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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Years 9-10
  2. Stage 5 Grading
  3. Practices to support Stage 5 grading
  4. Assessing: each course
  5. Designing assessment activities
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Designing assessment activities

Assessment activities or tasks can provide more useful information for the purposes of making judgements at key points (including assigning grades for the Record of School Achievement) if they provide assessment information across a range of syllabus outcomes within the one activity or task. The Board of Studies supports the use of assessment activities or tasks that cover a range of outcomes.

Designing assessment activities or tasks does require some planning, and the following points summarise the key features of - and considerations for - planning effective assessment activities or tasks.

Areas for assessment have been developed for each course and appear at the top of each set of course performance descriptors. They show manageable groupings of outcomes that summarise the intent of the syllabus. By mapping the areas for assessment to activities or tasks when designing an assessment schedule, teachers can ensure that assessment in relation to all outcomes can occur across the year or stage, in a manageable way. In turn, each assessment activity or task can be linked to one or more of the areas for assessment for a course. In this website, activities or tasks presented for each course show the areas for assessment they are linked to, as well as the outcomes.

Effective assessment activities or tasks:

  • connect naturally with what has been taught and allow students to make their own connections with concepts they have previously learned
  • address a range of outcomes in the one activity or task and are thus time efficient and manageable
  • explicitly describe the expectations and requirements of the activity or task to the learner
  • engage the learner, are worthwhile activities or tasks for student learning, and are relevant to real life situations
  • provide opportunities for all students whilst encouraging higher order thinking, depth of knowledge and understanding
  • can be undertaken using a range of methods or approaches and provide for a variety of ways in which students learn
  • provide for a range of student responses
  • help you determine if students are ready to move on to the next stage in their learning
  • represent ways in which their knowledge, skills and understanding can be applied to new situations.

Improving and refining assessment schedules and individual activities or tasks is an ongoing process. It is usually not necessary to create totally new schedules or individual activities or tasks. Current activities or tasks can be modified to maximise the evidence of student achievement gathered.                                                                                                                        

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