Assessing student learning

Assessment principles | Feedback principles | Submitting assignments | Marking assessments | Assessment Strategy Support

Assessment is not simply a method of grading, judging and reporting on student performance. When designed effectively, assessments can engage students and facilitate learning, provide the opportunity to develop skills and help students to reflect on, improve or build confidence in their academic ability. The table below lists the most common forms of assessment ordered by the qualities or skills you are enabling.

Guide to time involved in preparation, marking, and student workload:  Low Low  Medium Medium  High High

 

Accessing and managing information

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Dissertation A written report on a theme or project, usually written as an individual. Reflection, organisation, written communication

Low

High

High

Group projects Could consist of a practical task, discussion, research, etc. complete as a group. Cooperative working, problem solving, negotiation.

Low

High

Low

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Demonstrating knowledge and understanding

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Written exam Answering questions to test individuals’ understanding, could be short MCQs or essay questions. Recollection, describing and recounting information, non-verbal communication.

Low

High

Medium

Oral presentation Solo or group presentation of research, case study etc.; or practical demonstration. Communication, organisation, presentation.

Low

Medium

Low

Report Write up of a project, field trip or laboratory experiment, individually or as a group. Research, investigation, information management, written communication. Low High High
Essay A piece of structured writing, usually written as an individual. Developing arguments, searching and managing information sources, written communication. Low High High
Multiple-choice questions Short questions used to assess individual learning and understanding. Recollection, identifying and relating. Medium Medium Medium
Short answer questions Short questions used to assess individual learning and understanding. Recollection, identifying and relating. Medium Medium Medium

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Performing procedures and demonstrating techniques

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Observation of real or simulated professional practice Assessing practical skills in a realistic work situation, as a group or individual. Carrying out instructions and following protocols, problem solving. High Medium Low
Laboratory/practical work Working as groups or individuals to apply knowledge to a practical situation. Computation, using equipment, following procedures and protocols. Medium Medium Medium
Write, script and produce a video Work as a group to create short video to present results of research or project. Communication, organisation, presentation, technical. Medium High Low

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Solving problems and developing plans

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Case studies Individuals or groups are presented with a real-life scenario or problem that needs to be solved. Problem solving, decision making, team working. Medium Medium Medium
Group projects Could consist of a practical task, discussion, research, etc. complete as a group. Cooperative working, problem solving, negotiation. Low High Low

Top

Thinking critically and making judgements

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Essay A piece of structured writing, usually written as an individual. Developing arguments, searching and managing information sources, written communication Low High High
Report Write up of a project, field trip or laboratory experiment, individually or as a group. Research, investigation, information management, written communication. Low High High
Reflective Practice Assignments Reflection on personal experiences and practice to develop learning. Reflection, self-evaluation, self-assessment. Low Medium Low
Modified Essay Questions (MEQs) A sequence of questions based on a case study. After students have answered one question, further information and questions are available. Problem solving, data analysis, reflection. Medium High High

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Designing, creating and performing

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Portfolio A way of regularly building up evidence of learning over the course of a module, normally as an individual but could be done in a group. Research, investigation, written communication and presentation skills. Medium High High
Poster Ideal for group work, a way of communicating information visually. Research, communication, presentation. Low Low Low
Oral presentation Solo or group presentation of research, case study etc; or practical demonstration. Communication, organisation, presentation. Low Medium Low
Roleplay Working in a group, students take on different roles and personalities in a scenario. Communication, performing, behavioural analysis. Low Medium Low
Podcast Work as a group to create an audio recording on a theme. Communication, organisation, presentation, technical. Low Medium Low

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Communicating

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Interview Student can be interviewed by tutor as part of oral exam, or work as a group as a roleplay exercise. Communication, research, debating skills. Low Medium Low
Oral presentation Solo or group presentation of research, case study etc; or practical demonstration. Communication, organisation, presentation. Low Medium Low
Roleplay Working in a group, students take on different roles and personalities in a scenario. Communication, performing, behavioural analysis. Low Medium Low
Podcast Work as a group to create an audio recording on a theme. Communication, organisation, presentation, technical. Low Medium Low

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Managing and developing oneself

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Peer- and self-assessment Identifying criteria to apply to work, and then evaluating whether criteria has been met. Reflection, evaluation, assessment. High Medium Medium
Portfolio A way of regularly building up evidence of learning over the course of a module, normally as an individual but could be done in a group. Research, investigation, written communication and presentation skills. Medium High High
Journal/Learning Logs/diaries A way of regularly building up evidence of learning over the course of a module, normally as an individual but could be done in a group. Research, investigation, written communication and presentation skills. Low Medium Low

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Examinations

Brief overview Skills or literacies Prep Student Marking
Unseen essay Students do not see the exam paper in advance and must provide 2 or 3 short essay answers under exam conditions in a fixed period of time. Recollection, comprehension, argument, concision.

Low

High

High

Unseen short-answer An unseen paper that does not require students to provide essay length answers. Answer length can vary from a single word or short sentence to a paragraph. Recollection, describing and recounting information, non-verbal communication.

Medium

High

High

Seen essay Students are given the paper in advance allowing them to prepare outline answers. They must rely on memory to reproduce their answers. Recollection, describing and recounting information, non-verbal communication. Low Medium High
Open book (exam conditions) A form of unseen essay exam as above, but students are permitted to bring their notes into the exam to consult in constructing their answers. Recollection, describing and recounting information, non-verbal communication. Low Medium High
Open book at home Students are allowed a fixed time to deliver their answers. During that time they are permitted to use any materials and resources they have available to them to answer the questions. Describing and recounting information, non-verbal communication. Low Medium High
Online tests and simulations From simple multiple-choice tests to complex interactive simulations set up in virtual worlds. Recollection, investigation, technical High Medium Medium
Multiple choice/ single best answer/ extended matching An unseen exam in which students are given a range of possible answers to each question and asked to select the correct one. Recollection, identifying and relating. Low Medium Low
Problem/case based exams Can be seen or unseen, exam-based, online or take-home. Can be anything from responding to a particular scenario, working through a complex calculation, constructing a case study from a variety of materials, etc. Research, investigation, problem solving. High Medium Medium
Oral examinations Can be used individually or in groups to test both knowledge and non-written practical skills.. Communication, organisation, presentation. Low Medium High

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