Many of our current assessment methods were established when the student population lacked the diversity that we find today. As the student population diversifies we need to reassess assessment methods so as to respond to the needs of this diverse student population. Inclusive assessments are designed to be accessible to all the students in a diverse student body.
This section offers guidance on how to ensure that inclusive practices are incorporated into assessment and feedback methods.
Overarching Principle: Clear and flexible assessment approaches are necessary to all students have an equal opportunity to display their acquisition of learning outcomes.
Guidelines for inclusive assessments:
- Use a range of assessment methods to respond to the diversity of the student body.
- Consider offering a choice of assessments. For more information see UCD's choice-of-assessment and TCD's Occupational Therapy testimonial on offering a choice of assessment.
- Make sure your assessment aims are clear (e.g. are you testing memory, knowledge, cognitive skills, analysis, and technique). The creation of learning outcomes will be useful in this task.
- Ensure students have the learning outcomes and understand how they relate to the assessment of work.
- Clear, timely, and accurate information regarding assessment deadlines This allows for advanced preparation.
- Clear, timely, and accurate information regarding assessment requirements. This allows for clear expectations
- Clear, constructive, and timely feedback on performance in assessments,
- Good practice examples for any assessment method they are unfamiliar with (if students are to create posters for the first time, show examples from previous years that have obtained good grades and explain why they achieved these grades).
Do not assume your students understand what is being assessed. Students enter Higher Education from a very different second-level assessment system. Clearly inform students of what is being assessed. For example, if students are asked to write an essay, let them know whether they are being assessed only on their knowledge and understanding of the topic or if the mark also includes their ability to write an essay.
- be flexible,
- discuss deadlines with colleagues to ensure an even and manageable workload for students.
Remember that you are not the only lecturer setting deadlines. If your students come from diverse programmes with many module choices, discussion with all parties may not be possible. In that case, maintain flexibility.
Furthermore, be aware that some students may require flexibility due to personal reasons (e.g. disability, temporary illness, or death in the family). Some may feel uncomfortable requesting an extension. Therefore, it can be useful to state in the handbook, or during the first lecture that reasonable requests for extensions will be considered.
Take time to complete a brief self-evaluation of your: