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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

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The Diversifying Assessment Forum

The Diversifying Assessment Forum is an annual event which provides a venue for all staff involved or interested in assessment to explore processes and opportunities for changing, refining or adapting current assessment practices.

Recordings and slides from all previous fora are available on the Resources page (Raven access required).


2024 Forum: new date

Date: Monday 24 June
Time: 14.00-16.30
Venue: Student Services Centre

Register for the 2024 Diversifying Assessment Forum

The forum will be chaired by Prof. Bhaskar Vira, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, who will be joined by a panel of staff sharing their perspectives of assessment at Cambridge. We are also delighted to be welcoming Prof. Philip Dawson (Deakin University, Australia), who will be speaking on the latest approaches to AI and assessment.

See the full programme


Workshop: Designing Assessment

Date: Monday 24 June
Time: 10.30-12.00
Venue: Student Services Centre

Those attending the Diversifying Assessment Forum may also be interested in the Designing Assessment workshop which will be taking place on the morning of the same day. Prof. Phillip Dawson will be leading a practical session exploring and applying the Assessment Design Decisions framework to a new or existing assessment design from your own teaching.

Find out more and register for the Designing Assessment Workshop


Diversified Assessment

Following the Examination Review Final Report (2017), the University has been strongly encouraging "creative and innovative modes of assessment as appropriate to the subject being examined".

Diversified assessment moves away from a reliance on exam-based assessment, and instead focuses on summative assessment practices that ask students to engage in discipline-specific or authentic 'real-world' tasks to demonstrate their learning and the development of skills relevant to their discipline and future work. They also provide staff an opportunity for innovation in the design and development of assessment tasks that align with intended learning outcomes.

There is considerable evidence in the sector that high-stakes summative exams disadvantage some students who do not perform to their best ability under these conditions. High-stakes timed assessment settings create a pressured environment, while the learning outcomes of University programmes do not generally require students to demonstrate knowledge or skills under intense pressure.

Diversified assessment thus gives us more variety and choice in how we ask or allow students to demonstrate that they have met their learning outcomes.

Please get in touch with Dr Ruth Walker if you have any questions about the events on this page.

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