Changing the narrative: a programme approach to assessment through TESTA

Tansy Jessop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA) was originally funded by the Higher Education Academy in 2009, but has been sustained beyond its funding period through community, reinvention and the rigour of its approach. A programme approach addresses the unintended consequences of modular degrees, where students learn in small units, often 10 or 20 credits in weight, equating to 100 or 200 hours of study respectively. Modules have afforded students choice; they have also increased summative assessment loads, arguably doubling them. Large-scale data from TESTA have identified common patterns of assessment and feedback which arise mainly as a result of modular silos. The chapter highlights evidence of alienation and demonstrates strategies which encourage students to move from alienation to engagement. It explores the significance of common patterns of assessment. The chapter discusses two dominant themes arising from large-scale data; first, high summative and low formative patterns of assessment; second, disconnected feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovative Assessment in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook for Academic Practitioners
EditorsCordelia Bryan, Karen Clegg
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429506857
ISBN (Print)9781138581197
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2019


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