Yes. All assessment should be designed to allow students to demonstrate learning outcomes. There should be assessment criteria for each assessment. Students should be assessed against these criteria (preferably) using a standardised rubric for that assessment. As part of that rubric there should be the opportunity to feedback to students what they have done well, what they could have done better and what they have missed completely. This should not be different for dissertations. If an external examiner is to judge whether or not we have been rigorous and stretching, they need to know what we are expecting and they need the shorthand (i.e. the feedback) to judge whether or not we have been fair. Students may not use it, but others will.

There is a considerable move in HE towards programme level assessment. This is where an assessment addresses several of the major programme/level learning outcomes rather than assessing the minutiae of a single model. It promotes integrative learning and tends to be more authentic. For more information and ideas see, an NTF project which looked at this.