Supporting your students
Given the variety of assessment tasks students will complete over the course of their university experience, ensuring they understand the requirements of the task and are well prepared for assessment is necessary. There are several steps you can take to ensure students are well supported before an assessment, and other supports at the university to help them understand the tasks they need to complete during the assessment.
How to support your students
Be specific about the purpose(s) of assessment and why and what you are assessing for students. Ensure assessments and criteria are aligned with learning outcomes and communicate the relationship.
Communicate what success looks like, using exemplars, rubrics, explanations and samples.
Collate assessment information together in one central place and ensure all students know where it is. If individual conversations with students are required to clarify details, make sure this information is shared with the rest of the cohort too.
Allow students to ask questions and discuss the assessment task(s) in a productive and positive manner through guided conversations about rubrics, online forums or assessment drop ins.
Develop assessment literacy in students. Help them to dissect rubrics, grade samples, peer review or discuss performance levels to develop their evaluative judgement.
Structure activities with the intention of engaging students in dialogues relating to performance, standards and concepts of quality. “Understanding criteria and the academic discourse in which they may be embedded is challenging and may require training (Hanrahan & Isaacs, 2001), but this kind of understanding is fundamental to collaborative forms of assessment" (Liu & Carless, 2016 p287).
Offer students choice, if possible, in which tasks they might select to demonstrate learning outcomes.
Invite students to engage in assessment through partnership opportunities.
Reflect on assessment tasks and instructions leading up to and during the marking process and collect information on how to improve for next time.
What resources and services are available to students
Here are a number of resources that you can share with your students to help them better prepare for their assessments.
Share this link with students so that they can book in with a learning adviser to gain personal support on how to prepare for timed assessments.
Share this link so that students can obtain support around academic English usage. This will improve their academic writing to help reduce any unintentional breaches of academic integrity.
The Library’s portal contains some great resources for students to help them with their assessment tasks.
Share this link for counselling services so that students can obtain additional support around a number of issues from managing motivation, coping with stress and/or anxiety, prioritisation and managing perfectionism. This is a free service for Monash students.
Share this link to let students know how to apply for special consideration that may allow them to obtain an extension, create another assessment, or sit a deferred exam.
According to Dylan Wiliam, probably not, and that’s actually not something to worry about. The important thing is to recognise the limitations of assessment, to know that it isn’t reliable and/or valid, and why that is.
Learn more about how to communicate assessment in Moodle, including what elements of the assessment to include.
Watch A/Prof Nick McGuigan (Accounting) and Prof Ros Gleadow (Biology) talk about their unique approaches to assessment design for their units with work-integrated learning experiences.