STUDENT ENGAGEMENT RESOURCES
Bovill, C. (2017). Engaged in learning and teaching conversations. University of Edinburgh.
Healey, M., Flint, A., and Harrington, K. (2014) Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York: Higher Education Academy.
A programme level perspective can help to ensure that student learning is cohesive and integrative. Working in partnership with students (see 'Student Engagement Resources' for ideas) can help to ascertain how a programme is experienced from the student perspective. This can help to inform Curriculum Review, including how assessment practices on a programme are planned and implemented.
There are compelling reasons to adopt a programme level perspective on assessment:
- Provides a clear overview of all of the assessment on a programme. This can better inform productive discussion between staff, students, external examiners and other stakeholders in the interest of programme refinement and improvement.
- Prevents over-assessment. Occurrences of over-assessment can be noticed and designed out, so that students and staff will not suffer excessive burdens at 'pinch points' during academic terms and will be able to manage their time and workloads more effectively.
- Enables modular alignment and cohesion. Assessment between modules can be scrutinised to check that they are aligned and that there is progression - horizontal and vertical- across a programme. For example, the skills that are assessed in one module may be further developed and measured again in another module in a different context.
- Helps in the progressive development and assessment of graduate attributes. At the University of Reading, graduate attributes are explicit in the Curriculum Framework. The development of such attributes as research skills or global outlook can be expected to occur progressively over a whole programme. A focus on module assessment alone could lead to an imbalance of development and measurement of one attribute over another.
There are also external factors that make a programme level perspective valuable:
- There are questions on the National Student Survey (NSS) that relate to assessment and feedback. Question 9 is about fairness, which could be interpreted to mean fairness of assessment timing.
- Assessment and feedback is a core metric in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and therefore merits both a global and detailed consideration by programme providers.