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Assessment & Feedback

Guidance on Online and In-Person Assessment Types


This practical resource is created to help you design and implement assessment in the online and in-person environments. 

It provides an overview of the key assessment types used in UCD, outlining what each can assess, their advantages and disadvantages, considerations for design and how faculty and staff can prepare and support students to complete them. Additional resources and literature on each assessment type are also signposted. For all assessment types specific advice is provided to support online assessment design, implementation and details of relevant tools and technologies.  We define ‘online assessment’ as

approaches that are enabled by a variety of digital technologies to include online exams, online assignments and activities, online submissions and technology-enabled feedback. 

Prior to choosing the types of assessment you will use in your module, you should consider the advice on why do we assess and how to assess, giving some thought to the purpose, validity, practicality, diversity, assessment load and transparency of your assessments. You should also consider the volume of assessment being set, mindful that one assessment can be used to assess multiple outcomes.

The Value and Considerations of Diversifying


In diversifying:  

  • Consider what is familiar to students, as less familiar assessments will require more student preparation and may increase their work-load.
  • Clarify expectations by the use of exemplars and assessment criteria.

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In line with Universal Design for Learning practices, you are encouraged to consider a variety of assessment types within modules and across a programme. Experiencing a range of assessment types is important for student learning for many reasons including: 

  • Variety is important in shaping engaging, active and challenging learning experiences. Preparing for and doing assessments are significant learning experiences for students
  • Providing more authentic assessments gives students practice at demonstrating their knowledge and skills in ways that will be expected in professional e.g. group projects, presentations.
  • Variety of assessment types provides students with different means of demonstrating their knowledge and skills. These multiple means of representations allow many students with different strengths and limitations to show what they know in ways that are inclusive.  

Variety and choice of assessment types are two key strategies for deliberately providing more inclusive assessments. In addition, some assessment types more easily support students’ academic integrity. Having decided on your assessment type, consider how do you grade studentshow do you give feedback and  how do you support your students academic integrityIf you need any further guidance on the design of your assessments, please contact UCD Teaching and Learning.

Learn More

The following are some key resources that are currently available if you would like to learn more about this topic Key Assessment Types.

Inclusive Assessment and Feedback Case Studies Resource (Padden et al., 2019) 

A Practitioner's Guide to Choice of Assessment Methods within a Module