George Brown is a retired professor from the University of Nottingham



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Introduction

There is no doubt about the importance of assessment. Assessment defines what students regard as important, how they spend their time and how they come to see themselves as students and then as graduates. It is a major concern of those who learn, those who teach and those who are responsible for the development and accreditation of courses. Hence this guide which, together with the LTSN Generic Centre’s companion guides for students and managers, provides a broad overview of assessment.

The guide is designed to help you to review, refresh and refine your approaches to assessment. Its main theme is alignment, that is the importance of alignment between assessment methods, assessment tasks, learning opportunities and intended learning outcomes (learning objectives) and between feedback, criteria and assessment tasks. The guide outlines the path of assessment from its purposes and principles to the role of external examiners. Along the way it considers methods, sources and instruments, marking, providing feedback and the problems of plagiarism. It contains hints, suggestions and opportunities to reflect upon approaches to assessment but it does not review the relevant research on assessment nor does it provide specific procedures for designing specific assessment tasks. For those aspects of assessment, the reader is directed to the brief annotated bibliography.




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