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

Kay Sambell, Sally Brown, Phil Race


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.


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

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