Transforming Experience for Students Through Assessment - TESTA

Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment – is a project originally funded through the Higher Education Academy, which continues in practice in a growing number of Universities. The essential aims are to analyse assessment and feedback as experienced by the student, and use that information to guide curriculum review and development. TESTA makes some basic assumptions – that learning should be progressive, so feed-forward is a critical part of a student’s journey; that it is about the programme of studies, not the individual modules; that there needs to be a balance between the variety of assessment needed to test a wide range of learning outcomes, and the number of different types of assessment, each of which have to be learned; and that the student experience and voice can tell us much about how effective our assessment and feedback approaches are.

The Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment (TESTA) methodology adopts a programme-level approach to examining assessment and feedback regimes. The model employs three methods of data collection:

  • Programme audit – an assessment mapping exercise which gathers information on the balance of assessment across an entire programme. Information is drawn from programme documentation, a sample of feedback sheets and an in-depth discussion with the Programme Leader.
  • Assessment Experience Questionnaire (AEQ) – a 28 item questionnaire administered to students in the final year of study in order to obtain quantitative data relating to study behaviour and how the programme influences this behaviour.
  • Student focus groups – to help interpret data gathered from the programme audit and AEQ, one or more focus groups are conducted with final year students from a programme.