Oral assessment in science and mathematics: how, what, and why?


  • Heather Lonsdale Curtin University
  • Anthony Morphett The University of Melbourne
  • Leon Poladian The University of Sydney


Science educators seek to teach diverse skills, including effective communication and problem-solving skills, many of which cannot easily be assessed in written form or are well suited to non-written assessment forms. This workshop will explore some innovative uses of oral assessment to develop and assess key skills such as communication and problem-solving, aiming to use participants’ experiences to inspire further innovation in assessment practice. It will explore what forms of oral assessment are used by science academics, how it is implemented, and why particular skills or attributes are being assessed or developed. In this “flipped classroom” style workshop, participants will be invited to watch a video beforehand outlining some current practices of oral assessment, including its use to develop and assess problem-solving skills. Participants are encouraged to come to the workshop prepared to discuss the process, marking criteria, and broader purpose for oral assessments.