13. 1 minute pause: your experience
Which of these
Any ideas to address the
14. 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
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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).
Why formative matters
18. How to encourage formative
Go to www.menti.com and use the code 35 78 99
Choose your top three strategies for engaging
students in formative assessment
20. 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
21. Case Study 2
• Problem: silent seminar, students not reading
• Public platform blogging
• Current academic texts
• Threads and live discussion
• Linked to summative
23. Principles of good formative
1. Less summative makes space for more formative
2. Whole programme approach
3. Authentic, public domain tasks
4. Link formative and summative
5. Risky, creative, challenging tasks
6. Collaborative tasks
25. 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”.
26. 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
29. 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
32. Theme 3: Confusion about goals and
• Consistently low scores on the AEQ for clear
goals and standards
• Alienation from the tools
• Perceptions of marker variation, unfair
standards and inconsistencies in practice
33. We’ve got two
tutors- one marks
to the other and it’s
pot luck which one
They read the essay and then
they get a general impression,
then they pluck a mark from
It’s like Russian
roulette – you may
shoot yourself and
then get an A1.
They have different
criteria, they build up their
34. There are criteria, but I find them really
strange. There’s “writing coherently,
making sure the argument that you
present is backed up with evidence”.
36. Taking action: internalising goals and
• Regular calibration exercises
• Team discussion and dialogue
• Rewrite/co-create criteria
• Discussing exemplars
• Enter secret garden - peer review
• Engage in drafting processes
37. TESTA programme effects
• Rebalancing formative and summative
• Greater connections across modules
• Better sequencing and progression of
assessment across the programme
• New approaches to formative
• Team curriculum design
• Improved student learning and NSS scores.
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. 2016. 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.
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. doi: 10.1007/bf00117714.
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.
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
Not so good for complex learning, integrating knowledge, lends itself to disposable curriculum fragmented learning. Amplified summative, less time for formative. Hard to make connections, difficult to see the joins between assessments, much more assessment, much more assessment to accredit each little box. Multiplier effect. Less challenge, less integration. Lots of little neo-liberal tasks. The Assessment Arms Race.
Summative as a ‘pedagogy of control’
Teach Less, learn more. Assess less, learn more.
Is anyone listening?
Students can increase their understanding of the language of assessment through their active engagement in: ‘observation, imitation, dialogue and practice’ (Rust, Price, and O’Donovan 2003, 152), Dialogue, clever strategies, social practice, relationship building, relinquishing power.