Purposefully Aligned Assessment

The University Assessment Policy (see Principles a-d)  states that our assessment should be standards-based, assure learning and follow the general needs of a fit-for-purpose task.

For this to be true, a constructive alignment approach must be in place for all tasks with clear and consistent use of rubrics across our course suite. 

By creating principles and guidelines for the creation, delivery and articulation of all types of learning outcomes, we will ensure that our students are better equipped to succeed and we as an organisation are better equipped to assure this.

3.1 Learning Outcome Principles

Learning Outcomes (Course, Component and Unit) are at the core of our assurance processes for our coursework delivery. 

Historically, we link our tasks to Unit Learning Outcomes. We loosely map our Unit Learning Outcomes to Course Learning Outcomes and our rubrics (where used at all) tend to be free-form and amorphous. Constructive alignment means we should reverse this process.

We propose a framework to ensure that Unit Learning Outcomes are reflected in rubric criteria and correspondingly, to Course Learning Outcomes. This refinement is likely to promote constructive alignment and reduce instances of irrelevant learning outcomes appearing in rubrics at the expense of more authentic measures.

3.2 - Assessment Delivery Guidelines

We have come a long way in our Faculty to standardise the structure of iLearn and the core requirements for a consistent experience for our students.

This component will take that work to the obvious next step which is creating guidelines on how we describe tasks to our students, which tools we use for different types of assessments and some general expectations around consistency across our unit suite.

The work here will also help reduce student anxiety and positively impact the special consideration load generated by an inconsistent approach to assessment submission and definition.

3.3 - Rubric Manual

Rubrics serve as a critical form of both direction and feedback and can be one of the most powerful devices we have to ensure students understand the task and how they are progressing. 

A Faculty-specific rubric procedure manual will be developed (including a guideline to include Unit Learning Outcome mapping in every rubric) with templates to standardise use.

This will ensure continued excellence from the initial design of tasks, through to the quality assurance cycle and to assist in innovation of new rubric development with a focus on transparency and utility.