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Staff Assessment Handbook
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Assessment and Learning Outcomes

The following general points need to be borne in mind when trying to align outcomes and assessment tasks:

  • Be sure that the assessment task genuinely corresponds to the learning outcome(s). For example, high level objectives such as analysing data should be reflected in the assessment.
  • Include formative as well as summative assessment tasks so that students have a chance to practise the learning required.
  • Use teaching approaches that encourage the thinking and skills identified in the learning outcomes and required in the assessment tasks. For example, a common discordance occurs when teachers adopt a transmission approach to the subject and then the assessment requires the students to engage in critical thinking in relation to the content. The teaching should model and invite students to practise the critical thinking skills that the assessment task requires.
  • Lecturers do not need to assess all learning outcomes. When deciding on assessment tasks, lecturers may return to the learning outcomes and try to prioritise them. It sometimes helps for lecturers to ask themselves what the absolute minimum is that they would expect students to learn from the paper – what are the absolutely non-negotiable elements in the learning outcomes? These are the ones that need to be incorporated in the assessment tasks.
  • One assessment task can incorporate a number of learning outcomes.
  • Tasks should be level appropriate and suitable for the stage in the paper.
  • Task weighting should reflect the complexity of the task as well as the required work volume.

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