Assessment is a key driver of student work, and should be designed to make the maximum contribution to capturing student learning.
Assessment remains located within individual modules. The York Pedagogy aims to ensure that summative assessment is designed coherently and collectively across the whole programme. Summative assessment of modules should reflect the stage of development of the PLOs through each year of study, capture learning and support students’ progressive achievement of these concepts and skills in the most effective way. This means that the assessment is:
Programme teams need to ensure their summative assessment practices align with the Programme Learning Outcomes, the designed Student Work and the agreed Staff – Student Contact pattern. For example, the nature and timing of assessment should be designed to evaluate and make the most effective contribution to student learning at that particular point in the programme, in relation to the progressive development of programme learning outcomes.
The assessment plan will need to be recorded in the new Programme Specification document and will be used to produce a clear picture of the assessment pattern for staff and students.
ASKe was established as a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) based at Oxford Brookes University Business School. ASKe has produced significant research in the area of HE assessment, marking and feedback and numerous resources.
Funded by the HE Academy's NTFS project strand, this project aimed to confront the fundamental issue of how to design an effective, efficient, inclusive and sustainable assessment strategy which delivers the key course/programme outcomes.
Sustainable assessment is based on the proposition that assessment must support learning. More than this, it must support the processes of learning that students need beyond the point of graduation. This means that our conception of assessment needs to move beyond that of testing what has been taught, or measuring learning outcomes, to encompass one that builds the capacity of students to be effective assessors for themselves and for others.
David Boud (2000) Sustainable Assessment: Rethinking assessment for the learning society, Studies in Continuing Education, 22:2, 151-167:
A website produced by the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian, with funding from the Scottish Funding Council. The project piloted the redesign of formative assessment and feedback practices in large-enrolment first-year modules and developed strategies for embedding new thinking about assessment into institutional policies and processes.
Rust, C., O’Donovan, B., and Price, M. (2010) A social constructivist assessment process model: how the research literature shows us this could be best practice.
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Oxford Brookes University, UK:
Presentation by Margaret Price at Southampton University: Assessment literacy: making the link between satisfaction and learning:
Roediger, H.L., Smith, M.A., Putnam, A.L., (2012) Ten benefits of testing and their applications to educational practice. In Mestre, J, Ross, B.H., Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Sand Diego: Elsevier Academic Press.
The central York Pedagogy project team is able to help you to explore the issues arising from this theme.
They can work to review current assessment practice in terms of volume, formative Vs summative balance; timing; type and amount of feedback. This can then provide data on which to base discussion regarding improving the shape of learning, feedback and assessment throughout a programme.
The central team is also able to offer advice and workshops for programme or faculty teams on themes such as:
Technology-enhanced Learning Handbook – particularly:
This is one of a series of strategic frameworks produced by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The framework offers a structure for higher education providers to engage with the process of transforming assessment.
Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA) is an approach to curriculum review which aims to improve the quality of student learning through addressing programme-level assessment. The TESTA approach has been used with more than 100 programmes in over 40 UK universities, and in Australia, India and the USA. TESTA works with academics, students, and managers - and for academics, students and managers - to identify study behaviour, generate assessment patterns to foster deeper learning across whole programmes, and debunk regulatory myths which prevent assessment for learning. Co-ordinated programme-wide assessment policy and practice is requirewd to address both these issues (see Gibbs, 2016).
Fifteen departments at the University of York have undertaken TESTA and used the results to inform improvements in feedback and assessment. These include:
Health Sciences UG
Social Policy UG
Computer Science UG
Environment UG and PGT
TESTA is run in conjunction with ASO. Departments are also free to bid for Rapid Response Funding to support their own GTAs and postdocs in the gathering and analysis of student data.
TESTA is comprised of six key steps:
The main themes arising from TESTA reports undetaken to date include:
TESTA outcomes for a number of programmes also noted the following discussion points:
Please contact either Cecilia Lowe in ASO (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your ProPEL contact for further information.
Gibbs, G. and Dunbar-Goddet, H. (2007) The effects of programme assessment environments on student learning. York: Higher Education Academy: