Assessment Guide

The WSU Assessment Policy reflects the University’s responsibility to support student success and facilitate student learning through application of contemporary practice. In addition to the requirements associated with certification, assessment can be designed to encourage learning and guide students to higher levels of achievement. The policy includes provisions that reflect current research and practice on the role of assessment in promoting student learning. This guide details the application of these provisions to designing best practice assessment methods that can engage students in ways that support and enhance learning.

The purpose of assessment at WSU includes:

Assessment of Learning
This is the traditional role of assessment – to provide evidence of achievement of learning outcomes and to certify performance capability.

Assessment for Learning
This includes setting meaningful assessment tasks that engage students in learning the most important knowledge and skills for the subject. Assessment for learning privileges learning as a purpose of assessment.

The Assessment Guide aims to develop:

Assessment Literacy
This can be considered for staff and for students. Assessment literacy for staff is defined as knowledge about how to assess what students know and can do, interpret the results of these assessments, and apply these results to improve student learning and program effectiveness. For students, assessment literacy includes knowledge of the subject assessment function and process. More importantly, it involves the student becoming a confident self-evaluator of their own work, based on constructive feedback from earlier assessment tasks.

These purposes are fundamental to WSU Assessment Policy, and are elaborated in this Assessment Guide.

The principles below illustrate approaches to assessment that were incorporated into the revised assessment policy.


Alignment refers to intentionally linking the performance specified in the subject learning outcomes, the opportunity to learn and practice this performance during the teaching/learning activities, and assessment tasks that verify whether the student has achieved the specified performance.


Many beginning students at WSU do not fit the traditional model of the well-prepared school leaver, and may experience difficulties in the transition to university study. As assessment and feedback are major issues for students the first experience of assessment can be confusing, leading to high levels of anxiety.


Students can be engaged with assessment and improvement in performance by innovative uses of feedback on assessment tasks to provide guidance on future learning.


One way of encouraging student engagement and intrinsic motivation is to introduce authentic assessment as part of a subject. Authentic assessment refers to assessment tasks that are authentic to a real world application of the subject content.

Quality Assured

Assessment quality can have a major impact on students, as it is assessment that defines the subject from the student’s perspective. Unfortunate experiences of assessment can be reflected in poor SFUs for a subject.

Designed for Integrity

Smart assessment design supports academic integrity and student engagement and can minimise cheating

What’s New?

The new assessment policy incorporates some aspects that differ from past expectations. Below we highlight aspects of how we do assessment now: