The Resource Library contains a collection of higher education learning and teaching materials flowing from projects funded by the Commonwealth of Australia including those from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
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Quality assessment: linking assessment tasks and teaching outcomes in the social sciences
The framework is diagrammatically portrayed as a circle with the elements of the previously developed Assessment characteristics as the inner circle and a range of factors identified as Student Support and Significance as the outer circle. The purpose of the framework is to enable academics to have increased support in assessment task design. It is located in a philosophy of social constructivism, which needs to be recognised by those using the framework and while generalisable, it is likely to be of particular interest to those teaching in the social sciences. The instructions on the use of the guide are clear, which allows for easy navigation. Explanations and definitions are given of each of the elements of the model and suggestions for the improvement of tasks provide assistance for those coming to assessment de novo. There may be some scepticism about the characteristic of meta-language but it is a useful debate to have, given that it is more particular to education than some other social sciences. The material on significance also is embedded in the philosophical approach and it provides important material on understanding what students bring to learning and how this intersects with assessment. This, together with the Student Support material, brings strengths to the model which are often not considered by academics but which are vital to ensure authentic learning. Explicit quality criteria, high expectations and student direction articulate those areas of assessment which frequently are not considered by academics, to the frustration of students. The elaborations and suggestions for academics are a real strength of this model. The report provides pro forma and samples which add to the value of the resource.