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1. Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this policy is to establish key principles and values relating to assessment at The University of Queensland. It is intended to be read in conjunction with a number of procedures, including PPL 3.10.02 Assessment - Procedures.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Criterion – a property or characteristic by which the quality of something may be judged.

Standard – a definite level of achievement aspired to or attained. Standards specify levels of quality (or achievement, or performance) for each criterion.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all students enrolled in, and all staff involved in the delivery of, undergraduate and postgraduate courses at The University of Queensland.

Details of the University's assessment policies in relation to higher degree by research candidates are found in the PPL under section 4.60.

4. Policy Statement

Assessment is making judgements about how students’ work meets appropriate standards and drawing inferences from these judgements about students’ attainment of learning outcomes. At The University of Queensland assessment is used to achieve the following purposes:

  • engage students in productive learning;
  • provide feedback to guide improvement;
  • inform teaching and learning decision-making;
  • provide evidence of course- and program-level learning outcomes and graduate attributes;
  • provide comprehensive, accurate, consistent and dependable certification of student achievement; and
  • maintain professional and disciplinary standards.

The University is committed to the provision of high quality, innovative and engaging assessment practices according to the following principles:

Assessment is a developmental learning activity: The assessment process engages students in worthwhile learning activities and develops their capacity to make independent judgements about the quality of their own and others’ work.

Assessment involves mutual responsibility: Teachers have a responsibility to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate learning through appropriate assessment tasks and to support learning through effective feedback, as well as to orient students new to university study to university assessment methods and standards; students have a responsibility to demonstrate evidence of learning through their responses to assessment tasks and to reflect and act on feedback to improve their learning.

Assessment is criterion-referenced: Judgements about the quality of students’ performance are made by reference to explicit or predetermined criteria and standards and not by reference to the achievement of other students.

Assessment is transparent: Students and teachers can see that there is an explicit and logical relationship among assessment tasks; learning objectives; the criteria used as the basis of assessment judgements; and the grades associated with different levels or standards of performance.

Assessment is valid: Assessment measures the intended learning outcomes and provides a consistent and dependable indication of the quality of students’ performance.

Assessment is fair and equitable: The content, format and conduct of assessment are designed to ensure that no individuals or groups of students are unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged.

Assessment is a purposeful, professional activity: Assessment is integral to course and program design, review and evaluation. There is: quality assurance of assessment at program- and course-level, and within schools and faculties; collaboration with colleagues to provide the whole-of-program approaches that make assessment a coherent experience for students; and ongoing revision and enhancement of assessment practices.

Assessment is sustainable and workable: Assessment is achievable for teachers and students with reasonable effort within the context of a full time workload as described in PPL 3.20.02b, s8.4.

The design and conduct of assessment according to these principles requires effective collaboration between a number of stakeholders associated with teaching and learning including members of academic and professional staff across the University.

Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson