Effective assessment design and delivery in Higher Education

Effective assessment design and delivery in Higher Education man attending webinar
Date: Dates to be confirmed Venue: Online
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Type: Workshop series Fee: £265 (Members - £238.50)

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This workshop series is accredited with 8 learning hours towards an Assessment Practitioner Award, with certification upon successful completion.

In Higher Education, assessment and feedback are both fundamental pillars for learning as well as measuring attainment.

Assessment in Higher Education is a complex and emotive topic, and student experience of assessment, (e.g as shown in the National Student Survey in the UK) highlights the need for the continuing development of practices by institutional stakeholders.

As an assessment professional in the sector, you need to balance quality, learning, experience and robustness to be successful.

Our interactive series of four two-hour workshops will provide you with a practical approach to the design and management of effective module assessments in a Higher Education context.

It will provide you with the tools for the design, implementation, management and communication of assessment with your students. Each session builds on the learning from the last, with a chance to implement and reflect on the content during the time in between.

The workshops have been designed for anyone working in HE with responsibility for assessment design and teaching - individual module leaders to Heads of Departments as well as those who work in educational development.

Workshop dates

Session 1 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title: Exploring assessment, timelines and experiences
Session 2 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title: Choosing and designing your assessment strategy
Session 3 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title: Building and delivering your assessment communication plan
Session 4 TBC | 12:30 - 14:30 (UK time) Title: Measuring impact and overall evaluation strategies

Course outline

By the end of the two-week training course (four live two hour workshops), you will be equipped with an approach for managing and communicating assessments to students in higher education:

  • Session 1 - Explores assessment experiences, timelines and activities from a range of stakeholder perspectives. This will include wellbeing and learner experience of assessment in HE as well as assessment design, programme mapping, quality assurance and quality enhancement.
  • Session 2 - Explores assessment strategies, stakeholder mapping and considerations as part of module design. We will explore multiple assessment modalities and their design and management including the co-curriculum.
  • Session 3 - Explores best practices in the construction of an assessment timeline (from week 1 to release of grades), holistic assessment mapping and how to build and deliver an effective communication strategy and plan.
  • Session 4 - Explores opportunities to measure the impact and effectiveness of assessment management, potential intermediate assessment and overall evaluation strategies. It will link to module and institutional metrics and KPIs.

In addition to the workshops, you will take away resources to support you in applying the learning to your context and developing your future assessment management and communication practice.

Key learning outcomes

By the end of the four workshops, successful participants will be able to:

  • Critically explore approaches to HE assessment design to support a positive and transformative student assessment experience.
  • Select approaches to assessment design to meet learning outcomes and the considerations of the co-curriculum.
  • Reflect on multiple stakeholder assessment experiences and expectations to inform assessment practice.
  • Design and construct an assessment communication plan to support the module delivery and management of an assessment.
  • Explore opportunities to measure the impact and effectiveness of an overall assessment approach and its impact on performance and KPIs.

Course trainers


Photograph of Fiona McMaster

Dr Fiona McMaster - Fiona has been an educator and a facilitator since training as an English Language teacher over 20 years ago. Since then, she has worked in a range of training and educational settings across countries and spanning public and private sector organisations. She has taught and designed courses for public health in higher education settings, with a particular focus on research methods, behavioural science, and health communications. Popular with students, she was a frequent nominee in student-led teaching awards. She has led course revalidations at undergrad and postgrad levels and has been an external examiner for several institutions in the UK.

In creating assessments, Fiona has always taken a student-first approach, ensuring that all assessed elements have direct application to real-world situations. She has devised assessments for higher education, vocational courses and in workplace training, and is currently involved in several large-scale skill-development and evaluation programmes in the US.

Photograph of Simon Pratt-Adams

Dr Simon Pratt-Adams - Simon has an established international reputation as an external consultant advisor in Learning & Teaching. His involvement and understanding of HE is extensive. He is frequently asked to sit on HE panels and participate in approval and validation events using professional standards and regulatory frameworks. He is adept at working with colleagues in identifying gaps in terms of CPD for academic staff in the sector and building engaging workshops with associated pedagogic materials. His work reflects best practice and research in the UK HE sector, promoting a pedagogical approach founded on student-centred, active and inclusive learning and stakeholder engagement as the essential elements of any learning experience.

Simon has proven expertise in conducting qualitative research. He has published approximately 40 peer-reviewed academic articles and five books, including series co-editor for seven books on contemporary issues in education, lead editor of a text about innovations in active learning in Higher Education and co-author of a book focusing on Soft Systems Methodology in education.

Professor Liz Thomas - Liz researches and writes about widening participation, student retention and success and learning and teaching. She is the author and editor of over many books, journal articles, reports, briefings and practice guides. She regularly delivers keynote addresses and staff development workshops and programmes at higher education institutions in the UK and abroad.

Liz undertakes institutional research or evaluation to inform the improvement of policy and practice to improve the student experience. She specialises in evaluation of change related to widening access, student retention and success and the student experience at the national, institutional and project levels. Liz uses mixed methods to evaluate impact and provide insights into what has been effective - and why.

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