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Queen Mary Academy

Assessment design

When designing assessment, consider what the purpose of it is: is it assessment of, for or as learning?

This guide gives details of possible purposes of assessment, ways that it can be designed and implications of different forms of assessment.

Assessment of for as [PDF 246KB]

Further assessment design resources:

Baseline Principles for Assessment and Feedback of Blended Learning [PDF 559KB]


Useful resources: 

Improving assessment in a comprehensive and sustainable way (plenary lecture)

Speaker: Sue Bloxham (25/01/2018)

Teaching and Learning Conference & Drapers’ Lecture 2018 (Rethinking Assessment and Feedback)

We now have a wealth of knowledge about more effective, engaging and fair assessment in higher education but much practice remains profoundly resistant to change. Despite significant national funding and local initiatives, the potential power of assessment to foster student learning, improve engagement and reduce non-completion rates is often wasted – and student satisfaction remains low.

Most change initiatives have been at the level of individual academics in specific modules rather than at the more sustainable and influential level of the programme, department or institution. This talk will consider a framework for assessment change which recognises that many assessment interventions raise problematic and complex ideas made more difficult by the large and loosely-coupled nature of many Universities. It will use the themes of institutional infrastructure, assessment strategy and approaches to the professional learning of those involved with teaching and assessment to posit a range of practical interventions which, I hope, will stimulate conversation and ideas throughout the rest of the conference and beyond.

Plenary Lecture slides_S. Bloxham 2018 [PDF 1,947KB]

Handout-A-guiding-framework-for-institutional-transformation-in-assessment. [PDF 101KB]



Assessment for learning: how might students and academics negotiate the teaching, grading and feedback cycle in an age of accountability? 

Speaker: Pete Boyd (26/01/2016)

QMUL Teaching and Learning Conference 2016

Video available - 

Assessment matters: it shapes student approaches to learning. What experiences of assessment do undergraduates bring from their schooling and how do academics manage their continuing assessment experiences within the significant influence of quality assurance systems? In this keynote I will outline the paradigmatic ‘constructive alignment’ approach to assessment, which has been adopted so widely and enthusiastically by quality assurance agencies and universities. Informed by the growing body of research on assessment in higher education I will challenge this framework and suggest strategies that academics might use to mediate the unintended consequences for students of high accountability workplace contexts. My intention is that this keynote and the subsequent discussion will provoke your thinking and provide practical tools for development of assessment literacy and practice.