Continuous assessment is an essential feature of all the college courses. Your class tutor will explain at induction the particular arrangements that apply to your course.
The vast majority of assessment is locally devised and graded with internal cross-moderation and external moderation. Student guidelines for examinations are available by following the link.
On the successful completion of your course you will be awarded a certificate setting out your achievement. There is no overall grade for the course but your performance in each module is graded as pass, merit or distinction. You are also awarded grades in seven common skills on BTEC courses.
The general framework for the determining of grades is as follows:
Outstanding performance in all major areas of a module.
Performance is either significantly better than pass in all major areas of a module or outstanding in some with a pass performance in others.
Satisfactory performance in all major areas of a unit as defined by the specified outcomes for the module.
In addition in respect of individual assignments the following grades arise –
The performance in the assignment does not reach pass standard in all areas but can be improved or reworked in certain aspects to achieve pass. The student must resubmit within an agreed time.
The student has not submitted work within the time allowed or the performance is so far below pass standard that a complete reassessment of the relevant outcomes is necessary.
BTEC Grades are determined by comparing performance to criteria set out in advance for each assignment. They are not calculated on a percentage basis and are not directly equivalent to grades used in state exams. However it may help students to consider a Distinction grade performance as similar to the performance that would earn an A grade, a Merit grade as a B or high C and a Pass as similar to a D or lower C. Details of the College’s appeals procedures are contained in Appendix 1 of this handbook
There is no overall grade for the course but your performance in each module is graded as pass, merit or distinction.
The general framework for awarding the grades is as follows:
Your grades are not final or official until they have been approved by the FETAC board, following external moderation in May. Final results are usually available at the College by early August. FETAC have an appeals procedure in place. Details of the College’s appeals procedures are contained in Appendix 1 of this handbook
All assignments will have a date for completion and submission. It is vital that deadlines are met and adhered to. Please note the college calendar with respect to the completion of first semester assignments. Only in exceptional circumstances (normally certified illness) are allowances made.
In general, it is college policy that work received after a deadline can receive no higher than a pass grade. For this purpose a pass grade in a FETAC course is defined as 57%.
When a student is aware in advance of a reason for non-submission by the deadline they can apply in writing for an extension. In exceptional circumstances a revised deadline can be agreed in writing. In this instance the work will be graded on its merits.
Where a student has missed a deadline with no advance notice then the grade is deemed a fail (pending action by the student).
Where group work is involved tutors may stipulate in advance the outcomes for a given assignment where there is a lack of performance by an individual.
If a student presents another’s work as their own without due acknowledgement this constitutes plagiarism. In common with other academic institutions the college sees plagiarism as a serious matter and students adjudged to have presented work which is plagiarised may not be permitted to continue on the course. Tutors will explain to students how legitimate use can be made of other authors’ ideas when the source is acknowledged.
It is important that an assignment is handed in only to the tutor who is designated to collect it. It is the general policy of the college that tutors should only take in their own assignments. There is no guarantee that an assignment that is not handed in to the designated tutor will be accepted or graded.
Students must keep a back-up copy of work submitted for assessment wherever possible.
The task of correction of assignments is carried out very carefully by class tutors. There is a system of cross moderation in place where the work of one tutor is monitored by another tutor to ensure standards are applied evenly. Nevertheless it may happen that a student considers that a higher grade should have been awarded.
Appeals may be made under the following headings:
The first step for such a student is to talk to the tutor concerned immediately. The tutor will normally review the work again and discuss the grade with the student in the light of the criteria specified. In most cases this will resolve the issue.
If the student is still dissatisfied then he/she may lodge a formal appeal. The student must inform the Course Co-ordinator in writing within 72 hours of receiving the graded work. The appeal can be lodged pending the discussion with the subject tutor referred to above.
The Course Co-ordinator will normally await the outcome of the discussion. If the matter is not resolved and the issue is one of the quality of the work the co-ordinator will appoint a person from the teaching staff to review the work and award a grade without prior knowledge of the existing grades. (The student may be required to submit a clean copy of the work). In cases where the issue at dispute relates to rules and procedures rather than the quality of the work the course co-ordinator will make a decision on the matter.
In either case the co-ordinator will communicate the appeal decision to the student in writing within two weeks of the appeal date.
If the student is not satisfied then the appeal can be taken to the college BTEC/FETAC Co-ordinator. The role of this Co-ordinator is to establish whether the correct procedures have been applied. Where the correct procedures have been applied the grade awarded stands. The BTEC/FETAC co-ordinator will respond within one week of the matter being referred to him/her.
The student can make a final appeal to the college appeals panel which consists of the Principal and Deputy Principals and co-opted academic expert(s) from among the college staff if required. The panel will respond within two weeks of the matter being referred to them.
In addition any student is entitled to appeal directly to the FETAC. Such an appeal can only be made on receipt of the official FETAC grades in August. The appeal can be made through the FETAC co-ordinator during the first few weeks of September. There is an FETAC administration fee for such an appeal, which at the time of writing was €19.