Designing alternative assessments

Writing questions for online exams: tips on choosing question types & modifying/writing the questions

  • Where’s the best place to start when writing new questions or revising questions?
  • How do I ensure my questions align with higher levels of learning?
  • What’s the difference between closed and open book exams?
  • How do I write questions for open book exams?

Enhance your question writing skills with these tips that include aligning your questions with unit learning outcomes, steps to modify questions to address higher levels of learning, ideas for questions, changing an essay question to a series of short answer questions, a short answer rubric, closed vs open book exams, and a checklist.

View the Writing questions for online exams resource (PDF, 746.67 KB) (opens in a new window)

Reduce Contract Cheating through Smart Assessment Design

  • What is contract cheating?
  • Why do students engage in contract cheating?
  • How can I design a task that reduces students cheating?

This resource defines contract cheating and outlines some of the factors that lead students to cheat. The major focus is on the design of assessment and related activities to provide effective student learning support and make it difficult for students to submit work they didn’t do.

View Reduce Contract Cheating through Smart Assessment Design resource (PDF, 318.74 KB) (opens in a new window)

Writing Marking Schemes (Rubrics)

  • What are the characteristics of a good marking rubric?
  • How do I formulate clear criteria and standards descriptors?
  • What strategies are useful for refining my rubrics?

A rubric is an assessment tool that clearly indicates achievement criteria across all the components of student work. Having a good marking rubric will not only help you (and the teaching team) to mark consistently and effectively, but it will also help to set expectations and guide students’ efforts as well as providing feedback to students. This resource is designed to assist you in reviewing and refining your marking rubrics.

View Writing Marking Schemes (Rubrics) resource (PDF, 364.37 KB) (opens in a new window)

Group work assessment

  • When should I use group work as an assessment?
  • How can I design a fair and reliable group work assessment?
  • How do I mark group work assessment effectively and efficiently?
  • What support do my students need to do assessable group work?

This resource discusses when to use group work as assessment and outlines some tips to design and evaluate group work assessment. It also provides some useful resources related to the advantages and disadvantages of different grading methods.

View the Group work assessment resource (PDF, 284.17 KB) (opens in a new window)

Designing and Assessing Vivas

  • How can I use an oral (viva) assessment to increase authenticity and minimise cheating?
  • How can interactive oral assessments (vivas) be graded?

Vivas, or viva voce assessments, are a format that is becoming more important as it encourages authenticity, provides an important focus for student learning, and acts as a check on academic integrity to counteract contract cheating.  This resource outlines the rationale for using vivas, provides examples with guidelines for designing viva assessments.  It also includes guidelines for marking, with links to useful sources for further information.

View the Designing and Assessing Vivas resource (PDF, 608.83 KB) (opens in a new window)