Teaching & Learning


Assessment refers to the processes employed by academic staff to make judgements about the achievement of students in units of study and over a course of study. These processes include making decisions about what is relevant evidence for a particular purpose, how to collect and interpret the evidence and how to communicate it to the intended users (students, academic colleagues, university administrators) (Harlen, 2005).

The foundations of good assessment practice are identified in the objectives of the University of Tasmania Assessment Policy, which states that assessment:

  • is designed to promote student learning;
  • measures student achievement against learning outcomes to produce grades that are valid, reliable and maintain academic standards; and
  • is fair, transparent and equitable.

Academic Senate Rule 2 - Academic Assessment outlines the University's rules regarding academic assessment for all courses and non-award units and the students enrolled in those courses and units, and should be read in conjunction with the Assessment Policy.

These pages provide background information, ideas, and suggested processes to help you to ensure that assessment in your unit enacts University policy and guidelines.

Criterion Referenced Assessment

A key element of the constructive alignment framework for designing learning and teaching is the use of criteria and standards when evaluating student work.

Learn more about the process of criterion referenced assessment and its role in curriculum design.

Choosing and Designing Assessment Tasks

In order to provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate achievement of ILOs, most units will need to include a range of assessment tasks and types. There are a number of issues to consider when designing, or deciding on the best assessment tasks for your unit.

Find out about assessment tasks and minimising plagiarism.

Writing Assessment Criteria

The criteria that are used for assessment tasks are a vital element in ensuring that assessment is valid and reliable. Making sure that they are measuring the ILOs, as well as ensuring they are meaningful to students is critical in having effective criteria.

Learn how to write assessment criteria and standards descriptors.


It is essential that assessment in every unit is moderated. Moderation should occur at least three times for all assessment in a unit - at the design stage, during the marking process, and upon completion of the assessment cycle.

Learn more about processes of moderation.


When assessing students, and making judgements about the extent to which their work or performance demonstrates achivement of the Intended Learning Outcomes of the unit, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Ensuring that the marking process enacts University policy is a key consideration.

Discover more about approaches to marking at UTAS.


Providing students with feedback on their progress is one of the most important features of assessment conducted during semester.

Learn more about approaches for providing students with feedback on assessment.


Harlen, W. (2005). Teachers' summative practices and assessment for learning – tensions and synergies. The Curriculum Journal, 16(2), 207 – 223

For information and support resources relating to using MyLO for assessment, go to the MyLO site Teaching Online in MyLO, or take a look at Online Assessment

Desktop Guides with step-by-step instructions for the set-up and use of a number of tools in MyLO for assessment purposes can be found by searching in the University Repositories - try searching using the key word 'assessment' or other related terms.