Student assessment guide

Emma Yench

School of Fashion & Textiles Assessment Guide for students

Please note:

Information contained in this document is for guidance only and may be updated during the academic year. Please refer to your course guide and Canvas for all course assessment requirements. Course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions. Assessment and Assessment Flexibility Policy 

For further information related to assessment and submission of assessment at RMIT University, please refer to: https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/student-essentials/assessment-and-exams/assessment

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Purpose

The purpose of this document is to outline assessment practices and processes in all Fashion and Textiles coursework programs. Quality assessment and feedback is coherently implemented across our programs and courses to support your learning. Our assessment and feedback processes aim to develop learner independence, self-reflection and evaluative judgement.

Learning and assessment activities are designed to ensure you are prepared for the ever-changing global workplace and able to act responsibly in the fashion and textiles industry. This includes our commitment to ensuring all students are well-equipped with an awareness of sustainable practices aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. A diverse range of assessment briefs will provide you with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate discipline specific: cognitive, technical and communication skills through individual and collaborative activities. 

Individual assignments and projects within each course have been aligned to your Program Learning Outcomes (in your Program Guide) and the RMIT graduate attributes listed below:

  • Work ready
  • Global in outlook and competence
  • Environmentally aware and responsible
  • Culturally and socially aware
  • Active and lifelong learner
  • Innovative

Authentic assessment at RMIT

RMIT aspires to provide you with relevant learning and assessment to prepare you to be work ready and effective contributors to the global workforce and community. Authentic assessment connects disciplinary knowledge and skills explored in university learning environments with the realities experienced in the workplace and real world. 

Across each program, assessment activities have been designed to be relevant to future work and community engagement, utilising capabilities and requirements drawn from industry. Your assessments contribute to developing the ability to make judgements that you need for your futures as competent professionals and thoughtful contributors to society.

Fashion & Textiles Assessment Model

The design of assessment tasks are based on the Assessment Model below (see Figure 1). The model focuses on a combination of four key focus areas that directly relate to each of your course’s learning outcomes and progressively build toward achieving your program’s learning outcomes.

  • Knowledge and skills. Assessments focus on discipline specific knowledge and skills both technical and non-technical. Examples include: use of software, studio production, occupational health & safety, academic literacies, teamwork, cultural, social, historical & ecological awareness
  • Process. Assessment focuses on the process of your learning throughout the course. Examples include: self-reflection and reflexive practice through journals, research, creativity, risk taking and self-assessment.
  • Product. Assessments focus on the outcomes of your learning and include: presentations, reports, journals, prototypes, folios, designs.
  • Professional application. Assessment focuses on the “real world” application of the skills and knowledge developed through your learning. Examples include: industry presentations, ethical and sustainable practice, time management and collaboration.

The concentration of each of the focus areas will vary according to the intended learning outcomes for individual projects and for levels of learning through the year and across year levels. Your assessment rubrics will relate to how well you perform in each of the areas. As a guide, early assessment tasks and introductory courses will focus on Skills and Knowledge and Process. As you progress, the focus is likely to shift towards Product and Professional (application of skills and knowledge). 

assessment model
Figure 1. Fashion and Textiles Assessment Model.

Assessment Types

Learning is an active and interactive process. Assessment design is guided by each course’s learning outcomes (CLOs) and contributes towards the overall program’s learning outcomes (PLOs) and Graduate Attributes. Your level of engagement for each assessment task is driven by your individual learning outcomes to create a personalised learning journey. Assessments are either formative or summative:

  • Formative Assessment is predominantly used to provide feedback on your learning progress. Consequently, formative assessment happens during learning and is an integral part of learning and teaching. Formative learning assists teachers to design and construct learning activities based on the group’s progress. Formative assessment can be graded or ungraded and ongoing throughout the semester. Types of formative assessment may include in-class activities, group work, in-class and online class discussion, self-directed study, participation and reflection, self-reflective journals.
  • Summative Assessment has a very different purpose to formative assessment. Summative assessment takes place after the learning has been completed and provides information and feedback (often through a rubric) on how well you have performed against the standards of the intended learning outcomes. Summative assessment evaluates your learning. Types of summative assessment may include projects, portfolios, reports, presentations, performances, student evaluations. Projects and portfolios could also be assessed during various stages of development as formative assessment.

Formative and summative assessment can be assessed in a variety of ways including teacher assessment, peer assessment, self-assessment and group assessment. 

  • Teacher assessment
  • Peer Assessment 
  • Self Assessment 
  • Group Assessment

Your academic teaching staff are actively involved in supporting and providing feedback for all types of assessment throughout the semester to support skill development, knowledge acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.

Rubrics

All graded assessment that contributes 20% or more of the total course mark, will be accompanied by a rubric (RMIT University 2020). A rubric is a marking tool that breaks down a set task into individual assessment criteria and explains how each assessment task is graded. Typically, for each criterion there will be text that describes what performance at different grade levels looks like. It is recommended that you refer to the rubric prior to beginning your assessment to understand what is expected for each task therefore it can be useful both during and after an assignment. Rubrics can help you take a complex assignment and break it into smaller tasks that you can check off prior to submission.

Overall, rubrics provide:

  • a clear set of goalposts for students and ensure assignments are marked consistently and fairly
  • clarity on assessment criteria and levels of performance for each criterion
  • the foundation for feedback and conversation about your learning with your teacher
  • allows you to monitor how you are progressing through the assessment task that is, an opportunity for self-reflection
  • provides guidance to determine the performance level you aim to achieve 
  • supports opportunities for improvement.

Rubric-based feedback often includes additional comments to help you identify any issues specific to your work. Depending on the assessment, the rubrics might include particular focus on a combination of skills and knowledge, learning processes, learning products, professional application of skills and knowledge (as outlined in the F&T assessment model section 3  above). 

Feedback

Your academic teaching staff are commitment to providing ongoing, transparent and supportive assessment to:

  • Show how your performance has been measured against task requirements and course learning outcomes
  • Inform how you can improve your performance.

You can expect staff to provide your marks and feedback on course assessment work with an opportunity to process and apply feedback to future tasks. Some refer to this as “feedforward” to assist to develop your learning in related assessment tasks later in the course.

Feedback and assessment marks on course assessment tasks are provided by your academic staff within 10 working days of the deadline for submission of the assessment work or, if you have been granted an extension, within 10 working days of the date when the student submitted the work (RMIT University 2020)

Lecturers will provide summative feedback via the assessment rubrics in order to evaluate your learning against the assessment criteria and standards. Formative feedback is continuous throughout the course to support ongoing learning. This formative and informal feedback from a range of sources including rubrics, teaching staff, peers and self-reflection. 

In any course, formal and informal feedback is provided to further develop your learning and level of achievement. In addition to individual feedback, your teacher may provide feedback to an entire group or class. This will likely include generic discussions about the collective strengths and/or weaknesses demonstrated in the assessment.

Throughout a course, there are usually opportunities for teachers and students to collaboratively discuss assessments and solutions in class or online. A good thing to remember about discussions is that topics are often prompted by students so if you need some guidance on a particular issue, then a discussion forum is a great place to ask for assistance.

For further reference, see RMIT Feedback mechanisms

Individual consultations, correspondence and staff availability

In the School of Fashion and Textiles, academic staff are often available for informal discussion and/or online correspondence related to your course and your learning progress. Times will vary for teaching staff in each course depending on whether or not the teacher is full-time, part-time or an associate or sessional (casual) lecturer or tutor. Please check staff availability details in the Part B Course Guide and/or your Canvas course site.

For discussions and online correspondence regarding personal issues not related to your learning and assessment progress, please see RMIT University support services: https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/support-and-facilities/student-support

Student Progress and Engagement

During your studies you may receive communication and course updates in a variety of formats, including email, announcements, feedback attached to your assessment submission, audio, video and more. To ensure you don’t miss any important feedback or messages make sure your Canvas notification settings are set according to your personal preferences. 

You are encouraged to attend all classes and other teacher-guided hours to acquire the information needed to successfully complete assignments and projects. You must regularly check your student email account, as this is the primary form of communication at RMIT. All courses require you to access Canvas in order to meet project requirements.

Teaching is conducted within a 12-week academic semester. Assessment due dates may fall during the teaching period and/or following the conclusion of classes, generally from weeks 14-16. The semester end dates will be at the completion of your final assessment period. Assessments cannot be rescheduled for travel plans so you must take note of all assessment dates before booking travel. Your syllabus or teaching schedule can be located on Canvas. If you are struggling to meet project deadlines, please make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your lecturer or year-level coordinator. 

For further reference, see RMIT Student Academic Progress

Assessment resources and support

The resources for all assessment tasks can be found in the weekly support material modules section in the course Canvas shell. Questions related to assessment can be posted on the Course discussion board or emailed to your teacher.

RMIT offers support for your learning and assessment:

Learning Lab: online resources to help you develop skills such as researching, academic writing

Study support: You can find out about academic expectations, receive feedback on your assignments from a Learning Advisor, access learning resources and discuss any study issues.

RMIT Library’s Easy Cite Referencing Tool The Easy Cite referencing tool helps you quote and paraphrase the words of other authors, and write citations in Harvard, APA, AGLC4, Vancouver, IEEE, and Chicago referencing styles

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is about honest presentation of your academic work. It means acknowledging the work of others while developing your own insights, knowledge and ideas.

Assessment submission

For further information related to assessment and submission of assessment at RMIT University, please refer to: https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/student-essentials/assessment-and-exams/assessment

Late assessment information

Consult with your lecturer if there are any exceptional circumstances regarding the handing in of project work by the due date. Depending on your circumstances you may be referred to one of the following RMIT approved extension of time procedures:

  • Extension of time is to be used when applying for an extension of time of seven calendar days or less from the original due date for submission of assignments, projects, or essays. It must be lodged no later than one working day before the original submission due date. This is the simplest process available to you. 
  • Special Consideration is an assessment adjustment for unexpected circumstances that are outside your control, which: have a significant adverse impact on your performance in assessment or prevent you from attempting or submitting the assessment. Your application must be submitted within two working days of your assessment due date. Special consideration based on illness needs to be supported by a medical certificate.
  • Equitable Learning Services (ELS) are dedicated to assisting students with a disability, long-term illness and/or mental health condition and primary carers of individuals with a disability by recommending Reasonable Adjustments (including Equitable Assessment Arrangements e.g., extra time in exams) which aim to provide equitable/inclusive access. Equitable Assessment Arrangements (EAA) is an adjustment or alteration to the standard conditions or format of assessment. It can apply to any formal assessment task or exam described in the course guide. An EAA does not represent a weakening or lowering of the academic standard being assessed.  Students must still meet the inherent requirements of the course and program.

In addition to the RMIT website, the RMIT Student Union (RUSU) provides a great FAQ page that answers some common student concerns regarding applying for extensions of time and special consideration. 

Late submission or presentation of assessable work without an approved extension or special consideration will be penalised as follows:

  • Work submitted 1 to 7 days late  (from the submission date/time indicated in canvas) will incur a penalty of 5% per day on your awarded grade for the assessment task
  • Work submitted after day 7 will not be marked and receive an NN grade (0%)

Weekends and holiday periods are included in the calculation of the late penalty.

Project work handed in after an official extension i.e. extension of time, special consideration, equitable assessment arrangement due date will incur a 5% per day penalty as outlined above. Please consult your lecturer or year level coordinators in a timely manner to address issues that may lead to incurring a late penalty.

Please communicate with your lecturer via email if you are handing work in late and on which date you will submit. 

Student responsibilities

The Student Charter outlines behavioural expectations of RMIT’s staff and students in accordance with the institution’s core values. As a student, it is your responsibility to be fully committed to your own learning, the decisions you take in relation to it, and the challenges involved.

You are encouraged to attend all classes. This will allow your lecturer to provide you with any notes / information to help you catch up. Staff will not be able to cover all content delivered in class and may not be able to meet with you one-on-one to answer your questions. It is therefore up to you to access Canvas and touch base with your peers in order to catch up on what was missed in class.

You must notify your lecturer if you have a long-term illness or taking medication (with side effects) that pose a risk to your health and safety. Please refer to your responsibilities in the RMIT Student Responsibilities Statement and associated RMIT Assessment Policies. If you have an ongoing illness that may affect your ability to attend classes or complete project work you are advised to make an appointment with Equitable Learning Services (ELS). The ELS team will put together an Equitable Learning Plan which contains an equitable assessment arrangement to help manage your studies throughout the academic year.

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