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MOPP Guide: QUT Guild Advocacy Feature

By February 10, 2020 February 11th, 2020 No Comments

The QUT MOPP is the abbreviation for QUT’s Manual Of Policy and Procedures. It’s a pretty hefty document, detailing all the policies the University has to follow. We don’t blame you if you’ve never gotten through it, it’s huge. Today, we have Anna Wilson, Jessica Michael & Shane Snow from Advocacy featuring on GLASS to explain some aspects of the MOPP that students should be aware of going into a new semester. This is a big article, and we recommend that you bookmark it on your browser and come back to it as you need throughout the semester. Thanks, Advocacy!

Disclaimer: The Academic Advocates can only provide advice on what the MOPP policy is and if the student requires more detailed/technical advice we can put the student in contact with our legal or Advocacy services.

Staff Code of Conduct – how should staff members treat you?

In MOPP B/8.1, QUT outlines their expectations for all staff on campus. Whilst it’s impossible for us to summarise the entire staff code of conduct, we can certainly highlight provisions we think are important for all students to remember:

1) Staff must disclose and actively manage any conflicts of interests they may have with students, whether these are “actual, perceived or potential in nature” (MOPP B/ 8.1.3.a).

2) QUT acknowledges that staff have a position of power and influence over students (MOPP B/ 8.1.3.b). As such, staff must not use this influence for improper purposes, nor should they unduly influence a student whatsoever.

3) Staff members must avoid discriminatory, harassing or bullying treatment of students and must treat all people equitably and fairly (MOPP B/8.1.3.f).

4) QUT staff are expected to act in a responsible and conscientious manner and are accountable for their actions and decisions. (MOPP B/8.1.6.a).

5) QUT Staff must exercise proper due care and attention in all their activities. (MOPP B/8.1.6.b)

Lecture Recordings and Recording Classes– I was unable to attend my class

All lectures at QUT must be recorded (MOPP C/ 6.4.3). If “lectures” or “core content” is delivered within “other class formats”, this should be recorded, albeit this is not mandatory (MOPP C/ 6.4.4). The MOPP doesn’t clearly define what constitutes “other class formats”.

If you know that one of your classes is recorded, the MOPP allows students to record lectures or classes if students fulfill all these requirements (MOPP C/6.4.7):

  • Students must ask the lecturer for permission before the student begins their recording; and
  • Student must explicitly tell the lecturer what type of recording they will take (e.g. will they take a video recording or an audio recording?) and where the recording will be kept; and
  • Ensure that they:
    1. Do not use the recording for purposes other than studying; and
    2. Do not distribute the recording to others (without permission from the lecturer); and
    3. Destroy the recording once they complete the unit.

Please keep in mind that tutorials and some workshops are not normally recorded, so if you know you are unable to attend a class, it would be best to find an alternative class you can attend instead. You should inform both your normal tutor and the tutor whose class you are dropping into about this decision.

Learning and Teaching – how to ensure you maintain academic integrity throughout your degree

In MOPP C/5.3, QUT discusses the importance of maintaining academic integrity. If you do not adhere to QUT’s academic integrity policy, then you may have to face the Academic Misconduct Committee from your relevant faculty.

What is QUT’s academic integrity?

Adopting an approach to academic work and assessment items that upholds the ethical principles of honesty, fairness, accountability and the codes of practice relevant to the professional industry (MOPP C/5.3.4).

1) The following conduct can deem a student eligible for an academic misconduct allegation (MOPP C/5.3.6);

a. “Defeating or attempting to defeat the purpose of an assessment task;

b. Misrepresenting the nature and/or extent of the student’s engagement their work; and/or

c. Gaining or attempting to gain an unfair advantage over other students.”

2) In the form of the following (MOPP C/5.3.6);

a. “Cheating in exams;

b. Plagiarism;

c. Self-plagiarism;

d. Contract cheating: Contract cheating involves a student engaging a third party to complete assessment work on their behalf and then representing the work as their own; and/or

e. Collusion.”

Many students are not aware of the penalties imposed by QUT for academic misconduct until they are facing such a penalty! We thought it would be helpful for students to review the Penalty Matrix at the beginning of the semester, to be aware of what outcomes cutting corners academically can cause;

Student Grievances – how do I dispute a grade or academic ruling?

In MOPP E/9.1, QUT informs students on their rights and responsibilities regarding a review of grade and/or a review of academic ruling.

Review of grade

In MOPP E/9.1.4, it states that students are entitled to timely feedback on, and results for, all their assessment items.

Students can expect to be provided with a clear explanation of the extent to which the students have or have not achieved the assessment item objectives.

If a student is dissatisfied with their final grade for a unit. They should initiate a Review of Grade application. This can lead to either an increase or decrease in grades, or even no change to the grade. The MOPP requests that students complete this application within five working days of the final release of grades.

If a student wishes to review a grade for a unit which they passed, they will incur a fee which will be reimbursed if a higher grade is awarded. No reimbursement will occur if the grade does not change. However, there is no charge for a review of failed grades.

Review of academic ruling

MOPP E/9.1.5, QUT outlines which academic decisions you can review;

  • “Advanced standing applications;
  • Amendment of enrolment program;
  • Requisite waivers;
  • Leave of absence;
  • Special consideration;
  • Deferred examination applications;
  • Supplementary assessment applications;
  • Assignment extension applications;
  • Outbound cross-institutional requests; and/or
  • Course completion requirements.”

Requests for a review of academic ruling must be submitted within 10 working days since the result of the initial ruling.

The relevant Executive Dean of the faculty will determine the result of this application. Students should expect a decision within 20 working days and should remember that the outcome is final.

Student Code of Conduct – I am struggling to complete an assessment task, what concessions are out there to help me?

The MOPP E/6.3, QUT recognises that a student’s ability to complete an assessment task may be affected by unforeseen circumstances, health conditions, disability or conflicts with employment, family or community responsibilities.

Special circumstances

In MOPP E/6.3.4, it specifically highlights the special circumstances that, if accepted, will provide you with certain concessions (discussed below) that can help you submit the task at an alternative agreed time, submit a different task to display your knowledge or to place the student on an ‘equal playing field’. These circumstances include;

  • “Health conditions;
  • Family or personal conditions;
  • Employment related circumstances;
  • Unavoidable community or public service commitments;
  • Defence service by reservists;
  • Commitments as a member of the Elite Athlete Program;
  • Course related circumstances; and/or
  • Significant cultural commitments.”

Special consideration

The rest of this section from Chapter E (E/6) discusses the concessions you can apply for. The MOPP E/6.3.7, allows students who believe their special circumstance negatively impacted their ability to complete an assessment task to apply for Special Consideration. Students must submit their application within three business days of the exam/submission date, which must be supported by documentation evidencing the special circumstance.

The Executive Dean, in consultation with the Course/Unit Coordinator, will determine the outcome which can include any of the following (it’s not necessarily just an increase of a mark);

  • “No change to the assessment item result or final grade;
  • Completion of alternative or additional assessment of a similar type and academic level;
  • Late acceptance of an assessment item where application for late submission has not been made; and/or
  • Reconsideration of the weighting for an assessment item/s for a unit/s.” 

Deferred examination

Deferred Examination applications are detailed in E/6.3.8 MOPP, which states students do not have an unlimited number of deferred exams. If a student is unable to attend an examination at the prescribed time and date due to special circumstances (discussed above), they can apply to sit a deferred exam. However, misreading the examination timetable and pre-booking a holiday during the examination period are not eligible reasons to receive a deferred exam.

If you do not pass the unit, then you may want to consider submitting a ‘withdrawal from a unit without academic and/or financial penalty request’.

Remember: You cannot defer a deferred exam! 

Supplementary Assessment

A topic that we are asked most about is Supplementary Assessment (supp) which can be found in MOPP E/6.3.10. With an approved supp, students do not get the opportunity to resubmit or reassess the assessment item, rather a new item of assessment is designed to demonstrate that the student can adhere to the learning requirements of that unit.

Students may be granted a supp, where a grade of 3 has been achieved and the unit is not a designated unit. However, a student does not have unlimited opportunities to apply for a supp, rather they have;

  • Two supps available in the final 96 credit points in your degree of three of more year’s full-time duration
  • One supp available in final 48 credit points in your degree of less than three years full-time duration.

Students should submit their application within five business days following the release of final grades. Where the Supplementary Assessment application has been accepted by QUT, the grade of 3 will increase to 4. However, where a student is unsuccessful with passing the supp, the original grade of 3 will be reinstated.

Medical certificates to support claim

A common (but dangerous) mistake that students can make is the creation of fraudulent medical certificates (MOPP, E/2.1.4). Most of the time this is not intentionally done to avert QUT’s policies, but rather students are fixing the mistakes that their doctor made on the original letter (i.e. date, which subjects the letter covers).

Forging a medical certificate (which includes altering it in the slightest) is an offence that QUT take very seriously as technically it is a legal matter. Students can face failure in the relevant units they submitted the forged medical certificate to AND be excluded from QUT for a minimum of six months (QUT Student Misconduct Penalty Matrix).

I did not meet academic standards for a unit, can I get the fail removed and my money back?

A key process that many students are unaware of is the ‘withdrawal without academic and/or financial penalty’. This is only briefly discussed in the MOPP, so the Academic Advocates wanted to flesh this policy out for you.

In MOPP E/4.3.8, QUT discusses the boundaries you must adhere to when changing your enrolment. It mentions the requirements for a student to successfully withdraw from a unit;

  • Students must withdraw before the census date of the semester to receive their money back from the unit;
  • Students must withdraw before the academic penalty date of the semester to not incur a fail grade for the unit;
  • However, a student may be able to withdraw from a unit after the census date/academic penalty date without incurring a ‘fail’ on their record and/or paying for the unit if they can prove that;
    1. They experienced exceptional special circumstances;
    2. These circumstances began, occurred or worsened after the census date and/or academic penalty date;
    3. The circumstances were abnormal, unusual or uncommon for the student;
    4. The circumstances were beyond the student’s control; and
    5. The circumstances made it impracticable for the student to complete the unit requirements.

Academic Progress – I have been placed on academic probation/facing exclusion, what do I do?

MOPP E/6.7 states QUT’s expectation that students maintain a satisfactory level of academic performance which will allow for satisfactory progression through a course. Satisfactory performance is demonstrated by achieving passing grades and by making reasonable progress towards the completion of the course within the stipulated time limit.

Probationary enrolment

In MOPP E/6.7.7, QUT describes that probationary enrolment occurs when academic progress has been unsatisfactory through;

  • “Achieving a semester GPA of less than 3 during the semester under consideration;
  • Awarded a failing grade for a unit which they have previously failed in their current, or any other QUT course; and/or
  • Awarded a failing grade in a designated unit.”

Probationary enrolment means that the student is now under QUT’s radar, and if any of those above situations occur in the following semester, then the student will face exclusion.

Exclusion

In MOPP E/6.7.8 and 9, QUT discusses what will happen after further unsatisfactory academic progress occurs. A student must show cause as to why they should continue studying.

E/6.7.8 states that students who are excluded from a course are not permitted to enroll in any units. Students are excluded from a course if they:

  • “Achieve a semester grade point average of less than 3.0 in two consecutive semesters of their study in the course (other than the first 96 credit points of an undergraduate course); and/or
  • Fail the same unit three times in their current or any other program of study at QUT; and/or
  • Fail the same designated unit twice.”

This is when section E/6.7.9 comes in handy as it discusses how to appeal your exclusion through showing cause as to why you should not be excluded. The student must submit the show cause within the time limit provided. The show-cause must;

  • Provide a reason as to why the academic performance became unsatisfactory through evidenced extenuating circumstances; and
  • How these extenuating circumstances have improved to ensure that the student maintains their academic standard.

Those who are successful with showing cause will be placed on Academic Probation again.

 

If you’ve made it down here, good for you! Here’s a little reward. Hopefully, you’re feeling a lot more confident navigating university policy and procedures. Have a good semester!

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