Student Assessment and Feedback

The University of Melbourne Assessment Policy provides guidance on ways to evaluate students and provide feedback to them.

The University of Melbourne Assessment Policy states that ‘Assessment and grading in subjects must be criterion-referenced and aligned to specific subject learning outcomes', including the graduate attributes and the generic skills they encompass'.

The use of criterion referencing for assessment shifts the focus of assessment and grading away from simply testing and ranking students to using assessment as a teaching and learning method. In criterion-referenced assessment, students are assessed on whether they meet specifically set criteria; such as analysis, evaluation and critique. They are usually set out in assessment criteria, which include the explicit articulation of the criteria that explain what is required to pass or achieve specific grades. In order for students to meet the set criteria they need to know and learn how to achieve the learning outcomes

It is similarly important to focus on providing students with positive comments and comments on how to do things differently in the future in a constructive manner.

The University of Melbourne Assessment Policy states that:

  • Students are entitled to, and should expect to receive feedback
  • Written feedback should indicate to students how they have performed against assessment criteria and indicate how a student can improve their performance, ideally indicating what specifically should be done to achieve outstanding and/or improved results.

Students must be provided with positive comments and comments on how to do things differently in the future in a constructive manner. Feedback should:

  • Include comments about the student’s work and provide them with an indication of the relative quality of their work.
  • Explain what was done well, and/or not well, often in reference to the Assessment Criteria and any other articulated expectations.
  • Be constructive and provide helpful guidelines for a better performance next time.