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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

 
Photo of empty desks in an exam hall

Research question

What are disabled students' perceptions of the value of more diverse assessment methods for their academic performance and wellbeing?

 

Project team

  • Cecily Bateman, undergraduate student reading Classics
  • Beth Bhargava, undergraduate student reading History

 

Project report

Report: Diversifying Assessment Project (PDF)

 

Abstract

This project aimed to find out whether disabled students are helped by 'adjusted modes of assessment' and/or more diversified methods of assessment, in terms of impact on both mental health and on academic attainment, whether disabled students are disadvantaged by the current structure of exams, and the short- and long-term changes that must be made to address this if so.

Data were gathered through a survey sent to all students registered with the Disability Resource Centre, and through email interviews where respondents provided longer-format answers.

The results demonstrate that disabled students are disproportionately disadvantaged by the current structure of assessment and are enthusiastic about the possibility of more variety and choice in methods of assessment, believing it would be better for their education, their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and analytical skill, and their employability and ease of transitioning into employment after university.