The Policy on Assessment of Student Learning (PASL) is intended to provide a framework for assessment practices at McGill. The new principles-based Policy will replace the existing University Student Assessment Policy (USAP) in Fall 2024.
PASL will apply to all undergraduate and graduate courses for which credit is earned and students receive a final grade on an official McGill transcript.
PASL is core to McGill's mission of advancing learning as it centres assessment for learning.
PASL: Rhymes with tassel
Assessment for learning:
- Allows for fair, meaningful, and effective assessment of a student’s learning.
- Creates a learning environment that is both healthy and rigorous.
- Helps to determine whether planned learning outcomes are achieved.
A focus on assessment design can have a significant impact on student learning and may be the most important area of focus to help students learn (Brown, 2004-05).
After several years of discussion, research, and community consultation, it was determined that the existing assessment Policy (USAP) was no longer aligned with the University’s mission and best practices of promoting student learning, so a complete rethink was necessary.
PASL outlines a set of common principles, which serve as an overarching framework for the Policy and allow for flexibility to adapt the Policy to local contexts.
Faculties and units are able to develop local guidelines and procedures adapted to their disciplines and contexts but consistent with the Policy and its guiding principles.
Align with healthy teaching and learning environments
Promote high academic standards and academic integrity
Be pedagogically sound
Allow for valid and reliable judgment of student learning
Key policy topics
In addition to the principles, PASL outlines policy on several different topics, including:
- Right to fair assessment (Section 5)
- Communication of course assessment tasks (Section 6)
- Reasonable accommodation for students (Section 7)
- Third party rereads (Section 8)
- Examination and final assessment tasks (Section 9)
- Process for contesting assessment (Section 10)
PASL implementation timeline
The two-year implementation period recognizes the time required for assessment practices to change (2022 - 2024).