29 Feb 2012 ............... Length about 2,000 words (15,000 bytes).
This is a WWW document maintained by
Steve Draper, installed at http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/resources/assess.html.
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Assessment for psychology courses for study-abroad students
by Steve Draper,
foreign student liaison for the
This page is intended for students, staff, and course administrators together.
Here I attempt a clear statement about what Psychology will do for assessment
for visiting "study-abroad" students.
The overall policy is that students will do the same assessments as home
students wherever possible.
If that is not possible, because the assessment is an exam in a semester that
the visitor is not registered and present for, then a term paper will be
substituted (IN ADDITION to any coursework that is part of the modules they
are taking), one for each course taken. This possible substitution of a term
paper does not affect students visiting in semester 2;
nor semester 1 courses that can be examined in December.
Currently the substitution of a term paper for an exam only applies to some of
the level 4 courses:
- Qualitative methods
- Psychological interventions
- CNA: cognitive neuroscience of ageing
- CNIBP: cog. neuroscience: insights into brain plasticity
- Interaction and communication
- Atypical development
- Neuropsychological deficits
Students who are thereby required to sit exams must therefore be here in the
exam periods which are
published by the university, and are roughly (in 2011-12)
7-16 of Dec, and 16 April-18 May.
This means they may not leave Glasgow early for Christmas or a summer break,
take summer jobs that prevent them being here, etc. (This is now the policy
recommended by this University's office for (international) student
recruitment. It is also apparently required by some home universities e.g.
the University of California. The thinking is that students should not be
allowed concessions that are not permitted to home students here, nor would be
permitted at their home institutions.)
Note that some courses (especially in Level 4) have coursework
in addition to the final exam or term paper: see the course
documentation. Failing to hand this in will normally lead to failing the
whole course. Which courses have such coursework is given on page 3 of the
level-4 course documentation, along with the deadlines for coursework which
are unrelated to deadlines for term papers or dates for exams.
Students who would like some advice about doing written work for this
school/department, may consult
Morrow about all written work for the school
(including essays, lab reports, etc.), at all levels.
Students will sit the same assessment as home students as long as they are
registered for the semester in which the relevant exam is held. This
assessment is described in the course handbook for home students, and foreign
students should study this and follow it exactly. In a few cases (e.g. a
Critical Review module) the assessment may be by coursework. In most cases in
Psychology, it is by a single final exam for each course.
For level 3 courses for students only here for semester 1 we will use, not
the exams organised by the university, but "class exams" organised within the
- Level 3: Professional Skills (examined by portfolio)
- Level 3: Social, Human Development, PVC: we will use the "class exam" on 9
Dec. 2011 (organised by Ian Bushnell). Visiting students will attend
the class exam, but have 60 mins., (rather than 45) to answer one
question (from a choice of 4) on each subject that they are taking.
- For level 3 Statistics, we are putting on a special sitting (in class
exam format, which for Stats is the same 2-hour format as the May exam)
for visiting students here only in semester 1 at:
Tuesday 13 December 2011, 3pm-5pm, in room 557, 58 Hillhead Street.
Most level 4 options taught in weeks 1-5 of semester 1
will be examined in the regular University exams in December:
Psy. of Abnormality, Leadership, Psy. of Will, Basics of Joint Attention.
(The other level 4 options in semester 1 will have term papers, as listed
above, and described below.)
For other exams, it is each student's responsibility to find out about what
exams they have to take, and when and where they will be held. Due to
pressure on space in possible exam halls, final announcements about this,
which are done by the
Registry not the school,
are often quite late in the year (e.g. early March for the April-May exams);
although generally exams are in April to May. Students taking exams in more
than one subject area may find they have a clash: it is their responsibility
to detect this, and then immediately to consult with their Advisor about this.
Such crucial information may be posted in various places, but the most
official listing is on the Registry website. Pointers to this site, and to
information about where exam halls are located, are collected
- The last four years' of
exam papers are available from the library.
- Past class exam papers should be available on
- The level 3 "class exam" in January may offer an opportunity for a
practice exam for some level3 courses. In fact it is only partially realistic, as in the final exam
you have one hour per question, but in this "class exam" you have only 30 mins
per question. But it does give you some practice and feedback.
Exam 1 will assess Statistics in an 'open' examination (you may take notes,
books and calculators in - but no statistician friends or family). You must
answer all questions set.
Exam 2 will cover Perception, Human Development, and Cognitive. Single Honours
- you must answer 4 questions, 1 from each section. All other students will
sit that part of the examination which is appropriate to their course. This
gives you 30 minutes per topic, at which point you will leave the examination
- Students may wish to practise exams at home: pick a past exam paper, and
try to sit it under simulated exam conditions at home. If they take their
answers from this to the staff member running the relevant course, they should
be able to ask for feedback on the spot.
Exams: Summary To-Do for students
Find out which exams you will take by consulting
this page for level 3 courses and/or the handbook.
Consult the Registry web site, noticeboards etc. near the time to find out
the time and place of each exam.
Check for clashes between exams in different subjects and take the
initiative in sorting them out.
Exams: Summary To-Do for staff
No special actions required. Foreign students will be examined in the same
way as home students.
Assessment by term papers
Students who are here for only the first part of the academic year will mostly
be assessed (in addition to any coursework required for that module) by
special term papers instead of exams, one for each course taken. These will
be about 2,500 words long, will normally be decided by the staff member giving
the course, available from the course administrator who posts them on the
portal by half way through the
course, and will be due by the end of the semester
i.e. before the school closes for Christmas;
in this case by Thursday 15 Dec. 2011.
The questions should normally be from past exam papers, as QA requires that
they have been vetted by the External Examiner.
It is the responsibility of each student to obtain these questions from the
course administrator. Currently, these are posted as they become available on
the psychology portal: from the home page look in the side menu for "Visiting
students" and click "information". (http://portal.psy.gla.ac.uk/)
Half way through the course is a reasonable time to receive them.
They should be word processed to the same standard as other student work in
this school (see the course handbook). In brief: 2,500 words each,
A4 paper, point size 10 or bigger, a standard font e.g. Times, a cover sheet
explaining comprehensively what this piece of work is, the essay question being
answered, and the course it is for. Additionally, two copies of each paper
Both copies should be handed in, not to the lecturer, but to the course
administrator dealing with that course e.g. Karen Pirie for level 3 courses
and Lynda Young for level 4 courses.
Staff will receive the papers for marking at the end of semester, and should
return them marked on the normal school marking scales by the start of the
following semester. All translation of grades from our scales to other scales
will be dealt with elsewhere.
Term papers: Summary To-Do for students
The essay topics should be posted on the portal (see above).
Nominally available by half way through the semester.
If not, enquire of the course administrator (personally or by email) on each
course for the topic for the term paper.
Hand both copies of your answer into the course administrator by the end of the semester. Clearly label each paper with the course, your name and student
number, and that this is a "term paper by a visiting student".
Term papers: Summary To-Do for lecturing staff
For every level 3 or 4 course running in semester 1, decide on a topic
and send it (either email of dropbox) to the relevant course secretary saying
what course it is for. Consult with any other lecturers on that course. Set
one question per course. Mid-semester is a reasonable time for this: earlier
The questions should if possible be from past exam papers, as QA requires
that they have been vetted by the External Examiner.
Just check that the one you choose is still covered by the course this year.
There is no need to give students a choice: this is not an unseen exam.
If you don't have past papers to hand, you can get them online from the
If asked for topics by a foreign student, tell them to collect them from
the course secretary (and refer to them to this web page).
When you receive the scripts from the course secretary at the end of
semester, mark them by the start of the next semester and return them to her.
Term papers: Summary To-Do for admin. staff
When topics (questions) for term papers are sent into you, keep a record
not just of what the question is, but WHO set it (as you will need to send the
answers to that lecturer for marking).
Post them on the portal.
Foreign students should get the questions from there.
If no topic has been set, email the staff member(s) and remind them; and
get me to pursue them further.
When answers are handed in by the students, these term papers should be
treated rather like critical reviews: records kept of what was handed in (and
when); the standard marking scale sent out with it; one copy of the essay kept
in the office and the other sent for marking; one reminder sent IMMEDIATELY at
the start of the January semester about overdue marks; a reminder a week later
to me on the state of play, for me to follow up on.
Students will normally be registered using the same course codes as home
students. Obviously for students staying a whole year and being assessed in
the same way as home students, this will work normally. For shorter stay
students, Registry is now set up to detect automatically that a student is
leaving early, and to send to the school a results return (pink and white)
form listing those students at the appropriate time (and not to ask again in
June for results for those students). This depends on their Advisor (Colette
McGowan) having entered in the correct codes marking them as leaving early.
We should check that by a careful enough scrutiny of the records
through MyCampus. Any Registry return forms should be sent to me.
The essays should be kept, and made available (together with the marks given)
for the examiners' meetings later in the session.
This allows students to see their results immediately they have been accepted
by Reigstry, from anywhere in the world.
MyCampus will also allow students to change the address to which paper
notification of results is posted.
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