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Course Design Blueprint

Transparent assessment processes

It is important that students are able to understand how their assessment is carried out: how and when they will know what it is they need to do, the processes to allow them to submit work, how their work is marked, and how they will receive feedback, and how this is inteded to support their further development and achievement.  The University's policies and procedures set out in detail how it expects assessment to be carried out, ensuring a consistent process is applied across all provision. 

To ensure transparency and fairness of assessment designs and communication, course teams are expected to:

  • Explain to students how their work will be marked, moderated, and subject to external examiner review.
  • Make clear how TurnItIn is employed in the assesmsent process, and allow students to make use of the tool to enhance their understanding and to enhance their practice.
  • Ensure all assessment criteria are clearly explained to students, with their application illustrated to enable studenst to self-assess their work before submission.
  • Provide guidance on how word limits for assessments will be applied (see course team guidance box below).
  • Provide clear assessment schedules at the start of each academic year indicating all assessment deadlines.

However, course teams will determine many aspects of how their course's assessments will be delivered to students including:

  • How marking criteria are set and applied. The University has adopted a generic set of marking criteria as available in the University's Course Handbook template (available on the course approval pages in the University's Quality Manual) to assure that comparable standards are employed for all courses.  However, there is a degree of flexibility in how individual courses employ these criteria:
    • Some courses use the generic criteria directly, employing them explicitly in the feedback that students receive for each assessment component.
    • Other courses have adapted the criteria to better suit their particular subject areas and the nature of their students' assessments, and use these adapted criteria within student feedback to explain marking decisions.
    • A few courses create separate sets of criteria for each module or component, each aligned with the generic criteria, and provide these in assessment briefs and use them within feedback.
  • The setting of Group assesments. The University's Assessment of Group Work Policy provides a framework for group assessment, providing a degree of feedom for course and module teams in how they implement group based assessments.  Teams will need to ensure their approaches are made clear to students from the outset, making particularly clear how any final marks will be apportioned. 
  • Opportunities and processes for students to negotiate aspects of their assessment.  In some assessments students may be permitted or required to select case studies or subjects for their work, agreeing these with their tutors.  In such situations, the mechanisms for agreement should be made explicit in the assessment brief, as should any criteria that the tutor will employ to confirm suitability of a student's proposal.  Similarly, some assessments may afford students the freedom to negotiate the format which their submission might take, and the mechanisms and criteria employed should be made clear from the outset.  Teams adopting such assessment flexibility should seek to adopt a consistent approach to granting approval for students' proposals across their provision where possible.