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Types of assessment tasks

Assessment tasks can take many forms. Some of the more common assessment tasks are exams, tests and essays; however there is a wide variety of other types, both formal and informal. Examples of assessment types are listed below. Each School/Faculty may have specific types of assessment and you should check your School/Faculty handbook for details.

  • Essays help you to learn academic writing skills, including formulating an argument; presenting evidence; integrating material from sources; and referencing appropriately. You will synthesize and evaluate theoretical ideas and concepts and develop your research skills. Additionally, you will learn academic and discipline specific writing conventions while building on your drafting, editing and revising skills. The essay is a flexible tool that can be used for a wide range of theoretical and analytical discussions.
  • Group work emphasises collaborative learning, problem-solving and critical evaluation, and is a valuable preparation for the workplace. You can make use of complementary skills, deepen your understanding through interaction and discussion, and deal with a range of perspectives thereby enhancing your critical thinking skills. You can develop team skills and learn to work with a range of people.
  • Journals encourage an ongoing personal connection with learning. The less formal writing approach can promote creative and lateral thinking around paper content. Journals can help you to evaluate your learning, link theory and practice and integrate different kinds of knowledge. The journal is a good way to promote dialogue between you and your lecturers and to develop reflective, writing and analytical skills.
  • Oral presentations help you master oral communication and persuasive skills. You learn how to organise arguments using supporting evidence, select relevant material and engage critically with ideas while developing your understanding and confidence. Not only do they promote ideas sharing in the classroom they also allow you to receive immediate feedback from your lecturer and peers.
  • Seminars allow you, individually or with a group, to research a topic, provide a presentation to your class and facilitate the discussion.
  • Case Studies apply theoretical ideas to practical contexts. They enable you to see the relevance of academic ideas, prompt you to use ideas creatively and to think laterally - important preparation for the workplace.
  • Field Work provides an opportunity for on-site work on a project in a context related to your discipline. Field work provides an authentic context to link with your classroom learning.
  • Participation marks engage you with course learning and develop your ability to communicate and discuss ideas. These improve levels of participation in the class and provide immediate feedback on the learning to you and your teacher.
  • Practicums give you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills or competencies that will be needed in real life situations. They may include practice teaching, interviewing of a client or conducting a laboratory experiment.
  • Portfolios enable you to represent your learning in a range of ways and to take responsibility for your learning progress. In a portfolio, you select the items of work that you wish to include to represent the learning that has occurred in a particular paper. You are usually asked to demonstrate how the items you have selected connect with paper learning outcomes. Portfolios promote reflection, self-evaluation, and ongoing personal engagement as well as demonstrating practical and creative abilities. Additionally, they provide a valuable source of information regarding your abilities for prospective employers.
  • Written preparation exercises encourage reading and teach academic reading and writing skills. They promote active, focused and critical reading of materials and enhance writing development, paper skills and competencies development. You and your teacher get regular feedback on learning progress. By promoting active participation, they provide your teacher with an effective way of evaluating your participation.
  • Examinations:
    • Closed book, fixed time period examinations provide evidence of your unaided work and allow integration of learning from the entire paper.
    • Closed book, prepared answers examinations encourage integration of ideas from a wider range of sources.
    • Open book or restricted book, fixed time period examinations can reduce anxiety as they do not focus on memorisation yet still provide evidence of your unaided work.

Although lecturers write the examination paper and mark the scripts they do not produce and manage the examination procedures. You cannot approach your lecturers about examinations between the time the examination is taken and notification of final grade. If you have any queries please contact the Assessment Office on exams@waikato.ac.nz