How might inclusive approaches to assessment enhance student learning in HE?

John Butcher, Paul Sedgwick, Lisa Lazard, Jayne Hey


This article reports some of the results from an investigation into issues around inclusivity in assessment undertaken at the University of Northampton (2009-2010). The Assess4success research project was conducted within a framework provided by the Higher Education Academy Summit programme on inclusive learning and teaching, and sought to explore the extent to which inclusivity, (a high level commitment in the university’s access and teaching policies), was embedded in students’ experiences of assessment. Drawing on internal quantitative data across the institution suggesting specific groups were more likely to struggle with summative assessment in Year 1, and qualitative data exploring sample student experiences in relation to formative assessment tasks, a series of generic recommendations to enhance the inclusivity of assessment practice both in the host institution and across the sector are offered.

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