Tasks form the foundation of assessment design. An assessment task is one where the learnerâ€™s performance is judged (either by educators or fellow learners) and this judgement is communicated (often as a grade but more valuably through written or verbal comments). An assessment task requires a learner to commit to their interpretation of the content, and it permits correction of errors and development of skills. A well-designed assessment task takes into account the different purposes of assessment; aligns with the overall teaching including learning outcomes; provides opportunity for iterative practice and feedback; and supports appropriate and helpful judgements about the learnerâ€™s performance. Optimally designed assessment tasks also are sustainable from: 1) The perspective of developing the learnerâ€™s own capacity to make evaluative judgements about their future work; and 2) The perspective of the teacherâ€™s workload. New and innovative tasks can challenge accepted practices, and interactions with colleagues and students alike may be required when introducing new tasks.
Key assessment considerations:
- What kinds of tasks do learners need to engage in to: a) develop and b) demonstrate their learning?
- What is the rationale for each task?
- How do the tasks drive learning? What do the tasks specifically require learners to do?
- What will be the criteria for successful completion?
- How are tasks best distributed across the semester including their relationship with other tasks within the unit and within the program?
- How will learners contribute to assessment processes?
- Which tasks will be graded?