Assessment innovation in college-based higher education

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In Higher Education (HE) in England, there is a current drive towards enhancing teaching quality through the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) (Office for Students, 2019). Teaching is synonymously and inextricably linked with learning, however, a key component that cannot be overshadowed or overlooked when discussing learning and teaching is assessment. The Higher Education Academy (2015) assert that due attention to the selection of assessment methods is of fundamental importance in terms of student learning. When designing HE programmes, providers must thus carefully consider their assessment practices.
The Higher Education Academy (2015) have suggested that learning and teaching in HE can be significantly enhanced through transforming current assessment practices. As such, agents of HE are experiencing a period of opportunity, whereby the potential for assessment innovation is on the horizon. Assessment innovation that considers students’ wider developments, such as tasks that reflect graduate employment skills/activities, may be found to increase student outcomes through the adoption of alternative approaches. Furthermore, Kapsalis et al. (2019) have argued for the development of new assessment formats through which students can play active roles in the implementation of innovative assessment and have called for a greater diversity of methods.
This paper examines such assessment innovation in a recently re-validated BSc (Hons.) Top-Up Degree in Physical Activity, Health and Exercise module: ‘Special Populations and Physical Activity’. Module assessment involved students delivering professional seminars to their peers and industry experts. Data drawn upon are anonymised end-of-module evaluations, module attainment grades and short semi-structured interviews. Initial analysis suggests high levels of student satisfaction and a significant increase in mean module attainment compared to previous years when more traditional methods had been adopted.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventAoC College HE Research and Scholarship Conference 2020 - Online
Duration: 14 May 202019 May 2020

Academic conference

Academic conferenceAoC College HE Research and Scholarship Conference 2020


  • Assessment innovation
  • Professional seminars
  • Student learning
  • Graduate employability
  • Wider-skill development


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