee. The University is permitted to charge an examination fee for resit exams. This fee is determined by the University Council, and payment shall be made when registering for the exam. Registration for resit examinations is not valid unless the examination fee is received before the examination registration deadline has passed.

h) Other course assessment elements. If a continuous assessment element weighs less than 30%, an instructor can allow re-taking during the current semester. An instructor may furthermore permit a re-taking of a practical element outside of make-up and resit exams. An instructor is also authorised to allow a student to submit projects after their due date, if the instructor has verified that important personal reasons lie behind such a request.

Article 6. Examination procedures

a) General examination procedures. Students are expected to be at the examination location five minutes before the examination starts. If a student arrives more than one hour after an exam begins, s/he is not allowed to take the exam. The student shall bring photo identification and place it on his/her table. The student is not allowed to have a coat or jacket, phone, bags or other accessories, which are not part of the allowed exam aids, at the exam table. Any disturbance in the exam room is forbidden.

b) Student attendance during examination. Students are only allowed to leave their exam table before completing the exam in order to visit the lavatory, and only under the supervision of an attendant. No one may submit exam papers before one hour has passed since the exam start. Students who complete their exams before the allotted exam time has passed, shall leave the exam room and take care not to disturb those who are still taking the exam.

c) Examination duration. If there has been an unexpected interruption in the examination procedure, the Examinations Manager may alter the duration of the examination, and must notify the students of this immediately. Otherwise, the examination duration may not be changed after the exam has started, except at the course tutor’s request, and with the Examinations Manager’s approval. At the end of the allotted time, everyone is required to submit their exam papers immediately.

d) Submission of exam papers. In all written exams, the exam papers shall be submitted identified by name and national identity number, along with the exam questions and scratch paper, to the invigilator when the exam has finished. In multi-part exams students shall answer each exam part on a separate sheet of paper.

e) Registered exam location. Education and continuous education centres, university centres and associations, or municipalities can request registration as UNAK exam locations. If the location fulfils the quality standards of UNAK, the Examinations Manager can negotiate with the respective party on holding exams, if this results in no additional cost for UNAK. Students can take exams at all registered exam locations, on the condition that they are registered for an exam at the location in question.

f) Examinations outside registered exam locations. If a student requests to sit an exam elsewhere than at a registered UNAK exam location, s/he can apply for such an arrangement to the Examinations Manager at least three weeks prior to the prospective exam date or start of the exam period. An application for this arrangement must be submitted in each semester that a student requests this. A student must provide an exam location that fulfills the quality standards of UNAK, and the Examinations Manager can permit a taking of the exam if the exam time overlaps with the first exam hour and this implementation results in no additional cost for UNAK.

Article 7. Marks

a) Course final mark. The course tutor is responsible for calculating, registering and posting each student's final mark in a course in the student registration system of the University. If a student has passed a course element but has not reached the required final mark, the mark for the course element which the student passed is only valid while the student has the right to take the exams, as per Article 5 f, unless the Faculty decides on a different rule, but never a shorter period. Students shall reach a minimum mark in all parts of the course assessments, unless otherwise noted. A student does not need to re-take a course element that s/he has passed while s/he has examination rights. The minimum mark to pass the course assessment or a course assessment element in a course is generally the mark 5, as per Article 7 e, and can never be lower. The School Assembly or Faculty Meeting can decide to assess a course with a letter S (passed). Office Managers/Student Registry manage registration in regard to certificates and assessed courses. The Student Registry attends to safekeeping of grades.

b) Clarification of course assessment. A student has the right to ask an instructor for clarification of course assessment within 15 days from its posting. A clarification of a written assessment involves that the instructor provides the student with a break-down of marks, as well as the rationale for each mark, including how every exam question is marked.

c) Exam display date. After exams during the regular assessment period, the exam display date shall take place within 15 days of the posting of the final grade. On the exam display date, the student has the right to view his/her written exam papers and be given the rationale for the assessment, as per Article 7 b. A teacher is permitted, in consultation with a student who does not have the opportunity to make use of the exam display date, to find another time for the exam display.

d) Examiner appointment. If a student who has failed a course does not accept the instructor's assessment, even after receiving clarification, s/he can request in writing that an external examiner be appointed, as per Article 4 e, who will review all the course elements of the student in the course. A written request concerning this shall be received by the School Dean within four weeks of the posting of the final grade. The appointment of Examiners is subject to Article 4.

e) Calculation of marks. Final course marks shall be awarded in whole and half numbers from 0–10, as follows:

 

0–2,49 % merits the mark

0,0

47,5–52,49 % merits the mark

5,0

2,5–7,49 %

0,5

52,5–57,49 %

5,5

7,5–12,49 %

1,0

57,5–62,49 %

6,0

12,5–17,49 %

1,5

62,5–67,49 %

6,5

17,5–22,49 %

2,0

67,5–72,49 %

7,0

22,5–27,49 %

2,5

72,5–77,49 %

7,5

27,5–32,49 %

3,0

77,5–82,49 %

8,0

32,5–37,49 %

3,5

82,5–87,49 %

8,5

37,5–42,49 %

4,0

87,5–92,49 %

9,0

42,5–47,49 %

4,5

92,5–97,49 %

9,5

   

97,5–100 %

10,0

 

f) Other marks. The following letters are also used in UNAK's marking system:

  • S (passed)
  • L (completed)
  • M (assessed)
  • F (absent)
  • V (doctor’s or consultant’s note)
  • Ó (incomplete).

g) Grade Point Average. The grade point average is the weighted average of all marks which count towards a degree. A grade point average is calculated with two decimal places, and is:

  • 9,00–10,00 is distinction
  • 7,25–8,99 first class
  • 6,00–7,24 second class
  • 5,00–5,99 third class

Article 8. Breaches to the Regulations on Course Assessment

Breaches to the Regulations on Course Assessment are subject to Article 19 in the Act on Public Higher Education Institutions.

a) Exam violations. If a student is suspected of cheating on an exam in the supervision of the Examinations Manager, the Examinations Manager or his/her substitute decides on the appropriate handling of the matter. If a teacher, student or other party to the matter is dissatisfied with the decision of the Examinations Manager, the dispute shall be referred to the Rector or his/her substitute for a verdict. If a student is found to have cheated on an exam, the exam papers are confiscated and the student is dismissed from the exam.

 

b) Other breaches. Other breaches to the Regulations on Course Assessment are subject to the UNAK Code of Ethics and the Rules of the University of Akureyri on Penalties for Plagiarism no. 746/2009.

 

Article 9. Entry into force

These rules are set according to authorisation in the Act on Public Higher Education Institutions no. 85/2008, as per Article 21, and Regulations on the University of Akureyri no. 387/2009 with subsequent amendments, as per Article 34, and will enter into force upon publication in Section B of the Law Gazette. This will void Regulations on Course Assessment at the University of Akureyri no. 885/2009 with subsequent amendments.

Thus approved in the University Council of the University of Akureyri on 20 september 2018

Eyjólfur Guðmundsson Rector