So you slaved away at your desk for hours in order to finish an assignment. You researched, wrote, edited and referenced what you consider to be a masterpiece to rival the Mona Lisa. Then, your grades come out…
If the Mona Lisa was painted in 2016!
WHAT DOES MY MARK MEAN?
For undergraduate and postgraduate assignments, the La Trobe grades schemes is as follows:
WHAT IS THIS LOW MARK?
That devastating moment when you get a mark that was not quite what you predicted. I mean, you weren’t expected 100% per cent but come on…
There have been times where I’ve thought maybe I wrote my student ID wrong or my mark got mixed up with another students? But then I look at the markers comments and they definitely match up with my grade 🙁
Getting a lower score than you expected for an assessment can leave you pretty disheartened and with a lack of motivation. I often over dramatize things and think yep that’s it, I’ve failed this assignment, which means I’ve failed this subject, which means I’ve failed my uni degree which means I’ve failed at life! However, instead of getting angry with yourself (or the marker), you can take the comments as constructive criticism and improve for next time!
TALK TO YOU LECTURER/ TUTOR
The % weight of the assessment, the criteria and the lecturer/tutor/facilitator themselves depends on the detail of the comments given on the marking criteria. Usually they are reasonably detailed critiques (albeit with messy handwriting) but some markers may even just circle good, bad, very good etc on the marking sheet.
FYI, these marking comments can be found by clicking on the grade published in your grade book or on the assessment you submitted into TurnItIn.
If you have some queries about your mark or how you could improve, it is always a good idea to speak to your lecturer/tutorer/ marker. Academic staff particularly encourage meetings with students who received below 50% on a task, as they want to see if these students are on track with their work for the subject.
Remember to always e-mail the lecturer/tutor/marker before you decide to go see them in their office. If you let them know that you are coming, they can prepare in advance and make sure they have some spare time for you (ie not in the middle of their lunch break)
ENSURE YOU’RE USING ALL THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU
One of the main reasons your assessment marks may not reflect your efforts is because you haven’t been using all of the resources available to you. Just using Google Scholar and your lecture notes is unfortunately not the way to ace an assignment. Make sure you use the appropriate databases for SHE College Students ie MEDLINE, ProQuest, PsychINFO. These can be found through the library website latrobe.edu.au/library
Your LMS subject pages are also usually full of extra resources and learning materials to help you understand the subject. They are kept in a general resources or revision folder. But sometimes, they can be placed pretty much anywhere by the subject co-ordinator, so make sure you do a bit of searching!
You may have to become Sherlock Holmes
There are also some rooms that can be used but SHE students to help them if they are having issues understanding concepts. For instance, anatomy students can visit the anatomy resource room where there are anatomical models and skeletal materials!
VISIT THE PEER LEARNING ADVISORS
If you think that you need to see an actual person to help you with your academic skills, sorry… talking face-to-face no longer exists. I’m just messing with you but if you want your assignments to be better than my jokes, go visit the Peer Learning Advisors or Student Learning lecturers for drop-in learning support latrobe.edu.au/students/learning/drop-in-learning-support
LOOK AT THE ACHIEVE AT UNI WEBSITE
This new site is a must for anyone struggling with their academic skills. It discusses everything from how to write a lab report to how to be a good presenter. For more information, have a look at the ‘Achieve @ Uni’ post I uploaded two weeks ago or visit this link latrobe.edu.au/students/support/achieve.
REVIEW AND RE-MARK OF ACADEMIC WORK AND STUDENT ADVOCACY
Students with queries or concerns about their result for an assessment task or for a subject should first ask the original marker of the piece of assessment to review their work with them. If you want your work reviewed the review must take place within ten working days of the publication of the result for the task or, in the case of a final examination, for the subject
What can be reviewed and possibly re-marked?
- individual pieces of assessed work that are worth 20% or more of the final result for the subject for which they were completed;
- work that is physically able to be reviewed or remarked
What cannot be reviewed or re-marked
- work examined orally or in a clinical or practical setting
If you have discussed your mark with your lecturer/tutor and really do feel like your assessment was unfairly assessed, you can also head to the FREE advocacy service at La Trobe. The Student Advocacy service may entitle you to request a re-view of you assignment. latrobesu.org.au/Common/ContentWM.aspx?CID=28
WHAT?! I GOT A HIGH MARK?
The feeling when you get a higher mark than you expected can be equated to when you tried chocolate for the first time (excluding lactose intolerants). It’s a feeling of joy, excitement and where have you been all my life? However, just because your mark is high, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at the marker’s comments. Unless you get full marks, there is always something to improve on. To keep you on that winning streak for the next assessment task, I suggest spending a few minutes reading over what was done well and not so well. It’s also a good idea if you are going to see a Peer Learning Adviser to take along previous comments/feedback so you can be more targeted in what you are working on improving.