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Assessment practices: Quality and standards. Assessment and the assurance of academic standards. The assurance of academic standards embraces a wide range of university activities beyond the assessment of student learning.

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Assessment practices: Quality and standards

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Assessment practices quality and standards l.jpg

Assessment practices:Quality and standards


Assessment and the assurance of academic standards l.jpg

Assessment and the assurance of academic standards

The assurance of academic standards embraces a wide range of university activities beyond the assessment of student learning.

However, assessment and grading practices are perhaps the most important safeguard.


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The role of assessment in assuring academic standards is likely to be further highlighted as university entry pathways and the modes of student participation and engagement with learning resources diversify: the maintenance of standards through entry pre-requisites and ‘time spent on task’ are far less relevant mechanisms for ensuring standards than they once were.

The measurement and reporting of student outcomes — their knowledge, skills, achievement or performance — is now a major reference point for academic standards.


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What can individual academics

do about standards?


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From www.cshe.unimelb.ed.au/assessinglearning …..


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What can individual academics do about standards? — 1

Ensure …

… there are explicit learning outcomes, clear

criteria and, where possible, statements of the

various levels of achievement.

With the objective of …

students and staff both being aware of what is

expected, what is valued, and what will be rewarded.


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What can individual academics do about standards? — 2

Ensure …

… a close match between the assessment tasks —

in particular, the knowledge and skills these tasks

are capable of determining — and the intended

learning outcomes.

With the objective of …

creating assessment tasks that validly and reliably

determine the valued learning outcomes.


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What can individual academics do about standards? — 3

Ensure …

… the grades awarded (and other information

provided to students on their achievement) make a

direct link between the intended learning

outcomes and students’ actual performance on

assessment tasks.

With the objective of …

awarding grades that are meaningful

representations of the level of learning.


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What can individual academics do about standards? — 4

Ensure …

… assessment tasks are capable of detecting the

higher-order learning outcomes that characterise

higher education.

With the objective of …

developing higher education assessment that

determines and reports the highest intellectual

skills and accomplishments.


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What can individual academics do about standards? — 5

Ensure …

… there is ongoing dialogue on learning outcomes,

assessment and grading with people teaching in the

same discipline area in other universities.

With the objective of …

using assessment and grading practices that are

informed by the norms and values of the discipline

community.


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Sound processes for defining and monitoring academic standards will directly support the quality of teaching and learning by making the goals and standards clearer — students who understand goals and standards and who are encouraged to study towards them are likely to have better learning outcomes.

Any steps that might be taken to make the expected learning outcomes more explicit will support and enhance procedures for credit transfer and the recognition of student learning across courses, while also underpinning greater student independence within flexible and self-paced learning environments.


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