Assessment & the Expanded text project: Towards a Productive Assessment Practice – Case Studies


The case studies below are designed to be used by the tutor who wants to change and develop assessment practice to improve student learning.

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Each one is based on the premise that :

‘assessment inheres in and informs the learning process: it is formative and diagnostic as well as summative and evaluative and the process should provide students with constructive feedback’ (CCUE/QAA: 1999).

Each one includes:

  • a narrative of the assessment method in practice;
  • details of impact on staff and students;
  • a copy of any materials handed out by tutors to students and sample student work.

Diversifying Assessment : Reviews, reading dossiers, assessing students in seminars

At the University of Northumbria our focus is on diversifying assessment for the ‘newer’areas of our curriculum (texts and issues, aspects of culture, American literature). This case study details our experience of developing three innovative assessment practices, review writing, reading dossiers and oral assessment. We demonstrate how each of these assessment practices provides opportunities for valuable feedback, is economical of staff time and fosters the value of collaborative learning for independent study and assessment.

Text Authors: Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Dr. Philip O’Neill. Length: 40pp.

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This case study details our experience of using self-assessment to encourage students to reflect actively on subject specific learning outcomes associated with ‘traditional’ study (genre) and assessment (essay) at Sheffield Hallam University. We argue that by becoming more reflective students are better able to judge the effectiveness of their own performance and more aware of improvement in a particular skills or set of skills over time.

Text Authors: Ian Baker and Phil Bannister. Length: 40pp.

For an online version of ‘Writing Essays: A guide for literary studies students’ click here.

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Practising theory on-line

This case study details our experience of developing formative assessment activities for a virtual learning environment which promotes active student learning at Staffordshire University. We draw examples from our work with a first-year literary theory core module. We argue that computer software programs can provide a practice space for students working to achieve new learning outcomes in English at university level. They can also be used to foster good assessment practice for tutors as well as for students not least because they encourage tutors to produce teaching materials which provide and promote structured independent learning activities.

Text Authors: Dr. Siobhán Holland and Dr. Aidan Arrowsmith. Length: 40pp.

To view a demo site of COSE click here

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How to Cook a Book

This case study details our experience of making the practice and production of the text available to a wide range of students within the School of American and English Studies at the University of East Anglia and assessing this learning. We argue that asking students to produce their own publishing project demands a high level of literacy and presentation skills which improves student learning generally.

Text Authors: Julia Bell and Julian Jackson. Length: 40pp.

Further Information

For more examples of current assessment practices in English across the Higher Education sector go to Current Assessment Practice.

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