Assessment literacy: Exploring institutional, teacher and student perspectives


  • Nirma Anandi Samarawickrema Monash University
  • Ester Villvanathan Monash University
  • Osuri Manatunga Monash University
  • Klaudia Budzyn Monash University
  • John McInerney Monash University
  • Swati Mujumdar Monash University
  • Maxine Bonham Monash University
  • Christopher Thompson Monash University
  • Elizabeth Davis Monash University


Assessment literacy, evaluative judgement, learning


BACKGROUND Assessment literacy is students’ understanding of the purpose and process of assessment, the ability to judge/evaluate their response to assessments, identify strengths/weaknesses and strategies to improve their work. Engaging students with activities that foster assessment literacy enhances learning potential and ensures development/demonstration of attributes necessary for work and lifelong learning. AIMS Explore to what extent we provide students opportunities to develop assessment literacy. DESIGN AND METHODS We gathered institutional, staff and student data from final-year units in five courses. By developing a tool based on Monash’s Assessment Framework1, we mapped all assessments to identify the extent to which literacies are developed. Through staff interviews we investigated strategies adopted to develop assessment literacy, and surveyed students to explore their perspectives on assessment literacy. RESULTS Our tool effectively mapped assessment types, highlighting range, gaps and areas for improvement. Staff interviews revealed that strategies applied were course-specific, with vocational courses employing more career-focused assessments. Overall, final-year students demonstrated attributes associated with assessment literacy, critical for developing evaluative judgement. CONCLUSIONS Our systematic approach to mapping assessment literacy could potentially be applied to any course in order to ensure that assessments are fit for purpose. 1Monash Assessment Vision:

Author Biographies

Nirma Anandi Samarawickrema, Monash University

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Senior Lecturer

Ester Villvanathan, Monash University

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Osuri Manatunga, Monash University

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Klaudia Budzyn, Monash University


John McInerney, Monash University

Medical Imaging and Radiation Science, Lecturer

Swati Mujumdar, Monash University


Maxine Bonham, Monash University

Nutrition and Dietetics, Associate Professor

Christopher Thompson, Monash University

Chemistry, Associate Professor

Elizabeth Davis, Monash University

Pharmacology, Associate Professor