As we have already suggested, assessment is inescapable for our students. It allows us to measure their learning and gives them information about what they know and what else they need to learn to be successful. Ultimately, of course, assessment allows us to award degrees to our graduates. At The University of Glasgow, we have decided that the guiding principle for all our assessment practice is that it should be assessment for learning, not just assessment of learning. This emphasis is important because it points to our desire as an institution to ensure that assessment is art of the learning process for our students, not just a measure of our students’ performance.
Assessing graduate attributes
At the University of Glasgow, we have defined a series of attributes we want to ensure our graduate have, and are able to articulate, when they leave us. These graduate attributes should be embedded in course and programme design, and that includes in the design of our assessments.
Aligning assessment and intended learning outcomes
At the University of Glasgow we base our course design on constructive alignment. More information about this can be found here, but the underlying principle is that each course and programme should be based on what students will be able to demonstrate that they have learned during that course or programme. This learning is described in a series of statements known as intended learning outcomes. The assessment of each course must then enable students to demonstrate these learning outcomes. Where this happens, it is described as assessment that is aligned to the learning outcomes. There are a number of ways to ensure that this is so, one of which is assessment blueprinting, and more information about this can be found here.