Assessment Policy ASSESSMENT POLICYPURPOSEThe Assessment Policy describes the principles, practices and regulations governing the assessment of student learning at SP Higher Secondary School, Exchange Road, Jammu. This document has been developed to guide and assist academic staff in conducting assessment and to provide principles and procedures for both staff and students that support the development of meaningful, valid, reliable and fair assessment.SCOPEThe Assessment Policy applies to the assessment of all students in higher education programmes. It applies further to the Design Plus programme.INTRODUCTION Assessment is the process whereby student competency is determined, student learning is measured, and feedback is given to students on their progress and grades awarded. It should be considered in the broadest sense and includes a number of assessment methods. The rationale for assessment methods is based on assessing the application of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes through appropriate assignments, projects and reviews. The feedback thus provided maximizes the student’s opportunity for development and ensures just and fair assessment of their abilities. In order to achieve this, employs the following principles:a) Validity: The assessments are designed to measure what they intend to measure, are accurate, appropriate and meaningful. Thus “Am I really assessing what I intended to assess, and are my intentions justifiable in the first place” – (“fitness of purpose” – are we assessing the right things and are we assessing things right). Thus an assignment which requires logical deductions is not assessed for creativity.b) Reliability and fairness: Assessment decisions are not based on subjective opinions. Decisions are made in relation to standards of quality accepted by a broader educational framework and design community. In addition reliability is concerned with issues of consistency such as “Can we assume that the results of performance can be generalized to other performances? Can we assume that the same results would be achieved on another occasion?”In addition, the following principles re-enforce the first two:a) Transparency and accountability: Assessment methods, processes and criteria relate to the aims and learning outcomes of the course and are easily understood by students, staff, external assessors (moderators & verifiers), etc. Assessors should be able to give clear rationales to students in the feedback sessions for their assessment decisions.b) Diversity: The assessment methods that we use relate directly to the abilities we intend to measure. A range of assessment tools are used. Different abilities require different methods of assessment.c) Inclusivity: We aim to engage a range of stakeholders in the assessment process of which students play a key role.d) Assessment as a learning tool: Assessment is used throughout the process of teaching and learning in both formal and informal contexts to develop students’ ability and by the academic staff to examine the efficacy of a learning programme. We see assessment not as an end in itself or merely as a method of reporting but a key component in quality teaching and learning.Criterion-based assessment is used in SP Higher Secondary School to assess student performance. This means that for every assessment activity the criteria are made clear to the students and all outcomes are measured against these. The assessment criteria relate to the skills, knowledge and values and attitudes we hope to develop in our students. Criterion-based assessment facilitates fair and transparent assessment.SP Higher Secondary School practices various assessment methods like WAT, MAT, KYP, KYPM, MLA, ATP, WAA, MCT, SWET etc.Self and Peer assessment is used for students to examine their own work critically so that a sense of self reflexivity is developed as their academic career progresses. This is manifested in studio critiques where students are given the opportunity to comment on their own and peers work in terms of the relevant assessment criteria. We believe that in order for a student to succeed in the workplace, they must think about and evaluate their work independently and in teams.BackgroundAssessment is an integral part of the learning process. Through assessment, judgements can be made about the quality and extent of students’ achievements and performances. The forms of assessment used in SP Higher Secondary School are diverse and vary according to academic discipline. The methods of assessment should demonstrate appropriateness to a subject’s learning outcomes and requirements for graduation. Assessment plays an important educative role in conveying to students the kind of intellectual engagement desired and provides feedback on learning. Assessment enables students to meet minimum academic and professional requirements and allows SP Higher Secondary School to meet its responsibilities to the community to enhance the quality.Learning Outcomes These are the goals or objectives that are set for students in terms of knowledge to be acquired, skills to be gained, and values and attitudes to be engendered.Assessment CriteriaThese states in detail how students are expected to show that they have achieved the required learning outcomes. These criteria are specific to each learning area.Good academic practiceStudents enter into SP Higher Secondary School for a variety of reasons, such as to gain a specific qualification, to pursue their interest in science field in order to become employable and to broaden their education. Good academic practice demands personal integrity and respect for scholarship and vocation. For example, academic staff are responsible for marking student learn fairly and consistently, and providing feedback within a reasonable timeframe, and students are responsible for submitting assessment that represents their own efforts to meet the stated outcome requirements. Student learning will be more effective and enjoyable if basic principles of good academic practice are followed. These include the following:a) Academic integrityb) Self-motivation and commitment to learningc) Awareness of requirementsd) Participatione) Respecting the rights of othersf) Seeking timely help from appropriate sourcesg) Attendance at all scheduled academic activitiesh) Submission of all work on deadline Academic integrity Academic integrity involves a good measure of trust between students and academic staff. Cheating, ether in the form of plagiarism, submitting false requests for alternative methods of assessment or special consideration, or any other form, is a breach of this trust. Cheating also diminishes the aims and value of students’ studies. Students should also be aware that cheating diminishes the good reputation of SP Higher Secondary School. The continuing value of SP Higher Secondary School award in the opinions of potential employers, other institutions and the community at large, depends on SP Higher Secondary School maintaining its reputation as a design college that has utterly reliable credentials. Self-motivation and commitment to learning In general, there is an emphasis at SP Higher Secondary School on developing independent learning skills, understanding ideas, and interacting critically with material and raising questions about it. SP Higher Secondary School requires a level of self-motivation from students. The onus is on students to complete the requirements of each subject. This demands reasonably high levels of personal discipline, self-motivation and organisation. The ultimate purpose of assessment is to develop in the student the ability for the student to become a self critical and reflective learner. This will prepare the student for the world of work and the process of life-long learning. Awareness of requirements It is the responsibility of students to ensure they are fully informed of all aspects of the assessment process. Students need to be very clear about what is required in each subject and/or project. These requirements are provided in outlines that are given to students at the beginning of each year. Different subjects have quite different requirements. These might include preparation for classes, consultations or discussions, completing an independent learning task or working with other students in a collaborative manner. Participation Students are encouraged to participate in those classes that are set aside for discussion. Listening to and considering other views and framing and expressing opinions about a topic assist in developing critical and analytical skills. It leads to students’ ability to develop the skill of self-assessment. Lecturer responsibilities Students may expect SP Higher Secondary School lecturers to undertake their responsibilities as academics in accordance with this policy. Students may also expect academic staff to be competent assessors. Academic staff will also become self-critical and reflective learners through this process of assessment. Students may expect assignments to be marked and returned to them by the lecturers within stipulated time frame. Lecturers will provide feedback to students both individually and as a group so that assignments form part of ongoing improvement for the student. Seeking timely help from appropriate sources It is incumbent upon students to ensure that they use all support systems available should they require assistance in the assessment process. The various support services are outlined in the student handbook, and include both academic and non academic services. Attendance at all scheduled academic activities As contact-based programmes, students must attend all scheduled academic activities in order to benefit fully from the educational provision as well as peer learning. In cases of absenteeism the onus rests on the student to ensure that they bring themselves up to date with what they missed. Notwithstanding approved extenuating circumstances, student work may not be assessed if the student failed to attend at least 85% of all lectures, consults, computer classes or any other scheduled classes. Late arrival for classes may be deemed to constitute absenteeism. Extenuating Circumstances / Temporary Suspension of Studies Extenuating Circumstance may provide reason for the inability to poor attendance during time tabled studio periods or lectures etc. Students must apply for extenuating circumstance (in advance where possible) using the Extenuating Circumstances form. Documentation (e.g. medical or health practitioner’s letter complete with practice number and contact details) detailing a student’s difficulties should be submitted with the application. No concession to performance will be made without sufficient supporting evidenceA Temporary Suspension of Studies is in place to address situations where students are unable to complete the academic year due to bona fide extraordinary circumstances, and where an extension is not feasible. It allows the student the opportunity to temporarily suspend their studies and continue with them in the following calendar year. Submission of Work, Cheating and PlagiarismStudents are expected to submit their own work and SP Higher Secondary School will not tolerate cheating or plagiarismCheating includes, but is not limited to, any dishonest conduct such as copying work from others in any examination or project/assignmentPlagiarism is the presentation of another person’s work or ideas without acknowledgment. This may also infringe on the copyright legislationStudents will be advised to use a particular system of referencing. Students should ensure that this is used in all assignments, projects, course work or dissertations that are submitted for assessment. Failure to do so may result in suspicion of plagiarismCheating and plagiarism are regarded as serious offences. The Plagiarism Policy and Student Disciplinary Policy outline the consequence of plagiarism which may include expulsionStudents are required to complete a form declaring that the work submitted is their own, which they must include with each submission. Recording of Results Grades awarded for the assignments are captured in a secured database. A hierarchy of permissions ensures that the results are secured and accessible to relevant personnel only. A hard-copy of results is kept as back-up and is stored securely in the Administration Office.End of Year results are released to students and exit-level students are issued with an academic transcript detailing their full academic history at the institution. Students from other years of study may request a transcript from the Administration Office. Results are released directly to students/parents/guardians. Queries and AppealsStudents wishing to query the results for an assignment should arrange an appointment with the assessor for that assignment where the assessment and results can be reviewed and discussed. Other pertinent academic staff may be consulted if necessary. Should the matter not be resolved, the parties may approach to the administrative block. If still unresolved, the Head of Academic Planning will take the final decision. Roles and Responsibilities Student: The term student is used to denote a candidate enrolled at SP Higher Secondary School. Students are expected to:a) Engage actively in the learning process and participate according to subject and assessment requirements.b) Complete assessment tasks diligently and honestly to provide evidence of learning achievements in a subject. c) Meet assessment requirements as specified in the subject outline, including submission of work by the due dated) Apply the principles of good academic practice Lecturers and Assessors: Lecturer is used as a term to mean any academic staff member with responsibility for teaching and assessing in a subject. Assessors are one and the same as a lecturer and have undergone the appropriate training and development. Lecturers / assessors shall:a) Assist in the preparation and/or review of formal assessmentb) Exercise professional judgment involved in implementing and/or administering assessment items that are relevant, fair, transparent, valid and appropriate to the aims of the course and subject objectives.c) Provide feedback within a reasonable time on how effectively students are learningd) Provide evidence to Academic Dept. and Head of Academic Planning that students have achieved a particular standard or achieved certain outcomes e) Inform students of assessment policy and procedures and what constitutes acceptable academic conduct.f) Provide academic support where required to improve student learning Internal Moderators: An internal moderator or another lecturer who moderates/oversees the assessment process. The role of the internal moderator is to ensure that all procedures related to assessment and the standard of the programme are in place, correct and maintained, the internal moderator assures that:a) Justice is done to each student by assuring that the process of student assessment is conducted with rigor and due regard to best practice;b) Students have filled the stated objective in their submission Programme Leaders: Programme Leaders report to the Head of Academic Planning. They are responsible for all learning and teaching in their respective departments. Programme Leader shall:a) Determine and design the assessment items, assessment pattern and methods by which final results are calculated.b) Consult with the Head of Academic Planning about appropriate learning and assessment arrangements c) Prepare Programme Outlines in accordance with procedures and lodge subject outlines with the Head of Academic Planningd) Provide formal and informal assessment taskse) Set alternative/additional assessment items. f) Consult with the Head of Academic Planning about withdrawalsg) Determine interim results. h) Communicate relevant information to all staff teaching and assessing in a subject.i) Arrange for a percentage of all assignments to be internally moderated prior to final end of year assessmentsj) Ensure that there are assessment criteria for each assignment and that all students understand these prior to commencement of the assignment. k) Conduct ongoing analysis of assessment results which then inform further Teaching and Learning. Submission of all work on deadline Students must submit all projects set on deadline. Students should consult with their lecturers for clarity as late submissions will not be accepted.