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Inclusive Assessment Attributes developed by Collaborative Enhancement Project team

Date: July 28 - 2022

Today we have published a set of inclusive assessment attributes which were developed as part of a Collaborative Enhancement Project, led by Teesside University.

Each of the project partners identified undergraduate programmes that had closed either attainment gaps and/or continuation gaps across a range of different student demographic groups during the Coronavirus pandemic. The leaders of these programmes were interviewed about any changes that they had made to their programme. Students in their final year of study on these programmes were invited to participate in focus groups or interviews exploring their experiences of assessment and any barriers they experienced in the assessment process.

Thematic analysis of the transcripts of the interviews and focus groups was carried out, leading to the identification of 9 inclusive attributes that were common across the programmes identified in the eight institutions. There are grounds, therefore, to believe that these attributes are likely to apply to provision across the UK Higher Education (HE) sector.

  • Leaders: A leader provides oversight of practice, ensuring there are sufficient resources and effective systems in place to deliver inclusive assessment.
  • Academics: An academic undertakes the work of assessing, and/or of providing the learning support for assessing students inclusively.
  • Students: A student engages with the learning support and assessment on a course and experiences barriers and enablers to their engagement.

The project team have come up with the following position statement on inclusive assessment:

Inclusive assessment is realised through holistic and flexible approaches that recognise, value, and reflect student diversity, facilitating choice and enabling every individual to demonstrate their achievement with respect to academic/professional standards and empowering them to take ownership of their learning journey. To achieve this, assessment needs to be strategically designed as an embedded element of the curriculum to proactively consider students' needs and to remove systemic barriers in institutional policies, processes, and practices.

The list of Inclusive Assessment Attributes is available on the project web page. To aid your engagement with the attributes, at the end of August, we will publish an associated reflective toolkit, case studies and an evaluative project report.  QAA members are also invited to join the Embedding Inclusive Assessment workshop on 18 October, 12:00-14:00 which will be led by the project team. Please save the date in your diary - registration will open soon.

Developing a Set of Inclusive Assessment Design Attributes for use Across the Higher Education Sector is a Collaborative Enhancement Project supported and funded by QAA Membership. The project is led by Teesside University in partnership with University Alliance, University of the West of England, Birmingham City University, Oxford Brookes University, Greenwich University, Kingston University, University of Brighton and University of Hertfordshire.

You can find out more about our funded Collaborative Enhancement Projects on the Membership section of our website.