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 University of Tasmania's Assessment and Results Policy. This Policy outlines the University's commitment to assess student academic work appropriately, noting that:
- 1.1 Assessment will be designed to promote student learning.
- 1.2 Assessment will be undertaken in a manner that is fair, transparent and equitable.
- 1.3 Results will reflect student achievement against specified learning outcomes.
- 1.4 Assessment will be regularly reviewed and enhanced.
- 1.5 University decisions regarding assessment and results will be subject to review and appeal on grounds specified within relevant procedure.
The Assessment and Results Procedure supports the Policy and ‘establishes the processes for assessment of coursework units at the University of Tasmania and assists University staff to undertake assessment that promotes student learning and measures student achievement in ways that are valid, reliable, fair, transparent, and equitable’.
The Student Participation and Attainment Ordinance 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 and Results Policy.
The Student Academic Integrity Ordinance outlines the University of Tasmania’s position and processes for protecting the integrity of the University and the qualifications it offers. The Ordinance sets out the University’s definitions and examples of breaches of academic integrity. It defines and makes clear for students the consequences of breaches of academic integrity.
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 (5th 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 MyLO Staff Guides - try searching using the key word 'assessment' or other related terms.