Criterion 3


Criterion 3 | Assessment and giving feedback to students


Exemplar 1 – Bioassess

The Bioassess website is an excellent source of strategies, tips and examples of good practice in assessment. The website presents a comprehensive picture of assessment practice and learning priorities in the biological sciences and is an excellent source of inspiration regardless of discipline because the principles of assessment embedded are applicable to all disciplines. The resources have been developed through consultation with university staff and students about their experience and approaches that they found effective. For each type of assessment described; different approaches, provision of feedback, issues, strategies and generic skill development is discussed and authentic examples are provided by academic staff from across Australia.

Go to Bioassess

Harris, K-L., Krause, K., Gleeson, D., Peat, M., Taylor, C. & Garnett, R. (2007). Enhancing Assessment in the Biological Sciences: Ideas and resources for university educators. Available from,


Exemplar 2 – Peerwise

PeerWise is an online repository where students can develop and share multiple-choice questions with other users; who answer, evaluate and discuss the questions and suggested answers. Typically courses start with an empty repository that gradually grows as the course progresses. PeerWise enables students to compare their performance and understanding with that of other students studying the same material, and provides instructors with feedback on student understanding. Teachers are able to view the identity of authors and have the ability to delete inappropriate questions, however, in practice, moderation is rarely necessary and minimal staff involvement is required.

Go to Peerwise

Peerwise. (2013). Available from,


Exemplar 3 – Case studies from Griffith University

This directory of case studies demonstrates good practice in assessment across a broad range of disciplines.

View case studies

Good Practices in Assessment; case studies. Available from,


Exemplar 4 – Catherine Sutton-Brady, The University of Sydney

In this teaching award application Catherine demonstrates how her design and execution of assessment tasks is varied, effective and innovative. She provides examples of assessment she has used and explains her scholarly and informed approach to assessment design. She provides evidence to support her claims, including; student survey results, student and peer feedback and the adoption of her ideas by others.

“All innovations in assessment are piloted and rigorously tested through student and peer consultation and feedback. This approach has allowed me to triumphantly overcome issues common in assessment, for example plagiarism is now non-existent in my student’s work… My assessment regime… includes a combination of group and individual methods, oral and written measures and theoretical and applied tasks. I am careful not to over-assess students and prefer to give students a limited number of substantial assessments in scaffolded stages. It is in my experience, consistent with the literature, that using many smaller assessments pushes students into a ‘surface’ mode of learning. It is my belief that if students explore the subject matter in greater depth through a more substantial assessment they develop a better understanding of and competency in the field” “Students report that I provide assessment which allows them to demonstrate what they have understood (4.71 with 100% agreement, Faculty average 70%) and that my teaching helps them to learn effectively (4.33 with 83% agreement compared to the Faculty average of 68%).” “Some of the newer colleagues in the discipline have asked for my advice in designing their units and assessing the students. Two colleagues are utilising with my support, assessment tasks I had previously piloted and successfully introduced”

“Posters were fun and different way of learning, structure was fair, not too much work at once, the interactive class held my interest and I learnt more”, “Assessment was almost fun, it was great that we were in small groups it encouraged everyone to participate”

The University of Sydney. (2013). Recipients of Excellence Awards. Available from,


Criterion 3: Guides to good practice and other resources