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Programme-Focused Approach to Assessment and Feedback

​​Professor Brian Webster-Henderson introduces the Assessment & Feedback Project. Click to Watch.

This cross-University project aims to support one of the key objectives of Strategy 2020, “the delivery of an excellent, personalised student experience”, by embedding a programme-focused approach to assessment and feedback.​


Key data which reflect progress against the “excellent student experience” objective include information drawn from internal module satisfaction surveys, annual programme monitoring, student-staff liaison committees and the results from the annual National Students Survey (NSS) and the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES). Focusing on the NSS, it is acknowledged that results from 2014/5 were lower than anticipated in respect of the key question: “overall I am satisfied with the quality of the course”. Further scrutiny of NSS and internal data has shown variability of performance across individual Schools and programmes in terms of student satisfaction with the learning experience.


Strengthening the programme focus is regarded as vital by the University because of its capacity to enhance local ownership and accountability of the educational portfolio. The purpose of this project is to effect change by embedding evidence-based assessment and feedback principles University-wide, to transform students’ experiences of, and engagement in, their learning.


In November 2015, a paper was tabled to the University Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee which proposed the adoption of evidence-based, University-wide Assessment and Feedback Principles. These principles are derived from a range of literature and are key to implementing change to current systems, processes and practices across the University. 


LTAC also approved the introduction of a Project Board and Project Team to oversee the development and delivery of a project plan designed to enable change to the University’s assessment and feedback systems, processes and practices. The Project Board and Project Team were set up in early 2016.


Work Stream 1: Online Module Descriptor Template

Deliverable: Pedagogically-focused online module descriptor which embeds the agreed assessment and feedback principles and enables key data to be captured (January 2017). Amendments to SITS to enable formative assessment to be captured (January 2017).
Leaders: Katrina Swanton


Work Stream 2: Regulations and Approvals

Deliverable: Revision to relevant Academic Regulations as they concern formative and summative assessment if required. Review (or remove from regulations) the assessment brief and consequent requirements which will need to be met at approval events.
Leader: Katrina Swanton


Work Stream 3: Assessment and Feedback Practices

Deliverable: Implement the use of the TESTA methodology to generate data from a range of programmes across Schools to build the picture of current assessment and feedback practices. Devise clear School/Programme action plans for the implementation of change.
Leader: Fiona Smart


Work Stream 4: Staff Development

Deliverable: Develop a clear staff training programme on assessment and feedback which is informed by the output from Work Stream 3. Make recommendations for mode of delivery that will meet 'mandatory' requirements.
Leader: Mark Carver


Work Stream 5: Assessment and Feedback Handbook

Deliverable: The revision of the Assessment Handbook to align it with the adoption of assessment and feedback principles as agreed by LTAC. To formally launch the revised Assessment Handbook.
Leader: New Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancment academic (from January 2017)


Work Stream 6: eSubmission of Coursework and eReceipting and Feedback

Deliverable: All written coursework will be eSubmitted and eReceipted, with exceptions. This work stream will pilot eSubmission in Trimester 1, 2016/17 and roll-out fully across the University by the end of 2016/17.
Leader: New Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement academic (from January 2017)


Download the complete Work Stream membership and deliverables