Assessment: programme-level design principles

For a brief introduction as to why it is a good idea to adopt a programme level approach to assessment design, see: Wholistic assessment (1-minute read).

The quality checks relating to programme level assessment design consider the overall assessment pattern in respect of the volume, spacing, timing and variety of assessment.   Linking to intended learning outcomes and the consistency of grade descriptors across the programme are also important:

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“The volume, timing and nature of assessment enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.”

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“Assessment tasks should be managed across the programme, to achieve appropriate variety in assessment tasks, avoid unnecessary concentrations of assessment at particular times and reflect intellectual progression through the programme.”

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“The timing and amount of assessment should be organised to facilitate deep learning (too many similar deadlines for submission may produce surface learning for tasks which singly would encourage deep learning).”

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“Is the assessment clearly linked to the intended learning outcomes?”

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“Grade descriptors used should be consistent across the units in a given programme and should be readily accessible to students in unit and programme handbooks or equivalent.”