Principles of assessment

There are two forms of assessment: summative and formative assessment. Summative assessment, such as tests, final exams, public defense, etc, is typically used at the end of the learning process to evaluate the retained knowledge or acquired skills. Formative assessment is used during the learning process to monitor student progress, provide feedback to the students, correct misconceptions and adapt or modify teaching practices for the specific group of students.

Assessment guides student learning process and help differentiate between various levels of performance. Course assessment (grading) must therefore be competence-oriented, transparent, valid, reliable and objective (unbiased and fair). Specific assessment criteria, grading scale, assessment rules and the examination topics must be clearly pre-defined and communicated to the students; this has to be done in the U:SPACE prior to begin of the course registration period.

The assessment rules are dependent on the type of course you teach:

  • in courses without continuous assessment (nicht-prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen, i.e., lectures), the final grade is determined exclusively by oral or written exam. Student attendance or any other teaching activities during the course have no influence on the grade and cannot be required. At least four examination dates MUST be offered: in the semester the course if offered - after the end of the course, and in the beginning, middle and end of the following semester. Students who failed the exam, may repeat it three times; the fourth attempt must include an examination committee assembled by the SPL
  • assessment in courses with continuous assessment (prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen, i.e., seminars, practicals, excursions, lab placements, etc) is regarded as spanning the entire duration of the course and must include at least two performance components (or partial achievements, Teilleistungen) contributing to the final grade. Attendance could be stipulated as a prerequisite for the positive grade. Students should be given an option to improve performance in the component contributing the strongest weight to the final grade. Contribution of individual performance components to the final grade and the minimal requirements for the positive grade must be clearly defined in the course catalog

Exam checklist

  • set up exam dates Austrian legislation and University Statutes require you to provide 4 specific examination dates before the course registration period starts
  • provide exam info Communicate the form (oral or written, online or on-site, open-book, take-home, etc) and duration of the exam, scope of the exam topics, assessment criteria, minimum requirements, grading scale, allowed and non-allowed aids and other rules in U:SPACE before the course registration period starts
  • require registration Students must register via U:SPACE portal for each exam attempt. Non-registered students are NOT allowed to sit an exam (NO exceptions!)
  • use cover sheets Always use cover sheets for written and oral exams! Cover sheets (templates in English and German) must be pre-filled with specific info including exam date, time and venue, student's and examiner's names, student matriculation number and rules about allowed and non-allowed aids. Cover sheets serve as exam protocols and constitute the required exam documentation; they must contain documentation of serious interruptions, cheating attempts and (especially in case of oral commissional examinations or public defense) outline of asked questions
    I case of online exams, the cover sheet must include web address of the exam Moodle page and the telephone number for student support in case of technical issues (no/lost/slow internet connection, etc)

Students can de-register from the exam up to a deadline; de-registration after a deadline may result in student's exclusion (Sperre) from the next exam date.

Students' rights

Current Austrian legislation and University Statutes ensure students' right in regard to examination procedures. These rights must be upheld by all teachers and are enforced by the SPL and the University Office of Study Law (Büro Studienpräses):

  • dates and time of the exam should be made public in the electronic course directory before semester start
  • grades MUST be entered into u:space WITHIN 4 WEEKS after the exam date
  • students have right to request an alternative mode of examination in case of existing or long-term physical or psychological conditions
  • students have right to bring a confidant (Vertrauensperson) to the exam and request a confirmation (Prüfungsbestätigung). All oral exams are open to the public
  • students have right to inspect and copy their exam papers (with the exception of copying multiple choice sheets with answers) within 6 months after entering grades into u:space
  • students have right to dispute negative grades ("5" or "X") or severe deficiencies in exam implementation (insufficient exam time, illegible questions, lack of exam protocol, etc) during 2 weeks (from 01.10.2022 - 4 weeks) after entering grades into u:space. NB: positive grades ("1" to "4") are NOT disputable. All disputes are handled by the Office of Study Law