There are sometimes less tangible outcomes educators would like their learners to achieve. These outcomes may express ambitions for students to develop as self-directed adult learners through a unit and program. Educators may want learners to engage with a discipline area that helps to make them informed and active citizens, or perhaps to focus on some of the āsoft skillsā needed to work in a profession. These may reflect individualsā particular values that they wish to pass on to their learners. Institutions too, often have aims for graduates, described as āgraduate attributesā. Articulating how learners might develop in this broader sense, can help to make units and associated assessment more relevant for both learners and educators. It may be worth formally aligning assessments against these goals, and considering how to communicate these thoughts to learners. This type of approach may help clarify how assessments can draw from educatorsā individual expertise and experiences.
- What is it about your experiences which might influence how you shape assessment?
- Thinking about these experiences, as well as drawing from your profession/discipline and the department/faculty/institution, are there additional outcomes you would like your unitās assessment to address?
- How do these relate to the other prescribed outcomes?
- How do they reflect your own understanding as a professional or discipline expert?
- How might these shape the assessment tasks?
- How will you provide feedback on these aspects of the tasks?
- How can you communicate these outcomes to learners?
Also refer to:
Contributing to the community
Not all our students are going to go on to do honours or PhDs, but we want them to be scientifically literate and to be able to inform their friends. There are a whole lot of moral and ethical issues, as well as scientific issues and we want our graduates to be able to communicate them really clearly to their friends and family, to society. ā Science lecturer
Understanding a political process
All of this geopolitics, it can be treated very theoretically, which I donāt like … I think, the students need to understand how these climate change negotiations work in practice. The following week, in the tutorial, we will run it as a very formal negotiation process. Iāve outlined a draft agreement on how we will do that, and itās called the [University name] Climate Change Convention. And itās very specific but not very detailed. And whatās going to happen is each of the groups of students will have a little name, so thereāll be a group called China and thereāll be a lead negotiator. Iāll be the Chair of this meeting and Iāll be telling them how this is done, in a very formal way, so thereās no arguing between delegations. My hope is that some of these people, possibly in as early as five years from now, will really go to similar sorts of negotiations. When they do, theyāll look back at this unit and think, āIām reasonably comfortable with this. I understand how this worksā. ā Geography lecturer
- Authentic assessment takes into consideration the sort of student development issues discussed here. The University of New South Wales Assessment Toolkit has a section about Assessing Authentically unsw.edu.au/authentic-assessment, including an eight-part video series
- The Deakin University website has a self-paced professional development package about authentic assessment deakin.edu.au/itl/assets/resources/pd/tl-modules/assessment/authenticassessment.pdf
- The Assessment Futures website has a section on authentic assessment uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/teaching-and-learning/assessment/assessment-futures/key-assessment-elements-1