The Monash University Assessment in Coursework Units policy is informed by research and best practice models within the higher education sector. There is an expectation that discipline areas will draw on assessment research relevant to their field to underpin how this policy is implemented.
The statements below outline the principles of coursework assessment at Monash. The processes through which assessment in coursework units is executed are described in detail in the Unit Assessment Procedures.
Principles of assessment at Monash
1. Assessment must reflect the values of effective learning and teaching identified in Monash University key strategic documents and comply with current legislation, and university policy and procedures on privacy.
2. Assessment must be aligned with desired course and unit outcomes.
3. Assessment practices must be conducted and undertaken ethically and with honesty and integrity by staff and students. While acknowledging cultural variations, tasks must be designed and students educated in ways that promote academic integrity.
4. An appropriate assessment regime should demonstrate an articulation of knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies, and attributes.
5. As unit assessment will contribute to and shape students' learning it must be:
Challenging: Assessment must be intellectually challenging, appropriate to the level of study, relevant, and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate evidence of learning.
Engaging: Assessment must be structured in such a way that students are motivated to engage in the intellectual, practical, and professional dimensions of the task.
Integrated: Assessment tasks must foster the integration of theory, practice, and salient professional requirements.
Educative: Students' learning must be enhanced through assessment design and feedback.
6. Grading aspect and parity
It is expected that most assessment tasks are assessed using a criterion-based approach.
Where assessment is:
Criterion referenced: clear criteria, against which students' work will be assessed, must be provided in the interests of parity across assessors, groups or campuses.
Norm Referenced: a comparison of students' results across assessors, groups or campuses must occur in the interests of parity.
7. Assessment must be purposeful and the purposes of each assessment must be made clear to students. These purposes include:
- Assessment for preparation
- Assessment for learning
- Assessment for demonstration
Assessment for preparation: Assessment tasks must be designed to appraise the knowledge and skills of students early in a unit of study. Diagnostic assessment is therefore used to show a learner's preparedness for a unit and identify potential gaps in knowledge, skills and understanding.
Assessment for learning: Assessment tasks must be designed to help students engage with ideas, skills and practices that they will develop further during their unit or course. Such tasks should encourage students to reflect on their learning, develop their own learning approaches, learn from other students and monitor progress through the setting of their own learning goals. Assessment for learning must be a prominent focus in the design and delivery of units, must be varied in nature and be meaningful to learning.
Assessment for demonstration: Assessment tasks must be designed to make overall judgements about student's understandings and performances in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit and course. These summative assessment tasks must be varied in nature, aligned with the learning outcomes and be appropriately staged in the learning cycle.
8. Assessment practices and processes must be continuously monitored for quality assurance and improvement purposes, and must be:
Aligned and credible: Assessment must serve the unit and course objectives or other professional objectives.
Explicit and transparent: The requirements of assessment tasks and the means by which students' work will be judged and overall grades determined must be clearly communicated to students.
Reliable: Assessment tasks must strive to yield consistent and reproducible results
Timely: The scheduling of assessment must provide for the students' learning needs. Where feedback is provided it must be given in time for students to improve their learning.
Responsive: Formative and interim-summative feedback must be constructive and supportive of further learning.