Skip to content.
HEA logo ADM logo


Assessment is of particular concern to the Art, Design and Media sector, because of the range of assessment modes involved, as well as subject-specific issues such as the significance of visual material and abilities.

Included here are a discussion of some subject specific issues, as well as generic material.

Assessment Enhancement Themes

The Enhancement Themes initiative
aims to enhance the student learning experience in Scottish higher education by identifying specific areas (Themes) for development. The Themes encourage academic and support staff and students to share current good practice and collectively generate ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching.

The work of the Enhancement Themes is planned and directed by the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee (SHEEC) .

Learning, teaching and assessment are all essential parts of higher education and all students are assessed formally or informally during their time at university. But it isn't something either learners or teachers really enjoy, or, probably do very well and new approaches to assessment that enhance student learning need developing.

The main theme of the work of the Assessment Enhancement Theme during 2003-04 was improving efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Efficiency - Efficient assessment that does not take up a overly burdensome amount of time for students or staff.
  • Effectiveness - Effective assessment produces a result that is informative, valid, just and robust.

Integrative Assessment

Published as part of the Scottish QAA's Enhancement Themes, four guides on Integrative Assessment are now available (publication date 2007) .  These are:

  • Monitoring Students Experience of Assessment
  • Balancing Assessment for and Assessment of Learning
  • Blending Assignments and Assessment
  • Managing Assessment Practices and Procedures


Other initiatives and information about projects and resources


Challenging Perspectives on Assessment
This a collection of short Web presentations that are intended to provoke debate. Over the last few years, those involved in developing assessment have generated some new perspectives which, as yet, have not been fully incorporated within mainstream practice. This resource aims to close that gap.

Each Web talk at is intended to be contentious but well grounded. About ten minutes long, each introduces an idea which may be pursued using the references provided. The talks may be used by individuals or serve as catalysts for group discussions, for example in workshops. The list includes:

  • Assessment is the most important thing we do for HE students (Prof. Sally Brown)
  • Peer Assessment: What's it all about? (Prof. Ian Hughes)  
  • Developing a more holistic approach to assessment policy and practice (Prof. Ranald Macdonald) 
  • How feedback works for some of the people some of the time (Prof. Liz McDowell) 
  • Understanding staff student interaction is central to engaging students with feedback (Dr Jill Millar) 
  • I know a 2.1 when I see it (Prof. Margaret Price) 
  • Feedback can be a waste of time (Prof. Steve Swithenby).


Giving students effective feedback
The UK Centre for Legal Education website has a section giving guidance on providing individual written feedback as well as group, peer, formative and summative assessments which is applicable across all subject areas.

For more information:


SPACE Project - Student-Staff Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation

A three-year HEFCE funded Project based at the University of Plymouth developing and facilitating more inclusive approaches to assessment. SPACE is a collaborative Project made up of academics, educational developers, disability officers and students from a consortium of 8 higher education institutions. SPACE has researched the assessment experiences of nearly 500 students (both disabled and non-disabled students), developed case studies of inclusive assessment practice and have produced an inclusive assessment toolkit containing: A critical review of the issues governing the choice of assessment.Case studies of inclusive assessment Institutional, departmental and individual procedures to support the process of assessment change, Research report and Evaluation tools.

For more information please contact Rocio Martinez:
T: 01752 232284 or see the SPACE website

ADC-LTSN Subject Centre Conference on Assessment held at the University of Surrey, 8 December 2000

View and download a report of the conference.

The Critique is Dead: Long Live the Critique, Assessing large groups of graphic design students. Paper by Simon Bell of Coventry University, given at the above conference. Read report.

Critical Distance: An investigation into the function of the 'crit' in a flexible learning environment
Read more about this ADM-HEA Funded Project.

Using formative assessment in the delivery of a level one module for a media arts degree
Author: A. Devas. View the report.

Assessment for d/Deaf students

The University of Wolverhampton have published 2 booklets, Learning, teaching and assessment: a good practice guide for staff teaching d/Deaf students in art, design and communication. and, a good practice guide for staff teaching d/Deaf students in science and engineering.
They are available as PDFs from:

GWAMP - group working assessment in media production

Report of the 2000-2003 a national project funded by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), involving three other universities and the LTSN Subject Centre for Art, Design and Communication Group Working Assessment in Media Production. View the report

Generic Aspects of Assessment in Higher Education
HE Academy offer a wide range of downloadble documents concerned with many aspects of assessment in Higher Education.


Assessment is one of the topics included in the Deliberations on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education website. Deliberations is based in the Centre for Academic Professional Development (CAPD) at London Metropolitan University and is currently funded and fully supported by the university.

For Art, Design and Communication specific material see:

Bibliography -subject-specific material includes:

  • Jackson, B. (1995) 'Assessment practices in art and design: a contribution to student learning?' in Gibbs, G. (ed.) Improving Student Learning - Through Assessment and Evaluation . Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff Development It can be downloaded from:

  • Davies, A.(1997) Assessment and Transferable Skills in Art and Design

  • Directly relevant to ADM: Group Working Assessment in Media Production - GWAMP The generic literature on assessment is very large; the following offer a good starting point:
  • Biggs, J (1999) Teaching for Quality Learning at University (especially Chapters 8 &9) Open University • Boud, D.(1995) Enhancing Learning through Self-assessment Kogan Page



  • Page Navigation

Stop Press!