Putting assessment practices to the test

Keele Education Conference 2022

The Keele Education Conference 2022 took place on 14th January. The theme of the conference was assessment in higher education. Many thought-provoking presentations, posters and discussions were enjoyed by particpants. 


The pandemic context saw a radical shift in assessment and feedback practices, with sector wide innovation and debate in relation to the legitimacy, rigour and inclusivity of ‘alternative assessment’. As we have emerged, our focus has shifted to preserving the best elements of that revolution, embedding the enhanced ‘alternative’ into the mainstream, and developing an assessment strategy that is more inclusive, fair and more valuable for students.

At Keele, we need sophisticated assessment design to support curriculum delivery for the future, providing students with inspiring and challenging briefs, and allowing students to produce authentic assessment outputs that they can take with them, showcase and be proud of. This year’s conference explored multiple dimensions of assessment and feedback design and management to give educators the ideas and inspiration to shape that future.

Conference Information

Subthemes for the 2022 conference included (but were not limited to):

  • Exploring ‘Authenticity’ in assessment practices: disciplinary, workplace and PSRB perspectives
  • Building inclusive assessment: engaging, supporting and inspiring diverse cohorts
  • Co-creating assessments: the role of students, employers, alumni, communities
  • Using Assessment to drive learning design: opportunities and challenges
  • Programme-level assessment design: mapping assessment and designing assessment journeys
  • Traditional assessments and modern teaching: will the essay, dissertation, lab report and exam stand the test of time?
  • Technology-enhanced assessment: digital drivers for accessible, efficient and engaging assessment
  • Ensuring academic integrity in assessment, locally and nationally
  • Assessment and the Skills agenda: assessment redesign, national legislation and the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill
  • Hierarchies of feedback: exploring the relationship between formative and summative approaches
  • Diversifying modes of assessment to promote equality [Does the diversification of assessment promote equality of learning?]
  • Scoring our marking schemes: the limitations of grades and classifications, glimpses of alternative approaches to categorising student achievement
  • Feedback Literacy and Value: supporting student learning with meaningful feedback
  • “Did they read what I said last time?!” Creating dialogic feedback to support self-assessment and learning
  • Assessment and wellbeing – designing assessment that is engaging and manageable for staff and students
  • Creativity in assessments: opportunities and challenges of designing and assessing creative assessments from staff and student perspectives
  • Embedding sustainability in assessment practices
  • Do we over-assess? Embedding wellbeing-focused assessment practices
  • Taking account of faiths and beliefs in our assessment practices