chapter  10
Assessing student learning
WithLin Norton
Pages 18

Assessment is one of the most controversial issues in higher education today. Guidelines and principles abound. The UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education (2006) has ‘assessment and giving feedback to learners’ as one of six areas of activity, and the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA, 2006a) has recently revised its section on assessing students in its code of practice. Few topics create such divided opinions and raise such passions as assessment and yet, in higher education, we still seem relatively bad at it. The National Student Survey (2006 and 2007) indicated that assessment and feedback were areas that students were least satisfied with. In the recently published outcomes of their audit of 123 institutions, QAA commented: ‘For a substantial number of institutions, further work in the development of assessment arrangements was judged either advisable or desirable’ (QAA, 2006b: 13).