Assessment to Support Student Learning: Eight Challenges for 21st Century Practice.


  • Kay Sambell Edinburgh Napier University
  • Sally Brown Emerita Professor Leeds Beckett University
  • Phil Race Visiting Professor, Edge Hill University.


Assessment for learning, assessment training, authentic assessment, inclusivity, manageability plagiarism/contract cheating, programme-level assessment.


There are many challenges for the colleagues who teach and assess students in the twenty-first century, and in this article, we explore eight of these, proposing some practical ways forward building on the scholarship in the field, aiming to make assessment integral to student learning, fit-for-purpose, valid and reliable, inclusive and manageable for assessors. We argue for systematic development through training and mentoring for all who assess, and for programme-level approaches to assessment, rather than discrete approaches to assessment of separate modules that can lead to incoherent student experiences. We conclude by arguing that assessment should be authentic if it is to engage students and prepare them for life beyond the university.

Author Biography

Sally Brown, Emerita Professor Leeds Beckett University

Emerita Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University Adjunct Professor, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Adjunct Professor, James Cook University, Northern Queensland Adjunct Professor, Central Queensland University Visiting Professor, University of Plymouth Visiting Professor Liverpool John Moores University






Research Articles