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Higher Education Student Centre

Assessment Literacy


It is essential that students understand the assessment process and protocols, so that they can benefit from feedback to continually develop and improve their knowledge and skills.

We refer to this as ‘Assessment Literacy’The information below aims to give our students clear definitions and expectations in relation to assessment expectations.

 

Formative assessment 

This involves the student and their Assessor/s in determining their level of progress towards final submission.  This allows the student to receive constructive feedback prior to summative assessment and take action to consolidate a pass grade or to improve work, with the aim of attaining a higher grade. 

This feedback should be prompt so it has meaning and context for the student, and time must be given following the feedback for actions to be completed. Feedback on formative assessment must be constructive and provide clear guidance and actions for improvement.

One formal opportunity to provide formative assessment feedback must be included in each assessment at a point when students will have had the opportunity to provide evidence towards all the assessment criteria targeted. This should be built into the Assessment Plan, be formally recorded, and held at a time and in a format agreed between the student and the Assessor. 

We recognise that informal verbal feedback is an ongoing process and is an important part of the Assessor/student relationship. All students should have equal opportunity for both formal and informal feedback to avoid an advantageous situation for any one student. However, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they access feedback opportunities offered by their Assessors, and that they are sufficiently prepared to benefit from such feedback on their draft work at that time, by effectively managing their workload. 

 

Summative assessment 

This is a final assessment decision on assignment tasks in relation to the assessment criteria and learning outcomes of each unit. It is the definitive assessment and recording of the student’s achievement. Students achievement on all learning outcomes /criterion will be recorded, in order to determine the outcome of the individual assessment task/s and the grade/mark for the Unit/Module overall. 

Summative feedback will focus on the areas for development and improvement, and will identify areas of good practice within the work. Feedback should make clear reference to the criterion/learning outcomes and to what extent these have, or have not, been met within the work, and annotations used to signpost what feedback relates to, within the body of the work.  Students should use this feedback to set their own targets for improvement, and to seek additional support where they feel appropriate to do so, to promote their academic development.

Feedback from summative assessment will be provided within four calendar weeks of the submission deadline, and the grade decision will have been internally verified. All assessment decisions are indicative until further scrutiny has taken place through internal verification, or collaborative moderation and External Examination, and the grades have been recorded and ratified through the Examination Committee.