Reviewing Assessment

Decorative: "Time for Review" written on an analog clock face

 

"Guide for Reviewing Assessment: Prompts and Guidelines for Monitoring and Enhancing Assessment Practices" (pdf; Harris) "is a question-based checklist of the fundamental aspects of effective assessment."

  • "The guide can be used to evaluate current assessment practice and to test the merits of alternative approaches. It is a tool for practical application, not a reference document."
  • "It provides a framework, not a prescription" -- and covers the following topics:

1. The Multiple Purposes of Assessment

"Assessment is used":

  • "to measure students’ preparedness for further study or professional accreditation"
  • "to rank students, relative to one another, for the purposes of competitive scholarships or other opportunities"
  • "to provide feedback on student learning for both students and staff"
  • "to provide feedback on teaching for staff"
  • "to define and protect academic standards"
  • "to direct students’ learning"

2. Structural Themes of Assessments

"Each theme is supported by trigger questions and example responses ... provided as illustration only":

  • "Matching assessment, learning exercises and objectives: In what ways is it ensured that assessment is matched to subject and course objectives, including generic skills?"
  • "Variety and complexity in assessment: In what ways is it ensured that students experience appropriate variety and increasing complexity in assessment tasks?"
  • "The timing of assessment: In what ways is it ensured that assessment tasks are timed appropriately?"
  • "Informing students: How are students informed about assessment purpose, requirements and expectations?"
  • "Equity and fairness: In what ways is student diversity considered and fairness of assessment ensured?"
  • "Feedback to students: In what ways are opportunities for timely and helpful feedback provided to students?"
  • "Feedback to staff: In what ways do assessment tasks provide staff with feedback on student learning?"

3. Potential Applications of the Guide for Reviewing Assessment

"While primarily designed for subject coordinators, the Guide may support assessment review at a number of levels":

  • "Subject coordinators" for "Subject review, planning and development" by "addressing each of the questions at the level of a specific subject."
  • "Course coordinators ... Associate Deans" for "Course/program review, planning and development" by "Using responses collected from subject coordinators (step 1) to review and coordinate assessment practices across a course."
  • "Teaching review committees, Heads of departments, Associate Deans, Deans" for "Accountability and reporting" by "Using the consolidated information (collected & collated in steps 1-2) as the basis for reporting."
  • "Heads of departments, Associate Deans, Deans" for "Formulating assessment policies" by "Using the reports (step 3) to identify assessment issues and approaches requiring policy support."

Harris, Kerri-Lee. Guide for Reviewing Assessment: Prompts and Guidelines for Monitoring and Enhancing Assessment Practices. Melbourne.