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thanks to Dr David Biggins, former TEL theme leader for the original post

As part of internal peer review, Bournemouth University looked at assessment and feedback practices across the University. The work, presented at the ALDinHE conference, looked at the responses to the Iinnovate initiative to demonstrate how staff are innovating in assessment and feedback.  Extracting relevant data from the innovate programme, the presentation highlighted practical steps that staff can consider for adoption.

These are the key slides where online tools, group practices and understanding assessment are key to engaging students with the processes 8
Impact Innovation
8 Work-based learning. “Making the assignment mor... 9
Impact Innovation
8 Padlet. “This worked well in teamwork collaborati...

Moving exams online – some principles

part of the assessment and feedback series with Anne Quinney, theme leader for assessment and feedback, and thanks to our visiting Professor, Prof Dai Hounsell, FLIE, Bournemouth University

Transforming how university exams are designed, managed and completed is far from straightforward. Without careful preparation and piloting, there are challenges in relation to fairness (a reasonable test of what students are expected to have learnt), fitness-for-purpose (the task reflects the intended learning outcomes and enables learners to meet the appropriate academic standard), equity of treatment (to avoid some students being disadvantaged), and robustness (i.e. confidence that technologies will work reliably and that there are effective back-up procedures in case of problems).

It therefore makes good sense to ‘make haste slowly’, drawing a distinction between what is feasible in the short term – this spring and summer – and what may be possible in the longer term as part of a more thoroughgoing shift in exam practices.  As you plan for a short term response to traditional exams please be aware of the principles set out in the BU policy document Principles of Assessment Design (6c).

“BU promotes alternatives to traditional handwritten exams, by expecting a wider range of time-limited assessment tasks and retaining traditional hand-written exams only where there is a PSRB requirement or other context-driven requirement.” (para 4.5)

In this material we focus on short-term options — what can be feasibly accomplished over the coming weeks and possibly months, when measures to combat the coronavirus have made some of our usual assessment practices impractical.

Creating different spaces

Some Guiding Principles

  1. Consider whether an exam is a requirement of the professional, statutory or regulatory body for your programme. Could you set another form of assessment?
  1. Wherever practicable, work with existing technology that is already familiar to staff and to students – for example those available in Brightspace or supported by the university. The Learning Technology team have produced guidance (see the Brightspace Staff Resources area ) and there are suggestions in the TEL Toolkit.
  1. Give careful thought to designing exam tasks that set a fair challenge to students, and couldn’t easily be sidestepped by simply looking up the answer on the internet, for example by including a requirement to comment on how this knowledge has been applied/can be applied by the learner to a real-life or hypothetical situation.
  1. Plan around a timetable that includes the following:
  • letting students know what form the exam will take, how they can prepare for it, when it will take place, and how they will submit their exam answer or response. A new Assignment Brief will need to be provided
  • wherever appropriate, posting up sample questions or practice materials, to prepare for the possible exam content and to check that students have access to suitable IT equipment off-campus
  • fixing a ‘release date and time’, when the exam question/problem/test materials are to be communicated to students
  • deciding on a submission date and time which is realistic and feasible (e.g. which gives students time to put together their considered response to the question set, and to submit it electronically in a secure way through the submission box set up in Brightspace
  • planning how to advise and support students with questions about any aspect of the exams (e.g. via FAQs or a Q&A discussion board)

As you plan alternatives to traditional on-campus exams in the current situation and begin to think ahead to the next academic year please be aware of the principles set out in the BU policy document Principles of Assessment Design (6c).The policy applies to Levels 4 and 7 currently and will also include Level 5 in the academic year 2020-21, and Level 6 in the academic year 2021-2.

“BU promotes alternatives to traditional handwritten exams, by expecting a wider range of time-limited assessment tasks and retaining traditional hand-written exams only where there is a PSRB requirement or other context-driven requirement.” (para 4.5)

Getting Creative at the ALDinHE Conference 2015


IMG_1218Easter means the ALDInHE annual conference! This year a wide range of themes were explored, and a great time was had, at Southampton Solent University. Resources will shortly be available from the conference website

Debbie Holley and colleagues from the Professional Development Working Group offered a creativity workshop to explore the use of collage to address ‘threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge’ (Land and Meyer 2003) where students find it difficult to grasp concepts.

IMG_1239Working in groups, the participants created collages and found new ways of thinking about supporting students. Feedback comments included ‘a very inspiring session/ a simple idea and so effective/ has given me ideas.’

These ideas, and more can be explored further at the ALDinHE one day ‘Look/Make/Learn Conference on Tuesday 12 May at the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre, the prestigious Daniel Libeskind building, one of the 10 most iconic University Buildings in the country.


and the session outcomes








Please visit the website and book here:

Reflective writing – links and resources

We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.’

John Dewey

Reflective writing resources:

Start here with an interactive guide – page 2 has podcasts on 4 theorists; p3 has  a working model of learning cycles, page 4 an interactive quiz for you to work through and see what kind of learner you are..

The Visual Art Project – my favourite!

“The focus of this fellowship was the production of a learning resource for students in relation to reflective writing and sketchbook development. Enabling students to become more independent in their learning in their first year was one of the main issues driving the project. In addition to this, we felt it important to make two of the central practices at an art & design university more explicit. We were also keen to be part of creating a central study skills resource available across the University, which does not exist at present. Against this background, we set out to develop materials that were created locally and collaboratively with both staff and students, to ensure that they were seen as meaningful and would have currency amongst the users”.

Jenny Moon shares 50 pages of reflective writing materials here:

Jenny Moon again – a lovely good practice guide to learning journals and logs, reflective diaries

Handouts from a one day reflective writing course:

Graham Gibbs reflective cycle with a lovely health visitor example worked through

Inspired by the year 12 students, a teacher writes

University of Reading has an excellent website

and this booklet:

Scroll down and Kolbs reflective cycle is unpacked simply:

Category: Notemaking, Study Tips

Study Tip


This is an extremely useful organisational tool. Clearly placing your name, class title and date at the top of the page makes your notes easy to file and then find later on.

Category: Notemaking, Study Tips