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Academic appeal - CS052401

A student made an academic appeal against a fail grade for a practical exam involving interaction with patients in a healthcare setting (an OSCE).

The student said that the feedback they received did not match how they remembered the exam at all. For example, the feedback recorded that the student did not wash their hands, but the student was certain that they had done so. The student asked the provider to check that the feedback and mark had not been mixed up with another student’s.

The provider rejected the student’s appeal, saying it was a challenge to the academic judgment of the marker. The student asked for this decision to be reviewed. The person investigating the appeal tried to find the feedback records for the OSCE exam. The module leader had left the provider and the records were not easy to find. The provider rejected the appeal and the student complained to us.

We upheld the complaint (we decided that the complaint was Justified). We did not agree that the student was challenging the academic judgment of the markers. We thought that the provider ought to have done more to establish whether the feedback definitely belonged to this student. We recommended that the provider reconsider the appeal. We also recommended that the provider should review its record-keeping practices so that exam feedback is not lost when there are changes in staff.