School-level Grading Criteria

Tutors in the School of Creative Arts will set coursework, and later provide feedback to students, using Assignment Briefing and Feedback forms.

When undertaking assessment or moderation activity, the School-Level Grading Criteria (provided below) will be used by all tutors to inform them of the appropriate mark to award for student work. This is to ensure fairness, accuracy and consistency.

Where School-Level Grading Criteria provide insufficient granularity, or fine detail, to allow for precise, targeted feedback and guidance to students, additional Marking Schemes (which are directly aligned with the module Learning Outcomes) will be published for assessment tasks. These, together with short written comments included with feedback, will provide a good level of guidance to students on their performance.

Therefore, the Assignment Briefing Form is used to both set the brief for an assignment, and to inform the student of what will be expected from their coursework, including submission requirements and any particular qualities that will be present in successful work. It will list all of the intended Learning Outcomes that will be tested in the assignment and, optionally, provide an additional Marking Scheme that will be used to help assess the work and provide feedback.

Before students start an assignment, then, the Assignment Briefing Form will have shown them exactly how their work will be marked. Staff will spend time explaining the demands of each assignment set, and students are strongly advised to read the contents of each Assignment Briefing Form carefully. They are also encouraged to ask questions if they are unsure about any aspects of the brief, including how it will be marked. All tutors setting assignments will want the assessment process to be as transparent to students as possible; however, the brief itself will be written in such a way as to give scope for students to demonstrate particular knowledge, skills and care taken in completing the work.

Grading Criteria and Levels of Study

The School-Level Grading Criteria are offered in both Undergraduate (Levels 4, 5 and 6) and Postgraduate (Level 7) versions.

The Undergraduate Grading Criteria is not differentiated in itself by Levels of Study, so the criteria will be applicable to all Undergraduate students, regardless of whether they are studying at Level 4, 5 or 6. However, the challenge involved to achieve a particular mark will increase as students progress through levels of study. This is made possible because the assignments that tutors set for students are carefully aligned to the Learning Outcomes that have been developed, and Learning Outcomes are differentiated carefully by Levels of Study.

What does this actually mean? Effectively, for a tutor assessing student work, this means that expectations will grow as students progress though the levels of study. For a student, it means that assignments will become increasingly demanding and ‘difficult’ as they progress through the Levels of Study: so, it is harder to achieve a mark in the 60s (‘Very Good’ work) at Level 6 than it is at Level 4.

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