Learning Guide

Assessment in Unravelling Complexity is not set to test your understanding and instead is set to enable your Learning Journey. For this reason, this is a “Learning” Guide rather than an “Assessment” Guide.

A complex problem…

  • ..is unlikely to have a ‘right’ answer.
  • ..is unlikely to have a single solution.
  • ..requires more than one perspective.

If we hold these ideas as true, or at least a reasonable approximation, then we must question how we would assess this. Who has the right to pass judgement on your work? What would be the purpose of this assessment? Why would this be a valuable thing to do? Convention would suggest that your academic work should be judged by an academic, but in a space where plurality of ideas are valued and a multitude of paths can be followed, the value of following this convention without considered contemplation diminishes.

We would like to propose a learning environment where we emphasise these principles:

  • the valuation of work among peers, rather than the evaluation of work by academics
  • acknowledging that we are learning together in a space where knowledge is contested
  • that any single opinion is (probably) wrong, and many opinions are better
  • that assessment should enhance your learning journey, rather than the object of your learning
  • that learners should be able to realistically benchmark their own performance on a task

For these reasons, we will employ two strategies around assessment:

  • a philosophy called ‘Many Eyes’ assessment process, where we collate the perspectives of many stakeholders. As far as practicable, we will ask for feedback from all involved with the purpose of enhancing our own ideas and the ideas of others.
  • a broad ‘valuation’ structure rather than a ‘marking’ structure. This may be considered ‘unconventional’, so please read the rationale and full details in the Grading Structure

Learning Outcomes#

The course learning outcomes are a high-level interpretation of skills that you should develop throughout the course. These factors ground the learning and activities in the course:

  1. Identify and generalise behaviours of complex problems
  2. Analyse and construct arguments from multiple perspectives, supported by evidence and with intellectual independence
  3. Reflect critically on concepts from the course by connecting personal experiences and real-world situations
  4. Provide and situate disciplinary perspectives and methodologies in an interdisciplinary team
  5. Design, research and defend a major work unravelling a complex problem

Learning Activity Overview

There are three main assessment activities in this course:

  • a Workshop Co-Facilitation on a topic from the Complexity Primer - a workshop, discussion and collaborative collection of ideas to solve complex problems that we can share with your peers
  • a Collaborative Challenge Project - a speedy group activity that helps your peers to navigate a ‘Grand Challenge’ problem
  • a Learning portfolio - an incremental, individual, critical or creative reflective research piece that explores a complex problem of your choosing in the context of the course themes

The following table summarises the weightings, dates and tasks.

Task/Stage Submission Weight Due Date Result Returned
Workshop Co-Facilitation & Primer Ind/Grp 30% Part II LO 1,2,3
…Complexity Primer Draft Grp. Req. Fri Wk 4 n/a
…Workshop & Secret Plan Grp 15% In class wks 5-8 Fri Wk 9
…Complexity Primer Final Grp. 15% Fri Wk 8 Fri Wk 9
Collaborative Challenge Project Grp 20% Part III LO 2,3,4
…Group Formation Grp Req. In class Mon Wk 8 n/a
…Pitch & Proposal Grp 20% In class Mon Wk 11 Mon Wk 12
Learning Portfolio Ind. 50% All semester LO 1,2,3,5
…(Optional) Plan/Scoping Document Ind. (<10%#) Fri Wk 6 Wk 7
…(Optional) Reflective Component Ind. (<25%#) Fri Wk 9 Wk 11
…Final Artefact Ind. (>20%#) Fri in Wk ‘13’ End of exam period

Table: Breakdown of assignments and weightings. Ind: Individual; Grp: Group

#*Note: the Optional Scoping Document is a formal mechanism by where you can get feedback on the ideas leading into your Final Artefact idea. You are not required to submit the Optional tasks. The total mark for the Learning Portfolio is 50%, and if the optional components have been completed you may elect to vary the preferred weighting of the components when you submit your final artefact. The purpose of this is to allow for both ‘ants’ (those who like to work continuously) and ‘grasshoppers’ (those who leave things to the last minute) to best adapt to your own style and commitments. Optional assessment that is submitted after the date will still get feedback as far as practicable, but will get an effective grade of ‘0’, thus foregoing any grading benefit of the option.


  • LAWS4001: see specific instructions in the Portfolio description.
  • VCPG6001: see also specific instructions in the Portfolio description.

Guidance on Submission Dates#

In the table above, submission “dates” are given for each task, but no ‘times’ are given (we call them due dates, not due times..). This is not to trick students, or to make it difficult to figure out when you should submit something. The mechanics are simple: if you submit something before that date, it is early; if you submit something on that date, it is on time, and; if you submit something after that date, it is late. If you find a reference to a time somewhere in some submission, it is probably because of a Wattle setting that will be ignored in light of the advice above. We are assuming that the “times” of “days” are referenced to Canberra time.

In most cases, tasks will remain open after the due date. If you are running late, your first reaction should be to submit something.

If you need an extension on something, just ask before the due date. If it doesn’t impact on others, it will probably be OK. If it does impact someone else, you’ll need to figure out how to minimise that impact.

Workshop Co-Facilitation

Engage your peers to learn about a concept and application from the Complexity Primer

There are two components of this task:

  • A 90-min Workshop Co-Facilitation
  • A 500-word Complexity Primer entry

Both parts should be complementary and collaborative.

Task Timeline#

Stages for Workshop Co-Facilitation and Complexity Primer:

| Task/Stage | Notes | When | |:————-|:———|:———| | Group formation and topic selection | Groups of 4-5 | Mon Week 2# | | Complexity Primer Draft and Reflection Question | Post on Wattle Class Discussion | Fri Week 4 | | Secret Plan workshop | Organise a meeting with Chris | Prior to your workshop | | Secret Plan submission | Submit your plan to Chris | Before Workshop | | Workshop Co-facilitation | During Class | Weeks 5-8 | | Complexity Primer final | | Friday Week 8 | | Group Self-Evaluation | via Wattle Activity | Friday Week 8 | | Feedback returned | via Wattle | Friday Week 9 | # denotes in-class activity

Note that there is a trade-off here between running a facilitation early in the semester, and getting assessment completed early. Students who facilitate tutorials early have the advantage of more structure in which to complete the Complexity Primer entry; students who facilitate tutorials later the advantage of building on our shared experiences. These various advantages/disadvantages largely balance out one another, and students should select a preference of timing and topics that works well for their individual situation.

Group Formation, Topic Selection, and Task Distribution#

We will form groups in Week 2 for the Workshop Facilitation and Complexity Primer. Groups will need to be formed with consideration of discipline, gender, cultural background and attendance mode.

Groups may choose to decide how to break up the tasks to best utilise the expertise within teams. For example, the group might wish to divide the co-facilitation and the primer components. If a group did this, they might be able to more clearly define tasks within the group, but it might come at the expense of coherence between the two. A team that divides the tasks equally may have a great collaborative output, but come with other challenges such as coordinating times to meet and engage with each other.

We will also curate the collection of primer topics and relevant expert at this time.

Workshop Co-Facilitation Task#

Deliver an awesome and well-planned learning experience about topics in Complexity

The primary purpose of the Workshop Co-Facilitation is to help your peers understand your given topic from the Complexity Primer, and how this could be applied to a real-world problem.

  • collaborate and interface with ANU academics who are expert on the topic. The academic could contribute ~30 minutes of content, be involved in an integrated way (i.e. through a panel discussion), or simply provide advice to the team on the topic.
  • engage in activities that make the tutorial ‘awesome’, such as engagement of peers, activities, lively discussion, inclusive debate, and scholarly learning
  • avoid activities that make the tutorial ‘awful’, such as shutting down debate, avoiding discussion of controversial issues, encouraging single or dominant viewpoints
  • relate to given topics in the primer and help peers draw connections between topics
  • be aware and sensitive of alternative viewpoints and perspectives
  • be bold in experimenting with innovative ideas to enhance our collective experience

Developing a Secret Plan#

In order to assist with your planning to run the workshop, each Co-Facilitation group is required to develop a ‘Secret Plan’ for facilitation. This should be done in consultation with the teaching team and after discussing the topics and themes within your group.

Please share copies of your Secret Plan with Chris before the workshop by sending it by email. This plan should demonstrate your thinking and preparedness for the task. An example/template will be provided on Wattle. The plan should be between 2-3 pages, but may be longer as appropriate. A Secret Plan would normally include:

  • a one-sentence take-home message (i.e. what do you want your peers to learn today)
  • a one-sentence SMART+ Goal (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely and positive - ie, we want everyone to participate)
  • an overview of the plan, including timing and role allocations
  • a logical and detailed plan, including prompts, resources required or activity contingencies
  • ideas for how to increase or decrease time, depending on the flow of the workshop

It is important to note that you may (and probably should) deviate from the Secret Plan, though it should be clear as to why you are deviating (eg, you should be running “off the plan”, and not “off the cuff”).

If you are delivering a virtual workshop, we expect you to deliver this via Zoom. If you would like to experiment with an alternative platform, you are welcome to in consultation with your tutor.

Complexity Primer Entry#

Contribute to and extend the Complexity Primer

The Complexity Primer has been built up over a number of years. You will be asked to build on the Primer by either:

  • completing an integrative entry that speaks to the topic of the workshop session
  • proposing a significantly different alternative entry on an existing topic covered in the workshop session
  • providing a case-study application that builds off an existing topic in the workshop session

The topic/s that you have selected or been given is the same as one selected for the Co-Facilitation.

This written piece should be for someone with no idea about the topic: it’s a primer. Act as a ‘wise elder’, and pitch it to an audience of first-year students: full of ambition, but with a limited repertoire of ideas about complex problems.

Task Format#

Submissions may be from the whole group or in pairs. Please include the names of main contributors in the title of the primer entry.

The Primer Entry should include:

  • a catchy title relevant to the topic
  • a 500 word (+/- 1%) explanatory piece on the topic
  • a reflection question for your peers to contemplate before the workshop
  • a royalty-free image that supplements the piece. We strongly encourage you to create your own image.
  • any additional references or readings

All submissions will be linked via Wattle. The Primer is made up of example entries. Head to the Complexity Primer to see examples (although, the task description has evolved over the years too).

Draft Primer Entry#

A camera-ready (that is, ready to be published) draft is to be submitted as preparation reading for your Group’s tutorial.


During the time between the Draft and Final, you should seek feedback through peers (such as using the facilitation activity).

Final Primer Entry#

The final primer entry, incorporating feedback from the Draft as appropriate.

Guidance on Referencing#

As this is an ‘explainer’, we would like it to not be constrained to an an academic piece. Typical referencing might look out of place. Instead, please consider a list of further reading (which may include the readings that were given) so that someone could explore the topic further.

Individual and Group Task Division and Grading#

By Friday of Week 8, each group will submit a “Group Self-Evaluation” and a “Individual Self-Evaluation”. Each serve the purpose of eliciting your individual contribution to the tasks, and allow each of us to reflect on the nature of group work in a mature way.

The Group Self-Evaluation will ask the Group to provide a max. 1-page shared evaluation including:

  • A list of Group Members
  • A description about how the group divided tasks
  • A reflection of what worked well and what did not work well
  • Any other information relevant to the group’s interaction in relation to the activities
  • An indication of the proposed (and agreed) final grade band for both activities

The Group Self-Evaluation will be submitted 1 per group via Wattle. There may be dissonance on the detail, and this can be resolved through the “Individual Self-Evaluation”, which includes:

  • An indication of how you have contributed to the activities
  • An evaluation of the contribution of team members in the activities
  • Any other information relevant to your individual contribution

These data will allow Chris to understand each individual’s contribution, and may go into consideration of the individual grade. Word from the wise is that this should be a continuous conversation over the 4 weeks, rather than a surprise discussion at the end.

Marking Criteria#

The workshop co-facilitation and secret plan will be considered using the following criteria:

  • Quality of ideas [imitation <-> novel] : encourages high-quality exchange of ideas and connection to course themes
  • Quality of instructions [poorly managed <-> well managed] : maintaining clarity and logical progressions of ideas to an effective conclusion within the allocated time

The Final Primer will be considered using the following criteria:

  • Quality of ideas [misses the point <-> deeply insightful] : distill the key ideas of the reading/topic
  • Quality of narrative [untethered <-> imaginative] : quality of insights and engaging narrative in your own words about the reading/topic

These criteria will be viewed from the perspective of Bloom’s Taxonomy. See the Learning Level Indicators for details for quality indicators of work.

Collaborative Challenge Project

Unravel a Wicked Problem

Pitch an Idea for Australia’s future around topics at the ‘Grand’ scale. Groups of 4-5 students will be invited to respond to an idea from a Grand Challenge topic of interest to them. The project will intentionally run in a short period of time in weeks 9-11, and time in the workshops will be used to scaffold this project. The Project Sponsor/s will be announced closer to the time.

Task Timeline#

Stages for Workshop Co-Facilitation and Complexity Primer:

| Task/Stage | Notes | When | |:————-|:———|:———| | Project brief and sponsor intro | inc. group formation and topic selection | Monday Week 8# | | Workshop 1 | within class | Monday Week 9# | | Draft Pitch | within class | Monday Week 10# | | Final Pitch | back to project sponsor | Monday Week 11# | # denotes in-class activity

Group Formation#

Project teams will be formed during the Week 8 project brief. Groups will need to be formed with consideration of discipline, gender, cultural background and attendance mode, and should be at least 50% different to the groups from the Tutorial Co-facilitation.


Present a coherent idea on how Australia could ‘unravel’ an issue related to a Grand Challenge

  • a 3-min Spoken Pitch. Concentrate on the quality of ideas. The length is strict. Include as many team members as appropriate. No slides.
  • a 1-page supplement that helps the Host/Peers understand the main parts of the idea. This can be any format, from a ‘policy brief’ to an ‘infographic’, and anything in between that helps your idea get across to a decision-maker.

A useful way to frame a brief is using Minto’s pyramid: “What is the situation? What is the complication? What is the resolution (your idea).”


A link to a Sharepoint site will be given in Week 9. Please submit you pitch script (as far as practicable) and 1-page brief. This will be available to the project sponsor.

Marking Criteria#

Both components of the Grand Challenge Project will be considered together, and assessed using the following criteria:

Quality of ideas [misses the point <-> deeply insightful] : demonstrates high-quality, well-thought through and novel ideas, based on evidence where possible Quality of narrative [untethered <-> imaginative] : compelling insights and engaging narrative that could move a realistic idea into action

Individual and Group Grading#

We will follow a similar process to the Co-Facilitation/Primer task.

Learning Portfolio

Critically reflect on the nature of complex problems

Produce a major work that connects your experience in the course and the course themes. You should be in the ‘swamp’ of interdisciplinary complexity!

We recommend framing your portfolio as a reflection or response:

  • based on a single complex problem or area, connecting to many different course themes
  • based on the nature of complexity itself, connecting to many different complex problems
  • as a reflective piece describing your journey through the course

| Task/Stage | Notes | When | |:————-|:———|:———| | Portfolio reminder and Optional tasks | | Week 3/4#| | (Optional) Plan/Scoping Document | template provided | Friday Week 6 | | Portfolio Roundtable | | Wed Week 9# | | (Optional) Reflective Component | within class | Friday Week 9# | | Portfolio Roundtable | | Wed Week 10# | | Portfolio Roundtable | | Wed Week 11# | | Portfolio Roundtable and Class Picnic | | Wed Week 12# | | Final Artefact | within class | Friday Week ‘13’# | # denotes in-class activity

(Optional) Plan/Scoping Document#

An opportunity for some early feedback. A 1-page template will be provided to allow you to get your initial ideas on paper.

The purpose of the scoping document is to help you formulate the final form of your portfolio. There are a number of prompts that we routinely think about when preparing portfolios, so this process should naturally lead to answering some of the frequently considered aspects.

The scoping document may take any form, but should not exceed 2 pages or equivalent. There is a submission portal which you can fill out as a form, but you may just submit a document or any other type of document. If you submit your scoping document, you will be able to see others.

Please cover the following aspects. You may adjust/expand/contract topics as needed:

  • Proposed Topic - what is the key issue that you are investigating
  • Catchy Title - what are you going to call it?
  • Perspective - what perspective are you taking? Is it a reflection, an argument, a vignette, a critique, a research piece, a mix of things
  • Format - what is the physical format of your portfolio? Common formats include essay, paper, report poster, digital presentation, video, website, podcast, blog series, magazine article, scholarly work, travel guide, exhibition, teaching tool, physical object, artwork or demonstration
  • Ideas and Reflection - what are the key ideas that you are going to cover. Provide a brief outline/sketch of the ideas/topics you plan to cover
  • Narrative and Connection - how do you plan to tie the ideas together, and what connections are you going to make to other aspects of the course?
  • Take-away message - what will be the take-away message from your portfolio? What will we remember?
  • What are you unsure about? Are there any aspects of your plan that you would like to specifically get some feedback on.

Bringing your Scoping Document to any class Consultation Session or discussing with your tutors is welcome.

Broadly, you’ll be given an indicative mark on the marking criteria:

  • Potential for Quality of ideas and reflections [misses the point <-> deeply insightful] : demonstrates insightful and considered connections between the course content and the real world
  • Quality of narrative and connections [untethered <-> imaginative] : compelling insights and engaging narrative that demonstrate the resolution and synthesis of ideas

(Optional) Reflective Component#

Reflect on a complex problem, or the nature of complexity itself, throughout the semester. This may become the seed of an idea for your portfolio, or may just help you process information along the way.

Background In most sessions there will be a reflection question to consider posted by the facilitators. This makes a total of ~14 prompts for reflection. These are (or will be) available on Wattle.

About the task: Respond directly (or mostly directly) to a minimum of one-half of the available prompts. Prompts can be clustered together, segmented or otherwise remixed as appropriate, but should not be retrofit to your ideas. That is, the prompts should not merely confirm and support your existing ideas, but to help you to tether your thinking to other ideas, and generate ideas and new lines of inquiry. The entire task should be approximately 2000 words (or the equivalent of a minor piece of work if using non-word-based formats). It shouldn’t take your marker more than 10 minutes to explore (that is, be succinct or selective).

About Reflection: Reflection is a fantastic activity to promote learning - it is an opportunity for you to think about your thinking /after/ thinking. Kolb’s famous experiential learning cycle shows that when learning you need to go through four distinct stages: Abstract conceptualisation (Thinking), Active experimentation (Doing), Concrete experience (Feeling), Reflective observation (Watching). This is a chance to go through this cycle throughout the course as you develop ideas for your portfolio and about Complexity

The format can be whatever you think is appropriate. This could be a blog, vlog, collection of notes, formal ideation — anything that can demonstrate reflection and the development of your own mental models.

Broadly, you’ll be given an indicative mark on the marking criteria:

  • Connection to the course, complex problems, the relevant primer readings, or other areas of your learning [superficial <-> deeply engrained] : demonstrates insightful and considered reflections and interaction with the class material
  • Development of new insights and learning [not-existent <-> developed] : novel connections between ideas, new perspectives on current thinking

Learning Portfolio/Artefact#

This final piece brings together your experiences in the course. You should build on your reflections and experiences in the course, and start working on this early!

The broad prompts are:

  • produce a physical or digital artefact that can be consumed in 10 minutes (equivalent c.3,000 words)
  • format is completely open-ended. It could take the form of—but is not limited to—an essay, paper, report poster, digital presentation, video, website, podcast, blog series, magazine article, scholarly work, travel guide, exhibition, teaching tool, physical object, artwork or demonstration
  • the artefact should demonstrate scholarly activity, such as evidence, research and inquiry, as well as higher-order thinking, reflection and synthesis
  • where the artefact is open to interpretation (for example, as an artwork), we recommend providing a rationale or exegesis to orientate the reader to your thinking


The portfolio topic can be as free-ranging as you like. If you’re looking for inspiration, you could consider:

  • focussing on a specific problem or contemporary issue, and applying your Complexity Toolkit to that problem
  • revisiting an issue in your discipline, but from a new perspective
  • synthesising your weekly reflections into an holistic reflection/review/critique/expression
  • drawing connections between topics in complexity, and themes from relevant tutorials, activities, group work and sessions

There are a wealth of example portfolio on the public webpage.

Guidance on Rationales#

Some students find that including a small rationale or exegesis can help clarify the purpose of the portfolio, and orientate others to its purpose. This is especially relevant to creative pieces (but all thought is imaginative, so it helps with all tasks..)

Often, the rationale will enhance the form of the submission. For example, an artwork may be accompanied by a critique; a board game with a set of rules; a podcast with a website.

LAWS4001 students can use the rationale to further connect the course to their discipline. In fact, this is a good idea for everyone, if it aligns with your portfolio.

Guidance on Referencing#

The portfolio, and rationale, are academic pieces of work, and should be referenced according to the styles and conventions:

  • relevant to your discipline (ie APA, Harvard, IEEE, etc)
  • relevant to your format (ie, an online news article might be referenced through a ‘read more’)

Portfolio Roundtable#

Details for this session will be provided closer to the date. Please come prepared to discuss your portfolio ideas in whatever state is appropriate.

The roundtable — more a celebration – is an opportunity to share what you have learnt in your portfolio with the class. The Roundtable is not graded, but is required - it will absolutely enhance your ideas! The format is based on 7 principles for sharing experiences: Equality, Diversity of Thought, Safe Space for Ideas, Freedom of Expression, Trust from within, Respect for Each Other, and Collective Learning.

  • a short conversational presentation, time strictly divided equally amongst participants
  • no slides
  • you can propose ideas or pose questions, complete or otherwise

Assessment variations#

LAWS4001 students must demonstrate a strong connection to a legal perspective in their portfolio.

  • ie focus on a legal issue through the lens of complexity, or; focus on a complex problem from a legal perspective

VCPG6001 students must base their portfolio within the scholarly/research literature when framing their portfolio, and relate their portfolio to their graduate program.

  • ie focus on an issue relevant to your discipline through the lens of complexity, or; focus on a complex problem in your discipline.

Marking Criteria#

Portfolios will be marked against the following criteria:

Quality of ideas and reflections [misses the point <-> deeply insightful] demonstrates insightful and considered connections between the course content and the real world
Quality of narrative and connections [untethered <-> imaginative] * compelling insights and engaging narrative that demonstrate the resolution and synthesis of ideas

These criteria will be viewed from the perspective of Bloom’s Taxonomy. See the Learning Level Indicators for details for quality indicators of work.

Class Grading Structure

We would like to avoid providing ‘numbers’ on assessment items throughout the semester. Here are my reasons:

  • if we accept the principles outlined at the start of this guide as reasonable if not true, then it would be unreasonable to apply a single number grade to any piece of work; that is, the number would be a range of likely numbers (i.e. x +/– y%)
  • giving numbers on assessment gives the illusion that a student’s performance is valued as the ‘sum of its parts’. If there is anything that you learn in this course, it is that you cannot understand a problem only from a reductionist perspective.
  • in my experience, giving ‘scores’ on assessment encourages students to optimise their score rather than holistic learning.

Recognising these arguments, this course is a ‘graded’ course, and at the end of Semester, we need to produce a list of student IDs and corresponding mark out of 100.

For this reason, we would like to use a common language for grading across assessment items that ‘maps’ to a number, rather than ‘being’ a number. The descriptions below map directly to the ANU’s Policy on Student Assessment (Coursework)

| Quality Descriptor | Minimum % | Likely % | Maximum % | |:——————–|:——-:|:——:|:——–| | Unacceptable | 0 | 20 | 45 | | Unsatisfactory | 45 | 50 | 55 | | Satisfactory | 50 | 55 | 60 | | Satisfactory-Good | 55 | 60 | 65 | Good | 60 | 65 | 70 | | Good-Superior | 65 | 70 | 75 | | Superior | 70 | 75 | 80 | | Superior-Exceptional | 75 | 80 | 85 | | Exceptional | 80 | 85 | 90 | | Exemplary | 90+ | - | - | Table: Grading Description in relation to Mark (percentage)

To fully illustrate this process, we provide an example student calculating their example grade.

Table to be updated

| Task/Stage | Weight | Quality Descriptor | Minimum % | Likely % | Maximum % | |:———–|:——:|:——————:|:———:|:——–:|:———:| | Workshop Co-Facilitation | 15% | Good | 9 | 9.75 | 10.5 | | Complexity Primer Final | 15% | Good-Superior | 9.75 | 10.5 | 11.25 | | Grand Challenge Project | 20% | Superior-Exceptional | 15 | 16 | 17 | | LP Reflection/Contributions | 10% | Exceptional | 8 | 8.5 | 9 | | LP Final Artefact | 40% | Superior | 28 | 30 | 32 | | Final Mark | 100% | - | 69.75 | 74.75 | 79.75 | Table: Example calculation of mark

The Final Mark will be determined based on the evidence at hand by the Convenor and your Tutor. This example student would reasonably expect to achieve a final mark of 75 (74.75 rounded to the closest integer). However, for a range of reasons this may not be an accurate representation of the final grade, and could perhaps lie between the minimum and maximum value. At the point of the Final Artefact submission, students will be invited - as their final Many Eyes Task - to provide their own benchmarking on work to date and any deviations from the ‘Likely’ grade to be considered. Deviations could be argued, for example:

  • a group project descriptor was not accurate of the individual’s contribution (positive or negative)
  • a quality descriptor is perceived as inaccurate, and an alternative argument is suggested (positive or negative)
  • there are factors that you believe have not been considered in the evaluation (positive or negative)

This structure, while very similar to the ‘normal processes’ for grading are a subtle but important difference that allow for an alignment with the assessment principles.

Learning Level Indicators#

These are a common set of principles for benchmarking work across tasks. Essentially, these correspond to the concept of a rubric.

Each task and each person’s response and interpretation of the task is going to be (hopefully) different. It then, doesn’t make sense to present a prescriptive rubric; rather, an indication of possible activities.

Please consider:

  • the categories are ‘fuzzy’, and not exclusive
  • it would be impossible (and not desirable!) to complete all activities in any given category - build your interpretation around the relevant ones for the task
  • students who move ‘up’ the levels are likely integrating activities across all levels below
  • if in doubt, talk to your tutor and your peers

Note: verbs may translate or be applied across criteria and categories

Quality of ideas/connections#

Used in:

  • Workshop Co-Facilitation / Primer
  • Grand Challenge Project
  • Portfolio

Satisfactory: Explain ideas or concepts, recall facts, concepts or answers

  • Associated verbs: Cite, Convert, Define, Demonstrate, Extend, Find, Identify, Interpret, Label, List, Locate, Name, Predict, Quote, Recall, Reproduce

Good: Examine and break down information, use existing knowledge to solve new problem

  • Associated verbs: Analyse, Apply, Calculate, Categorise, Change, Choose, Classify, Complete, Deduce, Differentiate, Distinguish, Execute, Investigate, Operate, Practice, Relate, Select, Separate, Solve, Use

Superior: Generate new ideas, assemble novel ideas from multiple areas*

  • Associated verbs: Assemble, Assess, Construct, Create, Design, Develop, Estimate, Generate, Invent, Measure, Plan, Predict, Produce, Synthesise, Test

Exceptional: Integration of activities across levels

Quality of narrative/reflection#

Used in:

  • Workshop Co-Facilitation / Primer
  • Grand Challenge Project
  • Portfolio

Satisfactory: Demonstrate logical argument, clear explanations

  • Associated verbs: Describe, Discuss, Explain, Outline, Paraphrase, Review, Summarise

Good: Apply knowledge in new situation, translate ideas from one domain to another

  • Associated verbs: Articulate, Compare, Conclude, Contrast, Correlate, Illustrate, Interpret, Show, Teach

Superior: Defend opinions and decisions, justify action through judgements about information

  • Associated verbs: Argue, Compose, Criticise, Debate, Defend, Decide, Evaluate, Formulate, Judge, Justify, Propose, Recommend

Exceptional: Integration of activities across levels

Quality of instructions & team work#

Used in:

  • Workshop Co-Facilitation
  • Grand Challenge Project

Satisfactory: Work in a functional way, convey meaning without conflict

  • Associated verbs: listen, notice, tolerate, comply, enjoy, follow, build, perform, execute, implement, copy, follow, replicate, repeat

Good: Build on strengths of individuals for the benefit of the whole

  • Associated verbs: express, conduct, show, demonstrate, complete, perfect, control

Superior: Extend strengths, enable others to produce their best work

  • Associated verbs: amplify, choose, consider, prefer, discriminate, depict, exemplify, construct, solve, integrate, adapt, enable, influence

Exceptional: Integration of activities across levels

Version Control


  • initial release


  • fix broken links
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