The use of assessment hurdles: Pedagogy v Practicality

Rick Best, Bond University
Ron Best, Roehampton University

Best, R., & Best, R. (April, 2011). The use of assessment hurdles: Pedagogy v. Practicality. Paper presented at 36th Annual Conference for Australian University Building Educators, Bond University, Gold Coast.


The setting of assessment hurdles, i.e. components of assessment schemes that must be passed in addition to passing on aggregate marks, is a common feature of construction courses in Australia. The practice is not endorsed by all staff and is not allowed in two of the schools offering construction courses in Australian universities. A desktop survey of the rules governing the use of hurdles in universities generally was carried out. Construction academics in most of the universities offering construction courses were interviewed in order to gain a greater understanding of how hurdles are used and what the staff perceptions are of any limitations and/or opposition to their use. It was found that most universities made some provision for the use of hurdles and that they were implemented in the majority of the construction courses. Based on the information gathered from the survey and interviews the positive and negative arguments for the use of hurdles are discussed.


This document has been peer reviewed.