Summer of 6C: Principles of Assessment Design (6c) – the essentials

In last week’s blog we introduced the context for change and the principles underpinning the changes to assessment policy, to be introduced in September 2019. This blog contains more detail about how the changes may affect staff and students and the timescales for units to be reviewed and updated. The changes apply to all undergraduate and postgraduate taught provision (levels 4 to 7).

Changes to the Assessment Workload

(extracts from the policy document)

 Each 20-credit unit should normally, unless required by Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), have no more than 2 elements of summative assessments. These elements are formal (i.e. each assessment must be passed for the student to pass the unit). There should be no sub-elements.

In addition to summative assessment, formative assessment must be included in each unit to promote effective learning, but this does not contribute to the final unit mark and whilst feedback/feedforward is required it is not required to be independently marked or moderated. The feedback/feedforward provided may be self-assessed, peer assessed or tutor-assessed.

Assessment per 20 credit unit should normally consist of 3,000 words or equivalent. Dissertations and Level 6 and 7 Final Projects are distinct from other assessment types the word count for these assignments is 5,000 words for 20 credits, recognising that undertaking an in-depth piece of original research as the capstone to a degree is pedagogically sound.

Timescales

 Academic Services have identified the following key deadlines for Faculties to work to, allowing the Student Administration Team to effect changes in the Student Records System and other relevant systems, and for timetabling requirements to be collated:

Completed modifications by 14 December 2018 for all undergraduate programmes with options (this deadline includes standard modifications for ‘business as usual’ changes) to allow for curriculum build ahead of selection of optional units;

Completed modifications by 29 March 2019 for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes without options

Academic year 2017/18
Timescales Activity Responsibility
May – August 2018 Programme level review of assessment strategies and individual unit assessments – either through additional programme meetings or as a planned element of the Programme Review Meeting at the end of the academic year.

Programme and unit review – programme teams to consider what assessment modifications are required for each unit and the programme assessment strategy.

 

Programme Teams, Heads of Department, Heads of Education
May – June 2018 In-process revalidations – for those programmes in re/validation now and early next academic year, there is an opportunity to embed/absorb the proposed changes sooner.  We recommend that reference to assessment workloads in unit and programme documentation should be based on the policy changes due to take effect in 2019.

 

Programme Teams, Heads of Department, Heads of Education with support from the Academic Quality Team.
Academic year 2018/19
September 2018 Collate changes by department – to manage the workload we recommend that modifications are collated by departments.

 

Heads of Department
October 2018 Timeline for Faculty reviews – Faculties and Academic Quality will agree a timetable and process for reviews by each programme/department.

Programme teams provide brief summary statement of extent of changes proposed (to be used to understand scope of changes needed and for Student Communications).

 

Heads of Department, Academic Quality team
November 2018 Extraordinary FASC to facilitate large scale modifications to assessment patterns.

 

Deputy Deans Education, FASCs
14 December 2018 Deadline for all undergraduate programmes with options submitted to Academic Quality to allow time for curriculum build ahead of selection of option units FASCs & Academic Quality Team
December 2018 – January 2019 Documentation checked and internal communications to University departments Academic Quality
January 2019 Communications out to student applicants, offer holders and enquirers Marketing and Communications
February – March 2019 Extraordinary FASC to facilitate large scale modifications to assessment patterns. Deputy Deans Education, FASCs
29 March 2019 Deadline for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes without options FASCs & Academic Quality Team
April 2019 Documentation checked and internal communications to University departments Academic Quality
Academic year 2018/19
Independent Marking Plan data will be used to review alignment with the new policy.

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