A wholistic approach to assessment

“Persistent dissatisfaction with assessment and feedback in the NSS is largely a consequence of fragmented design (Jessop and Tomas)”.

This fragmentation is due to instructors adopting a unit-eye view of assessment without reference to a programme-level assessment strategy:

“It is not unusual for programmes to be assembled module-by-module according to the content being covered, without an overarching eye on the entire assessment pattern. Module leaders may design assessment tasks independently from each other without any necessary connection to the wider programme (Jessop, McNab, and Gubby 2012).“

However, students themselves experience the inverse, so instead tend to:

“encounter a programme of study, not a single module.”

Therefore, unless the timing of assessment tasks and provision of feedback is co-ordinated across all course units within a programme, students suffer high assessment loads and find they have to:

“juggle multiple deadlines across modules; and they wait for feedback which may or may not help them to improve the next task.”

This is can be to the detriment of deeper learning:

“The consequence of high assessment loads for students is the tendency to adopt a surface approach to learning (Knight 2002; Lizzio, Wilson, and Simons 2002)”

Read more:
Tansy Jessop & Carmen Tomas (2017) The implications of programme assessment patterns for student learning, assessment & evaluation in Higher Education