The Role of Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and plays an important role for both you and your students. It involves designing and implementing appropriate and meaningful measures to assess students' understanding of a subject matter and the skills they require to complete a task.

Through assessments, you will understand how well your students have grasped the knowledge and how effective your teaching has been.

For students, assessment shapes their learning. It gives them cues about what is important and can help them decide how much time they should spend learning something.

Types of Assessment

In applied learning pedagogy, students learn through a hands-on approach with feedback regularly provided to them to help shape their learning. This is known as formative assessment and is ongoing and often informal.

Summative assessment, on the other hand, is more structured and formal. It focuses on measuring students’ overall achievement of the learning outcomes.

Assessment Development

    In criterion-referenced assessment, students are evaluated based on a set of criteria that are explicitly linked to the learning outcomes. For example, if gaining basic research skills is the outcome, the criteria could be the strength of the research question, or the extent and quality of the literature review. It is important that you clearly communicate the assessment criteria to your students when handing out the assessment tasks.


    This is the general anatomy of a rubric.

      Achievement standard 1 Achievement standard 2  Achievement standard 3 
    Criteria 1 Descriptors Descriptors Descriptors
    Criteria 2 Descriptors Descriptors Descriptors
    Criteria 3 Descriptors Descriptors Descriptors

    The number of criteria is variable and can be derived from the learning outcomes. The number of achievement standards can also be variable depending on the grading requirement with headers such as “excellent”, “very good” etc.


    An important feature of SIT’s applied learning framework, authentic assessment involves assessing students based on real-world applications, industry-based problems and work-relevant situations. This represents a significant move away from traditional examination questions where there is a single model answer. Industry partners can provide you with valuable input with designing and conducting such assessments.


    Assessment Analysis

    There must be a match between what is taught and what is assessed. Tests that are too difficult will lead to frustration and deflated scores, while tests that are too easy may lead to a decline in motivation and inflated scores. To gain better visibility into student learning gaps, it is important to analyse test results. There are two ways to do so:

    Test analysis

    Test analysis provides an overview of the cohort’s achievement and is a valuable tool to identify high and low performers for adaptive teaching strategies.

    Item analysis

    Item analysis involves examining the responses to individual questions (items) to evaluate test quality and effectiveness, including whether learning outcomes were achieved. It can help you diagnose why some items did not work especially well, and inform the way you design future assessments.

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