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 No 6 - Admission, Assessment and Student Progress Rule (which replaces Rule 2) 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. The University's Assessment Procedure outlines in more detail the responsibilities that Course Coordinators, Unit Coordinators, and markers have in relation to assessment, and ensuring the Policy is enacted within each unit.
These pages provide background information, ideas, and suggested processes to help you to ensure that assessment in your unit enacts University policy and guidelines. You can download a pdf version of these pages in the form of the Guidelines for Good Assessment Practice (4th edition).
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.
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.
When assessing students, and making judgements about the extent to which their work or performance demonstrates achievement 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.
Harlen, W. (2005). Teachers' summative practices and assessment for learning – tensions and synergies. Curriculum Journal, 16(2), 207-223.
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.