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Digital education

Assessment Design in a Digital Environment

7 July 2020
Dr Andrew Roberts, the new academic lead for the University’s Transforming Assessment project

As the new academic lead for the University’s Transforming Assessment project, it seemed timely for me to write a short blog post on some of the things we need to think about as we develop our programmes for the next academic year.  The past year has certainly presented us with some challenges around assessment, and thanks and recognition need to be given to the hard work and commitment by both academic and professional services staff ensuring that the pivot to online assessment was successful.

Not having invigilated exams does however provide us with an opportunity to rethink what we want to achieve through assessment and whether what we have traditionally done is the most effective way to achieve it  We know that workloads, particularly when exams are bunched the end of term, can be a stressful experience for both students and staff.  We also know that student satisfaction with assessment and feedback is often not as good as we might hope.  Is there a better way to do this?

Next week we will be running a series of webinars in the three colleges that will give you the opportunity to think about how you might re-design the assessment in your module.  What opportunities does a move to online or digital assessment provide?  We will be encouraging you to think about your modules, how they relate to others in the programme and how overall assessment load can be optimised. We’re also keen that you think about how you work with students throughout your modules, so that they understand what success in their assessment might mean and so that feedback becomes part of the learning process.

We know that many of these things might be new to you, particularly if you have relied on the traditional written examinations in the past.  Therefore, we will be putting together a menu of assessment recipes that you can adopt or adapt for your own teaching.  Support will be provided through the CESI and your School assessment and feedback lead will also be an important point of contact.

Written by Dr Andrew Roberts
Academic lead for the University’s Transforming Assessment project

Transforming Assessment Webinars:
To support you with the review of assessment plans ahead of the September deadline, the Transforming Assessment taskforce will be running college-based webinars to provide you with guidance, examples and support around the types of assessment practice that will be effective in a blended learning context as well as opportunities to reduce student and academic burden.

Monday 13 July, 11:30am – 12:30pm
Zoom Registration Link:

Wednesday 15 July, 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Zoom Registration Link:

Thursday 16 July, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Zoom Registration Link: