Assessment Resources and Readings


Arts-staff Assessment Resources

By early 2010, this page will allow Faculty of Arts staff to access a range of assessment resources and strategies. With the support of a large TIES grant, good practices developed and used by Faculty staff are being documented for sharing. Case studies and other resources will be available via a website for Arts staff linked to this page. The project is being led by Drs Brigid Rooney, Natalya Lusty and Antonia Rubino in conjunction with the Assessment subcommittee of the Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Committee.

Scholarly readings about standards, assessment and feedback

  • Price, Margaret et. al. ‘Assessment Standards: A Manifesto for Change’. A longer document can be found here. These readings describe a model of standards-referenced assessment that seeks to improve the balance between formative and summative assessment, and between the requirements for transparency about standards and the significant role played by tacit academic understandings of standards. The tenets propose that academic standards are most effectively acquired by students (just as they are acquired by academics themselves) through teaching and learning experiences that offer them opportunities to become active assessors of their own and their peers’ work. A Times Higher Education Supplement news item about the Weston Manor Group is here.

Full text for the readings below is electronically available through eReserve in Fisher Library:

  • Biggs, John. ‘Enhancing Teaching Through Constructive Alignment’, Higher Education v32, 1996, pp. 347-364.
    Biggs introduces the principle of ‘alignment’ so that various elements of teaching and assessment (from aims and outcomes to marking criteria) cohere, thus creating conditions in which student learning can occur.
  • Brinko, Kathleen. ‘The practice of giving feedback to improve teaching: What is effective?’ The Journal of Higher Education, v64, n5, Sep 1993, pp. 574-593.
  • Gibbs, Graham. ‘Conditions under which assessment supports students learning’, Teaching in Higher Education, v8, n3, 2003, pp. 357–368.
  • Hussey, Trevor and Patrick Smith, ‘The Uses of Learning Outcomes’, Teaching in Higher Education, v8, n3, 2003, pp. 357–368.
    Hussey and Smith engage with Biggs and others to question the overly narrow specification of identified learning outcomes, and offer a model within which ‘emergent’ outcomes can be recognised and accommodated.
  • O’Donovan, Berry, Margaret Price and Chris Rust. ‘Know what I mean? Enhancing student understanding of assessment standards and criteria’, Teaching in Higher Education, v9, n3, July 2004, pp. 145-158.
  • Rust, Chris. ‘Impact of Assessment on Student Learning’, Active Learning In Higher Education, v3, n2, July 2002, pp. 145-158.
  • Sadler, D. Royce. ‘Perils in the meticulous specification of goals and assessment criteria’, Assessment in Education, v14, n3, November 2007, pp. 387–392.
    ____ ‘Specifying and Promulgating Achievement Standards’, Oxford Review of Education, v13, n2, 1987, pp. 191-209.
    ____ ‘Indeterminacy in the use of preset criteria for assessment and grading’, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 2008, pp. 1–20.
    Sadler’s 1987 essay distinguishes ‘standards-referenced’ from both ‘norm-referenced’ and ‘criterion-referenced’ assessment. His 2007 essay warns against the overly narrow specification of outcomes and criteria (cf Hussey and Smith). His 2008 paper weighs analytic marking against holistic grading practices, and considers the implications for assessing against specified criteria.
  • Taras, M. ‘The use of tutor feedback and student self-assessment in summative assessment: towards transparency for students and for tutors’, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, v26, n6, 2001: pp. 605-614.

Feedback to Students: Useful links


Group Work: Useful links