Explaining Assessments to Students


Explaining Assessment to Students

Importance of Theme “Explaining assessment to students”

Through “explaining assessment to students” staff are able to ensure that students understand what is required for an assessment or for an assignment. The theme is also important as it offers staff an opportunity to explain the efforts put into creating assessments and how lecturers, exam boards and external markers ensure that assessments are fair.



You might like to experiment with assessment in your course for the next academic year. Listen to Pedro Telles below as he talks to SALT about the types assessment methods employed on his law modules.

This is the Pedro’s presentation from the 2015 SALT conference, here is talks about the assessment in context of the ‘Startup Law’ project he set up in Bangor University.

Dr Phil Race, Addressing Student Satisfaction – adopted from material published in Making Teaching Work by Phil Race and Ruth Pickford, London: Sage, 2007).

How to ensure that assessment arrangements and marking have been fair ?

  • Explain to your students the efforts which go into making assessment arrangements and marking as fair as possible.
  • Explain that draft exam questions are discussed by committees or assessment boards and refined and clarified before being set to students.
  • Explain the role of external examiners or moderators, in getting the questions right beyond doubt before students meet the questions.
  • Put yourself into your students’ position. Imagine you got a poor mark of grade, and felt “this isn’t fair”. Students who feel disappointed with their assessment results may think “it isn’t fair”, and this thinking may continue to colour their feelings about assessment and marking overall. The way round this is to make sure that students know exactly why they were awarded low marks or grades, get advice about how to improve on these grades in their next piece of work.

University Assessment Policy

See Section 5 Procedures for Marking and Moderating found on Page 12 of the document


The theme is also significant in relation to the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Academy Fellowship.

National Student Survey

The theme has been taken from the National Student Survey question “assessment arrangements and marking have been fair” under the category of Assessment and Feedback.

In the recent 2014 NSS results 80% of students at Swansea University agreed that “assessment arrangements and marking have been fair”.

Higher Education Academy

The theme is also important in regards to the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) as “explaining assessment to students” contributes to Professional Values V1 respect individual learners and diverse learning and communities and Areas of Activity A1 design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study.

For more information on the UKPSF follow the link https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/professional-recognition/uk-professional-standards-framework-ukpsf

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