Checklist for assessment tasks

Think about an assessment task that is part of a module or unit that you have taught or are teaching:

How does the task develop students’ ability to think critically and make judgements about their work?

What are likely students’ responses to the task? How can the task be framed to avoid inappropriate responses?

Has feedback about earlier versions of the task been used to revise them?

Is the task realistic or ‘authentic’ and linked to course learning outcomes as well as longer-term learning aims?

Does the task encourage students to position themselves as active learners?

Is the task a learning activity in its own right and not just a compliance requirement?

What particular capacities does the task help build in students?

Does the task encourage students to work productively with others (as distinct from collude with them)?

Have students had sufficient practice in some of the key areas being assessed (for example, through activities that are not formally assessed) for it to be a realistic task for them?

Will the task focus students’ attention on productive learning activities and lead them away from ‘cramming’ and plagiarism?

How does the task develop students’ capacity to assess:
• their own work?
• the work of others?

Is feedback used to help students calibrate their own judgements about their work?

Is feedback from both peers and staff used, and are tasks scheduled so that students are able to utilize comments from others to improve their work?

How will the assessment task have a longer-term effect on students beyond the immediate period of assessment?

(adapted from