Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Assessing graduate attributes

Assessment of graduate attributes

If we wish to 'close the loop' between graduate attributes and assessment, we need to specify assessment criteria that provide an objective measure(s) of the level of student mastery of the set assessment task, as well as the level of mastery of the implied learning activity(s), learning objective(s) and graduate attributes that are embedded in the assessment task. Apart from providing objective comparison benchmarks for the measurement of the level of student attainment of particular graduate attributes, stated assessment criteria also provide the necessary information that students require to effectively complete an assessment task. Guidelines for good assessment criteria include:

  • They should be sufficient to enable an assessor to judge the presence or absence of the ability in a student.
  • They should allow for levels of development in a student's ability.
  • They should be clear enough to enable a learner to imagine a performance that would demonstrate the ability.
  • They should provide a picture of the ability in action.
  • They should include qualitative dimensions of performance.
  • They should not be directions, steps, tasks or formal requirements (Jolly, 2001).

and...

  • specific to each task
  • clear and sufficiently detailed so as to provide guidance to students undertaking assessment task
  • transparent (i.e. stated in advance)
  • justifiable (i.e. linked to learning objectives) and achievable
  • appropriate to weightings
  • where appropriate, supported by a verbal or written statement about what constitutes the various levels of performance (University of Wollongong, 2007).

Assessment criteria that meet these guidelines can be presented in different formats. These same two sources provide some examples for written and oral assignment work. Note that each example includes a general description of the assessment task requirements, the allocation/share of marks given to different elements/aspects of the task, and the detailed criteria that will be used to assess the level/grade of attainment for each element.

 

wool mark

 

From (University of Wollongong, 2007)

 

figure 5 - Jolly

From (Jolly, 2001)

Activity icon Activity

Select one of the graduate attribute from the program(s) that you contribute to, and propose a set of appropriate assessment criteria for an assignment that incorporates: a description of the assessment task requirements, the allocation/share of marks given to different elements/aspects of the task, and the detailed criteria that will be used to assess the level/grade of attainment for each element.

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6th December 2010