Why diversify my assessment methods?

'If you want to change student learning then change the methods of assessment.'

Brown et al.1

Fine Art students at the University of Reading looking at found objectsDegree programmes should include a range of assessment methods that align with both the individual course/module and programme learning outcomes. In addition, making use of a broad range of assessments allows you to discriminate not only between different students but between different levels of thinking, as appropriate to the stage your students are at in their degree programme and as such can help to support 'Assessment for Learning'.

The challenge for you is to try and get this balancing act of assessment just right, which necessitates consideration of the type of assessment being used, the timing of assessment and its nature (formative, summative, peer or self-assessment). This is no mean feat, so the following sections are designed to guide you through the pros and cons of adopting different methods of assessment, as well as giving you a range of examples of different methods of assessment.

Download the A-Z of assessment methods (PDF 119KB)


  1. Brown, G. Bull, J. & Pendlebury, M. (1997) Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education. London:Routledge.

Page navigation

See also



Search Form

A-Z lists