About this session

This session will be composed of short presentations from academic staff who have used policy briefs in their courses for assessment. They will outline why they chose this form of assessment, what learning outcomes it achieves in their course and what to look out for or consider when designing good policy brief assessment. This will be followed by audience Q&A.

Through research essays, students are well practiced in writing extended responses to academic questions, drawing on research in that field. But when it comes to future employment, most employers want short, sharp pieces of writing that can distill key points quickly. This is particularly the case for policy-makers in the public service, who often deal with policy briefs.

Building on discussions with public servants at the State and Commonwealth level, a range of colleagues have developed policy brief assessments that specifically build this skill, preparing our students for possible employment in these contexts. While relevant to future public servants, the skills developed and assessed through policy briefs – short, sharp and punchy forms of research and writing for time-poor end-users – suggest relevance to a wide range of disciplines and courses across the University.


Facilitator: A/Prof Matt McDonald, School of Political Science and International Studies

  • Dr Prudence Brown, School of Political Science and International Studies
  • Dr Melissa Curley, School of Political Science and International Studies
  • Dr Adam Hannah, School of Political Science and International Studies
  • A/Prof Emma Hutchison, School of Political Science and International Studies

Who should attend?

  • Course coordinators
  • Lecturers
  • Learning designers
  • Academic staff.

Benefits of attending

  • Learn what a policy brief is and how it works as a piece of assessment
  • Understand why a policy brief is worth considering as a piece of assessment
  • Discover the learning outcomes students can achieve with a policy brief.

About Teaching and Learning (T&L) Week 2022

Teaching and Learning (T&L) Week celebrates creative and innovative teaching and learning practices designed to enhance student learning.

The theme for 2022 was 'Learning for life' including three sub-themes:

  • Respectful learning
  • Partnered learning
  • Personalised learning.

Recordings and resources from T&L Week 2022 – when available – were uploaded on the Past events resources page (UQ staff login required).


Online (via Zoom)