Assessment task types in Arts

Assessment task types - Arts

The Faculty of Arts utilises a variety of assessment tasks to support your learning and development and to help you achieve the learning outcomes in your units and course.

Unit Handbook entries and Unit Previews include a brief summary of the assessment tasks that you will be expected to complete as part of each unit that you enrol in.

Below is a list of the common assessment types used in Arts units, including their key characteristics and the types of activities you can expect to be asked to perform for that assessment task.

These definitions are intended as an introductory guide only. Specific details about your unit’s assessment tasks requirements and marking criteria will be provided in your unit’s Moodle site. It is possible that your assessment task requirements will expand substantially on the broad outlines provided below. It is also possible that larger assessment tasks may have multiple components that blend assessment types. In those cases the largest component will have been listed as the assessment type in the unit Handbook entry and Unit Preview with further breakdown of the assessment components available in Moodle.

It is important that you thoroughly familiarise yourself with the assessment requirements for your unit as listed in your unit’s Moodle site. For information about the Faculty’s assessment business processes go to

Assessment task typeDefinition
Analytical exerciseA short structured commentary or analysis on an assigned passage, source, image, etc. Examples include (but are not limited to) primary source analysis, critical reading exercise, and philosophy gobbet.
Annotated bibliographyAn alphabetical list of information sources (e.g. journal articles or book chapters), formatted like a bibliography or a reference list, accompanied by a commentary or annotation on each source.
Career development taskExamples of career development tasks include (but are not limited to) a resume, job application, career development plan, or LinkedIn profile. This type of assessment is used to develop your employability skills in readiness for entry to and progress in the workplace.
Case studyAn application of theoretical concepts to a real and specific situation or event.
CompositionThe creation or arrangement of a piece of music. A composition task may be a response to particular stimuli, a demonstration of a particular style or genre, a composition for a particular occasion, pieces for combinations of instruments and/or voices, or compositions generated by contemporary technologies.
Creative taskAn exploration of concepts or ideas through the production of a creative piece, which may include (but is not limited to) fiction, poetry, script for film or theatre, series of letters, pamphlet or advertisement. A creative task will often be accompanied by an exegesis or reflection.
EssayA piece of structured academic writing in which you present the perspective or position you have formed from your research on and analysis of an issue or topic. You are expected to demonstrate that you can think critically about complex issues, and clearly communicate your ideas and argument, and the conclusions you have reached as a result of your research.
ExegesisA critical explanation of a creative artefact, a body of work, a translation or a performance, justifying your creative of practical choices and techniques, and linking your work to theoretical concepts.
ExerciseA small, low-stakes task used to demonstrate basic understanding of a concept or demonstrate a skill. An exercise is typically used for subjects or disciplines in which there is an objectively correct answer, for example a translation of a sentence in a language unit, or a logic exercise in philosophy.
In-class testA test administered in class time to measure your knowledge or ability to complete a particular task. An in class test may be open- or closed-book.
Literature reviewA summary, synthesis and critical evaluation of the literature relevant to a specific research question or aim. The literature review will identify patterns, consensus, inconsistencies, discrepancies, problems or gaps based on the body of literature.
MultimediaExamples of multimedia assessment include (but are not limited to) a podcast, vodcast, blog post, poster, or infographic. This type of assessment is usually in place of a traditional written response such as an essay. The focus of the multimedia assessment is typically on the communication of the argument, rather than any medium-specific criteria.
Media taskA specific task for media or journalism units that may be written or presented via multimedia. Examples can include press releases, media kit, news report, feature article, explainer video etc.
Online testA time-sensitive test administered online to measure your knowledge or ability to complete a particular task. An online test may be open- or closed-book, and may include quiz questions and/or short answer questions.
Oral test/ assessmentAn oral or spoken assessment of your language speaking and pronunciation skills in language units. This may occur in person or via a recording.
ParticipationEvidence of engagement with learning materials and discussion in class or with online, pre-class learning materials and activities. Online or class participation is typically assessed via specific learning activities, against set assessment criteria.
Peer assessmentYour review and critique of, and feedback on, the work of your peers against set assessment criteria.
PerformanceA demonstration of your performance skills, mastery of your chosen instrument/technique and/or understanding/interpretation of a particular style in music or theatre units. A performance may be assessed individually or in a group, and may be accompanied by an exegesis or reflection.
PitchA clear, concise and convincing summary of a potential project (usually including objectives, a plan, and significance to stakeholders) delivered to stakeholders in order to gain buy-in. A pitch may be presented orally in person or video-recorded video, and is typically part of a group project and/or scaffolded assessment.
Policy briefAn advocacy tool which is typically used to influence change on a broad scale. The policy brief is used to engage and persuade a target audience, usually non-specialist, that your proposed solution to a contemporary issue is practical, credible and necessary to create positive change.
PortfolioA purposeful collection of work that showcases and evidences your learning. The collection can include written essays, blog posts, multimedia and graphics.
PresentationAn oral delivery of an argument or perspective based on research and supported by evidence. A presentation is often delivered by a group, usually accompanied by a slide or media presentation, and sometimes followed by a Q&A session between the presenter and their audience. A presentation may be delivered in person or submitted as a recorded video or narrated slideshow.
QuizA series of questions, usually multiple choice, used to test basic comprehension skills. A quiz is typically a minor assessment.
ReflectionA response to a prompt, such as a question or a reading, in which you critique your own assumptions, behaviour and learning. You may be asked to reflect specifically on your own experience in class, for example in a group project, or reflect more broadly on real-world examples that relate to unit learning material.
ReportAn investigation and analysis of information that will aid decision making and problem solving for a specific audience, presented in a specific format. A report is therefore more problem and action oriented than a traditional essay, and it may comprise sections and headings with each section having a specific purpose. Research is based on academic and non-academic sources.
Research projectA study that investigates a research problem or question by collecting, analysing, interpreting and communicating quantitative and qualitative data.
Research proposalA proposal for a research project. Research proposals should include a summary of the intended research, proposed methodology, timeline and potential impact and significance of the proposed research.
Research taskIntended to assess your research literacy or competency related to research methodology or data collection, rather than the final write up of results and argument. It includes tasks such as data collection and analysis, mapping, feasibility studies and conference proposals.
Scheduled final assessmentA timed and invigilated assessment to test your knowledge, as well as your ability to apply knowledge to new situations, explain ideas and arguments clearly, solve problems, critically evaluate material, and how well you can perform the relevant skills in the time allocated. An exam may be open- or closed-book.
Take home final assessmentA task completed by yourself at home with access to all your subject notes, texts and resources, with a set time for completion.
Translation taskIn language units, students may be asked to translate a written passage from one language into another. Translation tasks may be accompanied by an exegesis, commentary or reflection.
ThesisA large-scale written dissertation in which you extensively research a specific question, using the data collected to justify an argument or position. A successful thesis will typically contain original research and contribute new knowledge to the discipline or field.
OtherAssessment tasks listed as “other” will not fit into any of the above categories. For all details about an assessment task, refer to your unit’s Moodle site.
Supporting resources

Assessment Regime Procedure [University]