Essential Block Model Information
All higher undergraduate and post-graduate units at VU are taught in Block Mode. The VU Block Model is comprised of short bursts of teaching and learning, called blocks. Each block focuses on one unit and is four weeks long, containing 11 teaching sessions with up to four days between blocks to prepare for the next. The year is broken up into 10 four-week blocks: two semesters of four blocks each, and a block each for the winter and summer breaks (voluntary enrolment). Students have more one-on-one time with educators as they complete each unit and a significantly more collaborative and enriching learning experience.
Each unit has three 3 hour, face-to-face teaching sessions per week. Teaching sessions are scheduled over three days, in multiple combinations of days and times (morning, afternoon and evening). Units with labs and Prac classes have additional teaching time.
New delivery spaces for teaching in VU Collaborate are made ready 2 weeks before class starts which is usualy the beginning of week 3 of each block. VU Collaborate spaces for placement units are created 5 weeks before teaching starts, 4 weeks before students get access. The code PL, is placed automatically into the Gradebook for the SMS Result code. To see information about the different types of spaces and when they change, see Creating Spaces.
Here is a short video - explaining the VU Block Model.
Everything you need to know about Final Friday
Prior to Final Friday
Final Fridays are the last Friday of a four-week block of teaching. It is a time for the moderation and signing off of final marks and for unit reviews to take place. Marking should be completed before this day.
Check the following to ensure that all submitted work has been marked:
- Ungraded Submissions - It’s easy to miss late submissions, resubmissions and so on - check the Grading and Publishing to Students help guide.
- Unpublished Grades - When using a rubric to grade assessments it is important to check the mark has transferred to the Out of Score. Also, remember to check all grades for all assessment dropboxes that are Published. Check the Marking rubrics in Dropbox and Providing Feedback and Grading within VU Collaborate help guides.
- Assessment Items Submitted in Unopenable Formats - The best way to avoid this is to state the format required clearly in assessment instructions and continually reiterate in class the format in which you require assessments to be submitted.
- Rubrics not working on iPad or iPhone - If you’re having trouble using Rubrics on your iPad or iPhone, download and use the free “Puffin” browser from the App Store (external link).
On Final Friday
Here are the things to remember about Final Fridays:
Speak to the Director of Learning and Teaching of the college to find out how, when and where moderation will take place.
a) Moderation of Assessment - This is to be undertaken during the delivery of a block in accordance with Assessment for Learning – Moderation and Validation Procedure (HE) (external link). You will have a form to complete for this.
b) Rounding - Standard rounding rules apply. Final Calculated Grades ending in a decimal point of .5 or higher will be rounded up, and below .5 will be rounded down. This will happen automatically, so you don't need to enter 79.5 as 80 in the Final Adjusted Grade. Unit convenors should consider in consultation with teaching staff, whether to round up any other marks below 49.5 to a pass level.
Finalising Grades in the Grade Book
a) Final Grades that require no adjustment - These will automatically be calculated by VU Collaborate and will appear in the “Final Calculated Grade” Column.
b) Final Grades that require adjustment - Final grades which require adjustment, such as a 49% which you wish to alter to 50%, are to be entered in the “Final Adjusted Grade" Column.
c) Several values can be entered into the SMS Result Code column. This will override the numeric mark. “L” or “Incomplete” grades are usually only given when a student has been granted an extension or special consideration. Check with a member of the leadership team if you wish to give an “L” grade for any other reason. These go into the Gradebook as a SMS Result Code. "UM" is a fail where a hurdle is not passed. "PL" means a student is still on Placement. "S" and "U" can be used by Pass/Fail units.
Signing off on Grades
a) Unit Review - Once grades are finalised, unit teams can reconvene to review the unit and complete a moderation form.
b) Sign Off - Once all the above procedures have been completed, Unit Convenors are to check final grades for final sign off. Once signed off, results are saved in VU Collaborate.
Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service servicedesk.vu.edu.au for technical support.