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A Festival of Assessment

The Fairfax press devoted some energy last week to the revelation that some students indulge in what might be called ‘contract cheating’ – paying a third party to do assessment tasks for them. Many of you would have suspected that this does happen, and some of you have made me aware of suspicious activity. Indeed, our academic honesty processes have resulted in some students appearing before the discipline committee in such circumstances.

There has been a predictable response – such as calls for a return to compulsory 100% exams.

But we need to make sure the discussion focuses on student learning, and that our assessment tasks are designed to encourage and enable appropriate learning. Shirley Alexander’s piece on authentic assessment has some suggestions.

Coincidentally, there is an upcoming combined planning day for the acronym soup of Senate subcommittees (ASQC, CSFC, SLTC – look them up!) which we’ve called ‘A Festival of Assessment’ – and where we’ll be spending a day discussing a range of issues around assessment. Look forward to an exciting update from your Faculty/Department reps in time for the holiday period – or if you’d like to make a contribution, talk to your Associate Dean, L&T.

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