The influence of disciplinary assessment patterns on student learning: a comparative study

Tansy Jessop, Barbara Maleckar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper explores disciplinary patterns of assessment and feedback, using data from the Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment project. Its central research question concerns the effect of disciplinary assessment patterns on student learning. Audit data from 18 degree programmes at 8 UK universities showed variations in assessment patterns across three disciplinary fields: Humanities, Professional and Science courses. There were variations in assessment demands; in the quantity of feedback and in the proportion of examinations. Statistical analysis of Assessment Experience Questionnaire data (n = 762) explored whether these differences influenced students' perceptions of learning across the disciplines. Findings showed that there were no significant differences in students' perceptions of learning from examinations. Humanities students evaluated the appropriateness of their assessment lower than other discipline groups; professional students were less clear about goals and standards. The researchers propose explanations for these findings and suggest avenues for further research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)696-711
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    Cite this