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Academic Quality and Standards

Semester 2/17 - Assessment in Coursework Units Policy


Assessment in Coursework Units Policy

[This policy applies to assessment in all teaching periods commencing on or after 17 July 2017]


The purpose of this policy is to define the nature of assessment at Monash for units involving coursework, including as part of a graduate research course.


This policy applies to all coursework units. It does not apply to the thesis component or equivalent of a graduate research course.

Policy Statement

A vision for assessment at Monash

Assessment is at the heart of the student learning experience. Assessment acts as the main link between the learning outcomes, the curriculum content and the teaching and learning activities and provides the mechanism for staff and students to monitor and improve learning. Assessment must help shape          the          curriculum          and therefore be an integral component in all curriculum development activities. Assessment linked to the learning outcomes ensures that students will be able to demonstrate the Monash Graduate Attributes.

Assessment helps define what is important for students in their learning journey and therefore assessment design needs to focus on demonstrating the learning outcomes to ensure the learning will be appropriate and defined. Effective assessment must provide meaningful and timely feedback to students          in          order          to facilitate and enhance learning. Assessment must be appropriately challenging, authentic and enable students to demonstrate evidence of learning at the appropriate level of study. Assessment practices and processes must be continuously monitored for academic quality and appropriate standards.

Assessment at Monash must therefore be considered within a framework of three overlapping domains; knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies, and attributes and professionalism. Assessments must target each domain to ensure students are able to demonstrate the full breadth of their learning,          but          need          to          be          designed          in a way that motivates students to engage intellectually and professionally, is applicable to the real world, and ensures appropriate integration of theory and practice.

From the Monash Assessment Vision

Principles of assessment at Monash

Students will be provided with a range of formative and summative assessment opportunities across their unit offerings that are based on an appropriate set of defined learning outcomes. Faculties must ensure that the design, development and delivery of assessment is actively and appropriately resourced.          Assessment          at          Monash          is:

  1. ethical – assessment practices must be conducted and undertaken ethically and with   honesty and integrity by staff and students. While acknowledging cultural   variations, tasks must be designed and students educated in ways that promote   academic integrity.
  2. aligned   – assessmentmust be aligned   with course and unit learning outcomes, and enable an articulation of   knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies, and attributes.
  3. coherent – an assessment regime should demonstrate coherence across   units in a major, specialisation and/or course, and also year level where   appropriate. The regime of assessment tasks within and across units must reflect   an appropriate student assessment            workload.
  4. challenging – assessment   should be intellectually challenging, appropriate to the level of study,   relevant, and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate evidence of   learning.
  5. engaging – assessment must be designed in such a way that students   are motivated to engage in the intellectual, practical, and professional   dimensions of the task. A varied portfolio of assessment tasks should be used   to achieve this.
  6. integrated – assessment tasks must foster the integration of theory,   practice, and salient professional requirements.
  7. educative – students’ learning must be enhanced through effective assessment   design and feedback. Formative assessment must feature as part of the design   and delivery of all units of study and be integrated in a timely manner, and   using a scaffolded            approach.
  8. purposeful – assessment must be purposeful and the purposes of each assessment must be   made clear to students. The University’s approach to assessment is based   around the following three themes:
  • assessment for   preparation – assessment tasks must be designed to appraise the knowledge and   skills of students early in a unit of study;
  • assessment for   learning – assessment tasks must be designed to help students engage with   ideas, skills and practices that they will develop further during their unit   or course; and
  • assessment for   demonstration – assessment tasks must be designed to make overall judgements   about students’ understandings and performances in relation to the learning   outcomes of the unit and course.
  1. criterion-referenced – clear criteria against which students’ work will be assessed must be   provided in the interests of parity across assessors, groups or campuses.
  2. credible   – assessment practices and processes   must be continuously monitored by faculties and the University for quality   assurance and improvement purposes and must serve the unit, course and any   other professional accreditation learning            outcomes.
  3. explicit   and transparent – the requirements of assessment   tasks and the means by which students’ work will be judged and overall grades   determined must be clear to students and all staff involved in teaching.
  4. valid   and reliable – assessment tasks must be appropriate   measures and strive to yield consistent results.
  5. timely – the scheduling of assessment must provide for the students’ learning needs.   Effective feedback must be given in time for students to improve their   learning.
  6. responsive – assessment feedback must be constructive and supportive of further   learning.

Supporting procedures

Assessment in Coursework Units: Development and Implementation of an Assessment Regime Procedures

Assessment in Coursework Units: Feedback Procedures

Assessment in Coursework Units: Examination Procedures

Assessment in Coursework Units: Grading and Marking Procedures

Assessment in Coursework Units: Adjustments to Assessment Procedures

Assessment in Coursework Units: Security and Record Keeping Procedures

Supporting guidelines

Board of Examiners Guidelines

Guidelines on Moderation, Validity and Reliability of Assessment [FORTHCOMING]

Team Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]

Feedback Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]

Guidelines on units offered in Multiple Modes/Locations [FORTHCOMING]
Integrity of Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]

Hurdle Assessment Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]

Assessment Communication Guidelines [FORTHCOMING]

Responsibility for implementation

Associate Deans (Education)



Key Stakeholders

Provost and Senior Vice-President
Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Vice-Provost (Graduate Education)
Office of the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)
Associate Deans (Education)

Approval body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 7/16
Date: 16-November-2016
Agenda item: 7.2

Endorsement body

Name: Learning and Teaching Committee
Meeting: 7/16
Date: 18-October-2016
Agenda item: 8.1


Assessment for preparation: Assessment tasks must be designed to appraise the knowledge and skills of students early in a unit of study. Diagnostic assessment is therefore used to show a learner's preparedness for a unit and identify potential gaps in knowledge, skills and understanding.

Assessment for learning:Assessment tasks must be designed to help students engage with ideas, skills and practices that they will develop further during their unit or course. Such tasks should encourage students to reflect on their learning, develop their own learning approaches, learn          from          other          students          and          monitor          progress through the setting of their own learning goals. Assessment for learning must be a prominent focus in the design and delivery of units, must be varied in nature and be meaningful to learning.

Assessment for demonstration:Assessment tasks must be designed to make overall judgements about student's understandings and performances in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit and course. These summative assessment tasks must be varied in nature, aligned with the learning          outcomes          and          be          appropriately          staged          in the learning cycle.

Summative Assessment: The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning during or at the end of a unit of study by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Summative assessments contribute to a student’s overall mark in a unit of study.

Formative Assessment: The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by educators to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. Whilst formative assessments do not contribute to the overall          student’s          mark          in          a          unit          of study they are critical components of the learning cycle.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

All relevant legislative instruments that stipulate requirements with which members of the Monash community (all of whom are subject to the law) are obligated to comply.

Monash University (Academic Board) Regulations - regulations 16-25
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (TEQSA Act 2011)

Related policies

English Language Policy [Forthcoming]

Related documents

Monash Assessment Vision
Withdrawn Incomplete (WI) flowchart

Date Effective


Review Date



Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)


Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching)

Content Enquiries

University Policy Use

Version Number: 2.0


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