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Designing quality assessment in senior secondary

What is quality assessment?

Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering, analysing and reflecting on evidence of student learning. This evidence is used to make informed judgments about the achievement or capabilities of individuals and cohorts. It can be gathered at any point in the learning process.

Quality assessment gives students the best possible opportunity to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do. It provides meaningful information about students’ strengths, learning needs and achievements. Quality assessment improves teaching and helps students learn.

But how do I know I am designing quality assessment?

Well, quality assessment is valid, accessible and reliable

Quality assessment is valid

Valid assessment accurately measures what it sets out to measure. It should reflect syllabus requirements and align to what is taught. Validity also considers the extent to which an assessment achieves this, and the extent to which the evidence of student learning collected can be used for the purpose specified by the syllabus.

Valid assessment uses instruments that reflect the knowledge, understanding and skills of the learning area. Authentic contexts invite students to demonstrate the breadth, depth and range of what they know and can do

Quality assessment is accessible

Accessibility ensures that students and groups of students are not disadvantaged in their capacity to access an assessment. Accessible assessment clearly defines what students must do to demonstrate their learning. The layout and visual design minimise distractions, while the language used is clear and unambiguous.

Accessible assessment allows for equal participation. It ensures that requirements are transparent and avoids bias.

Quality assessment is reliable

Reliable assessment produces consistent, dependable and replicable results. Reliability also refers to the extent to which this occurs. Reliable assessment provides accurate and consistent data on student achievement, regardless of who marks the assessment, when it is marked, or what technique is used.

Reliable assessments and marking guides are accurate and precise. When an assessment is repeated, the results agree with previous results. Marks awarded by one marker compare well with those of another. Accurate and consistent use of a marking guide across markers within schools, across schools, and across marking operations ensures reliability.


Quality assessment is valid, accessible and reliable. It allows all students to demonstrate their learning.

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