Designing assessments: some key points from the Principles of Assessment Design (6c) Policy document

At this time of year programme teams may be planning assessments for the next academic year. To support this activity here are some of the key points from 6c.

For the academic year 2020-21 all levels 4 and 5(undergraduate), and level 7(postgraduate) level assignments will need to align with 6c.

Key points in the policy, to support assessment for learning, include:

  1. There must be a‘broad range of assessment typesthat allow for authentic, discipline-relevant and profession-relevant assessments based on sound pedagogic principles’. (4.4)
  2. ‘BU promotes alternatives to traditional handwritten exams, by expecting a wider range of time- limited assessment tasks and retaining traditional hand-written exams only where there is a professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) requirement or other context-driven requirement.’ (4.5)
  3. ‘All assessments must have clearly articulated assessment criteria included at the point of briefing. Assessment criteria should be designed and reviewed in line with the principles of the BU Generic Assessment Criteria Grid (See 6F – Generic Assessment Criteria: Procedure).’ (5.2)
  4. ‘Reasonable adjustments may be required for individual students with learning differences or disabilities and in line with the Equality Act 2010. However, if the principles of inclusive assessmentare applied at the point of design, there may be less need for individual reasonable adjustments.’ (5.4.2)
  5. ‘Each 20-credit unitshould normally, unless required by PSRBs, haveno 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’. (5.5.2)
  6. ‘Formative assessment must be includedin each unit to promote effective learning’ (5.5.3)
  7. ‘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 per 20 credits.’ (5.5.4)

The Assessment & Feedback Toolkit contains many resources to support individuals, teams and programmes to extend their practice in this area.

Do please contact me if you would like to talk through your ideas for assessment.

Anne Quinney, Theme Leader for Assessment and Feedback


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