The three core objectives for a successful assessment design are:
- to evaluate whether the intended learning outcomes have been met;
- to measure the student’s performance relative to the cohort; and
- to provide incentives.
These objectives may generate different assessment designs.
The first objective needs only to lead to a “pass or fail” outcome for the assessment.
The second objective, however, needs to to stretch better students (e.g. with advanced questions) to separate out a cohort. Moreover, the relative nature of the grading regime (letter grades depend upon a student’s rank within the cohort) suggest that cohort members should face a common assessment.
The third objective may involve assessment elements that involve no grade variation; e.g. one elective requires attendance and participation. If this requirement is met, then all students obtain the associated credit. This assessment element does not separate the students, and does not verify the satisfactory achievement of the intended learning outcomes; it is there to ensure that students show up.
A minimum of 50% of the total course assessment must be based on individual performance.
Class contribution cannot count towards the minimum individual assessment on core courses. Class contribution may count towards the minimum individual assessment on elective courses.