Guidelines for course guides, course delivery, assessment, and penalties

Course delivery

A 12-credit point course must consist of no more than three (3) hours of teacher-guided contact per week or the equivalent duration of a whole semester for courses delivered in concentrated mode or through an offshore delivery model.

A minimum of two (2) hours per week of face-to-face teacher-guided contact (or equivalent to 50% of total contact hours) is required in courses delivered to international onshore students in order to comply with the ESOS Act and with CRICOS registration.

Students are expected to spend at least 1.5 hours of self-directed learning for every 1 hour of teacher-guided contact or equivalent.

Courses must provide a variety of learning activities and utilise a variety of delivery methods. There should never be a single method of delivery (for example, only a lecture).

Principles of assessment

Courses must employ more than one (1) mode of assessment. Modes of assessment include examinations, essays, reports, reflective journals and presentations. There should never be a single mode of assessment (for example, only an examination).

Assessment policy, assessment principles

Where course assessments include an examination at the end of the course, it must be of no more than two (2) hours in duration (for a 12 credit point course or any Vocational Education course) and weighted at no more than 60%* of the overall assessment of the course. (* Note: Policy under review as at May 2015)

A maximum of three (3) assessment tasks (per 12 credit point course) is permissible during the semester. Note that regular (for example, weekly) reports, reflective journals, discussion forum activities and quizzes may be categorised as a single task.

There must be at least one (1) assessable task completed (issued, assessed and feedback returned) in the first eight (8) weeks (or equivalent to two-thirds) of a course. Students must be provided with constructive individual feedback. For group work, group feedback can be provided but feedback on individual components must also be provided to individual students.

Note that in compulsory introductory or stage one courses in a program, a formative or summative assessment task is to be included in the first four (4) weeks of the semester (or equivalent in concentrated or offshore delivery model) so that students receive timely feedback to direct their learning.

There may be no hurdle requirements in any course.

Written pieces of assessment must be submitted electronically via myRMIT Studies/Blackboard using the Turnitin assignment e-Submission procedure.

Responsibility for assessment

The responsibility for assessment in a course resides with the School responsible for the course. Policy - Assessment: Course assessment committees and program assessment

The Head of School is responsible to the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Business and, via the Pro Vice-Chancellor, to Academic Board for the academic standards of the School. The Head of School is responsible for ensuring that an adequate basis for the conduct of assessment is established and implemented. Policy - Assessment: Course assessment committees and program assessment

Course guides

Course guide Part A - Overview of assessment

Before the beginning of a term or period over which a course is to be taught, the assessment for that term or period must be recorded in the Course Guide and be made available to each student undertaking that course. Policy - Course design procedure

Assessment will be carried out as described in the current Course Guide.

The assessment section of Part A course guides states:

  • the assessment tasks
  • the weighting allocated to each assessment task (except in competency-based courses, where assessment tasks are not weighted)
  • any other requirements for satisfactory completion of the course or module, and
  • how the assessment is related to the course learning outcomes..

Course guide Part B - Assessment tasks

In Course Guide Part B, the details of the assessment methods must address: Policy - Course design procedure

  1. Assessment tasks.
  2. Assessment timeline (e.g. beginning, middle or end of the course).
  3. Submission dates, dates when students’ work will normally be returned and feedback mechanisms.
  4. Gradings available or competency achieved, including assessment criteria and lecturer’s expectation. This should be for the particular pieces of work/assessment activities.
  5. Require that all written assessment tasks not submitted through Turnitin must be accompanied by an Assignment Cover Sheet.
  6. Require that all assignments are submitted electronically through Turnitin.

In Course Guide Part B, list the grades available in the course. The grade awarded will be the sum of the marks of each piece of assessment.

The criteria for determining ‘narrow fail’ must be outlined. A suggested statement is: “Narrow fails in this course are determined when the final overall mark is in the range 45-49 inclusive.”

The use of an end of semester examination and its duration must be identified.

Each assessment task should:

    1. be described in some detail (that is more that simply naming the type as essay or examination for example);
    2. provide students with an overview of the assessment criteria that will be used (that is, describe what will be looked for when work is marked, including examinations);
    3. add the date when more detailed information about the assessment task and criteria will be distributed if relevant;
    4. specify the submission time and date.

Where alternate assessment is being proposed at a campus or offshore location, an equivalence and comparability review document must be completed and returned to the School. The proposed assessment must meet the learning outcomes of the course, demonstrated through the assessment task and marking guide/rubric and comply with RMIT policy and College of Business guidelines governing assessment. The document can be obtained from the Deputy HoS L&T (Melbourne) or Deputy Head of Centre (Vietnam).

Management of assessment results

All narrow fail scripts, whether assignments or examination papers, should be marked by a second examiner. Assessment: management of results procedure

Students have the right to clarification from the School of how their assessment was determined.

The results of progressive assessment of students during the conduct of a course will be retained within Schools for consideration in determining a final assessment result for the course.

Provisional grades (excluding final examinations) must also be recorded in Blackboard Grade Centre and made available to students after moderation.

A student will be entitled to receive the result of any assessment prior to the commencement of the next scheduled period of study in a course or program, where knowledge of that assessment is necessary in order to proceed either within the course or to another course.

Schools responsible for course assessment will enter final results onto the Electronic Results System by the date prescribed.

Submission dates and extensions

The Course Guide must state the week, class number or date and time (in local time, e.g., AEST) for submission of all assignments.

Academic staff are authorised to permit extensions of time of up to 7 days on application from the student. All such extensions of time and the reason these have been granted will be reported in writing to the Course Coordinator within 5 working days of being granted.

Extensions to submission deadlines beyond 7 days are allowed only as a result of a successful application for Special Consideration

Online tests must be made available for a total of seven (7) days. Students who are unable to complete the online test on the first day of its availability can do so without submitting an application for Extension of Time for Submission of assessable work.

For submissions later than this please see “Extensions of time for submission of assessable work” at;ID=7usdbki1fjf31

Procedures for submission of assessable work

All written assessment tasks must be submitted electronically using Blackboard’s Turnitin assignment submission tool. Turnitin assesses the originality of an assessment piece to encourage academic integrity and help to prevent plagiarism.

In rare cases, electronic submission through Turnitin may not be appropriate. In these instances, an exemption from the Deputy PVC (Learning & Teaching) can be sought. If an exemption is granted, Blackboard’s assignment tool (non-Turnitin) must be used.

All written assessments should be marked online, and grades and feedback provided to students using Blackboard tools (for example, Grade Centre and GradeMark).

Provisional grades (excluding final examinations) must be recorded in Grade Centre and made available to students after moderation.

NOTE: It is important that a backup of provisional grades is saved onto a secure system or shared drive location.

Hard copy submissions are no longer required in Melbourne and SIM locations, and should not be requested. In rare cases a hardcopy submission may be appropriate. In these instances, an exemption from the Deputy PVC (Learning & Teaching) can be sought.

Written assessment tasks submitted electronically through Turnitin by one student representative of a team, must be accompanied by an Assignment Cover Sheet completed by all members of that team.

Procedure for making variations to assessment tasks described

Assessment tasks may be varied with the documented consent of 70% of students enrolled in the course, Course design procedure.

Penalties for late submission

For assignments 1 to 10 days late, a penalty of 10% (of the marks awarded) per day will apply. For assignments more than 10 days late, a penalty of 100% will apply. Weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) are considered when counting total late days for electronic submissions but not for hardcopy submissions.

For submissions later than this refer to ‘Extensions of time for submission of assessable work’;ID=7usdbki1fjf31.

Exemptions to guidelines above

Exemptions must have been granted at least two (2) weeks before each course commences.

The process to consider exemptions to the College of Business course delivery and assessment guidelines will be based on submission to the Academic Development Committee. Each submission will be considered on a case by case basis. The submissions must provide the course codes and titles, a list of the codes and titles of all affected programs, the background to the submission, the justification for the exemption and supporting documentation as attachments.

The justification for exemptions should be one of the following:

      1. The course load or assessment is specifically required by an external professional accreditation. The requirement must be based on a current accreditation of the program that is mandatory for graduates to enter professional practice
      2. International mobility
      3. Laboratory, practical, workshop or field work (only) courses, on condition that other requirements are fulfilled
      4. Fee for service or non-award courses provided to an external body based on specified requirements
      5. Exemption from e-Submission and/or Turnitin

Implementation of guidelines

The process to implement the new guidelines is as follows:

The checklist (PDF 80KB) may be used as a guide for course co-ordinators to ensure their courses and course guides conform to these guidelines.

Heads of Schools will ensure that courses are revised by the appropriate timelines outlined below and that the course guides are signed off by Heads or their nominees during this change process.

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching will arrange for an audit of a sample of course guides at the beginning of each semester and report to the College of Business Executive on compliance with the new guidelines.

Implementation timeframes for the new delivery and assessment guidelines have been agreed as outlined below.

Minor changes to courses to meet guidelines

The Deputy Heads of School Learning and Teaching will determine if the changes required to a course to comply with the Guidelines are either major or minor.


ADG Guidelines for writing HE Course Guides (PDF 2.4MB)

Guidelines for writing TAFE Part A course guides

Checklist for Course Guides Parts A and B (PDF 80KB)

Guidelines for Part B course guides (PDF 336 KB)

Exemplar Part B course guide (PDF 367KB)

Assignment Cover Sheet (DOC 63KB)

Application for exemption form (DOC 95KB)

Course and Program System for editing

Amended 26 February 2016