Business Schools across the world implement a myriad of techniques in order to assess the learning outcomes of the modules in their respective degree programmes. Traditional learning approaches used exams in order to assess the capitalization of knowledge and skills gained over the course of their studies. This is however, not always the case with online learning. With the increasing popularity and the use of technology in the education field, online learning, also known as E-Learning, is gaining momentum with educational institutions across the globe. Since flexibility is the key facet of distance education, universities had to employ nouvelle approaches towards assessment and grading, widely adopting an assignments based approach towards assessing students.
Advantages of an assignment based approach
Whilst universities encourage students to equip themselves with business specific knowledge and management prerequisites, it is important to note that an assignment based approach accounts for the much needed flexibility in a distance learning course. These assignments cover real life case studies and work-based scenarios which underpin the learning outcomes of the educational programme. This continuous study approach allows students to engage in subject specific research and explore areas of interest which would otherwise not always be covered in examinations. It also encourages students to explore various authors and articles, thus training them to compare, contrast and analyse differing views when forming an opinion – a vital skill in any scenario.
How are assignments graded?
Students are usually provided with a grading matrix from their respective course tutors in order to understand the marking criteria. The grading matrix usually classifies the quality of work in terms of percentage or grade allocated. Students can identify and critique their own work against this grading matrix, thus outlining their grade and feedback expectations.
With most universities, the grading usually takes place through an independent body of at least 3 markers who asses the quality and the content of the assignment submitted. It is important to understand that each marker evaluates the coursework submitted as per the guidelines of the assignments provided to the students, hence ensuring a transparent process. Tutors also provide feedback to students which covers constructive criticism on further assessment and areas that may require attention or improvement.
Can I resubmit an assignment if I fail it on my first attempt?
Students are definitely provided with an opportunity to re submit an assignment in case of a fail grade. This is to ensure that each student is given the chance to properly understand the key learning outcomes enough to suitably apply the concepts. Students are always encouraged to contact their course tutors in order to ensure that their second attempt towards the assignment covers the required content, in order to fulfil the requirements of a pass grade.
Is there a capped pass mark for a late submission?
Late submissions or second attempts towards an assignment are usually capped with a minimum pass grade. It is important for students to understand the requirements of reattempting their assignments; contact the student support team and course tutors in order to receive feedback on assignment topic and guidelines, and to choose the resubmission date.
At the onset of their studies, students often end up feeling overwhelmed by the amount of reading tasks and the required coursework for submission in the programmes. This is all too natural for new students, however understanding the module requirements and reading the programme handbook at the start of your module can help to set the right tone for their studies. It is also very important for students to keep in close contact with the student support team as well as the course tutors as they are always there to help with questions.