Assessment at UQ is based on the following principles:

  • a developmental learning activity for students
  • a mutual responsibility between teachers and students
  • criterion-referenced, i.e. student performance is judged by reference to explicit or predetermined criteria and standards rather than the achievement of other students
  • transparent, so students can see that the assessment tasks align with the learning objectives and marking criteria
  • valid, by meeting the intended learning outcomes, and providing a consistent and reliable indication of the quality of the student's performance
  • fair and equitable
  • a purposeful and professional activity
  • sustainable and workable for both teachers and students.

Further information on UQ’s assessment policies and procedures can be found in the Policies and Procedures Library, 3.10.02 Assessment.

Also check with your school Academic Administrator, Director of Teaching and Learning, or Teaching and Learning Chair for more information related to assessment procedures.

Designing assessment and rubrics

The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation facilitates Designing Assessment workshops each semester through the UQ Staff Development: teaching, learning and assessment stream.

ITaLI also coordinates the Teaching@UQ program for academics new to teaching at UQ, which contains information about assessment.

Researchers from UQ’s School of Social Science have developed a useful assessment database for the University community.


A rubric is a table that identifies criteria and standards for an assessment task. They may also be called a Marking Schema or RCA. The UQ eLearning website provides information on, and practical guidelines for designing rubrics.

More information

Further reading

Marking and grading

UQ's grading system can be found in the Teaching and Learning Policies and Procedure Library under Curricula and Assessment: Grading System. Section 6 lists descriptors of each grade category from 1 to 7.

Finalising marks and grades

Your School Academic Administrator will send out an email to Course Coordinators approximately a month before grade finalisation with specific instructions on how to do this.

This generally includes the submission by Course Coordinators of:

  • mySI-net class lists that require you to fill in students' final grades.
  • A complete spreadsheet, in Excel format, with marks/grades for each piece of assessment, total marks, and final grade. This may be generated from Blackboard eLearning sites or your own Excel sheet.

If you require an extension on your grade submission, contact your School Academic Administrator.

Note: Some schools have specific processes for grading and marking. Check with your School Academic Administrator and School Director of Teaching and Learning/Teaching and Learning Chair.

Releasing marks and grades to students

Students access their final grades for the semester on a University-wide date via their mySI-net portal.

Marks on individual pieces of assessment and final grades can also be made available to students via the course eLearning Blackboard site in Mark Centre. There are options on Blackboard to control the release of both individual assessment grades and final grades to students on the site.

Note: It is usually the policy of the school to ask Course Coordinators to withhold the release of final grades on the Blackboard site until the release of mySI-net grades.

Examination procedures and preparation

Examinations are administered either centrally or through a school. See Policies and Procedures Library, 3.10.11 Examinations.

The Examinations Section provides centralised services and support on the conduct of examinations.

The Examinations Section is responsible for:

  • preparation of examination timetables
  • processing question papers for centrally-administered examinations
  • making alternative examination arrangements for eligible students
  • accommodating students who are approved to sit their examinations overseas.

Mid-semester examinations are school-based examinations administered by the relevant school. In most instances, mid-semester examinations are held within class times scheduled for the course (see UQ Examination Procedures Section 5).

End of semester written examinations should be set as central examinations and administered by the Examinations Section. However, examinations with a practical component, for example lab work or examinations where students require access to computers, should be school-based.

Regardless of whether central or school-based, all end of semester examinations are timetabled by the Examinations Section to avoid timetable clashes.

Your School Academic Administrator will email you during the semester with information and timetables on centrally administered examinations.

See Academic Services Division: Examinations and UQ Examinations Staff Web Portal for examination information.

More information


It is the responsibility of the Course Coordinator to moderate marks/grades across a course.

Moderation is ‘a process for developing consistency or comparability of assessment judgements and applies in a range of assessment contexts.’ (PPL 3.10.02)

UQ PPL Assessment Procedures 4.5.2 stipulates that moderation is an important part of quality assurance.

The minimum requirement is that moderation is conducted with reference to criteria and standards to ensure consistency of judgements about the work of:

  • students within a course/group
  • students in different classes/groups within a single course
  • students whose work has been peer-assessed or self-assessed within a course.

More information


The provision of feedback is outlined in the Teaching and Learning Policies and Procedure Library under Assessment Procedures: Provision of Feedback. In general, the provision of feedback depends on assessment submission procedures.

Feedback on printed/paper submissions is usually provided via a criteria sheet and/or mark-up, with comments put directly on the paper. The marked paper is collected from the school office or returned directly to students in class.

eLearning submissions of assessment via the course Blackboard site using TurnItIn or the Assignment Tool have various options for the provision of online feedback.

In TurnItIn, the online marking function allows you to annotate student assignments (PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and image files only), give feedback using a rubric (all file types), and return marked assignments to students electronically. You can also use this tool to give feedback on assignments that do not require a file submission, such as oral presentations. The students' marks are also automatically transferred to the Grade Centre in Blackboard.

The peer assessment tool allows students to review other students' work to gain an understanding of other perspectives, and to improve their critical evaluation skills.

More information

Self and peer assessment

Students can make judgements and provide feedback about their own or peers' assessment items. Peer and self-assessment can help students develop evaluation and feedback skills, supporting more autonomous learning through developing learning strategies based on their evaluations.

Download ITaLI's Self and peer assessment fact sheet (PDF, 57KB).

Academic misconduct

Plagiarism and academic misconduct policies and procedures can be found in the following places:

New forms of academic dishonesty are now available to students through online contract cheating or ghostwriting services.

Students can easily access these services to buy affordable and timely delivered assessment responses. Anti-plagiarism matching software such as TurnItIn rarely report contract cheating because each assessment item is individualised, rather than taken from an existing source.

More information is available in the UQ Student Dishonesty in Assessment Issues Paper (PDF, 715KB) written by Slade, Rowland and McGrath in 2016. Implications of the persuasive nature of these online services is explained in the paper 'Just Turn to Us’ by Rowland, Slade, Wong & Whiting, 2018.

See your School Integrity Officer for assistance and further questions.

More information

eAssessment project

ITaLI staff, in conjunction with eLearning Systems and Support team and Students as Partners are currently working on a University-wide eAssessment project.

Find out more