Type of Powerful Assessment - Reflective



  • A self-reflective exercise in which students have to outline their design philosophy as they would explain it to a client (done in first year and then again at the end of the degree).


Community & social work

  • Use of ePortfolios and reflective journals against a good practice framework when on placement in an NGO.


Counselling in a Christian context

  • Counselling – students are asked to articulate their own world view in first year – how do they know they are an authentic Christian and what has formed them – do they understand where their world view came from – and then how will this influence their practice as a counsellor. This is used for diagnostic assessment as well as summative assessment –the summative assessment is undertaken by a panel (It is noted that this approach may not be scalable to large groups).


Creative industries, Arts & Design

  • Design students are taken to a Community Centre to intentionally meet professionals outside their own area – the focus is on an assignment that looks at the benefits of thinking in an interdisciplinary way. In one version of this task an exhibition and a book have been produced on the collective findings.



  • Reflective practice: students work in groups of 3-4 to respond to a critical incident drawn from real world practice (an unexpected dilemma/challenge actually experienced in the classroom, on a field trip, in a school lab, or in dealing with parents). The dilemma is provided in the form of a video clip or a case file. For assessment, each student then writes up their own diagnosis of what is going on and how best to handle the situation in the light of this diagnosis and what has been learnt in the degree.



  • Ethics embedded assessment – a real world case where the practitioner is faced with an ethical dilemma. The assessment is focused on what you would do, why and how this aligns with key ethical principles of professional practice as an Engineer discussed in class.



  • Reflective journal in an Indigenous health unit of study – two stages – first formative and then summative. The journal is assessed against a clear rubric. The assessment is undertaken with a large group of students with grading carried out by sessional teams coordinated by a sessional team leader who assures calibration and quality.



  • Taking different perspectives when pitching an idea – the aim is show you can read the different motivators of various players and match the right response.



  • Music – first year: students are to contact three well known industry professionals and undertake an interview focused on a set of key questions – including questions about the highlights and lowlights of the interviewee’s career; what aspects of tertiary studies were most beneficial, how s/he managed financial survival, and the key advice they would give to a first year music student – this builds networks and helps show why the course is focusing on the program level outcomes it is emphasizing.


  • In a music degree students each year create and record a series of individual pieces. Then they first self assess and then are evaluated by peers and finally are assessed by the lecturer using the popular music assessment tool - BoPMAT. Students are marked on how valid and justified their self-assessment is along with the peer feedback using 4 clear criteria. This is done online using BoPMAT – Students provide a paragraph of feedback on each track they record. They are admitted to the program by interview. For further details see: http://assessmentinmusic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/The-BoPMAT-1.pdf



  • A first year unit that asks students to research and reflect on nursing as a profession – assessment focuses on the quality of critical reflection and how effectively the student has been able to start the development of an evidence-based professional ePortfolio against the capabilities set down for development in the program.


  • Nursing: a video of a trainee undertaking a procedure under supervision with a critical self review against an agreed rubric and compared with the supervisor’s analysis and suggestions. The video and reflection goes into the student’s portfolio on clinical performance and appraisal.


  • Integrated assessment using video feedback. Entry-level nursing students in an accelerated nursing program complete a video project entitled “putting it all together”, in which they film themselves performing a sterile, dry dressing change on a volunteer patient. The videos are uploaded and shared on a secure server. This assignment allows students to demonstrate their ability to perform a sterile, dry dressing change integrating three distinct components of the course: health assessment, relational skills and psychomotor skills. In addition, students view a classmate’s performance and provide a constructive online peer review. After receiving the peer review, students summarize the learning by completing a short, online self-assessment, in which they reflect on their performance in the various components, how well they were able to combine the skills, and what their key learning was.

(University of Toronto)

Occupational Health and Safety

  • Reflection task using the course content as a framework. At the start of the subject students identify the best aspect of their current practice and an area most needing improvement. They again reflect on this at the end of the program using the key points in the subject as a framework to identify how well they went in addressing their improvement priorities along with emerging areas of good practice and further areas for improvement with a plan on how they will address them.



  • A capstone subject in science on ‘unravelling complexity’ seeks to illuminate the tacit assumptions underpinning a selected, ‘complex’, tricky issue in science by bringing in keynotes from different disciplines to give their view on them. The assignment requires the students to state their considered position on each with reasons, referring to, drawing upon or critiquing the input from the keynote speakers and the key points made in the course.


Sustainable social, cultural, economic and environmental development

  • Students from all disciplines at the University of Kansas, regardless of their subject of study, can pursue a UG sustainability certificate. Completion is acknowledged on a student’s official transcript and allows students in any field to bring a lens of sustainability to their future career.... Requirements of the Sustainability Certificate include completing a selection of interdisciplinary coursework subjects, an experiential learning component and a final reflection. The experiential learning requirement involves participation in 60 hours of service, research or fieldwork with a campus department, community organization or business on a project or effort related to sustainability. The certificate joins six other experiential learning certificates at KU. Further details: http://news.ku.edu/ku-introduces-undergraduate-sustainability-certificate Cited AASHE news 15th jan 2016.



  • Theology – a reflective learning research project – what others say of their experience of God, what the bible and my church says, what my own experience says, what really excites me and then linking of all these sources into an enhanced, clearly articulated and justified personal philosophy.


  • Business ethics and theology – different groups are given a position and they have to argue whether they support it or not. Each group has to discuss their conclusions with the other groups and identify the key points of difference and similarity, along with how convincing others found their argument to be. We reflect on what they have learnt and on the most effective learning approaches, on how to construct an argument, how to manage a project, the progression of argumentation, how to become self-reflective, self-evaluative learners. They then write a reflective report on the whole process.


Transdisciplinary studies

  • Engineering and Accounting: students in groups interview a successful early career performer at work on the capabilities that count and the key challenges they encounter and how they handle them. Students report this to the class and their report is evaluated against an agreed rubric that covers a set of checkpoints on effective practice.