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KIS record 2016/17 - Calculation of assessment methods and learning and teaching methods

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KIS record 2016/17 - Calculation of assessment methods and learning and teaching methods

Version 1.0 Produced 2016-03-04

The intention of showing learning and teaching methods and assessment methods data within the KIS is to provide potential students with an indication of the type of activity they are likely to undertake during their course. To compile this data it is necessary for providers to consider how the course is likely to be delivered to entrants in 2017/18. This may be based on:

  • Module choices of students from the 2015/16 academic year, or
  • Expected percentages based on course planning and patterns from similar courses.
Although historic data may inform the calculations, through its use to identify the most common optional modules selected by students, providers must ensure that the data returned presents a realistic picture of what a student beginning the course in 2017/18 is likely to experience. In particular changes to programmes, and changes to the learning and teaching and/or assessment methods for compulsory and/or optional modules, must be taken into account. Presenting a realistic picture of the learning and teaching and assessment patterns students commencing study in 2017/18 will experience should be considered the most important factor in compiling this data.

Providers must retain an audit trail for the data returned, including a record of decisions made and the methodology used. HEFCE continues to audit KIS returns and providers selected for audit by HEFCE will be required to demonstrate how figures returned in the KIS were derived, including how the modules used in calculations have been selected. This audit trail should demonstrate how the provider has ensured the calculations reflect a realistic pathway for students commencing study in 2017/18. Providers should also ensure their audit trail includes the source of learning and teaching and assessment methods of individual modules.

Information about assessment methods and learning and teaching methods is presented by year/stage of the course, this will not necessarily relate to the academic level of the activity undertaken in the year as many flexible courses will allow students to undertake activity at different levels in different years. Data for up to seven years/stages for each course can be presented. For part-time courses the year/stage split should be determined with reference to the full-time pattern. Thus, a degree offered part-time only would still typically have the same number of stages as the FT equivalent course.

It is recognised that most undergraduate courses in the UK will contain an element of module choice for individual students and thus different students will experience a different mix of assessment methods and learning/teaching methods depending on their own individual choices. Nevertheless a single figure for each category is required on the KIS.

Using module choices where courses are substantially unchanged since 2015/16

Where courses are unchanged the proportions in each of the assessment methods and learning and teaching methods should generally be calculated based on the module choices of students in the 2015/16 academic year. Compulsory modules should always be included in the calculations. The number of students on the course taking each optional module should be determined and optional modules with the highest number of students registered selected until one FTE (120 credits) worth of modules have been selected. The proportions reported in each method category will then reflect the proportions in the combination of the selected modules.

International students should be included in the typical student calculations.

For example:

Module Optional (O)/ compulsory (C) Credit value Number of students Proportion in scheduled teaching and learning Proportion in independent study Placement
Physics 1 C 30 100 60 40 0
Maths 1 C 30 100 50 50 0
Computing 1 C 20 100 30 70 0
Computing 2 O 10 60 30 70 0
Maths 2 O 30 40 40 60 0
Physics 2 O 20 35 Disregard - below FTE/credit threshold
Project 10 O 20 35 Disregard - below FTE/credit threshold
French 1 O 40 20 Disregard - below FTE/credit threshold

  1. Determine the modules that are available to a KISCourse and whether they are compulsory or optional. All modules that will be compulsory in 2017/18 should be included.
  2. Rank optional modules in order of number of students taking the module as part of the course in the 2015/16.
  3. Determine the modules that contribute to 1 FTE/120 credits.
  4. Calculate an average value from these modules.

For example, to calculate overall proportion in scheduled teaching and learning:

Overall proportion in scheduled teaching and learning = (Sum of (Credit value of module * Proportion in scheduled teaching and learning of module)) / 120

((30*60)+(30*50)+(20*30)+(10*30)+(30*40))/120 = 45

In some cases varying credit values of modules will mean that the above ordering leads to more than 120 credits worth of modules being included. Where this occurs the last module should be replaced in the calculation by the next most popular option which will bring the total to 120 credits. This should be done to ensure that the pathway used in the calculation is a genuine pathway available to potential students. If there are no suitable modules, the learning and teaching methods and assessment methods for the last module included should be scaled back so that the total is 120 credits. For example, if 90 credits are covered by modules that are 100% written exam and the next most popular module is worth 60 credits and is 100% coursework the stage would be 90/120=75% written exam and (60*0.5)/120=25% coursework.

Care should be taken to ensure that the selection of modules represents a realistic pathway available to students. For example:

  • For a course stage where students chose one of options A and B then another optional module from a much wider choice then only the most popular of modules A and B should be used in KIS calculations – even if the second module is more popular than the most popular of the wider selection of option modules.
  • For a course stage where students take five optional modules in their subject along with one module outside of their subject area from a very wide selection the KIS calculation must include a module from the selection of modules outside the subject area.

While the intention is to present students with a representative pathway it is not expected that institutions will check that the pathway conforms to academic regulations in respect of pre and co-requisites.

Where the process above leads to the inclusion of modules on which less than 10% of students are registered, providers should make a reasonable judgement as to whether the selection of modules is representative. Equally, where the module selection is not representative, the provider should include an estimate of the typical pattern for students on the course. This situation might occur where, for example, students have a very large choice of modules most of which share a common study and assessment pattern, but where there are also a small number of modules with different patterns that individually are more popular than any of the more typical modules and so would be included in the calculation if the threshold did not exist, even though these do not represent a typical study and assessment pattern.. Where providers have used historic data to inform selection of optional modules for KIS calculations then CourseStage.LTACT and CourseStage.ASSACT should indicate that actual data has been used. It is not generally necessary to indicate data as estimated solely because a course review is planned or under way, unless a substantial change is anticipated in which case guidance on new and redesigned courses should be followed. Where reviews are planned and minor changes are anticipated providers may wish to indicate on their website that the course information is subject to change. KIS data should be updated to reflect known changes as soon as possible after decisions are made.

For KIS purposes where conversion to hours is required, the convention that 1 CTS credit point equates to 10 notional study hours should be used, where ECTS are used the convention that one ECTS=2 CATS should be used, it follows that 1 ECTS is equivalent to 20 notional study hours.

Where the time scheduled for an activity includes time to enable the students to travel between buildings, this should not be deducted from the total time in that activity. For example, if in an hour timetable slot the teaching typically lasts 50 minutes with 10 minutes scheduled to move between buildings, this would be recorded as 1 hour.

If courses have more than 120 credits per year as standard then the normal number of credits for the year should be used in calculating percentages. For example if medical students are expected to take 140 credits in the year, the calculations should be based on 140 rather than 120 credits. The KIS will not show that more than 120 credits are required for a course stage, but this information should be included in organisational documentation linked to in KISCourse.LTURL.

1.0 Changes to module delivery

Providers may review the learning and teaching methods and/or assessment methods of modules from year to year. Where this occurs then the KIS calculations should be based on module learning and teaching and assessment methods planned for 2017/18. If these are unknown at the time of initial submission then the most current available data should be used and a resubmission used to update data, as necessary, when module designs are finalised.

Providers should make a judgement as to whether changes in module design are likely to impact on the optional modules students will select. Where changes will not impact on the overall course structure it will still be most appropriate to use historic student data to select modules to inform the KIS calculations. If there have been substantial changes, such as the introduction or removal of a placement within an optional module, then the provider may judge that historic data is no longer a reasonable predictor of student choice. In such cases guidance on new and redesigned courses below should be followed.

2.0 New and redesigned courses

For new or substantially revised courses actual module choices will not be known. Providers should derive percentages based on course planning and approval documents as well as patterns from similar courses. Where possible these calculations should be based on module level data, taking into account the likely design of compulsory and optional modules. Where this is not yet possible because programme or module designs have not yet been finalised then providers should make a reasonable estimate based on similar programmes and/or modules. A resubmission should be made to update data, as necessary, when programme/module designs are finalised.

Where providers have estimated the proportions this should be indicated in CourseStage.LTACT and CourseStage.ASSACT. However, where there is no element of student choice in module selection (i.e. all modules are compulsory) and module designs are known, the data should be marked as actual rather than estimate. Data should also be marked as actual if student choice will not impact on learning and teaching and/or assessment data. For example if for a course stage students have a choice between two dissertation or project modules, in addition to compulsory modules, and both dissertation modules are assessed entirely by coursework then assessment data should be returned as actual.

3.0 Additional activity

Where time is not associated with credit, e.g. zero credit placement modules or seminars not linked to a module, then the hours associated should be added to the numerator and denominator of the calculation. Such activity should only be included if attendance is normally required. For example, if a course has 300 hours of scheduled learning and teaching activities, associated with credit, and a further 50 hours not associated with credit then 28% (350/1250) would be scheduled learning and teaching activities. It is assumed, in this example, that 1 credit equates to 10 hours of study and hence 120 credits completed is 1,200 hours.

4.0 KISTYPE 3

The KISTYPE 3 is not designed to give a detailed description of any programme, rather it is designed to give students a broad impression of what a multiple subject course in that subject might be like at each stage.

In general where the level of a KISTYPE 3 is first degree it should have 3 stages, where it is other undergraduate it should have 2.

The proportions in each of the learning and teaching methods and assessment methods should be based on the modules with the largest number of students registered that add up to up to half an FTE (60 credits). It is recognised that where the split between subjects on multiple subject courses is not even this may lead to more or fewer modules being included than would be the case if the precise subject splits were used.

In the first instance only modules taken by students studying multiple subject courses should be used to select modules for the calculations and only those modules whose JACS subject matches the subject of the KIS should be included in calculations. Where considering only students taking joint honours courses leads to unreliable splits between the assessment methods and learning and teaching methods then students studying the subject as a single honours may also be included. There is no fixed rule as to how many students will be needed to ensure that the calculations are representative as this will depend on the degree of variation in the assessment methods and learning and teaching methods. Again, it is recognised that this may mean a small number of compulsory or very common but atypical modules are not included.

Example

A student is taking a joint honours course in Mathematics and Philosophy for which subject level KIS are being produced. If the student takes 6 20 credit point modules with JACS codes of G110, G120, G300, V520, V550 and R100 then the modules with JACS codes G110, G120 and G300 would be included in the list from which those selected for calculation of assessment methods and learning and teaching methods for mathematical sciences subject based KIS are taken. Similarly, the modules with JACS codes V520 and V550 would be included in the calculation for the philosophy, theology and religious studies subject based KIS. The single module in French (R100) would not be included.

5.0 Modules which span course stages

Where a module spans a stage, providers should determine what proportion of the module falls into each stage, and then treat as a separate module in each year with the appropriate credit value. For example, a 30 credit module spans stages with 2/3 of the module falling in the first stage should be treated as a 20 credit module in stage 1 and a 10 credit module in stage 2. No attempt needs to be made to determine the actual learning and teaching methods or assessment methods used in each stage.

6.0 Learning and teaching methods

In determining the proportion of time spent in each type of activity it is expected that providers will use the convention that one credit point equates to 10 learning hours. Given that the time in scheduled learning and teaching activities and placements is likely to be most accurately measured, it is expected that the proportion in guided independent study will typically be derived as the number of hours remaining after taking into account hours spent in placements and scheduled learning and teaching activities. In all cases the three percentages must sum to 100.

Note that any 'office hours' where staff are available to students, but where this time is not individually scheduled, cannot be included in scheduled contact hours.

The QAA have compiled/developed an indicative list of learning and teaching methods, which is reproduced below. Before that, in the table is indicated how each of these methods should be categorised for the purpose of the KIS.

Providers should maintain records of how learning and teaching activities have been categorised and an audit trail of documentation used to inform these decisions. Care should be taken to ensure that data on learning and teaching and assessment data is detailed enough to ensure that KIS calculations present a reasonable picture of the methods used. In particular, if assessments incorporate both presentations and accompanying coursework.

Further information regarding the QAA categories for learning and teaching methods can be found at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/contact-hours.pdf.

Activity type KIS category
Lecture Scheduled
Seminar Scheduled
Tutorial Scheduled
Project supervision Scheduled
Demonstration Scheduled
Practical classes and workshops Scheduled
Supervised time in studio/workshop Scheduled
Fieldwork Scheduled
External visits Scheduled
Guided independent study † Independent
Work based learning * Placement
Placement † Placement
Year abroad † Placement

* The definition has been modified from that used by the QAA and is consistent with that used in student support regulations.
† These categories are not included in the QAA list

The time spent on formative assessment should be included within the calculation of learning and teaching methods. The categories in which formative assessments are included within the learning and teaching activities will depend on their exact nature. For example, a class test may contribute to both scheduled learning and teaching activities (for the time spent taking the test) and guided independent study (for the unsupervised time spent revising/preparing for the test).

6.1 Lecture

A presentation or talk on a particular topic.

The term 'lecture' covers everything from the traditional model, where a single member of the provider's staff or an affiliate1 introduces ideas or delivers facts to a group of students, to approaches that might be much more interactive, involve a variety of contributors, make use of a range of media and technologies, and take place virtually as well as in person. Lectures are assumed, in general, to involve larger groups of students than do seminars and tutorials but size will vary depending upon the nature of what is being taught, the size of the overall student cohort, and practical concerns.

6.2 Seminar

A discussion or classroom session focusing on a particular topic or project.

Seminars are defined as sessions that provide the opportunity for students to engage in discussion of a particular topic and/or to explore it in more detail than might be covered in a lecture - the extent of interaction will depend on the delivery method. A typical model would involve a guided, tutor-led discussion in a small group. However, the term also encompasses student or peer-led classes with a staff member or affiliate present. As with lectures, use of technology means seminars may take place virtually. Seminars are assumed in general to involve smaller groups of students than lectures, but size will vary depending upon the nature of what is being taught, the size of the overall student cohort, and practical concerns.

Webinars should be categorised as guided independent study when a student can access them on demand. If a webinar is only available at a specific time, it should be included as scheduled learning.

6.3 Tutorial

A meeting involving one-to-one or small group supervision, feedback or detailed discussion on a particular topic or project.

Tutorials may be distinguished from seminars for the stronger emphasis that they place on the role of the tutor in giving direction or feedback. Tutorials can happen virtually as well as face-to-face.

Where feedback tutorials are scheduled in learning programmes (for example, following the return of marked coursework), they should be categorised as scheduled tutorials, otherwise, ad hoc one to one feedback should be regarded as guided independent study.

6.4 Project supervision

A meeting with a supervisor to discuss a particular piece of work.

The term 'project supervision' is used to refer to the meetings that a student or group of students would have with a supervisor, to plan, discuss, and monitor progress on a particular piece of work, such as a dissertation or extended project. Meetings can take place virtually or in person. The size of a project supervision meeting will depend upon the number of students involved in the work concerned, and the nature of that work but supervisions will frequently also take place on a one-to-one basis.

6.5 Demonstration

A session involving the demonstration of a practical technique or skill.

Examples might include the demonstration of laboratory skills, clinical skills, performance art or fieldwork techniques. Demonstrations can take place virtually or in person. The size of a demonstration is likely to depend upon the number of students involved in the work concerned, as well as the nature of that work, but could also take place on a one-to-one basis.

6.6 Practical classes and workshops

A session involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique.

Examples are wide ranging and could include a laboratory class, recital, artefact handling/identification, language conversation, sports match and so on. Practical classes and workshops might incorporate elements of teaching or guided learning, and they are at least likely to be supervised or observed. These sessions are more likely to take place in person but, depending on the nature of the subject, may also be conducted remotely.
The size of a practical class or workshop will depend upon the nature of the activity. Workshops are likely to involve at least a small group of students but practical classes could take place on a one-to-one basis.

6.7 Supervised time in studio/workshop

Time in which students work independently but under supervision, in a specialist facility such as a studio or workshop.

Examples might include time spent in an art or design studio, or in a rehearsal space such as a workshop theatre. It could be timetabled or take place on an ad hoc basis. Peers as well as staff or affiliates may be involved. Due to the nature of the activity, it is unlikely to take place virtually. Supervised time in a studio/workshop might involve a group or individual.

6.8 Fieldwork

Practical work conducted at an external site.

Examples of fieldwork might include survey work and other forms of data collection, excavations and explorations. The work might be unsupervised or supervised, and supervision could be provided by staff or appointed representatives. Some fieldwork may be conducted virtually. Fieldwork might be conducted in groups of various sizes, or by individuals, depending on the nature of the work involved.

6.9 External visits

A visit to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study.

Examples are wide ranging and could include a visit to a business or industrial site, built environment site, museum or collection, to attendance at a performance or exhibition. These visits might be unsupervised or supervised, and supervisors could include staff or appointed representatives. Site visits may be carried out in groups of varying sizes, or by individuals, depending on the nature of the visit and the location.

6.10 Guided independent study

Higher education is distinguished from general and secondary education by its focus on independent learning. Scheduled learning and teaching activities typically feature alongside time in which students are expected to study independently, which may itself be 'guided'.

Guided independent study might include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks, revision, etc. The relative amounts of time that students are expected to spend engaged in scheduled activities and guided independent study varies between courses.

Webinars should be categorised as guided independent study when a student can access them on demand. If a webinar is only available at a specific time, it should be included as scheduled learning.

In all cases, students are expected to be responsible for their own learning, with appropriate support being provided by the provider.

Such support can be via a variety of means, including, for example, through the provision of study skills training, feedback on assessed work, access to libraries and learning spaces, language skills training, etc.

Distance learning will generally be guided independent study.

6.11 Work-based learning

Structured learning that takes place in the workplace.

The definition given below differs from that included in the QAA list.

Work-based learning is a core feature of foundation degrees and may also occur in other programmes. Work-based learning is a structured academic programme, controlled by the higher or further education provider, and delivered in the workplace by academic staff of the provider, staff of the employer, or both.

Unlike work experience, which can be one element of a course such as a sandwich placement (whether for the whole or part of a year), work-based learning is at the heart of a student's learning programme and must be subject to the same level of academic supervision and rigour as any other form of assessed learning. It includes:

  • the imparting of relevant knowledge and skills to students
  • opportunities for students to discuss knowledge and skills with their tutors
  • assessment of students' acquisition of knowledge and skills by the provider's academic staff, and perhaps jointly with an employer.

Work-based learning should be regarded as substituting for learning that under other circumstances would normally take place within the provider. The inclusion of an element of work-based learning should, therefore, not extend the normal duration of a course. Learning in the work place or other placements that do not meet the definition of work-based learning given above should be treated as placements for the purposes of the KIS.

6.12 Placements

Learning away from the provider that is neither a year abroad nor work based learning.

The term covers any learning, other than years abroad and work-based learning, that takes place through an organised work opportunity, rather than in a university or college setting, and includes managed placements. Some supervision or monitoring is likely be involved, and may be carried out either by a member of staff or a mentor within the host Higher Education Provider (HEP). Due to the nature of the activity, placements are unlikely to take place virtually. Students might undertake placements individually or in groups, depending on the nature of the workplace and the learning involved.

Teaching placements in medical and nursing courses should be treated as placements.

Where the total number of hours on placement exceeds 10 hours per credit, the total number of hours should be capped at 10 hours per credit.

Where external requirements dictate that students should spend significantly more than 10 hours per credit in placements, then these extra hours should be added to the numerator and denominator in the same way as other non-credit bearing, yet compulsory, activities.

If a course requires students to undertake one of two placements the two placements should be treated as if they were a single module. It may be appropriate to adopt the same approach where other modules are offered in a way that means students must take one, and only one, module out of a choice of many. In these cases it will normally be appropriate to only include the most popular of these modules.

Where a clinical placement contains a significant proportion of scheduled activity the placement element can be further broken down to reflect this. For example, if as part of a 30 credit placement module students are expected to spend 50 hours in scheduled activities such as tutorials the module would be split with 250 hours classified as 'placement' and the remaining 50 as 'scheduled'.

6.13 Year abroad

Any study that occurs overseas.

This should include any study that occurs overseas whether for all or part of a year. Where only part of the year is studied abroad it should be weighted accordingly in determining the learning and teaching methods for the year.

7.0 Assessment methods

In determining the percentage of assessment in each category only summative assessments should be included. The time spent on formative assessment should be included within the calculation of learning and teaching methods. Summative assessment is an assessment that leads to the award of credit or is required for progression even if does not ultimately affect the outcome of the award e.g. class of degree.

Where a student is required to undergo assessments but there is not a notional credit value associated with the assessment, for example, a skills test which the student must pass, these assessments should not be included within the calculation but their presence should be noted in KISCourse.NONCREDITASSESS and the nature of the assessments should be described in the web page linked to by KISCourse.ASSURL. Assessments that are included within the mark scheme for a module will typically have notional credit associated with them.

The rules regarding additional activity that is not credit rated are intended to cover activity that students are required or expected to undertake. If the non-credit activity is optional and has assessments associated with it these should not be included within the calculation of learning and teaching methods and will not impact the KISCourse.NONCREDITASSESS field. If however, the modules are compulsory then the KISCourse.NONCREDITASSESS field should be completed accordingly.

Providers should maintain records of how assessment activities have been categorised, and an audit trail of documentation used to inform these decisions. Care should be taken to ensure that module level assessment data is detailed enough to ensure that KIS calculations present a reasonable picture of the assessment methods used. In some cases this may mean splitting elements of assessment across more than one category. For example if students are required to complete a written project and present their outcomes and the grade will reflect both the presentation and written then assessment of this project should be split across practical and coursework in proportions that reflect the relevant weightings given to the two elements.

The QAA have compiled/developed an indicative list of assessment methods, which is reproduced below. In the table below is indicated how each of these methods should be categorised for the purpose of the KIS. Note that peer assessment is not categorised as a separate assessment method rather notional credit associated with peer assessment should be included within the assessment type that the peers are assessing. For example, if peer assessment is of a presentation then this should be treated as a practical exam as presentations are treated as practical exams.

Activity type KIS category
Written exam Written
Written assignment, including essay Coursework
Report Coursework
Dissertation Coursework
Portfolio Coursework
Project output (other than dissertation) Coursework
Oral assessment and presentation Practical
Practical skills assessment Practical
Set exercise Varies - see notes

Performances in the performing arts context, should be classed as practical assessment. As examination of practical skills of individual students (or possibly groups of students) takes place as a 'one off' by an examiner, either through observation of a live performance or through the review of a recorded performance.

Further information regarding the QAA categories for assessment methods can be found at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/contact-hours.pdf.

For the purposes of the KIS, if a degree comprises of work in the form of sketchbooks, large scale design work, exhibitions or portfolios, produced in either a classroom or self-study environment it should be included as coursework, not practical assessment. This includes work that counts towards continuous or examinable work.

7.1 Written exam

A question or set of questions relating to a particular area of study.

Written exams usually occur at the end of a period of learning and assess whether students have achieved the intended learning outcomes. They may be 'seen', where the student is aware in advance of the question(s) they are expected to answer, or 'unseen', where the questions are only revealed 'on the day'. In an 'open-book' exam, a student is allowed to use a selection of reference materials during the assessment. The questions asked as part of a written exam may be essay, short answer, problem or multiple-choice. Written exams usually (but not always) take place under timed conditions.

Exams that are taken home should be counted as coursework, as the associated conventions of examinations (such as time constraints and authenticity of students' work) do not apply.

7.2 Written assignment, including essay

An exercise completed in writing.

Written exercises that typically have deadlines attached but which are not carried out under timed conditions. A well-known example is the essay, where students are required to write about a particular topic or answer a question in depth. Other examples include written briefings on particular topics.

7.3 Report

A description, summary or other account of an experience or activity.

There are many different kinds of report - often students are required to produce a report after participating in a practical activity such as fieldwork, laboratory work, work experience or placement. Reports typically have a prescribed format.

7.4 Dissertation

An extended piece of written work, often the write-up of a final-year project.

A dissertation is a substantial piece of writing deriving from research that a student has undertaken. Dissertations are the result of a student's independent work, carried out under the guidance of a supervisor. Different subject areas may follow different conventions in relation to the production of dissertations. (Note that other outputs from projects are listed separately).

7.5 Portfolio

A collection of work that relates to a given topic or theme, which has been produced over a period of time.

Typically, a portfolio contains a number of pieces of work, usually connected by a topic or theme. Students are usually required to organise the collection of examples and the portfolio often includes some reflective accounts (diaries/logs). Examples include, in education, that students may collect in a portfolio essays around particular teaching methods, lesson plans, teaching materials that they have developed and a report about the teaching experience itself. For the purposes of the KIS, examples also include the creative arts portfolio which may contain a strong practical element.

7.6 Project output (other than dissertation)

Output from project work, often of a practical nature, other than a dissertation or written report.

Students are assessed on the output of a period of project work (other than in the form of a dissertation or written report). Examples are diverse and include a piece of artwork, a new product or a poster.

7.7 Oral assessment and presentation

A conversation or oral presentation on a given topic, including an individual contribution to a seminar.

Examples of oral assessments and presentations might include conversations, discussions, debates, presentations and individual contributions to seminars. This category would also include the viva voce exam which is typically used by providers in specific circumstances such as clarifying assessment decisions reached via other means.

7.8 Practical skills assessment

Assessment of a student's practical skills or competence.

Practical skills assessment focuses on whether, and/or how well, a student performs a specific practical skill or technique (or competency). Examples include clinical skills, laboratory techniques, identification of or commentary on artwork, surveying skills, language translation, listening comprehension, music, dance or drama performances and so on.

7.9 Set exercises

Questions or tasks designed to assess the application of knowledge, analytical, problem-solving or evaluative skills.

Examples might include data interpretation, data analysis exercises and problem-based or problem-solving exercises. The categorisation of set exercises will depend on the nature of the exercise being set. Typically, set exercises will not be conducted under exam conditions and will therefore normally be coursework. Where the set exercise is performed under exam conditions and does not involve the use of practical skills it should be treated as a written exam. Otherwise it should be a practical exam.

1. [PA lecturer, researcher, technician, member of support staff or Graduate Teaching Assistant of the provider or a visiting or external specialist.] Back to footnote 1


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