Harvey points out that even in the Access to HE accreditation scheme, it may be possible to do at least a partial resubmission. More generally, if the resubmission mark is capped at the pass rate, then there is no advantage to failing and having another attempt at the same assignment. Engaging with feedback from the first attempt and learning how to improve on it could be seen as an important developmental activity.

If there is no penalty applied to resubmission, the issue of advantage may depend on the type of assignment and what is expected in the assessment. If you are going to re-sit the same exam which required recall of knowledge, then you are only additionally required to remember what to remember to answer the questions, so you might be at an advantage. If you are redrafting a complex essay, then you will need to revisit the problem areas and think about them differently in the context of the whole piece, so there is at least a chance of engaging with something new and challenging.


Dr R Forsyth
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From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development Association [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Harvey Woolf
Sent: 05 May 2017 07:58
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: what constitutes a repair of a failure

It was good that Keith Burn pointed to the well-established Access to HE practice in relation to this thread.  Can I add some additional comments to his post?

a) Among 'The principles which inform...reassessment are:
            • the opportunity to be reassessed does not confer an undue advantage on those who achieve only after reassessment or diminish the achievements of those who achieve at the rst attempt
            • reassessment opportunities do not undermine confidence in the standard of the Access to HE Diploma
            • opportunities for reassessment do not place unreasonable or unmanageable burdens on tutors or moderators'

‘... resubmission applies when an assignment has been submitted which does not meet the learning outcomes specified for that assignment’: it is not the failure to meet an assessment criterion that triggers a reassessment.

b) Resubmission should 'be proportionate to the degree of non-achievement'

'Normally, this will mean:
            • a matter of minor detail has been omitted, so a single learning outcome has not been achieved: the resubmission requirements may ask for the submission of additional material
            • a particular skill has not been fully demonstrated, so a single learning outcome has not been achieved: the resubmission requirements may address that one learning outcome and assess it in isolation. (Individual assessment criteria cannot be considered in isolation of the learning outcome to which they relate.)
            • a number of learning outcomes have not been achieved, or the non-achievement is deemed substantial in some other way (for example, where the evidence for a single learning outcome is derived from the whole piece of work): the resubmission requirements are likely to involve a full reconsideration and reworking of the assignment as a whole.’

In other words, the same assignment could be corrected and still be within the QAA’s specification.  In many ways this replicates the process we go through when submitting articles for publication.

c) There are caveats about using the same assignment that include:

            '• if undue advantage could be gained by resubmission of the same assignment or assessment task an equivalent assignment…'

List members considering introducing the correction approach to resubmission might be interested in reading the QAA’s model in full at

Harvey Woolf

On 4 May 2017, at 17:20, Keith Burn <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

QAA  guidelines have stipulated for Access to HE programmes for some time now that where a criterion has not been met in an assignment that a new task is set. This doesn't need to be a large exercise but does require the student to revisit the criterion by doing some additional work. Developmental feedback is expected regarding reasons for missing the criterion but resubmission of the original task or part of a task is not permitted.

I hope this is of some interest


Dr Keith Burn
International Medical Education

On 4 May 2017 12:49, "Mark Allinson" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
Dear colleagues

A meeting I attended today debated the pros and cons of requiring re-submitting students to either correct and re-submit the same piece of work or to complete an entirely new task still designed to evidence the same learning outcomes. Arguments for revising the same piece centred around assessment for learning, developmental approaches to learning etc. Counter to this, others worried that if feedback pinpoints what students need to do to pass and then they go away and do just that they are not proving they can meet the learning outcomes independently.

Has anyone addressed this issue at their institution and/or encountered any literature on the topic?



Professor Mark Allinson (BA, MA, PhD, PFHEA)
Head of Academic Practice
Regent’s University London
Inner Circle, Regent’s Park
London NW1 4NS
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7487 7865<tel:+44%2020%207487%207865>
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