Designing Effective Assessment


4. Reliable


Reliability of assessment refers to the accuracy and precision of measurement; and therefore also its reproducibility. When an assessment provides an accurate and precise measurement of student learning, it will yield the same, consistent result regardless of when the assessment occurs or who does the marking.

There should be compelling evidence to show that results are consistent across markers and across marking occasions. If there is only one marker, there should be evidence to support the claim that marks awarded by that person would be comparable to those awarded by similarly qualified persons elsewhere.

One area which poses particular challenges for assessment reliability and consistency is when the same course is delivered and assessed across multiple campuses. Employing consensus moderation processes will ensure that the standards required of students to achieve a particular mark or grade is consistent and comparable across all campuses. (See Consensus Moderation)

Assessments need to be reliable if the decisions based on the results are to be trusted and defensible.

Reliable assessment will yield consistent results regardless of whom it is marked by or when it is marked.