Quality Manual

Policy on feedback to students

This page contains the University's policy on feedback that is provided to students for pieces of assessed work, including coursework and written examinations. Its contents are applicable to staff and students across all of the UK, China and Malaysia campuses.

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Schools should ensure that where feasible, appropriate feedback is provided to students on assessed work in order to facilitate improvement and promote learning. Feedback should be related to the assessment criteria, in order to help students identify areas for improvement as well as commending them for evident achievement. 

  • Schools/module convenors should specify the nature and extent of feedback they can expect and whether this will be accompanied by the return of assessed work.
  • The records which a School uses as part of its marking procedure could also be used for providing feedback. 
  • Schools should ensure that feedback is provided at times which are appropriate to enable the student to benefit from such feedback. 
  • Where students undertaking work are encouraged to seek comment prior to formal submission, clear guidance should be given as to when it is no longer appropriate for staff to continue giving feedback.

1. Assessed coursework

Includes: provision and format; marks location; extenuating circumstances; returning of marks; definition of work day

Feedback should be given on all forms of coursework where practicable. Feedback should be written and supplemented where appropriate with oral comments. 

Where coursework has been submitted electronically, feedback should be provided electronically. The only exception to this is where a member of staff has a reasonable adjustment. 

Where appropriate, marks for coursework not submitted electronically should be fed back on electronically. An exception would be made where a member of staff has a reasonable adjustment. 

Marks for all coursework, however submitted, must be uploaded to Moodle. 

In normal circumstances, marked coursework and associated feedback should be returned to students within 15 work days1 of the published submission deadline. This will be 28 work days for UoNO learners. Students submitting work before the published deadline should not have an expectation that early submission will result in earlier return of work. 

Where coursework will not be returned within 15 work days1 for good reason - for example, in circumstances where a student has been granted an extension of time, illness of module convenor, lengthy pieces of coursework and others - students should be informed of the timescale for the return of the coursework and associated feedback.

Where a student has claimed extenuating circumstances and has been granted a further attempt at an assessment, resulting in the mark being expunged from the record, this procedure will not normally apply.

In normal circumstances, marked coursework and associated feedback should be returned to students before the main University examination periods. If necessary, coursework may be returned after the main University examination periods however it is likely that this will then be outside of the 15 work days1 of the published submission deadline and thus students should be informed in advance of submission of the timescale for the return of the coursework and associated feedback. If it is necessary for students to receive feedback on coursework during the exam period, then it should be returned without the mark. The summative marks should only given after the exam period. 

For these purposes, coursework refers to all assessments other than unseen written examinations taken during the main University examination periods.

1 A work day is a day when the University is open for normal business. Weekends and University Closure Days are not regarded as work days. However, periods outside of University term (vacation periods) are regarded as work days (unless they are weekends or University Closure Days). Similarly, the booking of Annual Leave by a staff member does not change the status of a day being a work day. 


2. Written examinations

Includes: examination script instructions; student opportunities to receive satisfactory feedback; optional examination feedback form

Hard copies of examination scripts should not be returned to students. However wherever it is feasible and helpful for students to discuss their examination performance with tutors and with reference to marked scripts, this should be facilitated. The purpose of such feedback is not for students to challenge the marks awarded.

All students should be given a clearly advertised opportunity to receive satisfactory feedback on their examinations. Where no other suitable mechanisms exist for providing feedback the module convenor should supply on the Web a generic feedback report (which need be no more than one side of A4) for each module to the relevant group of students which:

  • Highlights examination questions on which students' performance could be improved
  • Suggests strategies for improving performance in those questions
  • Gives general comments about technique.

If you require a template, please use or consult the following:


3. Release of marks

Includes: feedback upon request; expectations on Schools; timings

Each candidate is entitled to be informed of the marks they have been awarded in all examinations and assessments which contribute to the award of a degree or other qualification. This includes all Foundation Year, Qualifying and Parts I, II and III marks. 

All students failing a module should be given feedback on request which, as a minimum (though only where relevant), comprises a breakdown of their marks question-by-question. 

Schools should ensure that students are aware of how and when marks/results will be released to them. Marks may be presented by the candidate's personal or course tutor (although sometimes the School examinations officer will fulfil this role) as part of the process of feedback on academic performance prior to release online. In the case of marks for Autumn Semester examinations the candidate should be made fully aware that the marks are provisional until they have been finalised by the School Board of Examiners at its June/July meeting. 

Marks should not be published on School noticeboards and their confidentiality will be protected within the University as far as possible.

4. Data Protection Act 1998/Freedom of Information Act 2000

Guidance on the examination information students are entitled to under the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 and Freedom of Information Act 2000 can be found online.

If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please contact:

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This content was last modified on 23 January 2024

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