CMM Series | Overhauling assessment practices

19th May 2019

CMM article

This article was first published in Campus Morning Mail on 19 May 2019

Burt Baccharat and Hal David gave us their insights into what the world needs now, and it is hard to argue with their response of love, sweet love. However, in addition to love (and maybe some additional funding), the education sector needs a complete overhaul of its assessment practices to drag itself into the modern age. We need everyone to rework their assessments so that students are offered inspiring, meaningful tasks that allow them to show us what they can really do, rather than forcing them to panic and wonder whether they can precisely regurgitate what we already know and what they could easily find on the Internet. I have rarely heard a student exclaim in excitement that they were inspired by an assessment task they were given or that they were asked to do something that truly allowed them to be passionate about putting together a response that had meaning beyond a mark or grade (and some feedback if they were lucky). There are effective ways for students to demonstrate an understanding of basic discipline knowledge, so let’s agree to do this efficiently and with minimum angst for students. Then let’s involve students in helping us design assessment tasks that will inspire them, that will allow them to draw on all their talents and passion, and will allow them to put together potential solutions to real problems or issues. Let’s overhaul assessment and make it the high point of learning and a source of pride for students.


Professor Geoffrey Crisp PFHEA FHERDSA

Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, University of Canberra

2009 ALTC National Teaching Fellow

ALTF 2019 Legacy Report here