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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

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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.


The Diversifying Assessment Forum

The first Diversifying Assessment Forum was held in 2020, as an opportunity for all staff involved or interested in assessment to explore processes and opportunities for changing, refining or adapting current assessment practices.

After the success of the first forum, we were delighted to hold another in 2021: the Diversifying Assessment Forum 2021 included a reflection on lessons learned from the shift to remote and online assessment, and opportunities for discussion on a range of themes.

Resources from both events are available on the Resources page (Raven access required).

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