Assessment Protocol

ARU's Assessment Protocol explains ARU's approach to assessment. It's a primary point of reference and includes a set of principles and responsibilities for our University, our Students' Union, our staff and students who have a shared commitment to the implementation of the Protocol.


The Protocol was created with the help of faculty directors of learning and teaching, course reps, Student Services, the Academic Officer, and Professor Margaret Price, a leading expert on assessment literacy. It was further developed by a consortium of stakeholders from across ARU, led by Anglia Learning & Teaching and the ARU Students' Union. The Protocol can be used to:

  • facilitate a common understanding of ARU's approach to assessment, and the value of developing assessment literacy amongst students and staff
  • promote discussion about assessment strategy in Student Staff Liaison Committees, course team review meetings, or as part of course development or periodic review
  • support dialogue and the sharing of good practice on enhancing assessment, feedback and feed-forward practice at course and module levels.

The Protocol is based on international research and perspectives on assessment and recognised institutional approaches to developing assessment literacy, particularly work undertaken at the Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange (ASKe) at Oxford Brookes University.

Formative assessment 

Formative assessment tasks are essential for providing our students with scaffolded help for completing their final assignment task(s). The tables in Formative Assessment Options provide a summary of ideas about how to design assignment(s) help as well as offering advice on the benefits to students of different types of formative assessment and how much time (and effort) is required to set these up. 

Summative assessment

The assessments that contribute to our awards, known as summative assessments, can come in a variety of forms depending on the best approach to assess learning within each module and course. The Summative Assessment Options guide provides a summary of different types of assessment tasks, their context and appropriateness, and an estimate of the preparation or effort required to set these up, complete, and mark. It is important that tasks are selected carefully to balance good pedagogy and academic rigour with efficiency of design that works well for both students and markers.

It is also important that students are able to practice any new assessment tasks before having to complete them for credit. Careful use of formative assessments, or low-stakes versions of assessments, can scaffold this learning in a supportive way.