Making our mark
Transforming assessment at ARU
Over a period of five years, Anglia Ruskin University ran the Making our mark initiative to transform assessment and feedback practices across the University.
This initiative involved a variety of developments that positively affected change in the enhancement of assessment at ARU. We initiated and directed a range of activities and interventions for these developments, working with faculties, support services and external experts in the field.
The initiative can be summarised by an outline of the phases:
- Preliminary phase (2012–13) – this involved an operational and strategic review of assessment practices through using the Higher Education Academy’s framework, A Marked Improvement (2012).
- Phase 1 (2013–14) – a series of course leader workshops were held, which resulted in identifying key challenges to be addressed. Challenges included assessment literacy, formative and summative assessment, self and peer assessment, group assessment, consistency of markers, and effective feedback.
- Phase 2 (2014–15) – Faculty assessment days were held. Workshops were run on the key assessment and feedback challenges and Assessment Design Consultancies for course teams.
- Phase 3 (2015–16) – Our priorities were enhancing marking practices, the development of ARU’s Assessment Protocol and the creation of the Anglia Assessment Album that includes resources designed to support implementation of the Protocol and advance assessment practices.
- Phase 4 (2016–17) – Our focus was on implementing ARU’s Assessment Protocol, and developing and embedding the resources of the Anglia Assessment Album, as well as enhancing course assessment and feedback approaches. We have also worked with the Students’ Union to produce the resource ‘Reflecting on assessment and feedback’ that offers a framework of questions to help education reps evaluate and improve assessment. This was piloted in all faculties, and is consistent with the approaches to student engagement outlined in our Interim Student Engagement Strategy.
The Making our mark initiative has also involved events to promote and exchange good practice in assessment:
Evaluation work in 2015 highlighted the impact of the Making our mark initiative with increased awareness and understanding amongst academic staff about the importance of enhancing assessment and feedback, as well as changed assessment practices that are ultimately beneficial for student learning. We have also disseminated ARU’s work on enhancing and evaluating the impact of changing assessment policy and practice at national level: