Developing an Assessment & Feedback Toolkit to support innovation in policy and practice.


Informed by the conclusion of Ball et al (2012 p8) that assessment practice in most universities has not kept pace with other far-reaching changes in HE and that “a radical rethink of assessment practices and regulations” and a “holistic and proactive approach” is required, the Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) at Bournemouth University bravely took up this large-scale challenge. Presenting at the Southampton Solent Community Teaching Conference last year, we thank the participants in our workshop for their insights.

Implementing this vision involved addressing both global and local dimensions of assessment in higher education (Hounsell & Zou 2017). The approach combined radical change to institution-wide assessment policy based on assessment for learning principles (Sambell 2011), and emphased partnership and collaboration in the developing the Toolkit as an Open Educational Resource. The principles-based and evidence-based strategy focused on rebalancing summative and formative assessment tasks; a broader menu of assessment types; and promoting technology-enhanced learning strategies facilitated by a new VLE.  The team drew on tested leadership strategies  (Quinney et al 2017) and invited large-scale engagement through internal and external events to critically inform the process, supported by the expertise of Dai Hounsell, Visiting Professor.   We shared critical reflections on our approach and discuss considerations for toolkit design and construction.

l-r Dr Curie Scott, Prof Dai Hounsell, Anne Quinney, Prof Debbie Holley

Ball et al 2012. A marked improvement: transforming assessment in higher education. York: HEA

Hounsell D and Zou T. 2017. Surfacing and sharing advances in assessment: a communities of practice approach. In: Carless C, Bridges SM, Chan CKY and Glofcheski R (eds) Scaling up assessment for learning in higher education. Singapore: Springer . pp33-48

Quinney A, Lamont C, Biggins D and Holley D. 2017. Optimising disruptive approaches: extending academic roles and identities in higher education. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education Issue 10

Sambell K. 2011.Rethinking feedback in higher education: an assessment for learning perspective. Escalate. University of Bristol.

Above: The BU team at Solent: Dr Curie Scott,Prof Dai Hounsell, Anne Quinney and Professor Debbie Holley

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