Developing Assessment Use for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Grant type: Development (2000-08)
Round: March 2002
Amount awarded £2,000.00
Completed: October 2003
Leader(s): Dr Val Klenowski
Organisation: Institute of Education, University of London
Contact Email:
Dr Sally Thomas
University of Bristol
Professor Jannette Elwood
Queen's University, Belfast
Start Date: 3 February 2003
End Date: 31 July 2003
Interim report received: 20 January 2009
Final report received: 18 November 2008

Assessment is integral to the teaching and learning cycle and must be used in the right way to support and enhance learning. Current debates about education assessment refer to research evidence that suggests assessment as a regular element of classroom work holds the key to better learning. However, most of this evidence is derived from research conducted at primary or secondary school levels. A central aim of this project is to assess the relevance of such assessment theory to postgraduate level work.

This study builds on the findings of four action research projects that developed a variety of assessment practices to promote learning in postgraduate education. The specific aims are to refine and develop these assessment and pedagogic practices, which incorporate the use of self-assessment, learning portfolios and learning groups. The research projects have been conducted at Masters level at the Institute of Education, University of London in the school of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment and in the Graduate School of Education, Queen's University, Belfast.

Colleagues at Bristol have indicated their interest and commitment to develop these practices with postgraduate students working in their own contexts. This project will establish networking opportunities with the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, so that through such exchange the practices may be improved and refined collaboratively in the three locations. This opportunity will capitalise on the individual strengths that each researcher will bring to the study and will help determine the relevance of these practices for others in higher education. Another aim is to assess the learning benefits of the study for colleagues in the Learning and Teaching Support Network so that the findings can be disseminated more widely.