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Assessment Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) Assessment of coursework learning outcomes is both the key mechanism for assuring learning outcomes and a central feature of the student learning experience. This Policy provides the principles for assuring the quality of student assessment at La Trobe. Associated procedures and schedules detail the mechanisms through which this is achieved. This Policy and its procedures should be read in conjunction with the Course and Subject Design Policy (forthcoming).

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all coursework assessment activities in award and non-award credentialed programs, regardless of mode or location.

(3) This Policy does not apply to the assessment of the research components of higher degrees by research.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Assessment design is an integral part of curriculum and course planning and delivery. This means that:

  1. Assessment is part of the design process from the earliest stages of curriculum and course development.
  2. Assessment tasks are mapped across a course to ensure that they consistently and progressively evaluate the learning outcomes of subjects and courses. 
  3. Assessment tasks are designed to explicitly contribute to the achievement of desired learning outcomes.
  4. Assessment approval, practices and processes incorporate benchmarking, validation and review procedures that assure the quality and standards of assessment tasks and outcomes, including assuring:
    1. consistency with learning outcomes being assessed
    2. capacity to confirm that all specified learning outcomes are achieved
    3. grades awarded reflect the level of student attainment.
  5. Relevant stakeholders (employers, industry, students, teaching team) are actively involved in the setting of standards during the course and subject design and review process.

(5) Assessment provides an authentic representation of student achievement and incorporates opportunities for improvement. This means that:

  1. Assessment is standards and criterion-based, and not dependent upon cohort performance.
  2. Students are provided opportunities to demonstrate their learning and capabilities through a variety of assessment activities.
  3. Early assessment activities and timely feedback are utilised in each subject to ensure that students are provided constructive, formative feedback on academic progress.
  4. The outcomes of early assessment activities are used to identify areas in which additional academic support or curricula emphasis are required.
  5. A variety of opportunities are provided to engage with feedback processes, including teacher, self, peer and workplace interaction.
  6. Assessment for collaborative tasks recognises both group contributions and individual attainment. 
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Section 4 - Procedures

(6) Refer to:

  1. Assessment Standards
  2. Assessment Guidelines – Student Assessment Workload (in development; in the interim please refer to Student Assessment Workload Guidelines)
  3. Assessment Procedure - Assurance of Results
  4. Assessment Procedure – Conceded Passes (in development; in the interim please refer to Conceded Passes Policy)
  5. Assessment Procedure – Examinations (forthcoming)
  6. Assessment Procedure – Review and Re-mark of Assessment Tasks (in development; in the interim please refer to Review and Re-mark of Students Academic Work Policy and Access to Assessed Material Retained by the University Policy)
  7. Assessment Procedure - Supplementary Assessment for Hurdle Requirements
  8. Assessment Procedure – Validation and Moderation (in development; in the interim please refer to Assessment (Moderation and Integrity) Policy)
  9. Assessment Schedule - Grades and Administrative Codes
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Section 5 - Definitions

(7) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Assessment: wide variety of methods and tools that educators use to evaluate, measure and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition or educational needs of students.
  2. Criterion-based assessment: students work is assessed with reference to written criteria derived from explicit learning outcomes. Each student’s grade in a subject is determined by the degree to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.
  3. Formative feedback: feedback provided to students throughout a subject to improve their learning.