Guideline Fifteen | Aligned Assessment

15. Effective learning is facilitated by assessment practices and other student learning activities that are designed to support the achievement of desired learning outcomes.

The key is that the components in the teaching system, especially the teaching methods used and the assessment tasks, are aligned to the learning activities assumed in the intended outcomes. The learner is in a sense “trapped”, and finds it difficult to escape without learning what is intended should be learned.
Biggs, J. 2002, Aligning Teaching and Assessment to Curriculum Objectives, LTSN Generic Centre, York, link

Assessment directly contributes to learning both by clarifying what is desirable or required and by closing a feedback loop between students’ learning efforts and their achievements. Telling students what is required will assist them to direct their learning efforts.
Isaacs, G. 2001, Assessment for Learning, The University of Queensland.

Students study more effectively when they know what they are working towards. Students value transparency in they way their knowledge is assessed: they seek a clear relationship between lectures, tutorials, practical classes and subject resources, and what they are expected to demonstrate.
James, R., McInnis, C. & Devlin, M. 2002, Assessing Learning in Australian Universities, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, p. 10. link


Toolkit Guideline 15


Online Resources

Purposes and Principles of Assessment. Chris Rust. Oxford Brookes Centre for Staff and Learning Development link

Assessing Learning in Australian Universities. Centre for the Study of Higher Education. University of Melbourne. link

Aligning teaching for constructing learning. John Biggs. The Higher Education Academy.  link

The Art of Assessing. Phil Race. Deliberations. link