Designing assessment

When designing assessments, refer to the intranet pages on Assessment & Feedback (Cardiff University login required). There are several principles to bear in mind:

Validity: make sure the assessment actually measures the intended learning outcomes. The assessment should offer students an authentic way of demonstrating what they know (Biggs 2003, cited in Webb and Powis).[1] Try to ensure that the work involved for both the students and the assessor is in proportion to the marks available.

Reliability: the assessment has to be accurate, consistent and repeatable, which means that different markers should be able to arrive independently at the same mark for an individual student’s work. There should also be minimal opportunities for plagiarism. (Module assessments have to be submitted via the University’s Turnitin plagiarism-detection software which can help with this. See the learning technologies section for more information.)

Explicitness: the process should be clear to all involved. This means that learning outcomes, instructions for completing assessments, and the marking schemes which will be used, for example, should all be communicated clearly.


In the next section we look at the different types of assessment.


References for this page

[1] Webb, J. and Powis, C. 2004. Teaching information skills: theory and practice. London: Facet Publishing.