3 Nov 2016 ............... Length about 700 words (8,000 bytes).
(Document started on 14 Apr 2007.)
This is a WWW document maintained by
Steve Draper, installed at http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/rap/principles.html.
You may copy it.
How to refer to it.
Web site logical path:
Principles of feedback and assessment design
Department of Psychology,
University of Glasgow.
This page is the head page for my own collection of rival sets of principles
for designing assessment and feedback: or maybe just learning designs?
(If you want to print them all off here is a
one page compilation to make that more convenient.)
The area isn't really just designing exams for certificates, but also
formative feedback given after a learner completes a bit of work, and also
again, support and guidance given to learners while they are trying to do a
bit of work (e.g. project supervision, lab demonstrators).
(Further discussion of the scope.)
Sets of principles
Principles from UNSW
NUS (National Union of Students)
Principles of good feedback
Some new principles
The surgeons' slogan:
See one, do one, teach one.
Chickering and Gamson's 7 principles for good
practice in undergraduate education
Rowntree's 17 proposals for better assessment practice
Chris Rust's 7(9) principles
paper on TESEP principles
Liz McDowell's 6 conditions
Melbourne's 16 Indicators of
Effective Assessment in Higher Education
Ecclestone's Audit Questions
ELLI: 7 dimensions of the Effective
David Boud's assessment principles
National academy 3 learning principles
Gee's principles of good learning
Merrill's (14) first principles
Other guides on assessment
There is also Dai Hounsell's Integrative Assessment, though the advice is
not presented as principles or slogans. You can get pointers to his booklets
University of Melbourne: pdf guide
University of Melbourne: pages
University of Sussex
"A momentary review of Assessment principles"
What makes a good principle?
A good principle should be:
- True and relevant to assessment. However this is not enough: there are
probably an infinite number of such principles. What are the other properties
that make a principle worth identifying and disseminating?
- Not currently common practice. E.g. "correct spelling mistakes in exam
papers", or "publish the assessment criteria in the language of the course
and/or learners" are important, true, but few if any academics need to be
reminded to do this.
However there are some borderline cases such as "Do not use a task in an exam
(e.g. a new essay format) unless the students have had some advance practice
with it". Many would regard this as obvious, but in fact it is worth having
on a checklist since too many courses fail to conform to this.
- Feasible and realistic to implement. E.g. "Provide every
student with 24 hour personal 1:1 access to their personal Nobel prize winning
tutor" would probably raise learning outcomes, but is not possible to
- Associated with methods, preferably tried and proven, to implement the
principle. Generic principles for which there are not established
implementations are not of practical use. E.g. "Learners should be at the
optimum level of arousal: not too anxious, nor too somnolent". This
expression of the Yerkes-Dobson law is true and backed by experimental data,
but is not associated with tried educational methods for changing learners'
arousal state to the right point.
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