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Assessment framework

The University's assessment framework (pdf) offers a structure for thinking about design, loading, marking, moderation and feedback within and across a programme. It should help to locate particular concerns in a wider picture and offer evidence-based strategies for developing practice.

The framework has been developed to:

  • collect a set of institutional principles relating to assessment and feedback
  • provide models of good practice around typical challenging areas in assessment (e.g. assessment design and standard setting) where there is evidence from literature or cases 
  • offer a way of mapping examples of both external and internal good practice
  • offer a platform from which to grow a collective institutional assessment and feedback models and provide consistent guidance across faculties

The framework is structured alongside three interconnected perspectives on assessment:

  • school and programme level considerations
  • module and classroom perspective on formative assessment
  • workload and efficient implementation of assessment



The following underlying principles provide a rationale for the structure of the framework and recommended actions:

Programme level assessment and feedback

  • assessment load and design, to be effective, requires consideration at programme level (beyond the module)
  • consistent practice across modules on assessment and feedback provision could enhance the student experience

Student engagement in assessment and feedback

  • formative assessment places emphasis in prevention rather than remediation. Feed-forward techniques in the classroom are introduced and emphasised as central
  • feedback is understood as a three-way dialogue between lecturer, student and peers
  • students need to actively engage with assessment (learning outcomes, tasks, criteria, level descriptors) to gain a deeper understanding of what is required of them
  • sustained engagement with feedback needs to be managed as a process throughout the year and the full duration of the study


  • systemic aspects might need revision (e.g. achieving consistency in use of electronic assessment)
  • reconsider possible ways of reducing workload around typical pressure points (e.g. marking and moderation) therefore seeking to redistribute staff effort.



The framework is evidence based. Other documents that have been taken into consideration are:


Referencing the Assessment Framework

Please reference the framework as follows:  

Tomás, C. and Scudamore, R. (2014) Using an assessment conceptual framework to facilitate institutional transformation of assessment. Earli Assessment and Evaluation Sig, Madrid. August 2014

 Students taking an exam

Assessment framework 

Download the framework (pdf)
Please reference your use of the framework.

Assessment regulations

more from the Quality Manual on Assessment


Please contact Carmen Tomas / Rachel Scudamore for further discussion on the assessment framework.

Further reading …


Professional Development

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Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 66664
fax: +44 (0) 115 84 66784
email: pd@nottingham.ac.uk