New website: Policy on Assessment of Student Learning

An instructor addresses a class
Published: 27 July 2023

We recently published a website all about the new Policy on Assessment of Student Learning, which will replace the existing University Student Assessment Policy (USAP) in Fall 2024. Learn about the upcoming Policy and find resources to help you get ready for the coming changes:

What is PASL?

PASL (rhymes with tassel) is a principles-based policy centred on assessment for learning.

The guiding principles of PASL serve as an overarching framework for the Policy and allow for flexibility to adapt the Policy to local contexts.

The guiding principles outline that assessments should:

  • 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

Learn more about PASL.

What’s changing?

The name change to “assessment of student learning” (PASL) rather than “student assessment” (USAP) stresses the shift towards assessing student learning and not evaluating the student.

Among the most important changes, a set of principles will guide assessment of student learning throughout McGill. PASL also promotes healthier learning environments and more equitable assessment practices. There is also more flexibility for instructors and students, and a focus on clarity in expressing expectations, assessment criteria, and the ways in which students can earn grades. Another key change is transparency in the accountability process.

Find out more about the changes.

What should you do to prepare?

Here are some things that instructors can start doing now to prepare for the changes coming in Fall 2024:

  • Ensure you are familiar with PASL.
  • Attend department and Faculty meetings to learn what is happening locally.
  • Review your assessment practices to start determining what you might need to adapt.

Access PASL resources for instructors.

Do you have questions about PASL?

McGill University is on land which has served and continues to serve as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. Teaching and Learning Services acknowledges and thanks the diverse Indigenous peoples whose footsteps mark this territory on which peoples of the world now gather. This land acknowledgement is shared as a starting point to provide context for further learning and action.

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