Learning and Teaching Forum

Assurance of Learning: Designing Standards-based Assessment to Influence Student Behaviour

11 May 2012

The forum introduced standards-based assessment to assure student learning and focused on how standards-based assessment can be used to improve student learning.

Throughout the day attendees learned how the use of standards-based assessment can inform practice in grading student performance. Different technologies and assessment strategies were showcased that can help us improve learning.

Standards-based assessment depends on a set of pre-defined statements outlining different levels or standards of achievement in a program, course, or assessment component, and normally expressed in terms of the stated assessment criteria.  Standards-based assessment involves the awarding of grades to students to reflect the level of performance (or standard) that they have achieved relative to the pre-defined standards.  Students’ grades, therefore, are not determined in relation to the performance of others, nor to a predetermined distribution of grades.


The keynote speaker was Professor Beverley Oliver, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Futures), Deakin University and Australian Learning and Teaching Council National Teaching Fellow. 

Through her National Teaching Fellowship (Assuring Graduate Capabilities), she is engaging curriculum leaders of undergraduate courses from any discipline to: work with their colleagues, industry partners, students and graduates to define course-wide levels of achievement in key capabilities, articulated through standards rubrics; embed the rubrics into student portfolios and course review portfolios; and share the challenges and opportunities of such approaches through scholarly publications.

Her leadership has been recognised with two ALTC Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2008 and 2010). She publishes in a range of teaching and learning areas, including assuring graduate attributes, capabilities and employability; student, graduate and employer evaluation; curriculum renewal, mapping and analytics; and ePortfolios and student ownership and use of emerging devices and Web 2.0 applications. Beverley is the Editor of the Journal of Learning and Teaching for Graduate Employability.


View posters from the Forum here.

Templates and guidelines are available here for presenters to use as a resource to help in the development of future posters.


Video series from the Forum

In these 7 videos, presenters from the forum discuss standards-based assessment, rubrics and ePortfolios.