Most tutors will be given assessment tasks as part of their duties. The following information provides some background to assessment as well as some practical suggestions. More guidance will be provided by your course coordinator.
The Course Profile
Assessment requirements must be provided in writing to students in the course profile. A description of course profiles can be found in myAdvisor
The Handbook of University Policies and Procedures includes a Course Profile policy. Section 5 of the policy relates to assessment.
The assessment approach used at UQ is called criterion referenced assessment.
Your course coordinator should provide you with a copy of the Course Profile prior to the start of classes. You will want to be familiar with the assessment requirements as you can be certain that your students will be asking you questions about them.
Marking Students’ Work
When marking assessment:
- Be sure the assessment criteria you use meets the standard set by the lecturer in charge of your course. In most cases, your course coordinator will meet with you and explain the marking system for each piece of assessment.
- It is useful to compare how you are assigning marks with other tutors in the course.
- Check back over your marking of students’ work, particularly if the length of time between marking the first few and the last few items was quite long.
For additional information on marking in a group context see Assessing group work.
Providing Feedback to Students
Feedback should be provided on every piece of assessment.
As a tutor, you need to be familiar with the University’s policy on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism. If you suspect a student has not acted properly, you should bring the matter to the attention of your course coordinator.
Assessing and giving feedback section
Feedback should be provided on every item of assessment.
- Be timely – feedback lets students know how they are going – what they are doing well, and in which areas to improve
- Be constructive – identify strengths and weaknesses, and state how work can be improved
- Be balanced - provide both positive remarks and critical comments. It’s always good to begin and end with a positive comment
- Be varied – it could include discussion as a group, written comments on work, model answers, lists of common mistakes, peer and self-evaluation, as well as individual comment
- Be self explanatory – use terms that students will understand and don’t use symbols without explaining what these mean.
Use “cover sheets” for marking work and giving feedback. This provides consistency in the way you structure and provide feedback to individual students.
Assessing group work can involve assessing group process, assessing the group product or a combination of both. This can be assessed at an individual and/or group level.
Assessing process is seen as important by many lecturers. However, without an extensive knowledge of the group’s interactions, process can be difficult to assess accurately. Self or peer assessment may be useful, but can be biased. Portfolio assessment can be a successful method of assessing the work of individuals within a group.
The criteria by which each group is assessed may be decided by the lecturer, students or both. Assessment criteria should be linked to the intended outcomes of the work. Assessment criteria may include:
- Meeting attendance
- Equity of contribution
- Behaviour within group
- Development of competencies
- Peer feedback/criticism
Assessing each individual within a group may be a fairer method of assessment. Individuals may be assessed for an allocated task within the overall group task, or on individual reports. Peer evaluation can be an integral part of allocating marks, however may be subject to bias.
The course profile should include the following information about assessment:
- Clear, accurate and detailed assessment requirements, and objectives and goals of the course;
- How assessment methods link to objectives and goals;
- Number and form of each item of assessment to be completed;
- Weighting of each item of assessment;
- Due dates for assessment;
- Clearly written criteria and standards against which achievement will be judged for each piece of assessment;
- Details of the method used to calculate a final grade from the aggregation of individual assessment items.
See the UQ Assessment Policies