ANU to Maintain Standard Marking System
By Hayley Hands
ANU announced yesterday in an email that the standard grading system will be used in Semester 1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Grady Venville stated that students would be able to ‘opt-in’ to a pass/fail system following the release of grades, and that a ‘pass’ grade would not negatively affect their GPA.
Venville stated in the email that the Academic Board had recommended against a move to the pass/fail system. She went on to clarify that “students may request” that their grade for “one or more of their courses” be recorded as CRS (Course Requirements Satisfied or NCN (Not Completed/Fail) “in writing to the registrar after the release” of Semester 1 results.
Venville reiterated that the WN (Withdrawn with Failure) grade would not be used by the University in 2020, implying that students will be able to withdraw from courses throughout the year without negative academic impact. However, students will still be charged for courses that they do not drop before the census date.
Vice President Madhu Janagaraja told Observer that this model would “most equitably” address a number of different students’ needs, and therefore was the “solution [they] could best advocate for.” She added that recent communications with the ANU had indicated they would “encourage leniency from academics and convenors in documentation requirements” regarding requests for extensions. She stated that more details about the process of writing to the registrar would likely be released in the “next few weeks.”
Additionally, Janagaraja stated that ANUSA would like to see extensions granted on the “submission of a personal statement alone”, and for participation marks to be waived due to some students lacking reliable internet and IT resources. ANUSA is also advocating for “reasonable adjustments” to Education Access Plans (EAPs) for students completing online assessments.
A number of Universities have made similar decisions, with USyd and UNSW adopting the pass/fail marking system, and LaTrobe and Swinburne excluding fail grades from academic transcripts this semester.
Venville’s email also stated that an alternate survey would replace the usual Semester 1 SELT, which will gather feedback about students’ remote learning experiences. Venville stated this would “be helpful as we plan for Semester 2.”
In addition, mid-year graduations have been postponed, with students able to graduate in absentia. The release of the Semester 2 timetable has also been delayed, pending “further discussion”.
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