Thinking about assessments

Reflection questions for assessment design
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Designing effective assessments is crucial for promoting meaningful learning experiences and evaluating students’ knowledge and skills. To assist you, we have curated a collection of reflective questions that can guide the process of assessment design.

By engaging in reflective practice and incorporating these questions into your assessment design process, you can enhance the quality and effectiveness of your assessments, ultimately benefiting both yourself and students.

Learning Outcomes
  1. How do the assessment tasks align with the intended learning outcomes of the course? Do the assessment tasks require students to carry out the action specified in the learning outcome (“Analyse” in learning outcome, “analyse” in assessment task, “evaluate” in learning outcome, “evaluate” in assessment task and so on).
  2. Are the learning outcomes clear, specific, and measurable?
  3. Do the assessment tasks adequately assess students’ mastery of the learning outcomes?
Authenticity and Relevance
  1. Are the assessment tasks authentic and meaningful, reflecting real-world applications of knowledge and skills?
  2. Do the assessment tasks connect to students’ prior knowledge and experiences?
  3. Are the assessment tasks relevant to the discipline or field of study?
Validity and Reliability
  1. Are the assessment tasks designed to measure what they intend to measure?
  2. Do the assessment tasks assess the full range of desired knowledge and skills?
  3. Have multiple measures or methods been considered to ensure reliability and validity?
Fairness and Inclusivity
  1. Have potential biases or barriers to assessment been identified and addressed?
  2. Do the assessment tasks accommodate diverse learning styles, backgrounds, and abilities?
  3. Are the assessment criteria clear, transparent, and applied consistently to all students?
Timeliness and Feedback
  1. Are the assessment tasks designed to provide timely feedback to students?
  2. Do the assessment tasks allow for formative feedback and opportunities for improvement?
  3. How will feedback be provided to students, and in what format?
Engagement and Motivation
  1. Do the assessment tasks promote student engagement and active learning?
  2. Are the assessment tasks designed to stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving skills?
  3. How can the assessment tasks be made more interesting and motivating for students?
Continuous Improvement
  1. How will assessment data be collected, analysed, and used to inform future instruction?
  2. Are there opportunities for faculty collaboration and sharing best practices in assessment design?
  3. How can the assessment design be refined and improved based on feedback and evidence of student learning?


Useful resource for assessment design

In his article, Mathew Hillier shares a link to an activity on Assessment Design – Reflection Questions.

The resource aims to assist you in recognizing and addressing potential risks related to the utilization of generative artificial intelligence tools (GAITs) in assessment completion. It consists of a collection of questions, each specifically targeting a distinct risk factor, enabling you to identify and mitigate these risks effectively.

Here’s the link if you’d like to try this activity yourself.


Further resources


Andrade, H., & Cizek, G. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of formative assessment. Routledge

Biggs, J., Tang, C., & Kennedy, G. (2022). Teaching for quality learning at university (5th ed.). McGraw Hill. – specifically chapter 10 Aligning assessment tasks with intended learning outcomes: principles, chapter 11 Assessing and grading for declarative intended learning outcomes and chapter 12 Assessing and grading for functioning intended learning outcomes.

Department for Education. (2023, March). Generative artificial intelligence in education: Departmental statement.

Hillier, M. (2023, March 3). Assessment tweaks in response to generative artificial intelligence. TECHE.

Joint Council for Qualifications. (2023). AI use in assessment: Protecting the integrity of qualifications. JCQ.

Lee, J. (2023, May 8). Effective assessment practices for a ChatGPT-enabled world. Times Higher Education.

Moon, J. (2009). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. Routledge Farmer.

Morrison McGill, R. (2023, April 21). Generative AI: Using ChatGPT in classrooms. @TeacherToolkit.

Thomas, D., Rundle, O., & Emery, S. (2018). Elaborating a framework for communicating assessment aims in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 44(4), 546-564.

Wiliam, D. (2018). Embedded formative assessment (2nd ed.). Solution Tree.