Examples of sustainable good practice

The examples below are provided to assist you in enhancing your courses and units.


Assessment of Digital Literacy
(Deakin Graduate Learning Outcome 3)

SEB 121 Engineering Practice

This assessment task for first year engineering students (Unit chair: Simon Cavenett) is an example of creative assessment of digital literacy skills (Deakin Graduate Learning Outcome 3), developed as part of the Course Enhancement process. Students are introduced to the concept of digital literacy through determining credibility of digital sources, integrating information from multiple sources and disseminating their information through digital media (a wiki).  It clearly addresses the components of the Bachelor of Engineering Course Learning Outcome for Digital Literacy: "utilise a range of digital technologies and information sources to discover, select, analyse, employ, evaluate and disseminate both technical and non-technical information". It also draws on support and resources of the liaison librarian, developing the relationship between students and the library. Although this is a team assignment, it does not assess the Bachelor of Engineering's Course Learning Outcome for teamwork (the assignment assesses the product of the group work not the process), but it does provide opportunities for students to be taught about teamwork and to practice these skills.

Assessment of Critical thinking
(Deakin Graduate Learning Outcome 4)

MMH299 Business Communication - Portfolio A

The Speech e-portfolio task for the students of Business Communication (Unit chair: Andrew O'Loughlin) provides an example of how students might evidence critical thinking capabilities. Students are asked to review one of three speeches. The students are required to critically analyse aspects on impact, the approach used in the speech, the 'hook', the structure, linguistic devices and other techniques drawn upon by the speaker. Paralanguage is also a focus as well as the use of voice.  The student is then required to provide their overall impression, thus moving to a more macro perspective. The task goes further than just a review of an article, asking students to reflect critically on techniques used and the success of these. A detailed template is provided which facilitates and guides the student in the sort of critical thinking that underpins this type of task. A rubric is also provided that defines how a quality speech review should be structured and the elements that should be incorporated.  It can be used by students to reflect on and self assess own progress. 

Assessment focused on Self-management
(Deakin Graduate Learning Outcome 6)

MMH299 Business Communication -Portfolio C

The Individual ePortfolio task in Business Communication (Unit Chair Andrew O'Loughlin) provides an example of how students might evidence self-management capabilities. Of interest is the use of self-reflection as a powerful and creative assessment method. This particular task, which is one of a set of three interrelated tasks, draws on student self-reflection to evidence self-management skills. This task asks students to review the range of tasks undertaken as part of an e-portfolio based activity and reflect on these. These tasks include: team oral presentation; Portfolio A – Review of a speech; Portfolio B- Design and development of a poster on a them; Portfolio C – Evaluative comments on learning and learning experiences. Students reflect on their learning experiences (gained and evidenced through a number of tasks set as part of the Unit) and link their learning to their experience, knowledge and skills. It engages students to think about a range of learning strategies, interactions with peers, approaches to learning and how these are manifested, gaps in skills and how these might be addressed. It is precisely through these activities that the student demonstrates aspects a range of self-management capabilities. These might be summarized as the ability to:

  • process information and build on knowledge
  • plan and organize learning
  • reflect on areas of strength to continue to consolidate these as well as to reflect on and attend to areas of weakness
  • communicate self-management challenges, strength and strategies for amelioration.

These tasks in themselves draw on a range of the student's own communication skills: speaking, communicating research, developing a poster, working with a team etc. which is congruent with the theme of the unit itself.

Authentic WIL Assessment

ALL274 Supernatural Literature

This unit, chaired by Geoffrey Boucher, is nested in the literature major in the Bachelor of Arts (Literature Studies). The unit aims to develop students' skills and knowledge in analysing theoretical, historical and contemporary approaches to literature, focusing specifically on the Supernatural genre; and create new, innovative and cross-generic modes of supernatural literary writing. There are several assessments options available to the student: one being a traditional essay with traditional prompts for expression; the second comprising a more imaginative scenario for review and reporting and the third calling for a critically evaluative and creative response leading to publication. The third option which results in the publication of the students' work is an example of a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) learning activity and assessment. Providing students with real world learning activities and assessments enables them to integrate and apply their theoretical learning to professional practice and engage directly with industry, community and the professions. The opportunity to partake in authentic professional practice provides an invaluable learning experience for students and also helps them build a portfolio that evidences this achievement and strengthens their employability credentials.

Clinical Assessment for the Master of Nursing Practice

The Clinical Assessment for the Master of Nursing Practice (Specialty Nursing Practice) (Intensive Care, Cardiac Care, Emergency Care, Critical Care) is an extensively reviewed assessment piece developed by postgraduate staff within the School of Nursing a nd Midwifery at Deakin University in collaboration with non-Deakin experts in the field.Students are assessed by their clinical educator in a clinical context while nursing real patients (i.e., making this a highly authentic piece of assessment). The assessment is designed to establish whether students have met clinical requirements to pass units and the course.This clinical assessment is a hurdle requirement for all certificate level units of the Master's program. The assessment is accompanied by an extensive and detailed marking rubric depicting five levels of students' performance (Independent, Supervised, Assisted, Marginal, Dependent) for each criterion with an indication of the minimum level students must perform at in order to pass the assessment. This sustainable assessment example covers several of Deakin's Graduate Learning Outcomes (GLO 1 – knowledge, GLO2 – communication, GLO4 – critical thinking, GLO5 – problem solving, GLO6 – self management, GLO 7 – teamwork).  Furthermore, the assessment contains formative and summative components. This high quality assessment has been adopted by another Australian institution.

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