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Learning Assessment Award Badge TCD

Reimagining Assessment in Trinity College Dublin: The Trinity Assessment Framework was awarded the bronze medal for learning assessment in the Stars Reimagine Education Awards (2018).  


SP Cert Case Study: A ‘Forward-Looking’ Assessment in a Philosophy Module - Dr Kenneth Pearce, Department of Philosophy

Previous summative practices in this module had a focus on high stakes summative assessment. Students had little opportunity to practice writing and receive feedback and this led to stress and did not  enable skill development, such as the ability to develop arguments. Furthermore, students were not engaging sufficiently with assigned reading. A backward-design approach will be used to replace the previous  large summative essay with a series of short writing assignments based on prompt questions provided every week. The lecturer will provide feedback through TurnItIn. This approach will promote assessment for and as learning and promote student ‘buy-in’ and participation.


Enhancing Assessment and Feedback in the Natural Sciences - Dr Matthew Saunders, School of Natural Sciences

This resource aims to introduce assessment and feedback approaches that will enable academics to embed a greater variety of graduate attributes into their teaching and learning practices. This resource outlines theory that underpins the development of module content and appropriate assessment and feedback methodologies and provides examples of teaching and learning practice that are used in the School of Natural Sciences.

The expectations and demands of students in higher education have changed dramatically over the past number of years. There has been a divergence in the perception of a university academic as a purveyor and transmitter of knowledge, grounded in the Humboldtian tradition of scholarship, where the acquisition of new information is the goal of education, to a more market driven approach which fosters competition for funds, student numbers and reputation and which places greater emphasis on the links between higher education and industry (Fanghanel, 2012). Consequently, the consideration of graduate attributes that are required to enhance prospective employment has altered the mission of many higher education institutes to focus on graduate competencies rather than just the pursuit of knowledge, in order to up-skill the population and develop a lifelong approach to learning (Pokorny and Warren, 2016). Trinity College Dublin is no exception in this regard, and through the development of the Trinity Education Project a resource toolkit has been developed that can be used to review and renew the curriculum taught and the way in which material is delivered and assessed. This resource paper has been developed through attendance and engagement with a module entitled “Assessment and feedback in higher education”, developed and delivered by Dr Ciara O’Farrell, Dr Cicely Roche and Dr Michael Wride from the Trinity College Dublin, Centre for Academic Practice and eLearning (CAPSL). The focus of this resource is to review and discuss the role of module design and appropriate assessment and feedback techniques to enhance the attributes of graduates from the Trinity College Dublin, School of Natural Sciences.

Enhancing Assessment and Feedback in the Natural Sciences - Dr Matthew Saunders (PDF 569 KB)

Self-Assessment Sheets to Promote Student Learning

One self-assessment method common in Trinity is the use of self-assessment sheets attached to completed student assignments. These sheets can provide an opportunity for students to propose a grade for their work, based on set criteria, and explain the rationale for their proposed grade. Alternatively, self-assessment sheets can focus solely on prompting students to consider their learning from the viewpoint of an assessor. Questions included in self-assessment sheets also prompt students to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their work and consider what this tells them about their own learning and about actions that may need to be taken in the future. This resource contains some questions and templates, which may be useful in compiling self-assessment sheets for students.

Self-Assessment Sheets (PDF 1.02MB)

100+ Ways to Assess

100+ Ways to Assess - some ideas (PDF 584KB)

Trinity Assessment Framework

Trinity Assessment Framework (PDF 5.50MB)

Assessment for Lifelong Learning - Dr Ciara O'Farrell

Assessment OF learning provides important evidence of student performance that enables robust decisions to be made about the award, such as certification to practice or to progress. In order to protect academic standards, our assessment practices must
always aim to be reliable, valid and fair. However, too strong an emphasis on assessment OF learning can lead to an over reliance on examinations, and to students learning ‘to the test’, where their focus is on marks rather than learning (HEA, 2012). Assessment For and AS learning focus on supporting and promoting learning to validate achievement and/or engender learning within and beyond the University (lifelong learning).

Assessment for Lifelong Learning (PDF 1.63MB)

Guide to Self Assessment - Dr Mike Wride

Self-assessment is defined as ‘the involvement of learners in making judgements about their achievements and the outcomes of their learning’ and is a valuable approach to supporting student learning, particularly when used formatively. Self-assessment supports student learning and is one of the most important skills that students require for future professional development and life-long learning, as it develops their capacity to be assessors of learning. This pamphlet introduces self-assessment to academics who are considering implementing it in their teaching. It provides a ‘theory into practice’ approach and outlines techniques and provides examples for integrating self-assessment more directly in the design of curricula. It argues for making its use in the classroom more explicit in order to help students learn more effectively.

Guide to Student Self Assessment (PDF 1.74MB)

Guide to Peer Assessment - Dr Mike Wride

Peer assessment can dramatically reduce the marking load on academic staff and allow them to devote their time to other aspects of teaching and learning. This pamphlet aims to introduce formative and summative peer assessment to academics who are considering implementing peer review in their teaching. It provides a ‘theory into practice’ approach and outlines techniques and examples for using formalised peer assessment more directly in the design of curricula and for making its use more explicit in the classroom in order to help students learn more effectively. It also discusses some of the challenges associated with it.

Guide to Student Peer Assessment (PDF 1842KB)

Practitioners guide to choice of assessment methods within a module: Case Studies from UCD - a resource for staff interested in empowering students in the assessment process

Available at

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS)

The following document lists a selection of formative assessment techniques given to students, usually anonymously and not graded, in order to obtain feedback about student learning or effectiveness of teaching strategies.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (Word Doc, 19KB)

Inclusive Assessment - Trinity Inclusive Curriculum

The TIC Resource Website includes information on embedding inclusion in the assessment of students.