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Assessment Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to establish key principles and values relating to assessment at The University of Queensland.

(2) This Policy applies to all students enrolled in, and all staff involved in the delivery of, undergraduate and postgraduate courses at The University of Queensland.

(3) Details of the University's assessment policies and procedures for higher degree by research candidates are included in the Associated Information tab.

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Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

(4) Assessment involves making judgements about the extent to which students’ work meets identified standards and confirming from these judgements that students’ have attained the learning outcomes. At The University of Queensland assessment is used to achieve the following purposes:

  1. Engage students in productive learning;
  2. provide feedback to guide improvement;
  3. inform teaching and learning decision-making;
  4. provide evidence of course- and program-level learning outcomes and graduate attributes;
  5. provide comprehensive, accurate, consistent and dependable certification of student achievement and program learning outcomes; and
  6. maintain professional and disciplinary standards.

(5) The University is committed to the provision of high quality, authentic and engaging assessment practices according to the following principles:

  1. Assessment is a developmental learning activity: The assessment process engages students in timely, meaningful learning activities which develop their capacity to make independent judgements about the quality of their own and others’ work.
  2. Assessment involves mutual responsibility: Teachers have a responsibility to provide timely opportunities for students to demonstrate learning through appropriate assessment tasks and to support learning through effective feedback, as well as to orient students new to university study to university assessment methods and standards. Students have a responsibility to demonstrate evidence of learning through their responses to assessment tasks and to reflect and act on feedback to improve their learning.
  3. Assessment is criterion-referenced: Judgements about the quality of students’ performance are made by reference to explicit or predetermined criteria and standards and not by reference to the achievement of other students.
  4. Assessment is transparent: Students and teachers can see that there is an explicit and logical relationship between assessment tasks, the criteria used as the basis of assessment judgements, and the grades associated with different standards of performance.
  5. Assessment is valid and authentic: Assessment measures the intended learning outcomes and provides a consistent and dependable indication of the quality of students’ performance. The outcomes measured represent appropriate, meaningful, significant and worthwhile forms of accomplishment and the kinds of mastery demonstrated by successful practitioners. An assessment task can be considered authentic when the task challenges a learner to demonstrate knowledge or skill that is needed to negotiate the requirements of a real-life setting.
  6. Assessment is fair and equitable: The content, format and conduct of assessment are designed to ensure that no individuals or groups of students are unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged.
  7. Assessment is a purposeful, professional activity: Assessment is integral to course and program design, review and evaluation. There is: quality assurance of assessment at program- and course-level, and within schools and faculties; collaboration with colleagues to provide the whole-of-program approaches that make assessment a coherent experience for students; and ongoing revision and enhancement of assessment practices.
  8. Assessment is sustainable and workable: Assessment is achievable for teachers and students with reasonable effort within the context of a full time workload as described in the Course Design Policy.

    The design and conduct of assessment according to these principles requires effective collaboration between a number of stakeholders associated with teaching and learning including members of academic and professional staff across the University.

(6) Academic integrity forms a central part of an individual’s intellectual and personal development. Students learn how to uphold values, develop proper skills in research, thinking and writing, and how to behave in an ethical manner.

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Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

(7) The academic roles and accountabilities associated with implementation of this Policy are specified in the Teaching and Learning Roles and Responsibilities Policy.

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Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(8) Review of, and compliance with, this Policy is overseen by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Academic Board's Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee and Assessment Sub-Committee.

(9) The Academic Board's Assessment Sub-Committee undertakes compliance monitoring and submits reports to Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee and the Senior Executive as required.

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Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

(10) Details of assessment must be recorded in the Course Profile in accordance with this Policy and the Course Design Policy.

(11) Student records including the final grades, applications and University decisions are filed in the student's personal record in SI-net and TRIM.

(12) Records and reports associated with assessment are managed in conjunction with the Information Management Policy and in conjunction with the Annual Programs, Plans and Courses Quality Assurance Procedure.

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Section 6 - Appendix

Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Term Definition
Academic integrity The moral code or ethical policy of academia, including:
  1. a commitment to the values of honesty, responsibility, transparency, respect, trust and courage; and
  2. the ethical principles that underpin academia and student life, such as maintenance of academic standards; honesty and rigour in assessment responses, research and academic publishing.
Criterion A property or characteristic by which the quality of something may be judged.
Standard A definite level of achievement aspired to or attained. Standards specify levels of quality (or achievement, or performance) for each criterion.