Assessment and Feedback Policy 2020

Guiding Principles

This policy aligns to Swansea University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy. In particular, it aims to improve the effectiveness of assessment and feedback methods for staff and students by setting out clear and fixed principles that should guide practice. These principles are derived from academic research and the QAA’s Quality Code for Higher Education: Assessment. Staff can find in-depth guidance to assessment and feedback in the University’s Code of Practice for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment.

1.     Assessment is aligned to intended learning outcomes and teaching methods

What this means for students

  • Each Programme and Module has clear and measurable intended learning outcomes; assessment is purposeful and directed towards achieving these outcomes.
  • Students understand the purpose of the assessment, how it will develop their knowledge and skills, and how it contributes to their personal development across their entire degree.

What this means for staff

  • Assessment design is approached holistically with reference to intended module and programme outcomes.
  • Staff ensure that students understand the intended learning outcomes and their relevance to assessments.
  • Intended learning outcomes and assessments are made available to students.

How this can be implemented

 

2.     Assessment within programmes is varied and employs a range of different methods to ensure development of relevant skills and knowledge

What this means for students

  • Students experience a variety of different assessments that develop a range of technical and transferable skills that will enhance their employability and personal development. Students may be involved in assessment design.

What this means for staff

  • Staff employ a range of assessment methods to best address the intended learning outcomes of a module, ensure inclusivity and promote student progress.
  • Staff design module assessments in relation to the wider curriculum and programme of study, in consultation with Programme Directors and programme team.
  • Student partnership in assessment design is encouraged.

How this can be implemented

3.     Assessment is inclusive and accessible

What this means for students

  • Assessments are designed to enable all students to meet the intended learning outcomes.
  • Students will have the opportunity to engage with formative assessments to enhance their development.
  • Students may choose to do their assessments in Welsh, and wherever possible assessments will be marked in the language of submission.

What this means for staff

  • Assessments are accessible by all students and support equality of opportunity.
  • Assessments are designed inclusively from the outcome, and any further reasonable adjustments are made to ensure assessment is accessible to all. Assessment and Feedback conform to the legal requirements of the Equality Act (2010).

How this can be implemented

 

4.     Assessment and Feedback/forward is effective, fair, and timely

What this means for students

  • Students are supported and prepared for assessment; there are clear and understandable assessment guidelines and marking criteria, with specific information about when and how feedback will be received.
  • Students have the opportunity to discuss assessment and feedback with academic staff.
  • All students should expect individual feedback/forward on their assessed work, but may also receive group, peer, and general feedback.
  • Students are guided on how to engage with their feedback and use it to inform their learning.
  • All assessments and feedback strategies meet subject-specific guidelines and external standards.

What this means for staff

  • Staff design and provide assessment criteria that are explicit, transparent, understandable and made available to students when assessments are set.
  • Staff ensure assessments are effectively moderated.
  • External Examiners monitor assessment and feedback strategies.
  • Feedback is provided to students within an agreed timescale so that it contributes to learning development.
  • Feedback/forward is constructive, supportive, clearly justifies the grade, and identifies areas for improvement.
  • Feedback is provided in the most appropriate way for each assessment.

How this can be implemented

 

5.     Assessment encourages academic integrity

What this means for students

  • Students understand the importance of academic integrity and the different forms of academic misconduct (and the consequences of academic misconduct).

What this means for staff

  • Assessments are designed to promote academic integrity and minimise opportunities for academic misconduct.
  • Staff clearly communicate to students the methods for assessing academic integrity, how this will be monitored, and the consequences of academic misconduct.

How this can be implemented

6.     Assessment and Feedback is efficient and manageable (for all)

What this means for students

  • At the beginning of each semester, students are made aware of all planned assessment submission and feedback return dates, including examination periods, so they can plan their studies.
  • Where possible, assessments are balanced across the academic year; deadline bunching should be avoided where possible.
  • Wherever possible, assessment is submitted and marked, and feedback returned electronically.

What this means for staff

  • Assessments are designed with consideration to the overall programme, considering overall workload and student outcomes to ensure they are effective, manageable and fit for purpose. 

How this can be implemented

 

Review and monitoring of implementation 

College/Schools review all assessment provision against the Assessment and Feedback Policy, paying particular attention to student engagement, assessment load and assessment practices and approaches to ensure they are inclusive. Compliance with the Policy is monitored through the following methods:  

The Chair of the College/School Learning and Teaching Committee will report to the University Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee periodically on Policy implementation and the timeliness of feedback. 

Review of Policy

The policy is reviewed annually by the University’s Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee to ensure that it is responsive to external and internal requirements and changes in effective practice in assessment in Higher Education. A more substantial Review will be conducted every three years. 

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