Anatomy And Physiology Online Courses - Assessment Principles Policy

Assessment Principles set out the key aspects of assessment practice that should be reflected in all assessment practice and procedures. They help explain why we have assessments and guide our approach to assessment matters. 

The following list represents a set of principles for good practice in assessment. 

Assessment should be an integral part of the curriculum 

The design of the assessment should not be separated from the design of the overall curriculum, which comprises aims, learning outcomes, teaching, learning and assessment activities and which is described in programme specifications. Therefore assessment strategies for individual modules should not be decided in isolation from other modules that make up the rest of the course, or that build incrementally module by module. Assessment tasks should relate to the learning outcomes of the module/level/programme.

Assessment should be an integral part of the learners’ approach to learning 

Learners’ approaches to learning can both influence and inform assessment practices. 

Therefore, assessment methods should be chosen so that they encourage a deep, rather than a surface approach to learning and assist the student in identifying appropriate priorities in learning. Wherever possible, learners’ approach to learning should help to inform assessment design. 

The purpose of assessment should be clearly understood by the team and learners 

There are a variety of purposes of assessment, e.g. to monitor learning, to assess competence, to provide a context for learning, and to provide feedback to the team and learners. In deciding on the methods and timing of assessment for a module/course, it is necessary to clarify the purpose(s) for which the assessment is required, and consider the extent to which the method of assessment is fit for such purpose(s). 

Learners should be prepared for the assessment tasks they face. Dates and frameworks will be published in advance of the assessment taking place, and mock questions be made available so that learners know what is expected of them. Such assessment literacy increases student confidence in approaching assessment tasks and improves performance.

Assessment should be valid 

To be valid, assessment tasks should be designed to ensure that they assess the learning outcomes. Where a module entails multiple learning outcomes, it may be necessary to design different assessment tasks to ensure that all outcomes are appropriately assessed. 

Assessment should be reliable 

Assessment Principles: In assessment, consistent standards of tutor assessment and fairness are important goals to aim for. Both are more likely to be achieved if clear guidance, explicit assessment criteria and marking schemes are given to the team and learners alike. 

Criteria for assessment should be transparent 

Criteria for assessment should be as clear as possible to tutors, examiners and learners to ensure equity, validity and reliability. Assessment criteria should be published and provided to all learners, markers and examiners, including external examiners.

Assessment should be incremental and sufficiently demanding 

Assessment tasks need to build on what was expected in independent study. Assessment tasks should be designed to challenge learners considered capable of undertaking a module/programme to demonstrate the best level of attainment of which they are capable. 

Assessment should be redeemable 

All learners are permitted repeat opportunities during their programme. This may help to avoid high drop-out or failure rates. It is recognised that the number of these may be limited by specific Professional/accreditor requirements. 

The form of a repeat or referral may differ from the original assessment and it may be that multiple elements of the original assessment may be replaced where the learning outcomes can be assessed by a single form of assessment in referral or external repeat. 

Assessment should be efficient 

Systems of assessment should be managed so as to use academic and support team time and resources in appropriate ways. However, efficiency in assessment should not override the preceding principles. In cases where there are trade-offs (losing reliability because of practicality issues for example) then these must be made explicit. 

Assessment should be inclusive 

Assessment tasks (including for referral assessments) should be selected with an awareness that different methods may be appropriate for different learning styles – therefore a variety of methods should be used to ensure that particular learners are not disadvantaged. 

A range of possible variations of assessment methods may be of recommendation for learners with disabilities/specific learning difficulties. 

Student assessment workload should be appropriate 

The School is expected to publish details of what is expected of learners. In arriving at an appropriate workload Schools should take account of the following suggestions: 

Assessment spread throughout the course framework so as to minimise bunching. Several tasks can be set and assessed within an independent framework to help ensure that tasks do not all come at the module end. 

Assess a little rather than a lot: focus on exactly what needs to be assessed and design tasks that measure this primarily. Don’t measure the same things repeatedly. 

In designing a curriculum, the team will ensure they are making sufficient and appropriate demands so that learners are able to demonstrate the highest levels of attainment; this will be reflected in student workload requirements. 

Principles and definitions of assessment

The assessment principles set out the key aspects of assessment practice that should be reflected in all assessment practice and procedures.

Assessment Descriptors

The assessment descriptors we have selected to use are:

  • Knowledge/content
  • Technical and practical competence
  • Critical analysis
  • Organisation and communication
  • Presentation
  • Citation and referencing

Information for Learners on Assessment 

At the beginning of their programme of study, individual learners are provided with the assessment regulations for the programme and also the general regulations, including those governing academic integrity, special considerations (including deadline extension requests) and appeals. Found within the Terms & Conditions.

Information is presented in clear language which enables all learners to understand what is expected of them within an independent learning framework. Information should also be made available about the range of support services available.

Each student is given, at the beginning of each course, the details of the assessment method, including coursework and/or examination requirements, and the criteria by which work will be assessed. 

Learners are given information on how and when they will receive feedback on their assessments.

Issues relating to academic writing skills, including how to avoid breaches of academic integrity, and how to use references appropriately to the discipline, are explained. It is explained to learners that material downloaded from the Internet must be attributed in the normal way. 

Please click here for our T’s and C’s

The application of this policy will be reviewed annually by the Principal.

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