The Maths Assess Project explores criteria and standards for assessment in mathematical sciences and was presented by A/Prof Cristina Varsavsky at the recent ACDS Tl conference. You can read more about the project at the MathsAssess website.
Here is a short introduction to Developing a shared understanding of criteria and standards for undergraduate mathematics from Cristina Varsavsky (Monash University), Deborah King (University of Melbourne) and Carmel Coady (University of Western Sydney)
What do we look for when we mark the work of our mathematics and statistics students?
How do we communicate this to the students?
How do we develop marking schemes for the tutors who have to do the marking?
This project, funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching, is engaging the mathematics community in a conversation around these questions. Not much has changed in assessment practices in mathematics departments—we need to move away from idiosyncratic marking and grading approaches that favour procedural mastery towards practices that measure the quality of all aspects of student work against external anchors ensuring comparability of standards within and across mathematics departments.
The project aims to stimulate discussion amongst those responsible for mathematics assessment, and develop agreed definitions of mathematics assessment criteria and standards expressed in terms of rubrics, together with exemplars that demonstrate how judgements are made in the marking process.
The resulting resources will provide a reference framework and toolkit to support tertiary educators in the development of quality assessment standards and criteria. As a consequence, feedback and communication of expectations to students will be greatly enhanced, which in turn will nurture students’ self-evaluation capabilities and enhance learning.