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Definitions of programme focused assessment

It became evident from work on the initial work packages that we needed to define what we meant by programme focused assessment. After much debate, and based on the examples emerging, the project team determined four key types of programme focused assessment, each with its own variants.

Programme focused assessment is specifically designed to address major programme outcomes rather than very specific or isolated components of the course. It follows then that such assessment is integrative in nature, trying to bring together understanding and skills in ways which represent key programme aims. As a result, the assessment is likely to be more authentic and meaningful to students, staff and external stakeholders. PASS Position paper

Varieties of programme focused assessment

After much debate, and based on the examples that emerged, the project team determined four key varieties of programme focused assessment, each with their own variants:

  1. Integrative semester/term assessment:

    As part of the overall programme assessment, students must complete assessments that demonstrate they satisfy all the learning outcomes which have been specified for one semester/term of the programme.

  2. Integrative level/year assessment:

    As part of the overall programme assessment, students must complete assessments that demonstrate they satisfy all the learning outcomes which have been specified for one level/year of the programme (horizontal), or more than one level/year of the programme (vertical).

  3. Final, heavily weighted integrative assessment:

    As a major (but not necessarily the total) part of the final programme assessment, students must complete assessments that demonstrate they satisfy all the learning outcomes which have been specified at programme level.

  4. Assessment by submission of personal evidence against programme learning outcomes:

    In order to pass the programme, students must submit work (often in the form of a portfolio) which demonstrates that they satisfy all the learning outcomes which have been specified at programme level.