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8.4 Developing a school assessment policy

Schools develop and implement policies and procedures that:

  • encourage the participation and engagement of students in their learning and assessment
  • enable the provision of valid teaching, learning and assessment.

Schools use the relevant QCAA guidelines, information in this handbook and QCAA syllabuses to develop a school-based assessment policy for Applied, Applied (Essential), General and General (Extension) subjects and Short Courses. They use these to develop and administer assessment. School assessment policies allow schools to cater for their school context while ensuring that approaches across the state are comparable. Assessment policies:

  • provide information to students about expectations for assessment and their responsibilities
  • include guidelines for teachers and information to all staff about expectations and their roles and responsibilities
  • are
    • communicated clearly to teachers, students and parents/carers
    • enacted consistently across all subjects within the school
    • based on information in this handbook and QCAA guidelines and syllabuses
    • reviewed and updated to meet changing contextual factors, e.g. use of AI.

Schools support teachers to ensure that school assessment policies are understood and enacted consistently.

The following table summarises information for schools to consider including in school policies and procedures for staff and students to meet QCAA and school requirements in their school context. It is intended to help schools develop assessment policies. Further information is available via the QCAA Portal Noticeboard — School assessment policy.

Summary of key considerations for school assessment policies
Policy areas Possible content for staff Possible content for students
Engaging in learning and assessment
For more information, see Section 8.2.1: Engaging in learning and assessment
  • strategies to inform students about expectations for engaging in learning and assessment
  • expectations about
    • engaging in learning and assessment
    • ­completing all requirements for achieving a unit and/or subject result, including if changing subjects. This includes completing the required learning outlined in the subject matter of the syllabus and providing responses to all assessment
  • single instruments cannot be repeated. If repeating, a student must repeat all learning and assessment for a unit (Unit 1 and Unit 2) or for a pair of units (Units 3 and 4).
Academic integrity
For more information see Section 8.1: Understanding academic integrity.
  • strategies and /or requirements to:
    • develop shared understanding of academic integrity academic misconduct
    • plan teaching and learning, assessment design and implementation practices to ensure all student work is their own
    • model academic integrity
  • academic integrity and academic misconduct, including, for example,
    • completing the QCAA academic integrity course
    • understanding what it is to ‘submit your own work’
  • strategies for managing academic misconduct, e.g. only work authenticated as your own work will be used to make a judgment
For more information see Section 8.2.3: Scaffolding.
  • scaffolding in assessment that does not lead students to an expected or predetermined answer or response and allows students to independently demonstrate the objectives being assessed
Access arrangements and reasonable adjustments (AARA), including illness and misadventure
For more information see sections 6, 8 and 9.
  • internal processes to consider AARA, including:
    • roles and responsibilities for making decisions, collecting information and required evidence
    • application process
    • implementing principal-reported and QCAA-approved arrangements for assessment
  • purpose of the policy
  • eligibility
  • evidence required, including that assessment must be completed
  • application processes
  • school requirements
Due dates
See Section 8.2.7: Gathering evidence of student achievement.
  • processes to establish due dates for assessments that:
    • align with syllabus requirements
    • provide sufficient working time for students to complete the task
    • consider and avoid clashes when there are known school-approved absences for groups or individuals
    • allow for internal quality assurance processes
    • enable timelines for QCAA quality assurance processes to be met
    • are clear to teachers, students and parents/carers
    • are consistently applied
  • when assessment is due
  • the requirement for the school to adhere to QCAA policies about due dates
  • that work cannot be submitted after the due date and that only work completed prior to the due date will be used to make a judgment
  • if students have a school-approved absence, assessment still needs to be completed by the due date
Authentication strategies
For more information see Section 8.2.8: Authenticating student responses.
  • school strategies which may include:
    • teacher observation and supervision of students completing work
    • requirements for submitting a draft
    • an interview to determine student understanding and authorship of a draft and/or response
  • school requirements which may include:
    • requiring work to be completed in class
    • signing a declaration
    • submitting the draft
    • only work that can be authenticated by the school as your ow, can be used to make a judgment
See Section 8.2.7: Gathering evidence of student achievement.
  • how schools monitor the work of students as part of a developmental process. Note that a draft is a specific type of checkpoint, described separately.
  • how teachers may use checkpoints to:
    • clarify assessment expectations for students, e.g. task requirements
    • discuss progress towards the task completion
    • help students develop strategies to submit assessment by the due date
    • ensure students are creating assessment in the correct mode
    • gather evidence on or before the due date
    • provide points of intervention, if needed
    • embed authentication strategies
  • meeting school requirements such as checkpoints
The draft
For more information see Section 8.2.5: Drafting.
  • providing feedback on one draft student response that maintains the integrity of the assessment and allows students to demonstrate what they know and can do
  • when and how to submit a draft for assessment
  • the type of feedback students may receive
  • how to respond to feedback on the draft
Managing response length
For more information see Section 8.2.6: Managing response length.
  • processes for teachers to develop valid assessment
  • strategies for teaching students to develop and demonstrate the skills required
  • providing students with examples, modelling how to edit and respond to the draft feedback
  • develop and use strategies for responses that exceed word length
  • annotating responses to indicate the strategy used for making judgments about responses that exceed the required length
  • syllabus requirements for length of responses
  • how to respond to feedback about response length
  • techniques for ensuring responses meet requirements for length
  • what strategy the school will use to mark responses that exceed the word length stated in the syllabus, e.g. that written work over that length will not be assessed
Collecting and storing assessment information
See Section 9: Internal assessment — Quality assurance and Section 13.3: Retaining records and student work.
  • internal processes to collect and store assessment information including assessment instruments, student work and results that:
    • includes when, where, who and how this is to happen
    • allows the school to meet requirements of the syllabus and quality assurance processes
    • includes maintaining this information for the required length of time
  • what students need to produce in response to assessment e.g. conditions such as length, file types, etc.
  • how to submit responses to assessment e.g. date, time, location
  • processes for submitting assessment
Internal quality assurance
  • school quality assurance processes that may be conducted within or across learning areas for:
    • assessment instruments before being submitted for endorsement and/or being administered with students
    • judgments about student work contributing to reporting and results, e.g. cross-marking
  • internal processes that may occur before their results are provided, for example, cross-marking
Status of results
for summative internal assessment
  • strategies for providing information about results to students and parents
  • external processes that may occur before results are finalised, e.g.
    • all marks for summative internal assessment for General and General (Extension) subjects are provisional until they are confirmed through the confirmation process
    • results for Applied and Applied (Essential) subjects and Short Courses may be subject to advice from the QCAA quality assurance processes
Appropriate materials
See Section 8.2.2: Appropriate learning experiences and materials.
  • choosing and monitoring the use of texts and stimulus materials in teaching and learning and the production of work by students
  • schools determine the appropriateness of particular topics, texts, materials and areas of study for their students
  • considerations of appropriateness when producing materials
  • the requirement to respond to teacher or school feedback about appropriateness of work produced by the student

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