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Role of the Module Results External

What is not expected of my External?

Module External Examiners would normally NOT be expected to:

  • Second/third mark assignments and examination scripts;

  • Arbitrate for marking disagreements between University staff.

  • Change grades of individual students. However, where there has been inconsistency of marking within a module or across modules in a Subject the External Examiner may recommend a re-scaling of all the grades of the students taking the module or modules.

  • Routinely viva students to obtain additional academic information from individual students to determine a grade except when a requirement of a professional body. However, vivas may form part of a module’s or an award’s assessment regime.

  • Be involved in cases of academic misconduct. 

What is expected of my External?

The Module External Examiner for all undergraduate, Edexcel and postgraduate courses is required to:

a)    Attend the final External Module Results Board normally held in June for undergraduate courses, but often held at other times for postgraduate courses and the Faculty of Education, Health & Wellbeing unless prevented by unanticipated personal or professional reasons. In the event of an External Examiner not being able to attend the Module Results Board, the Faculty and the Registry contact for the Board should be informed as soon as possible in order to agree when the External Examiner will be able to view the necessary board information. External Examiners may be invited to attend Resit Boards.

b)    Sign the Module Summary Form issued at the meeting of the Board. By signing the Approval Form, External Examiners are indicating that:

  •  They are able to confirm that the academic standards achieved by students are;
  •  Comparable with student performance on similar provision with which they are familiar;
  •  That the standards are consistent with QAA or other relevant benchmarks, and
  •  Due process has been followed by the Module Board in arriving at its decisions.
  • In the unlikely event that an External Examiner is not able to endorse the recommendations of the Board, the matter, together with all relevant documentation, should be referred to the Chair of Academic Board for resolution.  

c)   Submit an Annual Report within four weeks of the last final External Assessment Board meeting of each academic year.

d)    Make a statement in the Annual Report about the standards demonstrated by the students in the Modules with reference to the standards achieved elsewhere in the sector; the requirements of the QAA’s Subject Benchmark Statements; if appropriate, professional body standards; the QAA’s Higher Education Qualifications Framework, including the Foundation Degree Qualification Benchmark; and the relevant sections of the UK Quality Code.

e)   Confirm that there is fair and consistent treatment of all students, including students with disabilities and where appropriate make visits to Collaborative Partners to ensure that this is so.

f)    Determine the accuracy and consistency of internal marking of module assessments at Level 5 and above and where appropriate Level 3 and Level 4 on the basis of:

  • Having moderated for each module in every semester that the module is run a sample of assessed work covering the whole range of grades awarded (including fail grades) for the module. The minimum size of a sample of scripts/examination papers is the larger of 10% of the number of students presenting assessments or 6 assessments. The nature of the sample should be agreed between the external and the subject team but should normally include:

(i)   assessed work from all components of the assessment regime of a module

(ii)  presentations, laboratory work, practical and work placements where appropriate and/or if required by professional and other bodies.

(iii) the range of modules moderated.

  •  The distribution of grades awarded within a module and across the Subject portfolio.

 

  • The appropriateness of module assessment in content, level, time allocation, degree of challenge and its comparability with that of other modules in the Subject portfolio.

g)   Corroborate that assessment is carried out in accordance with the University, Course and Module regulations.

h)   Confirm the continuing currency of the range of modules offered in the Subject, the appropriateness of the modules’ content and their suitability for the course.

i)    Be associated, where appropriate, with Level 4 work. Level 4 is a qualifying level for the award of a Degree or Honours Degree; the University requires a different level of scrutiny of student work at Level 5 and above. In order to fulfill this scrutiny, External Examiners will be provided with statistical data relating to each module. Should the External Examiner or the subject team identify the need for further investigation arising from the statistical data or from other sources of evidence, a sample of student work will be made available. For qualifications, such as

Foundation Degrees, to which Level 4 credits contribute to the final award, External Examiners will be required to exercise the level of scrutiny normally associated with credits at Level 5 or above.

j)    Be associated with Level 3 work. As Level 3 credits are pre-HE in level, they require a different level of scrutiny from student work at Level 5 and above. In order to fulfill this scrutiny, External Examiners will be provided with students’ grades relating to each module. Should the External Examiner or the subject team identify the need for further investigation arising from the students’ grades or from other sources of evidence, a sample of student work will be made available. For qualifications, such as Foundation Degrees, to which Level 3 credits contribute to the final award, External Examiners will be required to exercise the level of scrutiny normally associated with credits at Level 5 or above.

k)   Confirm the appropriateness of the summative assessment tasks (coursework and examinations) to be used for all modules before the assessments are presented to the students.

l)    Be associated with Subject decisions on RPL. A Module External Examiner may be asked to receive and comment on samples of processed applications for RPL. Comments must be recorded in the RPL section of the External Examiner Report.

m) Be consulted about the approval of minor modifications.  Module External Examiners may be requested to advise at the time of Periodic Review as part of the Curriculum Review stage. 

How do I determine workload for my External?

On average a Module External Examiner should spend approximately four or five working days per academic year discharging his/her duties. This calculation is based on:

  • One day for induction/briefing when first appointed and continued briefings;

  • Up to two days for the moderation of assessments including projects, performances, the products of placement and work based learning, examinations and coursework and writing the Annual Report;

  • Up to two days for final moderation, attendance at the board and discussion with academic staff and students, where appropriate.

In determining the level of workload allocated, Faculties should take into consideration the number of times a module will run and whether the External Examiner will be requested to view samples of processed applications for RPL. Normally an External Examiner would be asked to consider no more than 20 modules or 1,000 students (whichever was the greater).

External Examiners for Edexcel programmes will be advised if there are any additional or different Edexcel requirements. 

What documentation should be seen by my External?

External Examiners should be provided with or given access to:

  • module guides;

  • course guides;

  • the University Assessment Handbook which includes Undergraduate/Postgraduate Grading Descriptors

  • University Academic Regulations and exemptions to regulations where appropriate.

 

Additionally, with samples of assessed work for moderation External Examiners should potentially expect to receive:

  • Module Guides

  • Module Summary Form

  • Moderation form

  • List of modules sent out/or that will be moderated on visit

  • Assessment briefs

  • Feedback on Assessments

  • Previous external examiner report/ on-going actions

  • Module cover sheets

  • External moderation feedback form

    • a completed mark sheet for all students studying on the module;

    • marking criteria for the module;

    • evidence of internal moderation;

    • statistics of student performance on the module

Should my External meet with students?

External Examiners are encouraged to meet students:

a)   To fulfill the requirements of a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body (PSRB). At these meetings, the PSRB may require the External Examiner to assess the performance of an individual student or a group of students.

b)   To confirm that standards are appropriate and comparable in subjects that require a performance, demonstration of skills or techniques, exhibition or similar activity as an integral part of the assessment regime.

c)   Where a course is delivered collaboratively (UK and Overseas), the External Examiner may be asked to undertake visits from time to time, (potentially twice during a four year term, to meet students in order to confirm a) that standards are appropriate and comparable to similar UK-based courses, and b) that the assessment process is fair and consistent for all students. Where an External Examiner has been approved to undertake a visit to consider the academic health of several partners, student meetings will form an integral part of this visit.

d)   In some subject areas, course teams may ask an External Examiner to meet students or an External Examiner may request a meeting with students so that Externals can enhance their understanding of the operation of the course and can familiarise themselves with the students’ experience of learning, teaching and assessment. Such meetings would not contribute to the assessment of either individual students or groups of students. 

How often should I meet with my External?

Faculties will arrange to meet with their External Examiner(s) at appropriate times during the year. External moderation will take place throughout the year and Faculties may determine that it is appropriate for this to occur at University of Wolverhampton to extend the opportunity for Subject teams to meet with External Examiners to discuss the validity of proposed assessment tasks and assessment submitted during a semester. Provision may be made for External Examiners to meet with Subject teams and other External Examiners appointed to Subjects belonging to the Module Results Board the day before the final External Module Results Board meets.