Accreditation foundation unit

This unit is designed to:  



Purposes of senior assessment

The purposes of assessment are to:
  • promote, assist and improve learning
  • inform programs of teaching and learning
  • provide information — for students, parents and teachers; for the issuing of certificates of achievement; and for school authorities, school communities, Government. 

Strengthening school-based assessment

Accreditation of reviewers

Structured, professionally-recognised and certified training pathways designed to enhance the capacity of reviewers and teachers to implement assessment and moderation processes.

Endorsement of assessment

A process to ensure that school-devised assessment instruments meet the requirements of the current syllabus, and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate the syllabus objectives and standards before they are used in schools.

Calibration of judgments

A process of fine-tuning reviewer and teacher judgments to support consistent application of standards.

Destination imagination



It is common practice to label assessment as being formative, diagnostic or summative according to the major purpose of the assessment.
  • Formative
    Helps students attain higher levels of performance.
  • Diagnostic
    ‘Diagnoses’ or identifies areas of competence or areas for development.
  • Summative
    Indicates the standards achieved by students at particular points in their schooling, and is geared towards reporting and certification.


Alignment by ‘front-ending’

Critical reflection on the assessment evidence collected before teaching begins will result in productive teaching practice’ (Colbert, Wyatt-Smith and Klenowski, 2012, p. 388).

Alignment is achieved when teachers actively plan assessment at the same time they plan for teaching and learning. This action is referred to as ‘front-ending’ assessment.
‘Front-ending’ assessment emphasises that assessment should not be viewed as an endpoint activity, tacked on the end of a unit.

Using Google Slides



  • There must be a clear alignment between the assessment instrument and the syllabus.
  • I don't need to consider how much time will be required to complete the task successfully.
  • The assessment instrument does not need to allow students to build on prior cognition or skills.
  • Students need to be able to connect what they have learnt with what they have to demonstrate.


High stakes need high reliability

Assessment that is high stakes needs to have high reliability. Darr (2005) notes the following factors affecting reliability:
  • multiple assessments — a student’s result should not be based on a single piece of assessment; a number of assessments will generally lead to higher reliability
  • suitability of questions or tasks — questions that are too hard or too easy will not increase reliability
  • phrasing and terminology of the questions or tasks for the students being assessed
  • training of assessors
  • the clarity of instrument-specific marking guides or criteria sheets
  • the anxiety or readiness of students for assessment.


Validity is a measure of how well the instrument assesses what it intends to assess. Are the inferences I am making based on this assessment, valid for my purpose?

Charles Darr (2005) identifies three aspects of validity:
  • Content considerations — the extent to which assessment represents or samples the learning domain in question.
  • Construct considerations — the extent to which the assessment result can be used to make inferences about particular traits, e.g. analytical skills. What trait is really being assessed by the question or task?
  • Consequential considerations — the extent to which the consequences of using the assessment results to make decisions or inform students of progress are beneficial or detrimental to overall educational goals.

Fill in the blanks

Assessment that is reliable is not necessarily . However, for an assessment to be valid, it  must also be .
Reliability and validity are not  each other in practice. What matters is the way in which they are combined.
Dependable assessment is the highest reliability that can be reached while preserving .

Construct validity

Untitled drag and drop text question

  • Introduction
  • Stimulus
  • Stem
  • Cues
  • Response space

Use your mouse to select the cognitions identified in the syllabus

Language, layout, conditions