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2. Rationale for Assessment

The three key objectives for quality in student assessment in higher education1 are to:

  • guide and encourage effective approaches to learning;
  • validly and reliably measure expected learning outcomes, in particular the higher-order learning that characterises higher education; and
  • define and protect academic standards.

The following general principles underpin the Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures:

  1. Assessment should be an aid to successful learning and should encourage students to apply their knowledge and skills in an analytical and critical manner;
  2. Modes of assessment should be specifically linked to the learning outcomes of a unit and course including outcomes for the development of graduate attributes;
  3. Assessment requirements should be based on pre-determined and clearly articulated criteria that describe standards of knowledge, skills, competencies and/or capabilities;
  4. Students should receive feedback on their work in a timely manner that assists them to monitor their progress towards the achievement of specified learning outcomes and to improve the quality of their work;
  5. Assessment should be inclusive and equitable for all students;
  6. Assessment should be valid and reliable;
  7. Students and staff should act in accordance with the Academic Regulations, the Academic Honesty Policy and the Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures;
  8. Assessment should enable the University to certify that the grade awarded corresponds to the students performance and that the student has met unit and course requirements;
  9. Assessment should involve reasonable workloads for both staff and students commensurate with the credit points allocated to a unit and the nature of the discipline. The requirements of each individual assessment task in a unit should also be commensurate with the proportion of marks allocated to that task;
  10. Consistent with ACU's Mission as a Catholic university, assessment processes and procedures should conform to the highest ethical and moral standards; and
  11. ACU regards assessment as a confidential matter2. No person involved in the process should divulge to any unauthorised person any information related to an individual students assessment or grades.

1 James, R., McInnis, C. & Devlin, M. (2002). Assessing Learning in Australian Universities. Parkville: Centre for the Study of Higher Education
The University of Melbourne for the Australian Universities Teaching Committee [refer: Assessing Learning in Australian Universities]
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