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Assessment & Feedback: Resources & Activities

Sharing Practice Events

Educational Development has supported sharing practice events for many years. Below you will find links to recent events related specifically to assessment and feedback.

Assessment & Feedback: Strategies for a marked improvement, Berry O’Donovan, Oxford Brookes University (link to Moodle)

Assessment & feedback: Students, strategies & standards, Jan McArthur, Lancaster University (link to website)

Digital Assessment & Feedback: People, places & spaces, James Lamb, University of Edinburgh & Sally Jordan, The Open University (link to website)

Rethinking assessment for the 21st century, Sue Bloxham, Cumbria University (link to Moodle)

Reflecting Back Thinking Forward: Experiences & learning in teaching practices

Anonymised Marking Versus Person-Centred Teaching and Assessment

Keynote: Dr Patrick Hagopian, Senior Lecturer in History & American Studies

Patrick’s talk drew on his practice as a teacher to oppose the recent proposal to anonymise the marking of students’ coursework. The talk drew attention to the risk to the student-teacher relationship when one does not know the name of the student author because it has been transformed into a number. Engaging with relevant scholarship to assess the purported benefits and costs of anonymisation, the talk set this specific problem in the wider context of evidence-based institutional decision-making.

Watch Patrick’s talk in full (to be uploaded when available)

Questions from participants (to be uploaded when available)

Digital Assessment & Feedback: People, places and spaces (July 2018)

Digital Lancaster sets out our ambition to be digitally innovative in support of the University’s vision of being a globally significant leader in higher education. It has three goals aligned directly with the University Priorities of Research, Teaching and Engagement, and five digital enablers providing the underpinning capabilities to deliver our digital vision. Together with the assessment and feedback work, which has been taking place across the university for 2017 & 2018, the aim of the day is to promote discussion, questions and sharing our learning and teaching practices in relation to digital assessment and feedback.

For this event we welcomed two keynotes.

James Lamb from Edinburgh University, James's research area links digital multimodality, assessment, digital cultures and learning spaces. James's presentation explored the role and impact of multimodal assessment and feedback within our increasingly digital educational landscape. James moved to discuss the theory of communication, which starts from the position that our interpretation of meaning is shaped by the selection and configuration of semiotic material within a representational act. Through to how this is applied to the assessment setting, the student’s ability to convey their ideas, knowledge or understanding is influenced by the particular selection, placement and prominence of language, image and other content within her architectural plan, History essay, marketing pitch, lab report and so on.

Sally Jordan, is Professor of Physics Education and Head of the Open University's School of Physical Sciences in the Faculty of STEM. Sally's keynote considered online computer-marked assessment as presenting an opportunity to assess and provide personalised and immediate feedback to large classes, with savings of cost and greater consistency than human markers. Sally argued that it can motivate and engage students and provide information to educators about their students’ learning. However, She noted concerns that have been raised as to the validity and authenticity of assessment of this type, and not all students like being assessed in this way. In addition to concerns that have also been expressed as to the cost and time required to author high quality e-assessment items. Sally's presentation provided an opportunity for attendees to reflect on the limitations and benefits of assessment of this type, and it challenged the perceptions, presenting evidence from research, which has wider relevance for assessment practice. It will also provide practical tips.

Research Resources

Assessment principles and practice

Chris Rust (2002). The Principles and practices of assessment. A short paper (just 4 pages) that outlines some of the fundamental principles and issues which need to be applied to the design of any assessment strategies for any module or programme.

Roy Sadler (2016). Three in-course assessment reforms to improve higher education learning outcomes. This article raises some interesting issues, including the extent to which formative and other learning activities should be included in summative grades.

Jan McArthur, 2017 Assessment for social justice: Perspectives and practices within higher education. London, Bloomsbury. Avaiable as an electonic book.

Assessment Literacy

David Nicol & David Macfarlane-Dick (2006). Formative Assessment and Self-Regulated Learning: A Model and Seven Principles of Good Feedback Practice. Developing student's own evaluative skills is an important foundation for assessment and learning more generally. This paper outlines feedback strategies to support student proactive assessment literacy skills.

David Carless & David Boud (2018). The development of student feedback literacy: enabling uptake of feedback, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. This is a conceptual paper, which discusses different approaches to student's feedback literacy development.

Margaret Price, Chris Rust, Berry O'Donovan, Karen Handley, and Rebecca Bryant (2012). Assessment Literacy: The Foundation for Improving Student Learning. You will find this book in the library (Main Collection A Floor JR.ME (P)). The book, which is based on extensive research draws together an overview of all aspects of the topic.


Below you will find a HEA document which summaries and lists a range of assessment methods, potential benefits and considerations. Using this list, the activity is a simple mapping exercise. The activity is designed to help identify issues within a curriculum and assessment design and offer pointers to adjustments.

HEA summary overview of assessment methods