The Assessment Summit 2013

Assessment Summit Open Badge image

Assessment Summit 2013: Delegate

The image above is of a Jisc RSC Scotland Digital Leadership Open Badge, awarded to those who attended the Assessment Summit 2013. The Assessment Summit brought together individuals leading the assessment agenda in colleges and universities across Scotland, with the key agencies supporting assessment, to discuss future strategic priorities. The aim of the event was to highlight how considering assessment in terms of the whole institution, can enhance the learner journey and enable efficiencies. The event demonstrated how this can be achieved through presentations focusing on streamlining assessment data flow and processes and embedding effective assessment practices within the curriculum to help equip students with the skills they need to become more self-regulating and in control of their own learning.

A key focus for the day was to consider how a whole-institution approach to assessment can support some of the regionalisation outcomes that further education institutions in Scotland work to – high quality and efficient learning, the right learning in the right place, efficient regional structures, sustainable institutions and a developed workforce. The morning session, focusing on strategy and curriculum design, was led by David Nicol, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education from the University of Strathclyde and expert consultant to the Jisc Assessment and Feedback programme with Dr Alan Masson from the University of Ulster. They introduced a principles-based approach to seeding discourse on effective assessment practices, managing institutional change and curriculum re-design. Focusing on the work of the Re-Engineering Assessment Practices project and the Jisc funded Viewpoints project, in a highly engaging session David and Alan introduced the concepts of a principles-based approach and facilitated group work on curriculum design. Cards containing principles of effective assessment practice and examples of use alongside timeline sheets for placing the cards on, served as social objects which helped to keep discussion on focus, leading to deep and involved conversations during the activity.

The Chief Executive of the SQA, Janet Brown, welcomed everyone to the afternoon session which focused on processes and systems. Janet set out the SQA’s strategic goals in relation to assessment and was followed by the Head of Assessment Development and Delivery, Martyn Ware, with Rob Gibson, Director of Business Systems, giving an informative presentation on the work the SQA does in supporting the appropriate use of online technologies for assessment, how they ensure quality and how the systems they employ can help to enable efficiencies in the assessment process. Gillian Hamilton, Information & Administration Manager at North Glasgow College provided a helpful overview of the range of agencies a college might engage with to pass assessment and reporting data to and this was followed by the Head of Jisc NEXUS, Sharlene Jobson describing the work they do in connecting internal and external systems together, which can help to streamline the flow of data.

The event was sponsored by the Jisc RSC Scotland and the SQA, with the College Development Network providing the venue at their offices in Stirling. Having organised the event, it was gratifying for me that it went smoothly and resulted in focused discussion on the enhancement of assessment practices and how these can support regionalisation outcomes. Delegates should have left the event with an awareness of the range of support they can receive on assessment in Scotland and beyond. I delivered a presentation setting out the services provided by the Jisc RSC Scotland and Martyn Ware from the SQA described the commitment they and we have, alongside other support agencies in Scotland such as the College Development Network and SPARQS, to ensure that the comprehensive support available in Scotland is joined up.

In recognition of the commitment those attending made in considering how to improve assessment practices and how these can support regionalisation outcomes and improve the learner journey, every delegate will receive a Jisc RSC Scotland Digital Leadership Open Badge.

Upcoming Events

Viewpoints workshop: extended workshop using the card prompts and timeline sheets introduced during the morning activity at the Assessment Summit, to consider practical techniques for managing institutional change and embedding effective assessment practices in the curriculum. Two events are planned, and will be facilitated by Dr Alan Masson, Director of the Viewpoints project with Emeritus Professor David Nicol.

Date: 11th June 2013
VenueThe Lighthouse, Glasgow

Another Viewpoints event is likely to take place on the 14th November, venue to be confirmed. Details will be added to the Jisc RSC Scotland events page.

e-Assessment for Learning course: 7th May to 24th May, delivered fully online and requiring a minimum of 3 hours commitment per week.

Useful links

Jisc RSC Scotland assessment pages (provides information and links to a range of e-Assessment resources)

Jisc RSC Scotland case studies on e-Assessment

e-Assessment in further and higher education online magazine

Jisc Assessment and Feedback programme

Jisc Design Studio (resources from the Jisc funded projects)

Re-Engineering Assessment Practices (REAP) (resources on principles of effective assessment practices)

Viewpoints project (project resources including curriculum design timelines and prompt cards)

PEER project (resources on peer review)

SQA e-Assessment Resource (resources, case studies and information on how to approach, deliver and evaluate e-Assessment)


Assessment Summit presentations (.pdfs)

Gathering The Crew – All Aboard: Holistic support for assessment in Scotland, Grainne Hamilton, Jisc RSC Scotland

Fostering educational enhancements institution-wide: A principles-based discourse approach, Emeritus Professor David Nicol and Dr Alan Masson

On the Radar - Using technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of assessment processes, Martyn Ware and Rob Gibson, SQA

Charting the Data Stream – Assessment data reporting. Who are the agencies involved?, Gillian Hamilton, North Glasgow College

Into the Slipstream – Linking institutional systems to external agencies to support the more efficient flow of assessment and reporting data, Sharlene Jobson, Jisc NEXUS