Policy

Online Assessment Taxonomy

Updated on 22 November 2021

This policy documents the various modes of assessment at the University

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The University of Dundee Assessment Policy for Taught Provision states in section 1.6 that assessment tasks within higher education can take a wide variety of forms, they are commonly understood to serve 3 distinct functions: diagnostic, formative or summative. These are described by the QAA as follows:

  • Diagnostic assessment: Evaluation of how well a learner is prepared for a given programme or unit of study within it, identifying any strengths, gaps in knowledge, or shortfall in necessary understanding and skills.
  • Formative assessment: Feedback on students' performance, designed to help them learn more effectively and find ways to maintain and improve their progress. It does not contribute to the final mark, grade or class of degree awarded to the student.
  • Summative assessment: Formal assessment of students' work, contributing to the final result.

Although these describe quite different functions of assessment, in practice, any assessment task may serve more than one function. For example, the emphasis within much coursework may be formative assessment but it will generally also contribute towards a summative statement of achievement. Likewise, the results of summative assessment can be used in a formative manner to indicate to students how to improve on their current performance.

It is recognised that many different types of assessment are adopted across the University and a wide range of terms are used to label and describe these. Amidst this variety there is a need to be mindful of the associated management and administrative processes and workflows that underpin assessment delivery whilst also ensuring that policies are appropriately applied. Consistency is critical here, for example, applying reasonable adjustments and additional time to students with disabilities. As assessment terminology has proliferated this consistency has at times wavered resulting in a lack of alignment with policy. This has been problematic in some cases leading to student appeals and in turn an internal review which resulted in the development of a University eAssessment Taxonomy.

As the University has transitioned to remote online delivery of assessments this taxonomy has been reviewed and revised to reflect our changing assessment practice. It stands alongside a new policy and procedural guidelines for remote online exams and it seeks to align with terminology used in our QA processes. It also categorises our assessment approaches in an effort to support the efficient use of resources, to help with workflow design and policy alignment. The taxonomy also plays a key role in fostering consistency in the description of assessments in student facing guidance and materials and assessment experience.

The online assessment taxonomy covers both formative and summative assessment types and covers both course work and exams. It also includes in-person exams which are observational such as OSCEs which are typically marked electronically by a tutor on an iPad.

Formative Assessment

Tutor/Computer marked

Example types Quiz
Exercise
Draft report
Homework
Journal
Status Optional
Organisation & timetabling Module team
Set-up, scheduling & management Module team
CTIL assessment team (QMOD)
Access via Teaching module in My Dundee
Timing Will vary depending on the type and purpose of the assessment
Invigilated No
Example platforms (Delivery via) Blackboard tests
Questionmark (QMOD)
YuJa
Möbius
Mentimeter
3rd party publishers
Other digital tools as appropriate
Closed or open assessment Open
Reasonable adjustments No
Primary technical support Module academic/admin
Help4U
CTIL Assessment team (QMOD)
Policy Assessment policy for taught provision
A link to an up-to-date Accessibility Statement is included in all My Dundee modules.
QA Academic review

Summative Assessment: Coursework

Tutor Marked Assessment (TMA)

Example types Assignment
Dissertation
Essay
Fieldwork
Practical
Presentation
Report
Status Compulsory
Organisation & timetabling Module team
Set-up, scheduling & management Module team
Access via Teaching module in My Dundee
Timing Will vary depending on the type and purpose of the assessment
Invigilated No
Example platforms (Submission via) Blackboard assignment
Turnitin
YuJa
Other digital tools as appropriate
Closed or open assessment Open
Reasonable adjustments Yes - as per disability recommendations
Primary technical support Help4U
Policies Assessment policy for taught provision
Disability & related policies
A link to an up-to-date Accessibility Statement is included in all My Dundee modules.
QA Academic review

Computer Marked Assessment (CMA)

Example types Test
Class test
Status Compulsory
Organisation & timetabling Module team
Set-up, scheduling & management Module team
CTIL Assessment team (QMOD)
Access via Teaching module in My Dundee
Timing Will vary depending on the type and purpose of the assessment
Invigilated No
Example platforms (Delivery via) Blackboard Tests
Questionmark (QMOD)
Möbius
3rd party publishers
Closed or open assessment Open
Reasonable adjustments Yes - as per disability recommendations
Primary technical support Help4U
Policies Assessment policy for taught provision
Disability & related policies
Online Assessment Policy & Procedures
A link to an up-to-date Accessibility Statement is included in all My Dundee modules.
QA Academic review
Testing of QMOD assessments created by CTIL

Summative Assessment: Remote online exam

Tutor Marked Assessment (TMA)

Example types Written exam
Status Compulsory
Organisation & timetabling Exams office
Set-up, scheduling & management Module team
Full contact details of named subject matter expert to be detailed in the exam module
Access via Exam module in My Dundee
Timing Duration of assessment window: default 23hrs (8hrs also permitted).
Duration of exam: usually matches the exam window, but should typically take 2 or 3 hours for a student to complete
Invigilated In line with UoD invigilation policy. Remote exams are not proctored.
Example platforms Submission via:
Blackboard assignment
Turnitin
Closed/open Open
Reasonable adjustments Yes - as per disability recommendations
Primary technical support Help4U
Policy Assessment policy for taught provision
Disability & related policies
Online Assessment Policy & Procedures
Regulations for the Conduct of Examinations
Guidance for Invigilators of Examinations
A link to an up-to-date Accessibility Statement is included in all My Dundee modules.
QA Academic review
External examiners review

Computer Marked Assessment (CMA)

Example types MCQ style exam (occasionally includes short answer questions)
Status Compulsory
Organisation & timetabling Exams office
Set-up, scheduling & management Module team
CTIL Assessment team (QMOD)
Full contact details of named subject matter expert to be detailed in the exam module
Access via Exam module in My Dundee
Timing Duration of assessment window: default 23hrs (8hrs also permitted)
Duration of exam: fixed (no longer than 3hrs)
Invigilated In line with UoD invigilation policy. Remote exams are not proctored
Example platforms (Delivery via) Blackboard Tests
Questionmark (QMOD)
Möbius
Other external (e.g. Mastering Physics, PSA, MSAA)
Closed or open assessment Majority open book but some closed
Reasonable adjustments Yes - as per disability recommendations
Primary technical support CTIL Assessment team (QMOD)
Help4U
Policies Assessment policy for taught provision
Disability & related policies
Online Assessment Policy & Procedures
Regulations for the Conduct of ExaminationsGuidance for Invigilators of Examinations
A link to an up-to-date Accessibility Statement is included in all My Dundee modules.
QA Academic review
External examiners review
Testing & sign-off of QMOD exams
National QA – for example: PSA

Summative Assessment: In person exam

Tutor Marked Assessment (TMA)

Example types OSCE
Spot test
Laboratory tests
Status Compulsory
Organisation & timetabling School / module team
Exams office
Set-up, scheduling & management School / module team
Access via 3rd party platform (accessed by examiners e.g. Qpercom)
Timing Will vary depending on the type of assessment
Invigilated In line with UoD invigilation policy
Example platforms (Delivery via) Qpercom
Closed or open assessment Closed
Reasonable adjustments Yes - as per disability recommendations
Primary technical support Module academic/admin
3rd party platform provider
Policies Assessment policy for taught provision
Disability & related policies
Online Assessment Policy & Procedures
Regulations for the Conduct of Examinations
Guidance for Invigilators of Examinations
A link to an up-to-date Accessibility Statement is included in all My Dundee modules.
QA Academic review
External examiners review

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