Assessment is an essential part of education. Robust assessment processes are critical for a rigorous evaluation of the level of student learning. Beyond judgement, the modes of assessment we select will shape not just what, but how students learn. Empowering and engaging learners through assessment design and providing opportunities for dialogic feedback is central to learning and the student experience.
Modes of assessment are evolving, encompassing assessment for, of and as learning, allowing the evaluation of a broader range of professional and subject-specific competencies, providing greater student choice and opportunities for students to showcase their talents.
Designing a diverse diet of authentic, valid and verifiable assessment tasks that excite and engage learners together with constructive and timely feedback are the most influential means we have as teachers to direct and support learning.”
Dr Catherine (Kay) Hack (PFHEA),
Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching)
More resources, articles and publications on Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education
The Assessment and Feedback information pack contains links to all the resources and content available on this page plus more.
Framework for transforming assessment - A shared point of reference for the sector
Our framework for transforming assessment in higher education is an integral part of the Advance HE Student Success Framework Series. This framework is relevant to a range of staff working in HE, including those who teach, those tasked with changing assessment policy and practice and those responsible for quality assurance and enhancement, centrally or in subject areas. The latter may include pro-vice chancellors, deans, heads of department, and subject and programme leaders. It can be most effective if adopted at an institutional level as well as embedded within programmes.
Impacts of higher education assessment and feedback policy and practice on students: a review of the literature 2016-2021
Conducted by Edd Pitt, PhD SFHEA, and Kathleen M Quinlan, PhD PFHEA, from the University of Kent, the review explores evidence from peer-reviewed journal articles relating to assessment and feedback in higher education published from 2016 to 2021. The review highlights evidence-based assessment and feedback policies or practices that have had a demonstrable impact on key student outcomes including performance, engagement and satisfaction, and prompts a rethinking of traditional views of assessment and feedback.
Advance HE members can access the literature review, a searchable dataset and an infographic exploring the research. Find out if your organisation is a member.
Degree Standards - Professional Development and Calibration for the External Examining System in the UK
The project on degree standards, running from 2016 to 2021, was managed by the Office for Students on behalf of England and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales. OfS contracted Advance HE to work across the UK to facilitate a sector-owned development process focusing on the professional development for external examiners. The project has two interrelated parts:
- Working with a range of higher education providers to design and pilot generic professional development for external examiners
- Exploring different forms of calibration exercises with subject associations and Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs)
Assessment and Feedback reports, publications and resources
Advance HE has curated a number of resources to support the understanding of the role of Assessment and Feedback in higher education. These cover areas such as learner-focused feedback, student partnerships and guides to our frameworks and are available to download below.
Essential Frameworks For Enhancing Student Success: Transforming Assessment
Our framework for transforming assessment is an integral part of the Advance HE Frameworks. This report provides an updated guide to the framework. Download the guide.
The guide is open to colleagues at Advance HE member organisations only. Find out if your organisation is a member.
On Your Marks: Learner-focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy
The publication contains a diverse range of expertise in assessment and feedback, bringing together experts in a number of disciplines to present ideas on learner-centred feedback.
The main goal of the collection is to showcase learner-focused feedback practices that make an impact on student learning.
More resources, reports and publications
You will find links to more resources, reports and publications in our information pack on assessment and feedback in higher education.
Ethnicity awarding gaps in UK higher education in 2019/20
Advance HE has published data and findings related to the size of ethnicity awarding gaps (the difference in proportions of white and students awarded a first/2:1 degree) since 2005 as part of our annual Equality in higher education statistical reports. However, this is the first dedicated report which explores ethnicity awarding gaps in detail across individual and course-level characteristics, specifically for the 2019-20 cohort of qualifiers.
Student Partnerships in Assessment (SPiA)
The Student Partnerships in Assessment (SPiA) Connect Member Benefit Series was coordinated by Advance HE through the Spring-Summer of 2021. This guide is informed by the contributions of a global community engaging with this initiative and features some overarching principles for SPiA, current thinking, and how those principles can be applied in practice.
Assessment and Feedback in Law
This publication arose from an Advance HE Collaboration Project, which took place between 2020-2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic. It consists of nine case study papers focusing on a particular issue or innovation in Law at UK higher education institutions.