Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University



Non-compliant if left null.

This is a critical part of the Subject Outline, where you explain what is required of the student. You should aim to have all the details in the Subject Outline because it is important for students to be able to make decisions on their ability to complete the tasks in the subject when they first enrol. Here are a number of important details that you should consider putting in the task description:

  • Ensure that your opening sentences clearly outline what the students will have to produce as an end result, then describe what and how they have to produce it. This, in combination with a descriptive title, goes a long way towards clear communication for students.
  • Make sure that your language is clear and concise and that you address the student directly. Please reflect on your clarity of expression, and maybe have a colleague, an Assessment and Quality Leader or an Educational Designer read through it to give you feedback on how clearly you have described the task. Ensure that you use the correct terminology for the task. For example, do not say essay if what you require is a report. You might like to use the following documents to ensure that you are using the correct terminology for your task. These links can also be provided to students to ensure a shared understanding.
    Comparing assessment tasks (pdf)
    Common instruction words (pdf)
  • Explain in detail what the students need to do and think about in the assessment. For first year subjects in particular, it is useful to provide scaffolding as to what you require. This may take the form of headings, with explanations of each section. Provide any relevant supporting materials students may need to complete this task. There are many resources available at If you require something more specific that doesn’t exist, talk to the Academic skills Team about developing something that will meet your needs.
  • If you have particular requirements in relation to content and structure, please explain these. For example, a business report will differ to a scientific report in the preferred use of Appendices. If the task has separate sections, indicate how many words are expected in each section.
  • Include the referencing requirements for the task, or if referencing is not required it is still useful to say so. You may like to include your expectations on the sources of information that are appropriate (e.g. text books, or peer-reviewed scientific literature) as well as some guide as to the number of references to include. You will need to clearly state the style of referencing that students should adhere to (e.g. APA 6th or a discipline specific style). You may also provide a link to the referencing guide. Alternatively, use either the Presentation or Requirements section of an Assessment Item to state the required referencing style and link to the detail of the method on the i2 subject site or other online source.
    For example: APA referencing style (pdf)
  • Any variable dates should be detailed here or within another appropriate section within the Assessment Item.

Special Characters

The editor provides ChemType and MathType options. Latex can be pasted directly into the editor.

In cases where it is not possible or practicable to provide assessment task details within the assessment section of the Subject Outline Tool (e.g. when statistical or other symbols cannot be reliably presented by the editor or an image), it has been agreed that assessment task details can be provided in a PDF document stored in the Resources tool of the relevant CSU Interact subject site. This is conditional upon a direct hyperlink being provided to that resource, and the necessary information about tasks such as due date, task value, task type, a description of the task, etc being provided in the Subject Outline Tool (SOT) as these are needed for EASTS and Gradebook, and to meet current policy. This option could also be suitable for other items not suited to publishing via the SOT. This is not to be considered a way to avoid using the SOT as mandatory items must remain in the Subject Outline.

QA Declaration

A QA Declaration must be made by an Author and QAO on the Task section of each Assessment Item.

Learn more:
Making Declarations
Cloned QA Declarations