Designing, Managing and Evaluating Assessment Items.


In this discussion we canvas all aspects of assessment including


1. Assessment design and learning goals.
2. Creating assessment criteria and marking guides.
3. Gathering evidence from students.
4. Managing student issues around assessment.
5. Giving feedback to students.
6. Reflecting on our own assessment practices.
7. Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment items.

By the end of this session students will be able to:

Knowledge: Understand the concepts, terminology and principles of good assessment practice.
Application: Design, manage and evaluate assessment in your course.
Caring: Value assessment to engage students and enhance teaching and learning.
Human dimension: Work effectively within teaching teams, work independently.
Learning how to learn: Access, evaluate and share with colleagues resources to support good assessment practice.
Integration: Integration good assessment practice into your teaching portfolio.

Rowntree (1987) suggests that 'if we wish to know the truth about an
educational system, we must look no further than its assessment
procedures". (p.1)


Resources to get you started

We highly recommended the article 9 Principles of Good Assessment. nine_principles_good_practice.pdf

Ako Aotearoa provides an excellent set of resources on assessment. Click
here. They also have a document for new teachers.
Just click here to download.

Characteristics of Good Assessment. This is an
article from the JISC website on the good assessment practices.

Key Terminology


Constructive Feedback:  Helps students to grow and improve their performance. It is a practice skill. See our resource Giving and receiving constructive feedback.

Summative assessments are activities that contribute to a student's final grade.

Formative assessments are activities that evaluate student learning and teacher's teaching but do not contribute to the final grade. To help you work with formative assessment we have created this resources. Click here for more.

Rubrics are a set of criteria and standards linked to learning objectives that is used to assess a student's performance on papers, projects, essays, and other assignments. Rubrics allow for standardised evaluation according to specified criteria, making grading simpler and more transparent. (Wikiepedia- academic)  See our resource Using Rubrics.


Peer assessment: Student assess each others work.

Self assessment: Students assess their own work.

See more on Peer and Self Assessment


1. Designing Good Assessments:
Before you start you may like to read up on a variety of perspectives of
good assessment practice.   At Unitec assessment is integrated into the Unitec strategy of a Living Curriculum.  Click here to read more....

Flinders University has brought together a range of resources on
assessment. These resources include designing assessment items and
marking and grading student work. Click


Academic literacies: Assessment design that involves Web 2.0 tools. Advice for making good decisions around assessment design, management and feedback issues using Web 2.0 tools.

Effective assessment in the Digital Age. This is a JISC publication.


We strongly suggest you integrate the support facilities that are on campus into your assessments and Moodle sites. Here is a summary of the help for students on campus and links to key academic resources.


Multiple choice questions can be an effective way to measure student progress in learning terminology, concepts and principles. Peerwise is a tool to encourage students to collaborate in designing and developing questions. Click here for more.

Many teachers favor using case studies to evaluate student learning in
the substantive assessment of their course. Students will need practice
of completing several case studies before they are ready for undertaking
a substantive assessment. The University of Indiana, School of
Journalism has some very good examples for you to consider. Click
here for the link.


Many teachers are please with the progress in learning from project based learning. To hear from those teachers Click here for    Video on Project Based Learning

Another useful assessment tool is the analytical report. This assessment
tool not only engages students with terminology, concepts and
principles of the subject but encourages students to develop
professional skills. A key article by Vice and Carners (2001) can be
found here.


Before you do anything.....

We suggest you carefully consider your learning outcomes and create a substantive assessment for your course, that assesses as many learning outcomes as possible in one assessment. The substantive assessment should be "educative" and should mirror the types of tasks and activities students will be expected to carry out in their vocation or profession. This assessment is "substantive" and should take place in the final 1/3 of your course. Ideally it should carry the highest weighting.

Your remaining assessments should help students to practice and receive feedback on the knowledge, skills and attributes which are assessed in the substantive assessment. These smaller summative or formative assessments may contribute to or be part of the substantive. These assessments will take place throughout the course, and are embedded within the course. It is critical that students receive good feedback on their performance in these smaller assessments.


2. Creating assessment criteria and marking guides.

Rubrics are a useful tool to provide clear expectations and improved
performance for students. See the article the article below from Elliot and our additional resources.

Using Rubrics.

Rubrics are now championed as a way to improve online learning and
student engagement. See documents attached for examples of assessment
rubrics. We have designed a simple rubric as an example for you. The
rubric demonstrates the inclusion of academic literacies and information
literacies. Click

Peer and Self Assessment:  These are useful strategies for giving feedback to students for in class activities. Read more in our interactive workshop. Self and Peer Assessment

Authentic Assessment: Authentic assessment is a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller Authentic Assessment

3. Gathering evidence from students

Assessments can be secure (tests and exams) or insecure, assignments and projects. There are problems in ensuring insecure assessments are student's own work.  We suggest you follow up any major piece of insecure work with a short inclass test. The test should text the authenticity of the student's assessment.  Any student who cannot pass the inclass test, has probably not created the assessment. Time to bring in your programme leader to investigate.
Portfolios are a great way to gather evidence from students of their
learning, skills and professionalism. Phil Race, (2001) Designing
assessment and feedback to enhance learning. (Available from the Unitec
library) states;

"Typically, portfolios are compilations of students' achievements,
including major pieces of their work, feedback comments from tutors, and
reflective analyses by the students themselves." 

To find out more about students and portfolios click here.


There are some issues about gathering authentic evidence of student work. Plagiarism, using other work without acknowledgment is a real issue in assessment. We have a Moodle resource devoted to this TurnitIn This is available to Unitec staff only.


4. Managing student issues around assessment.



If you teach subjects where students are in studio you may find this resource on studio feedback helpful. Studio feedback, critique and assessment for significant learning.

Both teachers and students need training in giving and receiving constructive feedback. We have are resource available that you can add to your Moodle site. Simple copy this link, and add to your site. The link may be updated from time to time by Te Puna Ako staff.


Group Work

Group work and group assessment: A Moodle resource for Unitec teachers only.

Group work is always a challenge for teachers and students. Here is a simple tool "Fellowstream" which will provide online collaboration for a small group of students. Fellowstream

Managing group projects:This resource provides a range of collaborative tools for groups.


5. Human dimension

You will need to be able to work effectively within your own environment, working with students, co-teachers, programme leaders, moderators, and external moderators and audit teams. In order to have effective working relationships communicate your desire for student engagement. This will help build collaborative working relationships. Clear course learning outcomes will also assist in creating collaborative work environments, as these will guide both students, teachers, and moderators.

Hot tip: All educational institutions have assessment and moderation policies, ensure you have copy and fully understand what is expected from you.

6. Learning how to learn
It is worthwhile to build an assessment resource in your department or teaching team to ensure everyone has the resources to design, manage and evaluate assessment.

7. Integration: Finally, assessments, rubrics, student work, moderation reports make great resources for your teaching portfolio. Your philosophy and practice of assessment is a key capability you need to be able to demonstrate.


It is through careful design, integration and feedback that students will become engaged in their learning and this will result in enhanced student learning experiences. Teachers are responsible for all aspects of the student experience and will need design, management and evaluation capabilities to do all of this well. We hope these resources help you to design, manage and evaluate.

Resources: Below you will find a comprehensive list of resources on
Characteristics of Good Assessment.
Are you working with Unit Standards this Helen McPhun writes about integrating your assessments for a more meaningful learning experience.

Elliott, C. (2003). Clear expectations, improved outcomes: using
rubrics. FYI: journal of School Libraries Association of Victoria,
Spring 2003, pp. 4-7.
Rowntree, D. (1987) Assessing students: How shall we know them?
London:Kogan Page.

These Nine Principles of Assessment are well known and accepted. They were created by the American Association of Higher Education and help
teachers to understand the role and purpose of assessment. See article
Nine Principles below.


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