As the ‘coat-hanger’ of curriculum design, and arguably the primary concern of our students, assessment is given particular emphasis by Australian Catholic University.
The new ACU assessment policy is now in force (as of 1 January 2013).
- Assessment policy
- Assessment procedures
- Guidelines on student workloads
- Academic Regulations: Section 7, Assessment
- Academic Honesty Policy, Procedures and Code of Practice
What's changing in the new policy
Recordings of mini-webinars on key aspects of the new policy (from late 2012).
- Changes to the Assessment Policy
- The Goals and Logic of Criterion Referenced Assessment
- The Four Phases of Unit Design
- Unit level Learning Outcomes and Graduate Attributes
You may be interested in joining the Assessment discussion group - in LEO
Getting advice on assessment
Dr Kristina Everett is an assessment specialist and Chair of the ACU Assessment Committee. Other staff from the Learning and Teaching Centre who can help with assessment queries are Tim Baillie, Pauline Ferguson, Marie Fisher, Anna Gemmell and Penny Wheeler.
Good practice in assessment
Ideas and inspirations for good practice in assessment (PDF File, 1.7 MB) Guidelines for implementing the assessment policy, and case studies from the 2012 Assessment prize.
2012 Assessment prize
The winners of the 2012 Good Practice in Assessment Prize were announced on 16 November 2012.These are the winning submissions in each of the six categories:
- diverse groups
- first year assessment
- large groups
- moderation and equivalence
Winners: Ms Mary Gallagher and Ms Theresa Shellshear Education
Title: ‘Good Practice in Assessment: innovative and authentic task for a diverse cohort’
Mary and Theresa present an excellent example of how collegial collaboration is essential to achieve the best learning outcomes for our students. Their case study, of assessment across Education units, linking maths and English literacy, is an exemplar of formative assessment and how it benefits all students, regardless of background.
Winner: Mrs Coral Bailey Nursing
Title: HLSC110 Beginning Professional Practice: observational field visit and video
In her case study Coral demonstrates how vital academic support is for first year students. By providing early feedback on a two-part assessment task and assigning students to mentors she makes them feel supported and in control of the tasks so they can meet the unit’s learning outcomes.
Winner: Dr Catherine Bell Visual Arts
Title: ‘Negotiating Collaborative Creativity: art collectives as a strategy for assessing group studio-led research.’
Catherine’s case study, where students form collectives and mount their own exhibitions, clearly demonstrates her approach to innovative assessment which is developed in response to her students’ learning needs.
Winners: Dr Wilhelmina van Rooy and Mrs Vicki Bredin
Title: ‘The fair Test:Learning and teaching opportunities for early childhood/primary teachers to work scientifically’
Wilhelmina and Vicki’s case study describes innovative assessment which is effective in helping large groups of students to develop their English language skills in weekly tutorial written and aural work. Their assessment design provides good guidance for students and reduces marking time for staff.
Moderation and Equivalence
Winners: Ms Natalie Gamble and Team Health Sciences
Title: ‘Development of a Resource to Facilitate Cross-Campus Moderation of Assessment’
Natalie and the team from Health Sciences clearly demonstrate the research/practice nexus in learning and teaching in their case study. Their work has provided ACU with resources which benefit our students by disseminating vital knowledge regarding moderation and equivalence nationally.
Winner: Ms Tracey Harris
Title: ‘Social Work and Policy Q&A’
Tracey’s winning entry is an exemplar of how rubrics can work to clearly identify the standards of achievement of learning outcomes and graduate attributes for an assessment task. Tracey’s social work students needed to debate a policy position in a live Q&A panel, and the rubric assessed their understanding of policy and ability to respond to the audience, as well as key policy communication skills.
- Assessing learning in Australian universities - Centre for the Study of Higher Education/Australian Universities Teaching Committee 2002
- Collaboration on assessment criteria and standards schemes (CoACSS) - from the ACU research team headed by Dr Vince Geiger
- Developing effective assessment - strategies for success (Alexander/Griffith University, c2008)
- Guide for reviewing assessment - prompts and guidelines for monitoring and enhancing assessment practices (Harris/Centre for the Study of Higher Education, 2005)
- Transforming assessment - e-assessment, particularly using Web 2.0 or virtual world technologies
Writing learning outcomes
- Writing and using good learning outcomes
- David Baume (2009), Leeds Metropolitan University. Preface by Sally Brown.
Aligning attributes, outcomes and assessment
- Bloom's revised taxonomy
- Bloom's Learning Outcomes
- Graduate Attributes - mapping template
- Model assessment plan - the evolution of assessment from 1st year to 4th year subjects (Palmer, 2002)
- Assessing group assignments – Deakin University
- Assessing group work - Centre for the Study of Higher Education
- Assessment - University of Sydney
- Moving towards common criteria – assessing creativity
Types of assessment
- Assessing essays - Centre for the Study of Higher Education
- A holistic model for assessing studio work
- Bioassess - enhancing assessment in the biological sciences
- New media for science - authentic exercises: student publication of wikis, podcasts, blogs, and videos (Rifkin et al.)
- ACU - Examination Policy and Procedures
- Black, P., Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31.
Rubrics and marking sheets
- Sample rubric: Detailed grading for online discussion
- Author: Prof. G. Crisp, RMIT; Project leader, Transforming Assessment (rubric slightly adapted)
Glossary of assessment terminology
- criterion-referenced assessment:
- assessment based on fixed, pre-determined criteria, associated standards and weightings
- hurdle task:
- a task or activity that is marked on a pass/fail basis and is required to pass the unit but does not contribute to the final grade. Hurdle tasks normally require the mastery of professional skills or the attainment of required attributes.
- moderation (of assessment):
- a quality review and assurance process which supports assessment design and marking activities. It involves confirmation that the assessment tasks and marking are valid, equitable and reliable.
- summative assessment:
- assessment of learning, the evaluation at the end of a program, unit or topic
- validity (of assessment):
- an assessment is valid if it measures what it is supposed to measure (Atherton, 2011).