Assessment in Higher Education Online 2014

Home » Topics » Topic 1: What makes a good task?

Topic 1: What makes a good task?


Question: What makes a good choice of assignment task?

  • Can you think of an assignment task that you particularly enjoyed completing during your studies?
  • What kinds of assignment tasks do you most enjoy marking?
  • Which tasks enable your students to best demonstrate their progress?
  • Which tasks help students to develop transferable skills?
  • Do you always have enough time to complete the marking properly?


Task: Analyse an existing assignment task that you are familiar with.

Have a look at an assignment task which you know well, either as a student or as a tutor.

Is it well aligned to the intended learning outcomes? Are you always happy with the submission(s)? Is the teaching of the course planned effectively to prepare the students to complete the assignment task? Is there anything you would do differently?

We have provided a template document to help structure your reflections for those who find that useful, but any format you like is fine.

Post your reflections in the Google+ community here.


Essential Reading:

Rust, C. (2001). “Basic assessment issues and terminology.”    (Link now working, apologies if you clicked on it before Monday 

Biggs, J. (2003). “Aligning teaching for constructing learning.”   from


Useful links or readings

TESTA: Assessment for Learning project – lots of useful tools for those interested in reviewing HE assessment

MMU CELT Assessment pages – introducing the assessment lifecycle.

Boud, D. (1995). Assessment and Learning: contradictory or complementary? Assessment for Learning in Higher Education. P. Knight. London, Kogan Page: 35-48. available at


Document: Assessment Matrix


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