Explanation of grades and appeals in Inspera Assessment - for academic staff

As a course administrator or grader, you will find information regarding the handling of requests for explanation of grades and appeals in Inspera Assessment.

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From the autumn of 2019, NTNU has decided to use a digital solution for appeals and explanation of grades. This means that there are currently two ways of handling appeals and explanations. In Inspera, and outside of Inspera.

The project of explanation of grade and appeal, the sub-project of digital review, that promotes and improves the digital method for appeal and explanation of grade at NTNU. The solution is for now (spring 2020) only available for the courses that the departments have reported through the project. For more information, see the wiki page of the project.

General information

FAQ | Legal clarifications

Explanation of grade

When can the students request an explanation?

The student may ask for an explanation of grade within one week of the grade being announced.

When do I, as a grader, have to reply to a request for explanation?

The explanation should normally be sent within two weeks of the original request. See the Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (2).

May I require something from the students before they request an explanation?

The Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (1) gives the students the right to an explanation. We may encourage the students to read the grading guidelines, proposed solution, or other materials which describes the expectations for the assessment. However, we may not demand that the students explain why they request an explanation, or that they have read the grading guidelines or other documentation regarding the assessment.

The main rule of other Norwegian public administration is that individual decisions must be made with the reason for the decision to be given at the same time that the decision is made. The University and university colleges act deviates from the general rule of the Public Administration Act in that the obligation to state reasons only occurs when the candidate requests it.

Am I required to make a grading guideline before the exam?

Both the University and university colleges act §3-9 (2) and the Regulation regarding studies at Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU) §5-11 (10) demands the creation of a grading guideline. This should be made available for students when the grading is announced.

The grading guidelines are meant to guide the grader to ensure that they are able to assess the different responses in a fair way. For the students, the guidelines will help them understand why they have been graded in a certain way.

May I give an oral explanation to my students?

At NTNU, the faculty decides if the explanation of grade is to be given written or orally. If the faculty lacks regulations on whether explanation is to be given written or orally, the course administrator/grader will have the ability to choose which way they wish to give the explanation. See the Regulations regarding studies at Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU)) § 6-2 (3).

Automatic explanations should primarily be written. Automatic explanation means the student receives the explanation at the same time as their grade.

Can I schedule office time for awarding oral explanations?

It is possible to schedule office time(s) for awarding oral explanations. Available office time, and information regarding the office time, must facilitate students to access their right to an explanation.

If the student fails to show up at a scheduled time, they may not demand a written explanation. If a student informs that they are unable to meet at the given office time(s), the explanation should be given through different means or be rescheduled to another time.

Can the grader receive the students name and email with regards to explanation?

After the final grade has been published the requirement of anonymity is no longer applicable. The grader can therefore receive personal information about the student so that it is possible to agree on a time and date for awarding of oral explanation.

Can the students ask to receive an explanation for an oral or practical examination?

The students may ask for an explanation for an oral or practical exam. However, the demand for an explanation must be given immediately following the publication of their graves. See the Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (1).

What demands are asked of an explanation/what is an explanation?

The purpose of an explanation is to account for (1) the general principles underlying the grading of a course, and (2) the individual student’s achievement. See the Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (2). To meet point 1 it may be referred to the grading guidelines in some cases.

Appeal regarding grade

When can the students appeal their grade?

The students may appeal a grade within three weeks of receiving their grade: If the student has asked for an explanation, they may appeal within three weeks of receiving their explanation. See the Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (4).

How long do I have to process an appeal?

Appeals should be processed as soon as possible. See the Public Administration Act §11a. If the appeal is not properly processed within a month, the department is obligated to send a temporary response to the student.

Can I demand the students ask for an explanation before appealing?

The Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (1) gives the students the right to appeal a grade. We are therefore unable to place demands on the students before they appeal. We can, however, encourage the students to ask for an explanation before appealing.

Can I demand that the students receive a finished explanation case before appealing?

NTNU has a duty to give the students guidance as shown in the Public Administration Act §11. We recommend therefore that the students are encouraged to ask for an explanation before appealing. We further recommend that explanations are finished processed before appeals may be processed.

Can the students appeal a grade in an oral or practical exam?

The students are not permitted to appeal a grade in an oral or practical exam where verification of the presentation is not possible. See the The Act relating to universities and university colleges §5-3 (5).

Students can however appeal formal errors in the procedure of such assessments.

Requirements for the course

For digital processing of explanation and appeal cases, there are a few precursors for a course to be able to use this digital option. The criteria are as follows:

  1. The course must have a final assessment in Inspera and transferring of grades to FS. This means that partial assessments as part of a portfolio may not use the digital option.
  2. The course must have anonymized assessment in Inspera.
  3. The course must have an individual grading. It cannot be a group assignment.

Overall description of the option

This paragraph gives a short summary of the workflow between FS and Inspera. The example given regards a candidate asking for and receiving an explanation for their grade before an appeal.

  1. The student requests an explanation of grade. The student will be able to follow the status of their request in Studentweb..
  2. An explanation-case is automatically created in FS. The date of the request is the registered automatically.
  3. FS sends a notification to the grader that one or more candidates have asked for an explanation. The notification is sent once a day, assuming that more cases have been created.
  4. As a grader you write the explanation directly into Inspera, and send the explanation to the candidate (see user guide for written or oral explanation).
  5. The explanation-case in FS is completed and the student gets an automatic email notification that the explanation has been announced. The student will find their explanation in “archive” in Inspera.
  6. The student appeals the grade they received in Studentweb. The student monitor the case in Studentweb.
  7. An appeal case is automatically generated in FS.
  8. The appeal/candidate is distributed to the commissions of appeals. If there is only one commissions of appeals, the candidate is automatically distributed to this commision. If there are multiple commissions, the candidate/case is distributed manually.
  9. The appeal graders will be notified through email by FS that they have received one or more appeals. Notification is sent once a day.
  10. The graders grade the exams and sets a new, final grade.
  11. The responsible department verifies the grading in Inspera and sends the grade back to FS.
  12. The appeal in FS is updated and completed automatically. The new grade is entered in to protocol.
  13. The candidate receives an email notification similar to an ordinary grading-notification from FS. The candidate will find the decision and final grade in Studentweb, and they may also see that the status of the case has changed to completed.
  14. Integration between FS and the archiving system makes sure that the appeal is automatically archived. There are no further letters sent to the candidate.

Explanation in Inspera Assessment

Notifications for grader | How to maintain an overview

The grader will be notified by FS per email when there is a request for explanation from one or more candidates. The email is sent from FS once a day and includes the following information:

For the following exams, one or more students have asked for an explanation:

Course: Course code Course name, Written exam Number of candidates asking for explanation: xx Explanation must be given without undue delay

Additionally you, as a grader, may choose to receive notifications from Inspera. What notifications you wish to receive can be defined in the settings menu of Inspera (click the bell icon in the top right corner). Inspera sends a notification per candidate.

The easiest way to get an overview over which candidates wishes to receive an explanation and the status of these, is the candidate overview in Inspera.

How to write an explanation in Inspera

Open the exam in Inspera under the “review” folder.

Choose “show all”. You will then get an overview of all the candidates. The candidate list has two columns for explanation (unfortunately with the same name). The first column shows the “candidate status”. The other shows “explanation status”, how long into the process the explanation has come.

NOTE If you instead of choosing “show all”, choose “x remains” you will unfortunately only see candidates where both the candidate status is “shall receive explanation” and there has been created a draft for the explanation. This filter will therefore not show new requests. We therefore recommend pressing “show all”. 

Choose a candidate who is to receive an explanation.

Write the explanation in the text box.

If you have written personal notes during the grading, you may choose to add these to the explanation by pressing “Add personal notes”. This will copy all notes. Both those written for the assessment, and for the candidate. You can edit these in the text box afterwards, and add to them with different text.

Status explanation


  • You can save the explanation as a draft
  • To make changes to the draft, press “edit”
  • The draft is then marked as done when the explanation is finished
  • A supervisor cannot send an explanation to the student on behalf of the grader as long as the status is draft


  • In a commision, it is adequate that one grader marks the explanation as done. If several graders have contributed to the same explanation, it is important that everyone has completed their part of the explanation as Done.
  • An explanation with the status “done” can be sent to the candidate by the supervisor. The settings usually allows for the grader to send the explanation themselves. The grader shall send the explanation if the supervisor has made this available.
  • Explanations marked as “done” but not sent may still be edited.


  • An explanation with the status Sent will immediately be made available for the candidate in Inspera, in the “archive” folder. The candidate will receive an automatic notification from FS.

  • An explanation which has been sent, cannot be edited.
  • Note! an explanation will not be sent to the candidate before the entire assessment has been graded. If multiple commissions are assigned to one exam, it is a prerequisite that every commission finishes their grading before any explanation can be sent.


  • The status Read means that the candidate has seen the explanation.


Oral explanation

It is up to the faculty to decide whether the explanations should be given orally or written. If the course uses Inspera as a channel for explanation, and the explanation is to be given orally, the following routine is to be followed:

  • Inspera does not include a function to invite students to an oral explanation. This must therefore take place outside of Inspera. As a grader, you have no personal information about the students, except candidate number. Please contact the student consultant in your department for the necessary information regarding the candidates who have asked for an explanation. Then contact the students and make an appointment for the explanation.
  • When the oral explanation has been given, this is credited for in Inspera. Write for example: “The candidate received an oral explanation in my office on xx date xx time”.

If the student fails to show up for the appointment, write this:

  • Click on “Send to candidate”. This should be done on the same day as the oral justification is given. The reason for this is that the justification case (in FS) is updated automatically with an updated date of justification, and a new, individual appeal deadline. The case receives the status “finished processed”. This is visible for the student in Studentweb. The student also receives an automatically generated email-notification clarifying that the grade justification is available.

Video: How a grader justifies a grade

Appeal grading in Inspera Assessment

Notifications to the grader

As a grader, you should receive a notification from FS when a student submits an appeal, and when the appeal has been assigned to the commission in which you are a grader. The email is sent from FS once every day, and contains the following:

One or more students require grading for the following exams:

Subject: Course code, Course name, Written exam, Number of appeals: xx Normally, a response should be provided within three weeks after the appeal’s registration.

(We apologize for the grading deadline not being correct in this notification-email. The notification is customary for the entire UH-sector, and different institutions have regulations which regulate the grading deadlines differently. At NTNU, the grading deadline is currently being regulated by the Public Administration Act § 11a, which says that the explanation of grade should be made available within one month. If the final grade remains unavailable within one month, the student has the right to receive a provisional reply from the institute. NTNU is working on changing the formulation in the warning email.)

How to process appeals in Inspera Assessment

There should always be two graders during grading of appeals, of which one must be an external grader. The grading process works the same way as ordinary grading. A standard workflow for a grading commission will be “individual points and grades”, meaning that both (all) graders will consider the assignment(s) in their entirety before the graders meet, review the assignments together, and agree upon a final grade. This is how you proceed:

  • Log into Inspera Assessment, and go to the “Grading”-tab. Open the exam which contains candidates that have sent an appeal. A grading commission is shown in the image. Click on the orange button - ”Assess your candidates”.

  • Assign your grade (1) and share your review (2) with the grading commission. (In case of split point awarding, go directly to the next bullet point.)

  • Coordinate your grade with the commission (collective grading). This works in the same way as during ordinary grading. You will not be able to proceed with the grading process before all graders have landed on the same grade. The grade that you assigned yourself is marked with blue. The other grader’s grade is marked with grey.

  • Approve the grading of the candidate.

  • After having pressed on “Approve now”, the final grade must be confirmed one more time.

  • A protocol with an approved grade will now become available on the overview-page.

A paper protocol should not be sent to the Examination office when the appeal grading is completed in Inspera. The adviser at the institute will receive a notification when the grading is completed, and will transfer the final grade to FS.


Email: digitaleksamen@sa.ntnu.no

Phone: 73 59 66 00

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