Assessment

Quality assessment supports quality learning.

Photograph of two students studying together

Early assessment tasks help to identify student learning needs.

Assessment tasks should aim to support students’ learning in addition to demonstrating their attainment of the course learning outcomes. Constructive alignment of assessment with learning outcomes and learning activities ensures that assessment is fair and relevant.

Make assessment meaningful by using real-world problems, relating theory to practice, or through demonstration of required skills.

Further reading

Be aware of assessment policies and processes

Ensure your assessment practices comply with RMIT policy, the main aim of which is to support integrity in assessment. Relevant policies and procedures include:

Design assessment for learning

Assessment tasks (both graded and ungraded) can be used not only to measure students’ achievements and capabilities on completion of a topic, but also to identify learning needs and provide meaningful learning experiences.

Spread assessment tasks over the semester, with an early assessment task within the first few weeks, build upon each task, and give frequent feedback to allow students to reflect on and develop their own learning. All assessment tasks should be aligned with the course learning outcomes and performance criteria.

Assessment can be grouped into three categories according to how and when it is used.

  • Diagnostic - Assessment for learning. Do this early to identify students’ prior knowledge and skills. Adjust your teaching accordingly to match learners’ needs with the intended learning outcomes. Diagnostic assessment is not graded.
  • Formative - Assessment as learning. Set formative tasks throughout the learning process. Give detailed constructive feedback to help students meet expected standards and learning outcomes.
  • Summative - Assessment of learning. Conduct at the end of the learning cycle to measure how well students perform against the expected standards.

Resources

Use rubrics for grading and feedback

A rubric is a matrix of assessment criteria and scales against which to judge student work. The criteria correlate with the intended learning outcomes, ensuring relevant aspects of the work are evaluated. The scales used reflect the expected standards.

Rubrics are useful for more than just making final grading decisions. They can also be used to:

  • Help markers moderate their grading to increase inter-rater reliability.
  • Give students a clear understanding of what is expected of them before attempting an assessment task, and of how well they performed against expectations.
  • Practise self and peer assessment, which is useful for both formative feedback and the development of students’ evaluative skills.

Resources