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Advance HE Assessment Symposium: On your marks: Re-evaluating feedback and marking practices

Advance HE, York, YO10 5BR
County / Region
Position on the Pathway
All categories
Fellowship Category
All Fellowship Categories
Event Type
Face to Face Symposia
Assessment and feedback
Start Date
End Date
1 day
Institution Type
Higher Education
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Assessment and feedback are enduring issues for the higher education sector both in the UK and internationally. This symposium will address the priority area of assessment feedback, focusing on the connected areas of marking practices and feedback processes. By way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, the event will offer insights and solutions for the enhancement of marking and feedback practices within departmental and institutional contexts. Drawing on research and evidence-informed practice, the event will appeal especially to academic leaders and professional staff with roles incorporating the oversight and design of assessment and feedback with and for learners.

The symposium will address the following themes:

  • Embedding feedback and feedforward to reflect a dialogic process;
  • Developing assessment literacy and student understanding of standards within subject, discipline or professional areas;
  • Innovative approaches to peer review and peer assessment;
  • Building approaches for marking and moderation processes.

The aim of this symposium is to provide an open and supportive environment within which to share and discuss contemporary practice-based interventions and initiatives in this priority area.

Call for submissions

Colleagues are invited to submit an abstract for either a 30-minute presentation or for a 60-minute workshop, as detailed below.

Presentations – Presentations are to be structured to include 20 minutes presentation time to leave sufficient opportunity for audience questions. Colleagues are asked to submit an abstract of up to 200 words outlining the focus of the presentation and potential benefits to participants of attending. Presentations should relate to one of the symposium themes (see above).

Workshops – At least half of this hour session should be used for participant-centred activities. Colleagues are asked to submit an abstract of up to 250 words, outlining the focus of the workshop,  activities to be included and participant ‘takeaways’ (i.e. what participants will gain from attending the workshop). Workshops should relate to one of the symposium themes (see above).

Depending on level of interest and the quality of submissions for the event, we hope to produce a follow up publication of the same name, in which authors have the opportunity to publish a fuller version (approx. 2,500 words) of the paper they present.

To submit an abstract, please use our online submission form.

Deadline for submissions is 12pm, 26 September 2019.

Reviewing criteria:

All submissions (both presentations and workshops) will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance to symposium focus and themes;
  • Linkage to broader assessment and feedback landscape (including research literature);
  • Reference to evidence-informed frameworks or principles for the enhancement of assessment, marking and feedback practices.

Presenters will be eligible for a discounted delegate rate of £180.

grow your skills new to leading excellence in practice combined

Keynote Speaker

Dr Berry O'Donovan,  Principal Lecturer Student Experience, Oxford Brookes University

What makes good feedback good? Enhancing student learning from, and satisfaction with, assessment feedback

This keynote will draw from recent research studies into assessment feedback in Higher Education that critique current practice and suggest some contemporary approaches to improving student learning from, and satisfaction with, feedback that go beyond technical concerns such as timing and quantity.  Such approaches emphasise the particular challenges of feedback within modular programmes that traverse multiple subject areas and the importance of focusing on the feedback literacy of students.  The research suggests that to capture high satisfaction ratings and high levels of achievement that four shifts in practice may be needed in addition to assuring the technical aspects of feedback provision involved in design, timing and delivery.  The presentation is aimed at those who design feedback processes at the programme and/or module level and for institutional policymakers. 

Berry O’Donovan is a Principal Lecturer at the Business School, Oxford Brookes University. She is a National Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has been involved in a number of national projects funded by the Higher Education Academy/Advance HE and the Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) including as Deputy Director for the ASKe (Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange) Centre for Excellence. Her research centres on assessment and feedback in higher education and the intellectual development of students. Her latest collaborative paper 'What makes good feedback good' has been recently published [online] by Studies in Higher Education and will form part of the empirical basis for this keynote.  Currently her teaching focuses on introductory and capstone modules focusing on synoptic learning within management education. 



Afternoon Speaker 

Professor Carol Evans, Professor in Higher Education; Academic Lead of Higher Education Futures Institute, University of Birmingham

Building Assessment Communities: The Interdisciplinary Network for Research-informed Assessment Practices (INRAP)

In this presentation, on behalf of INRAP, Professor Carol Evans will give a brief update on the development of the Advance HE Assessment and Feedback Network, and outline some of the key challenges facing the higher education community in advancing assessment practices, and welcome input from colleagues. Our aim is to build an international assessment feedback community to which all colleagues are welcome. 

INRAP’s key aims: 

  • Building and connecting a dynamic community that challenges, critiques and advances knowledge and understandings of assessment and feedback within higher education. 
  • Providing a critical and supportive space for inter-disciplinary collaboration and working.
  • Supporting institutions in using assessment and feedback evidence rigorously through research-informed and evidence-based ways to impact assessment choices.
  • Promoting a holistic approach to curriculum design using assessment as the driver. 
  • Framing, discussing and disseminating new ways of thinking and working in assessment and feedback at discipline and institutional level. 
  • Empowering practitioners and equipping and supporting them to leverage their own roles and realities for the enhancement of their own practice, and in supporting others to do the same. 

Who should attend?

The symposia series is intended for anyone – managers and leaders, academic and support staff – with an interest in and/or responsibility for assessment and feedback in higher education at all levels. It will be a useful forum to encourage the exchange and dissemination of different ways of thinking about assessment.

The symposium will feature a keynote presentation, followed by themed sessions showcasing case studies from the sector.

Delegates will have the opportunity to learn from leading practitioners in the sector, debate priority issues and learn from cutting-edge initiatives.

The symposium will be facilitated by Dr Erica Morris, an Advance HE Associate and Dr Patrick Baughan, Senior Adviser Learning and Teaching, Advance HE.


Download Resource

Assessment Symposium Programme