Multi-domain Assessment Tasks

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

A process for teachers to develop multi domain assessment tasks based on sound design principles and guidelines is provided. The sample tasks were developed by teachers for teachers. This resource focuses on the process of designing quality multi domain assessment tasks.

Principles for quality task design

The principles build on the background material provided in Module 2: Assessment OF Learning from the Assessment Professional Learning Modules. They represent a set of key characteristics for good task design and were used by the teachers who designed the sample tasks.

The seven principles for quality task design are:

  1. Relevance
  2. Explicitness
  3. Validity
  4. Reliability and consistency
  5. Practicality
  6. Fairness
  7. Formative aspects.


1. Relevance

The assessment task and criteria must have relevance to the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and students’ diverse needs, backgrounds, perspectives, interests, achievements and ways of learning.

2. Explicitness
The characteristics of the assessment task and the conditions under which it is carried out must be explicit. This will involve specifying the:

  • purpose of the task regarding assessment FOR, AS and OF learning
  • scope of the task: which dimensions and domains?
  • nature of the activity: what exactly the students are expected to do?
  • structure: a group task or an individual task
  • task conditions: time available including instructions, at school or at home
  • mode of response: oral, written, or other
  • resources required
  • criteria to be used in making judgments about student performance to ensure validity and reliability of judgments.

3. Validity
The structure and design of the assessment task and the conditions under which it is performed, must allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement in relation to the specified standard(s). In doing so, the task and assessment criteria will generate valid information about student progress.

The elements of the task must be reflected in the assessment criteria. A rubric can be used to record teacher judgement. This will ensure that judgments made about performance are valid indicators of student ability against the standard(s).

4. Reliability and consistency
Teachers make consistent judgments by clearly specifying the task characteristics, performance conditions and the expected outcomes (see Principle 2).

5. Practicality
The design of the task should take account of the availability of resources such as:

  • access to IT
  • availability of equipment (e.g. video or computer)
  • library or sporting facilities
  • the number of students in the class
  • available time.

6. Fairness
The task should be as fair as possible to all students, taking care that:

  • all students are adequately prepared
  • the features of the task do not favour or discriminate against students of different genders, ethnicities, language backgrounds or different learning styles.

7. Formative aspects
The task should be embedded in the teaching cycle. Even though the primary focus of the task is assessment OF learning, the task should yield rich feedback for teachers and students to be used in future learning (assessment FOR learning and assessment AS learning).

Design guidelines

The design guidelines provide a step-by-step process for teachers designing multi domain assessment tasks. They incorporate seven design key principles and form the basis for the design questions teachers used to develop the sample tasks.

  • What is the purpose of the assessment?
  • Which domains, dimensions and standards at which level(s) did the teaching and learning program focus on?
  • Which domains, dimensions, standards and levels will this assessment task focus on?
  • What specific knowledge, skills and behaviours will this task focus on?
  • What will be the key features of the task?
  • What key features of student performance am I expecting to see? What evidence am I looking for?

Review the task and rubric(s) against the domains and dimensions, and the underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours you identified as the focus for the task. Make sure that:

  • the task and rubric(s) align with, and will generate, rich and meaningful information about student achievement in relation to the relevant standards and progression points
  • the task and rubric(s) will provide all students in the group with the opportunity to show achievement
  • the task, rubric(s) and any other documentation are as clear and fair as possible to all students.

Teacher acknowledgement

The following teachers contributed assessment tasks that they developed and implemented within their schools. These formed the basis for the sample tasks.

Debra Armstrong and Jocelyn Watts, Research PS
Lesley Hodgson, Mill Park Heights PS
Cheryl Holdsworth, Vermont PS
Susanne Lowe, Syndal South PS
Rob Nelson, Bannockburn PS
Pam Rawson, Wales St PS
Nicole Richards, Williamstown PS
Margo Sheean, Thomastown West PS
Jane Stewart, DoE Central Office
Foot, Tam, Richmond West PS
Kim Van Den Berghe, BSW Regional Office
Anna Dansie, Strathmore SC
Janette Ellis, Cluster Educator, Viewbank SC
Karen Green, Education consultant
Patrick Kennedy, St Helena SC
Leonie King, Cluster Educator, Mount Eliza SC
Joanne Lockwood, Viewbank SC
Meredith Maher, Mullauna College
Kylie Price, Glen Waverley SC
Margaret Stone, Doncaster SC
Margaret Uren, Ferntree Gully College
Kim Van Den Berghe, BSW Regional Office
Paulene Webster, Victorian School of Languages
John Whitford, Cluster Educator, Mill Park SC
Wayne Youngs, Parkdale SC

Summary of sample tasks

New tasks

Standards

Measuring the width of a roadLevels 3-6 Mathematics, Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning
Ancient GreeceLevel 5 History, Interpersonal Development

Tasks

Standards

Work in the communityLevel 4 Economics, Interpersonal Development, Communication
Healthy lifestyles posterLevel 4 LOTE, Thinking Processes
Moving toyLevel 5 Design Creativity and Technology, Thinking Processes
The Story of MeLevel 5 English, Thinking Processes
Antarctica explorationLevel 5 Geography, Thinking Processes
Understanding weatherLevel 5 Maths, Thinking Processes
Toy with electrical circuitLevel 5 Science, Thinking Processes, Communication
Magazine interviewLevel 6 English, Thinking Processes
Mind and body population and HIV/AIDSLevel 6 Geography, Interpersonal Development, Thinking Processes
Reckless earthLevel 6 Geography, Personal Learning