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Assessment principles at UNSW

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.


This stuff comes from UNSW: University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Particularly 2011-2015.

The principles

Top principle

Assessment as learning: assessment should be integral to the everyday processes of learning and teaching throughout a course, rather than something that just happens at the end to measure student performance.

Other principles

  1. Standards-Based Assessment: explicit pre-defined statements e.g. assessment criteria.
  2. Aligning Assessment with Outcomes (i.e. alignment but only changing assessment to fit intended outcomes; not Biggs' alignment which is multi-way, and bidirectional.
  3. Assessing Graduate Capabilities. Graduate attributes are defined for the whole HEI, and must be assessed in every programme.
  4. Assessing Authentically i.e. with real world tasks. No acknowledgement of the difference between training for a profession, and being educated for other reasons. No acknowledgement of how classical assessment methods also have some job relatedness (unseen exams: journalists writing to a deadline; essays: writing company reports).
  5. Assessing Inclusively. Special needs.
  6. Cross-Cultural Diversity.
  7. Assessment Methods

Some lower level principles

  1. Student evaluation feedback on ... assessment. Important because simple surveys are often taken at the end of lecturing before the students have experienced the assessment. (This principle is part of reviewing assessment quality.)
  2. Formative means not a contribution to grade point average (GPA) and so to final grade.
  3. You may have no more than 3 pieces per course (module) of summative assessment i.e. that contribute to the final mark/grade. So no using credits to enforce attendance, nor to do in-class quizzes to check students have done the required homework for a lecture.
  4. Assessment policy

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