Developing marking criteria

Developing clear criteria tell the students the elements which the marker values or will prioritise when they assess. They relate or align strongly to the intended learning outcomes for the subject.

Telling students what you value helps them to understand and produce what’s needed but also shares the responsibility for their learning and assessment.

Marking criteria identify what the task is assessing and what students will be graded on.

Aligning criteria to the learning outcomes allows students to clearly see how they are meeting the learning outcomes.

When you develop your marking criteria, you need to check the alignment between the learning outcomes, the task requirements and the criteria.

There are a number of important elements to criterion referenced standards based assessment, and while they are represented here as a series of steps, in practice you often complete these concurrently rather than sequentially. Whatever order you complete them in, you need to consider each section below.

A good place to start when developing criteria and standards, is to review the subject learning outcomes in relation to the assessment task.