The MMU Education Strategy and Principles for Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Principle 3: Assessment at MMU is an integrated and integral part of learning and teaching


Click on a standard to see the associated guidance:

3.1 Clearly communicated assessment standards and criteria are linked explicitly to learning opportunities, unit design and teaching methodology and will identify areas for development in both teaching and student learning.  click to expand

The Programme Specification requires details of:

  • How the assessment strategy supports the achievement of the award outcomes
  • How the choice of assignment tasks is used over the duration of the programme to develop students’ skills (eg the different skills demonstrated by using group work, presentations, essay writing, report writing, research). Why has a particular mix of assignments been chosen?
  • What information is provided to students about assignment tasks
  • How assignment tasks are linked to the programme learning outcomes

HEA report: A Marked Improvement

UTA resources: Assessment, particularly sections on Task Design and Task Sizes

Programme teams should:

  • Communicate their high expectations of every student to encourage maximum engagement with assessment and subsequent success;
  • Develop design challenging assessment ‘of learning’ and ‘for learning’; with all parts of the assessment process being made clear to all parties (students, staff, and external examiners).
  • Ensure assessment opportunities are clearly mapped against the planned learning outcomes;
  • Undertake iterative analysis of assessment processes and outcomes to determine whether changes to teaching, learning and / or assessment are indicated.
3.2 Provision of formative assessment, timely and informative feedback, summative assessment methods, and mechanisms for promoting feedback relevant to the subject, will provide motivation for further achievement; recognise and reward student progress.  click to expand

Formative and summative assessment methods must be designed into every programme.  Teams must:

  • Ensure assessment is facilitative and supports and promotes student learning by the provision of appropriate feedback on students’ performance.
  • Ensure every student has at least one formative assessment within the first six weeks of the start of the programme with rapid diagnostic feedback that, if necessary, identifies any study skills needs and refers to student support officer or other additional support.
  • Understand and communicate the important connections between formative and summative assessment.
  • Advise every student on their level of achievement in unit learning outcomes and summative tasks.

Timely and informative feedback

The Programme Specification requires details of the programme feedback strategy and how feedback is used to support progression.

  • Programme teams must meet the requirements of statements in the Student Commitment related to feedback periods and place emphasis on the importance of timeliness of formal and informal feedback to inform students’ on-going learning; and
  • Communicate to students the formal and informal opportunities available for feedback via the personal tutor system and or Personal Development Planning processes.

UTA resources: Assessment, Feedback

3.3 Consistent application of University Standards Descriptors, marking and moderation procedures within and across units, courses and programmes will ensure assessment practices are fair and transparent.  click to expand

In the design and evaluation of assessment, programmes must ensure that:

  • Assessment is valid in relation to its form, quantity, level, content and learning outcomes whilst avoiding assessment overload.
  • Assessment is designed so that the threshold requirements are achievable for any student admitted onto a course of study.
  • Student performance for specified assessment is gradable, using a full range of marks.
  • Assessment is reliable and consistent in the judgements made.
  • Assessment processes are equitable with all students being assessed fairly on their own individual merit and ability.
  • Assessment processes are robust and staff engaging in them are appropriately trained.

CELT resource: Assessment - using the descriptors

Related UTA resources:


Assessment Design and Procedures