Reviewing assessment quality
We should never stop thinking about the quality of our assessment practices. The essentials for assessment design state that assessment at the University of Glasgow must be valid, informative, reliable, realistic and familiar. There are many ways for us to ensure that this is true for our assessment practices, and many of them are part of our normal quality assurance (QA) and enhancement (QE) processes and include moderation, student evaluation, benchmarking and, where appropriate, employer or accrediting body feedback and approval. Locally, within some Schools, staff teams are also engaged in grade profile analysis, broader analysis of assessment results, staff reviews of assessment designs and tasks and audits of practice.
Validity and reliability
An assessment is valid if it provides evidence of the intended purpose of the assessment. Validity is a relative concept in the sense that a question ‘Is the assessment valid?’ is only answerable in terms of ‘valid for what?’ Assessment evidence is reliable if it reflects accurately and consistently what the student achieved, understood or could do. Variability in the assignment of value is thus at a minimum in a reliable measure. A measure of reliability commonly used is agreement between assessors and within assessors.