What your students should know about assessment

What can you do?

When it comes to assessment, we know that it is a huge, perhaps the biggest, motivator for our students’ learning. Assessment is, after all, the main thing that our students have to engage with if they want to be successful during their time at University. In order to support our students to demonstrate the best that they can be, and to assist them in doing the best they can in the assessments we set them, we need to be transparent about the assessment methods we use and support our students to understand them. Formative assessment helps with this as it allows our students to practise the assessment method without the risk of doing so in a summative assessment. Discussing the assessment and what we expect of our students also helps. In this way, our students can demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of the subject, not of the assessment type. This requires us to be clear about why we are asking our students to undertake the assessments we set, how they relate to the ILOs and what the students will gain from them.

Key points

  • Assessment is huge motivator for our students.
  • We must be transparent about the assessment types we use and why we use them.
  • We should provide formative opportunities for students to practice assessment methods.
  • Tutorials, lectures, labs and even Moodle provide opportunities to discuss assessment methods.
  • Allowing students to experience the assessment method and understand the criteria enables them to perform better.