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Athabasca University

Student Appeals Policy

10.3.4 Appeals Process for Assignment of Grades

A student (appellant) may appeal any grade assigned to essays, examinations and assignments, or exercises that contribute to the final grade. Appeals of both failing and passing grades may be considered.

The appellant must follow the procedures outlined in the appropriate section of this document. If the appeal is misdirected, the University Officer in receipt of the appeal shall redirect the appeal to the appropriate University Officer. Where there is disagreement as to which procedures should be followed or which University Officer should review the appeal, the Chair of the Student Academic Appeals Committee shall make the final decision.

The appeal of a grade and subsequent remarking, if appropriate, shall result in one of three possible outcomes:

  1. the grade remains the same
  2. the grade is raised
  3. the grade is lowered.

NOTE: Reference to a Program Director means the director of the program of study in which the student is enrolled. In the case of an unclassified student, the director of the program in which the course in question resides will be assigned by the Vice-President, Academic to administer the appeal. If any question arises as to the appropriate Program Director, the Vice-President, Academic will decide.

10.3.4.1 Appeals on Substantive Grounds

10.3.4.1.1 An appeal for the assignment of grades on substantive grounds can be made when:

  1. an appellant believes a grade to coursework was assigned on some basis other than academic achievement
  2. the published evaluation standards in the course syllabus differ from the evaluation standards applied to the assigned grade
  3. the evaluation standards applied to the assignment of the grade are unreasonable or differ from the evaluation standards described in the student manual for the course.

10.3.4.2 Step One – Request for an Informal Review by Marker

The appellant must request an informal review of the assigned grade with the marker. This request must be made within thirty (30) days of receiving the grade.

The marker can:

  1. remark the coursework in question and assign an outcome as described above;
  2. decline to proceed if sufficient grounds have not been established.

The marker must discuss the matter with the appellant and provide a decision, in writing, to the appellant within ten (10) business days of receiving the informal review request.

10.3.4.3 Step Two – Appeal to Course Coordinator

An Appellant who is not satisfied with the Step One decision may appeal in writing to the Course Coordinator within thirty (30) days of receiving the Step One decision. The appeal must be in writing, specify the reasons for making a further appeal and include all additional information or documentation the Appellant wishes to be considered. When the Course Coordinator is the individual who has assigned the grade and/or is the individual who completed the Step One review, then the Centre Chair responsible for the course shall assign an alternate Course Coordinator or competent marker to review the Step Two appeal.

The Course Coordinator shall review the case, consulting with staff, faculty, the Appellant concerned, or any other person considered appropriate, providing it is practical to do so.

The Course Coordinator can:

  1. remark the coursework in question and assign an outcome
  2. arrange to have the coursework remarked by an alternate competent marker
  3. decline to proceed if sufficient grounds have not been established.

The Course Coordinator must discuss the matter with the appellant and provide a decision, in writing, to the appellant within ten (10) business days of receiving the Step Two appeal request.

10.3.4.4 Step Three – Appeal to the Dean (or designates)

An Appellant who is not satisfied with the Step Two decision may appeal in writing to the Dean (or designates) responsible for the course within thirty (30) days of receiving the Step Two decision. The appeal must be in writing, specify the reasons for making a further appeal and include all additional information or documentation the Appellant wishes to have considered.

The Dean (or designates) shall review the case, consulting with staff, faculty, the Appellant concerned, or any other person considered appropriate, providing it is practical to do so.

The Dean (or designates) can:

  1. arrange for remarking of the coursework in question by an individual who has not been involved in the step one or two decision and assign an outcome
  2. decline to proceed if sufficient grounds have not been established.

The Dean (or designates) must discuss the matter with the appellant and provide a decision, in writing, to the appellant within ten (10) business days of receiving the Step Two appeal request.

The decision of the Dean (or designates) is final.

10.3.5.5 Appeals on Procedural Grounds

10.3.5.5.1

An appeal for the assignment of a grade on procedural grounds can be made when an appellant believes a university policy or procedure has not been followed in the assignment of a grade. When it is determined, in accordance with this procedure that university procedure and policy have been followed an appeal using procedural grounds as its basis will be dismissed.

The Appellant must submit their appeal in writing to the Chair of the Student Academic Appeals Committee setting out the grounds for their appeal, including details as to the university policy or procedure they believe was not followed, and how that impacted on the grade assignment within thirty (30) days of receiving the grade.

10.3.5.5.2

The Chair shall review the case, consulting with staff, faculty, the Appellant concerned, or any other person considered appropriate providing it is practical to do so.

The Chair may:

  1. present the appeal to the Student Academic Appeals Committee for consideration and review, or
  2. decline to proceed if sufficient grounds have not been established.

10.3.5.5.3

In cases where the appeal has been presented to the Student Academic Appeals Committee for consideration and review, the committee may consult with the appellant if desired or delegate the Chair to consult with the appellant in the event the appellant is not available at the time of the committee’s review of the appeal. The Chair shall inform the appellant of the committee’s decision, in writing, within thirty (30) days of receiving the appeal. The decision of the Student Academic Appeals Committee is final.

10.3.5.5.4

In cases where the appeal has been declined based on insufficient grounds the Chair shall inform the appellant, in writing, within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal and include specific reasons for the decision to decline. The decision of the Chair is final.

 

Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated July 26 2017 by laurab

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