Modes of Assessment
– discussion document
As relative newcomers to Undergraduate
provision, we in the School of Education are keen to
learn a) about new ways of teaching and assessing, especially
in relation to large groups and b) how to keep the assessment
workload manageable. We have close links with the School
of Continuing Education (SCE) and, in the light of very
positive External Examiners' reports on the variety
of modes of assessment used in their modules, it was
decided to share good practice. The following assessment
strategies are the product of our discussion.
Colleagues may wish to consider some of these methods
within their own areas, a) to move away from / add to
assignments and examinations and b) to ensure that we
exploit a variety of assessment methods which allows a
range of students’ needs to be met.
- is it acknowledged that the SCE history groups
tend to be smaller than many of our teaching groups;
- from our own experience with presentations as a
mode of assessment, we are aware that some methods
of assessment, although very beneficial, are costly
in terms of time;
- as with any form of assessment, all of those below
have pros and cons.
1) Two day open exam. Students collect questions at
9am on a given morning and are required to hand in the
completed paper at 5pm on the following day. They are
allowed to access the library, internet and any other
resources as appropriate.
2) Student-run seminar (50% of total mark). Can be
done individually or in groups. Students provide a full
portfolio of notes and a report which can be passed
on to the External Examiner.
3) Document appraisals – students are provided
with extracts from articles or DfES publications, for
example, and comment upon them.
4) Assessed course work book. Extract for each week
on which student comments briefly (150 words). 25% of
5) Review of journal articles (including on-line journals)
– comparative review of two articles on the same
We are endebted to David Lamburn for giving up his
time and agreeing to share his ideas with us. I trust
that colleagues will see this as an opportunity to discuss
the topic of assessment within programme and module
For further information contact Gary