Assessment can be very broadly divided into formative and summative categories:

  • Formative assessment is used primarily for developmental purposes. You can get feedback on the extent to which your performance compares with the expected goals. You should have the opportunity to improve on your performance in subsequent or related tasks.
  • Summative assessment usually involves a final grading of your performance with no further opportunities for improvement.
  • Some assessment fits into both categories.
  • Assessment can take place in a number of contexts and in a number of quite diverse ways. It may be quite formal in style, but in some subjects, it is appropriate for assessment to be relatively informal. You may be assessed individually, or may gain credit from work done as part of a group. The following figure is designed to illustrate some of the different types of assessment that may be used in a tertiary setting.

Assessment matrix

Note: All assessment should be linked to the learning goals of the paper whether it is used to enhance and develop your learning or grade your performance.

Lecturers’ and students’ responsibilities in the assessment process

You are expected to:

  • Attend your classes.
  • Complete most of your assessment items outside of class.
  • Read the paper outline carefully and familiarise yourself with the assessment tasks.
  • Be clear that you understand the assessment instructions.
  • Look at all additional materials and instructions - if they appear incomplete or you need more guidance, then make sure to ask.
  • Ask for clarification and support when you need it.
  • Hand your assessment tasks in on time.
  • Ensure that all assessment tasks are your own independent work unless instructed otherwise.
  • Use the assessment criteria to guide you with the assignment preparation.
  • Reference correctly and appropriately.
  • Manage your time appropriately - workload is not an excuse for failure to turn work in on time.

Lecturers are expected to provide:

  • Fair and consistent practices.
  • Clarity of instructions.
  • A detailed assessment section in the paper outline.
  • Constructive, prompt and useful feedback on assessment tasks.
  • Opportunities to discuss assessment tasks and feedback.
  • Criteria which clearly set out the standards expected for the performance of the task.