18. Typical A&F patterns
73 programmes in 14 unis (Jessop and Tomas 2017)
Characteristic Low Medium High
Volume of summative
Below 33 40-48 More than 48
Volume of formative only Below 1 5-19 More than 19
% of tasks by examinations Below 11% 22-31% More than
Variety of assessment
Below 8 11-15 More than 15
Written feedback in words Less than
6,000-7,600 More than
19. Theme 1:
High summative with low formative
• Low formative to summative ratio of 1:8 (UK)
• Summative as ‘pedagogy of control’
• Formative weakly practised and understood
21. A lot of people don’t do wider
reading. You just focus on your
In Weeks 9 to 12 there is hardly
anyone in our lectures. I'd rather
use those two hours of lectures
to get the assignment done.
It’s been non-stop
assignments, and I’m now
free of assignments until
the exams – I’ve had to
rush every piece of work
22. It was really useful. We
were assessed on it but we
weren’t officially given a
grade, but they did give us
feedback on how we did.
It didn’t actually count so
that helped quite a lot
because it was just a
practice and didn’t really
matter what we did and we
could learn from mistakes
so that was quite useful.
23. If there weren’t loads
of other assessments,
I’d do it.
It’s good to know you’re
being graded because
you take it more
BUT… If there are no actual
consequences of not doing
it, most students are going
to sit in the bar.
The lecturers do formative
assessment but we don’t get
any feedback on it.
24. Formative is the hardest nut to crack…
Go to www.menti.com and use the code 97 97 66
Type in three reasons why students may be
reluctant to invest time and energy in completing
formative assessment tasks
25. 1) Low-risk way of learning from feedback (Sadler, 1989)
2) Fine-tune understanding of goals (Boud 2000, Nicol 2006)
3) Feedback to lecturers to adapt teaching (Hattie, 2009)
4) Cycles of reflection and collaboration (Biggs 2003; Nicol &
McFarlane Dick 2006)
5) Encourages and distributes student effort (Gibbs 2004).
Yet formative is vital
26. How you encourage formative
Go to www.menti.com and use the code 74 15 55
Choose your top three strategies for engaging
students in formative assessment
…Or talk to each other about successful strategies
27. Case Study 1
• Systematic reduction of summative across
whole business school
• Systematic ramping up of formative
• All working to similar script
• Whole department shift, experimentation,
less risky together
28. Case Study 2
• Problem: silent seminar, students not reading
• Public platform blogging
• Current academic texts
• Threads and live discussion
• Linked to summative
29. Case Study 3
• Problem: lack of discrimination about sources
• Students bring 1 x book, 1 x chapter, 1 x
journal article, 2 x pop culture articles to
• Justify choices to group
• Reach consensus about five best sources
• Add to reading list
35. The feedback is
on the module
Because it’s at the end
of the module, it doesn’t
feed into our future
If It’s difficult because your
assignments are so detached
from the next one you do for
that subject. They don’t
relate to each other.
I read it and think “Well,
that’s fine but I’ve already
handed it in now and got the
mark. It’s too late”.
36. It was like ‘Who’s
Holly?’ It’s that
you’re just a student.
Because they have to mark so
many that our essay becomes
lost in the sea that they have
Here they say ‘Oh yes, I don’t
know who you are. Got too
many to remember, don’t
really care, I’ll mark you on
39. A way of thinking about assessment and
40. Ways to be dialogic
• Conversation: who starts the dialogue?
• Cycles of reflection across modules
• Quick generic feedback
• Feedback synthesis tasks
• Peer feedback (especially on formative)
• Technology: audio, screencast and blogging
• From feedback as ‘telling’…
• … to feedback as asking questions
43. Four propositions
1. Change is difficult. It often involves loss.
2. Change is about people: listen, respect &
involve them, and act together.
3. Change is about taking risks.
4. Sustainable change is about systems, but
systems are not forever
45. Everybody has brought
in more formative. The
idea was to consolidate
assessment and bring in
Do we want to continue
offering twenty different
types of assessment or
do we bite the bullet and
say “We want the
students to be able to
master five of them”?
There has been more of a
spacing of assessments.
Evidence with practical impacts…
There is a lot more feed
forward, which is what
came out of the TESTA.
46. …which are solution-oriented
Already today I have seen some of yesterday’s
feedback being put into action across the team
and we are feeling excited about the changes
we are making.
Clearly some things will take a little longer but
yesterday’s meeting has bought about clarity
and given us an insight over the direction we
now want to take the programme.
Email Correspondence, Programme Leader
47. All about trust and ownership
• Post-it predictions beforehand
• Trust and confidentiality
• Admitting gaps, listening
• Respect for disciplines
• Team ownership
• Follow-up contact and team
Barlow, A. and Jessop, T. 2016. “You can’t write a load of rubbish”: Why blogging works as formative
assessment. Educational Developments. 17(3), 12-15. SEDA.
Boud, D. and Molloy, E. (2013) ‘Rethinking models of feedback for learning: The challenge of
design’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(6), pp. 698–712.
Gibbs, G. & Simpson, C. (2004) Conditions under which assessment supports students' learning. Learning
and Teaching in Higher Education. 1(1): 3-31.
Harland, T., McLean, A., Wass, R., Miller, E. and Sim, K. N. (2014) ‘An assessment arms race and its fallout:
High-stakes grading and the case for slow scholarship’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.
Jessop, T. and Tomas, C. 2017. The implications of programme assessment on student learning. Assessment
and Evaluation in Higher Education.
Jessop, T. and Maleckar, B. 2016. The Influence of disciplinary assessment patterns on student learning: a
comparative study. Studies in Higher Education. Published Online 27 August 2014
Jessop, T. , El Hakim, Y. and Gibbs, G. (2014) The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: a large-scale
study of students’ learning in response to different assessment patterns. Assessment and Evaluation in
Higher Education. 39(1) 73-88.
Nicol, D. 2010. From monologue to dialogue: improving written feedback processes in mass higher
education, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35: 5, 501 – 517.
O'Donovan, B , Price, M. and Rust, C. (2008) 'Developing student understanding of assessment standards: a
nested hierarchy of approaches', Teaching in Higher Education, 13: 2, 205 -217.
Sadler, D. R. 1989. ‘Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems’, Instructional Science,
18(2), pp. 119–144.
Tomas, C and Jessop, T. 2018. Struggling and juggling: A comparison of student assessment loads across
research and teaching-intensive universities. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 18 April.
Wu, Q. and Jessop, T. 2018. Formative assessment: missing in action in both research-intensive and teaching-
focused universities. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. Published online 15 January.
Notas do Editor
Disconnected seeing the whole degree in silos – my module, lecturer perspective (Elephant, trunk, ears, tusks etc) compared to student perspective of the whole huge beast. I realise that what we were saying is two per module
Language of ‘covering material’ Should we be surprised?
The TESTA report back of programme findings was by far the most significant meeting I have attended in ten years of sitting through many meetings at this university. For the first time, I felt as though I was a player on the pitch, rather than someone watching from the side-lines. We were discussing real issues.
(Senior Lecturer, Education
Summative as a ‘pedagogy of control’
Teach Less, learn more. Assess less, learn more.
Is anyone listening?
Root, branch, ecological changes – Hargreaves and Fullan