The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Chapter 5Assessment of Student Learning

5.1 Assessment of Taught Programmes

Assessment is an integral part of T&L. The University implements the policy Assessment of Student Learning in Taught Programmes (Appendix 5-1) for all taught programmes at both Ug and Pg levels. The assessment policy is based on the IF’s basic principle: curriculum design, implementation and assessment activities should follow from stated learning outcomes, which should in turn be fine-tuned based on actual attainment of such outcomes. A code of practice on assessment is therefore developed for reference by both Departments/ programmes and individual teachers. A checklist of issues in developing an assessment policy and procedures in each programme is provided in Appendix 7 of Assessment of Student Learning in Taught Programmes (Appendix 5-1).

5.2 Honours Classification for Ug Programmes

Honours classification (applicable only to undergraduates) is performed for the graduating class at the end of each academic year, and is subject to factors including distribution, major GPA scores, and overall GPA scores. Major programmes propose classifications to their Faculties for endorsement, and to the UEB for final approval.

The Senate has established specified minimum GPA standards and issued distribution guidelines for honours classification for Ug students. These standards and guidelines are available in Appendix 5-2.

5.3 Assessment of Pg Programmes

Specified graduation requirements exist for all Pg students; some are compulsory, others are specific to individual programmes or students. Details can be found in the Course Descriptions and Study Schemes of individual programmes in the Postgraduate Student Handbook (Appendix 2-8).

Assessment of a student’s academic performance may take various forms, e.g. class work, laboratory performance, research papers, assignments etc. A course may employ more than one assessment method. Every course assessment scheme should contain a description of assessment methods and their corresponding weights, and every course outline should contain such a scheme. Teacher(s) for each course are responsible for its scheme, which must be approved by the Examination Panel of the corresponding Graduate Division, and announced to students as early as possible. Further details can be found in the following documents:

5.4 Academic Probation

Decisions on academic probation and discontinuation of studies for Ug students are made in accordance with the Regulations Governing Full-time Undergraduate Studies and Regulations Governing Undergraduate Medicine Programme, as stated in the Undergraduate Student Handbook (Appendix 2-5).

Pg students are put on academic probation or required to discontinue studies if they fail to meet the requirements stated in the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies, which are contained in the Postgraduate Student Handbook (Appendix 2-8). The Code of Practice for Taught Postgraduate Studies (Appendix 2-9) and the Code of Practice for Research Postgraduate Studies (Appendix 2-11) provide additional information.

5.5 Monitoring Research Progress

A research student’s Thesis Assessment Committee decides on the student’s eligibility for degree award. All RPg students are required to submit an individual research thesis, and to pass a corresponding oral examination, in order to graduate. They must also complete, together with their supervisors, an annual Research Progress Report to ensure they are making satisfactory progress.

PhD study comprises two stages: pre-candidacy and candidacy. A pre-candidacy PhD student attains candidacy status only after satisfying all candidacy requirements as spelt out by his or her Graduate Division, with the requirements and procedures recorded at the Graduate School and made known to all pre-candidacy PhD students. Every PhD programme includes the following as candidacy requirements:

Chapters 5 and 7 of the Code of Practice for Research Postgraduate Studies (Appendix 2-11) show details on monitoring of student research progress.

5.6 Honesty in Academic Work

The University places very high importance on honesty in academic work submitted by students, and adopts a policy of zero tolerance on cheating in examinations and plagiarism. All text-based student assignments in Ug and Pg programmes should be submitted via VeriGuide, a proprietary bilingual anti-plagiarism software developed by the University for detection and deterrence of plagiarism. Any related offence will lead to disciplinary action including termination of studies at the University. Teaching staff are required to report all cases of suspected plagiarism or cheating by Ug students to their Faculty. These cases will then be dealt with by the discipline committee concerned, and/or by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline (SCSD). Teaching staff should report cases of plagiarism or cheating by Pg students to the Graduate School. The Graduate School Disciplinary Committee will then process such cases. Details are in the document Honesty in Academic Work: A Guide for Students and Teachers at Appendix 5-6.

5.7 Procedures for Handling Student Disciplinary Cases

The University has a clear set of Procedures for Handling Student Disciplinary Cases (Appendix 5-7), with the aim of not only punishing students for misconduct, but more importantly educating them. The SCSD has the authority to conduct investigations and to handle all matters pertaining to the discipline of all students at the University.