Assessment Strategy

  1. Introduction

    Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI) is a public, multidisciplinary, application-oriented tertiary institution with unique characteristics.MPI is committed to providing student-centred education and training that combines rigorous learning with the excitement of discovery, promoting academic freedom, integrity and creativity, supporting a diverse research culture in a dynamic environment, and instilling a spirit of service for the betterment of society. This assessment strategy is part of that mission. It is also designed to ensure that MPI becomes a first class institution serving the needs of the local community.

  2. Purpose and Principles of Assessment
    • 2.1 Purpose of Assessment: Assessment is the crucial link between effective teaching, student learning and education standards. Assessment tasks are aligned to intended learning outcomes of individual courses of an academic programme. While allowing necessary professional freedom to decide when and how assessments should be conducted, examination procedures and guidelines adopted by the Institute should be observed, which include the roles of examination board and external examiners in each programme. The course examiners are responsible for the course outcomes, recommending course grades to the relevant Programme Examination Board, and ensuring the examination board has the necessary information about the assessment criteria of the course.

    • 2.2 Principles of Student Assessment at MPI can be briefly stated as below:
      • Assessment tasks and processes will be fair and of the appropriate standard of the level.
      • Assessment contributes to high standards of teaching and learning and will be informed by the best international practices.
      • Assessment processes will be clearly understood by the assessors and students.
      • Assessment will be reliable and be accompanied by informative feedback to support learning.
  3. Strategy of Student Assessment
    • 3.1 Assessment tasks need to allow all learners equal opportunity to demonstrate achievement of intended learning outcomes. A variety of different appropriate assessment methods will be used for the skills being assessed. Regular and appropriate assessment together with detailed, high quality feedback on their work will drive successful learning for students. Good feedback may come from self-and peer-review as well as from staff assessments of performance.
    • 3.2 Assessment will be designed to aid students’ learning and maintain academic standards. Students will have clarity about the criteria that will be used in assessment. Assessment will be explicitly aligned to appropriate criteria as determined by the Schools and Programmes within MPI and be benchmarked against expected outcomes, the requirements of professional bodies and commonly accepted international standards.
    • 3.3 Assessment will be reviewed by external examiners from internationally recognised institutions to ensure that standards are maintained and to transfer best practice.
    • 3.4 The volume and range of assessment tasks will be appropriate to the learning outcomes and teaching activities of the unit of study and the programme. Students will be informed of the purpose of assessment and its place within the context of learning.
    • 3.5 Assessment methods will be regularly reviewed. Assessment will provide clear documentation of the achievements of the student in a form that will be useful to future employers and other interested parties.
  4. Credit-based System of Study
    • 4.1 Education at the MPI is organised around the semester-based credit system of study. A student’s progress is measured by the number of credits that he/she has been awarded, i.e. completed with a pass grade, whereas performance is indicated by the grade point average, which is based on the course credits and grade obtained by a student. On obtaining a pass grade, the student accumulates the course credits as awarded credits.
    • 4.2 A student’s performance is measured by the weighted grade point average, which is calculated as follows, where n is the number of courses taken (i.e., including both the courses with a pass and a fail grade):
    • 4.3 The Examination Board is required to classify awards with regard to weighted grade point average. It is the responsibility of the Examination Board to ensure that weighted grade point average reflects a student’s achievement of the intended learning outcomes. If, however, an Examination Board finds any anomaly or inconsistency in the weighted grade point average, it should make an appropriate recommendation for consideration by the Pedagogic and Scientific Committee (PSC).
    • 4.4 At present, the Institute does not impose any formal progression system. At the end of the year, because there is no formal progression point, a student is automatically progressed into the next year courses, provided that he/she has fulfilled the pre-requisite courses. A student is awarded a degree if he/she has completed all the required credits according to the current study plan.
  5. Assessment Criteria and Grading of a Course
    • 5.1 MPI adopts a criterion-referenced approach to assessment. Students are assessed against predetermined criteria set out in the form of descriptions of what students need to do, and how well they do it, to merit a particular grade or fall within a particular range of marks.
    • 5.2 The Institute has established broad generic descriptions, which instructors can draw upon and interpret into their own subject matter when setting out criteria and descriptions for each assessment component in their course.
    • 5.3 The Institute will generally have course assessments and an end-of-course examination designed to cover the intended learning outcomes (ILOs) of a course. The results of these components taken together determine the students’ overall course grade.
    • 5.4 Courses at MPI are graded according to the following scheme*:
    • Marks Ranges Grade Grade Point Grade Definitions**

      93 – 100
      88 – 92




      83 – 87



      Very Good

      78 – 82
      73 – 77




      68 – 72
      63 – 67
      58 – 62




      53 – 57
      50 – 52




      0 – 49




    • * With effect from cohort of Year 2013/14.
      ** Generic descriptions of each grade are given below:

      Excellent: Strong evidence of original thinking; good organisation, capacity to analyse and systemise; superior grasp of subject matter; strong evidence of extensive knowledge base.
      Very Good: Evidence of grasp of subject, strong evidence of critical capacity and analytical ability; good understanding of issues; evidence of familiarity with literature.
      Good: Evidence of grasp of subject, some evidence of critical capacity and analytical ability; reasonable understanding of issues; evidence of familiarity with literature.
      Satisfactory: Profiting from the study experience; understanding of the subject; ability to develop solutions to simple problems in the material.
      Pass: Sufficient familiarity with the subject matters to enable the student to progress without repeating the course.
      Fail: Little evidence of familiarity with the subject matter; weak in critical and analytical skills; limited, or irrelevant use of literature.
  6. Benchmarking Against International Standards

    In order to maintain academic standards in courses for which they are responsible, examination of respective programme goals should have reference to the international norms for similar courses at other internationally recognised institutions. To assume that the relevant standard is being maintained each programme should assure that assessment instruments and students’ assessed work are revised across a sufficiently wide range of courses, and with sufficient regularity, to provide a credible assurance that academic standards are being maintained. In addition, review of assessment instruments and students’ assessed work should benefit from the input of qualified peers including external examiners, with the necessary experience of similar work in other respectable institutions world-wide.

  7. Mapping GPA at MPI with Honours’ Classification in UK

    To provide an international comparison it is helpful to map the GPA at MPI against the standards of another country. A mapping to the UK Honours classification system is used with NARIC as a reference for that comparison.

    The mapping GPA at MPI and UK Honours Standards
    Cumulative GPA Honours Equivalent
    3.70 to 4.00 First Class Honours
    3.20 to 3.69 Second Class Upper Honours
    2.50 to 3.19 Second Class Lower Honours
    2.00 to 2.49 Third Class Honours
    1.00 to 1.99 Pass

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