Glossary - QUASAR

The process of ascribing value to the outcome of any work that a student undertakes whilst engaged in a course of studies.

Includes, but are not limited to: essays, tests, examinations, laboratory, clinical or field practicum, projects, compilations, productions, presentations, performances, web-based discussion
(adapted from sources from University of Western Sydney).

The name of the Curriculum Design, Accreditation and Publication (CDAP) project. It aims to deliver flexible workflows and curriculum management processes that look and operate consistently.

refers to all students correctly enrolled at a certain campus and mode of study. For example Bathurst Internal (BI).

The process of constructive alignment ensures that subject learning outcomes, assessment tasks and student learning activities all align together (Biggs, 2003).

Specific performance attributes or characteristics that the assessor takes into account when making a judgment about the student response to the different elements of the assessment task.

Criterion referenced assessment measures a student’s performance against previously specified criteria. Marks or grades are assigned based on the standard that the student has achieved on a criteria. At Charles Sturt the assessment criteria are linked to the one or more learning outcomes of a subject.

Making explicit which criteria and related standards apply to an assessment task enables the staff member to clearly communicate and the student to better understand what is required from the assessment task and how it relates to the learning outcomes of the subject.

At Charles Sturt, assessment is not norm-referenced.

A single assessment task is formative when it provides feedback to students on how their work can be improved. In this way, the intent is to help students to monitor and reflect on their learning progress and determine where improvements can be made.

In 2011, Academic Senate decided that the term Learning Objectives will be replaced by Learning Outcomes. As of 201430, all systems have been updated to reflect this change. Learning objectives typically describe what an academic plans to teach, it indicates to the student what the academic will focus on throughout the subject, with the idea that students should attain this knowledge. Learning outcomes are a set of knowledge, skills and attributes that we expect a student will be able to demonstrate after completing a subject. Outcomes differ to objectives in that they are more student-focused – stating what a student will know after successfully completing a subject, rather than describing what the student can expect from the academic. (which is more teaching-focused). If your subject previously used learning objectives, these may require some rewording to make them outcomes. Within Subject Outlines, the pre-set text says: “On successful completion of this subject, students will”.

The process of reviewing subject assessment tasks and learning materials to achieve appropriateness and constructive alignment with learning outcomes. It is also the process of reviewing and checking the marking and grading of individual assessors to achieve consistency in the application of subject learning outcomes, performance standards and marking criteria. At Charles Sturt, moderation in this broader sense includes the quality assurance of subject outlines (and learning materials) at the start of session (in the Subject Outline Tool); checking marks and grades during and at the end of subject (in the Moderation & Grades section of QUASAR); and reflecting on the quality of the subject and making iterative improvements to improve quality (in the Reflection & Planning section of QUASAR).

A person tasked with moderating a subject, its assessment tasks, learning materials and the consistency of marking. Moderators will be experienced staff, with appropriate skills, and may be people who are not currently employed as staff of the University or are otherwise independent of the teaching team responsible for the subject. At Charles Sturt, moderators are appointed by the Head of School or nominee.

Awarding marks and grades by reference to the performance of other students in the cohort, according to a prescribed distribution of grades. Norm referencing is not used at Charles Sturt.

Originally referred to headings or sections within a text that were printed in red to ensure they stood out (Oxford Dictionaries online, 2013). More commonly today within education, it is used to indicate a marking scheme, containing criteria and standards of performance that are linked to learning outcomes. Also referred to as a marking grid, marking guide, marking matrix or marking sheet.

Statements describing the level of the quality of student performance in relation to the stated criteria in an assessment task. In standards-based assessment, specific criteria are established and standards (which are specified levels of the qualities of performance) are developed for those criteria for each assessment task. A student’s achievement (and marks awarded) can then be assessed by reference to their standards of performance in various aspects of the assessment task. In this way, comparisons can be made between students based on their achievement of the standards. To achieve this, staff will need to identify and articulate clearly the different levels of performance that are connected to the grade and communicate those standards to students and other staff.

Assessment is summative when it forms part of the final grade in a subject. The student’s work is assessed in terms of pre-determined standards so that it can be classified in terms of levels of achievement (grades).

The outcome accurately reflects the value of the work.