Internal Boards and External Examiners
Internal Examination Boards, including the input of the External Examiner, must be held in advance of the institutional Examination Board for a programme. Marks for all students must be considered in full context of any mitigating or other circumstances of relevance to provide for provisional marks for consideration at the relevant institutional Examination Board.
Viewing of Scripts
Examination scripts are considered to be personal data. Students are entitled to request a hard/soft copy of this data at any point. All requests to access personal data must be addressed as soon as possible by Academic Units as per the Statutory Obligations of the University.
It is recognised that there will be variability in the practice of annotating examination scripts. Students who request their examination scripts must be advised as to whether the examination script they are requesting is ‘clean’ (as they submitted) or annotated. Annotations on an examination script, such as examiner comments, are considered to constitute non-severable personal data relating to the student's examination script and therefore should be included in the return of that examination script to the student (i.e. comments cannot be redacted, etc.).
The release of personal data is distinct from supervised structured viewing of examination scripts.
Return of Marks
The date for the return of marks will be clearly indicated on the Examination Board schedule and on DMIS.
Once confirmed by the relevant authorised Departmental/School/Programme representative and the External Examiner(s), final, considered, marks must be returned by the date specified.
Further information the return of marks to the SREO can be found in sections 13.1-13.4 of the Guide to Examinations and Assessments
University Examination Board Participation
University Examination Boards are the ultimate determining bodies for the recommendation of final student marks/judgements for approval by Academic Board.
- essential that all those directly involved in examining a programme of study participate in the relevant University Examination Board
- critical that participants are adequately prepared i.e. have downloaded and checked all relevant broadsheets in sufficient time prior to an Examination Board to fully consider the results and clarify any queries
In advance of the University Examination Board, in as far as is possible, any potential borderline cases, or students where personal/other circumstances may have impacted performance should be identified. In situations where the module/programme examiner is unable to attend, they must ensure that a fully briefed colleague, with the authority to make decisions (e.g. with regards potential addition of marks) is present with all relevant information readily available to them
Release of Marks / Data Sharing
Any data that may identify a students, such as their name, student number, examination submission(s), grades, etc. constitutes personal data and as such, staff must adhere to GDPR obligations when handling and processing this data. The following principles must be followed:
- Students should never see another student’s examination script or personal communication with staff.
- Students should never see other students’ grades.
- The recommended method of distribution of CA marks is via the Canvas Gradebook which provides a secure and personalised way to provide marks and feedback to students. Other methods such as mail merge and email are not secure and should be avoided.
- Marks for end of semester examinations are returned on DMIS to facilitate release to students via MyStudentAdmin on dates available at: https://www.ucc.ie/en/exams/results/
- Marks are provisional until they have been approved by an Examination board and ratified thereafter by Academic Board. Students must be informed that results released remain provisional and subject to change until this formal approval has been completed.
Allocation of marks and the provision of feedback are two integral parts of a student's learning experience. Both are personal to the student and must be treated with the utmost confidence. The structures for mark return and release are well established (see above for the key principles and resources) while the provision of feedback can take many forms.
Adherence to the mark return and release structures that protect student data does not preclude the provision of feedback to any student. Feedback to students should continue in line with best practice. This means that e.g. individual students can receive feedback on their submissions by email or at a meeting; where a common error in a question is apparent, it may be explained to a class how that error might be avoided in the future, etc.