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Individual Project


A student is assessed on the output of their project work. Examples are diverse and include multimedia projects (video, audio etc), the staging of a play or other performance, presentations, a piece of artwork, a new product or a poster. Does not include dissertation/thesis or written report, which are listed as separate assessment types. 

What can it assess ?

The project enables a student to apply their learning to an in-depth exploration of a particular field/topic. It may be used to assess specific knowledge and may also enable student reflection on the learning process.  A project assignment can be designed to provide an array of assessment opportunities, enabling the student to devise, engage, create, collect, explore, interpret, synthesise and make value judgements. From the faculty perspective it provides a genuine means to assess a variety of learning and is often regarded as a good example of a student-centered assessment, as it can allow students an element of choice of topics.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • By its nature it is student-centred and offers scope for student choice in relation to, for example, the topic, the methodology and the presentation of the final output
  • Enables and supports creativity
  • Can offer a means to engage in real-world and authentic scenarios.


  • May require careful design and scaffolding to ensure the students are clear on the expected outcomes
  • Can be time consuming for both the student and lecturer/tutor.

Design and Online Assessment Considerations


An ideal project design should be authentic and relevant, capitalising on real world scenarios or issues, and focused on tangible goals/outcomes. Define for students the focus of the project (aligned to the module outcomes and reflected in the assessment criteria); clearly articulate what form the project content will take; offer guidance as to the context (thematic, disciplinary, professional etc.); and consider if there are any outcomes, conclusions or next steps arising from the project.

In addition to the focus on the project output, the process of undertaking the project could  also be considered. This may allow for the development and assessment of a diverse array of transversal skills, e.g. design, communication, information literacies, digital media skills etc.

Finally, in reviewing the project design/framework consider carefully what it is that the students should know / be able to do as a result of undertaking the project?  Use a rubric, or similar, to help clarify these expectations and to support student feedback and/or opportunity for self/ peer review before submission of their work. 

The project output may be in the traditional written format. However, there is scope to allow alternatives, such as, a guide, poster, video, model, or physical artefact.  Students could be offered a choice of output, with appropriate guidance provided. There is also scope that the project output could be shared/presented to an external audience, which can be highly motivating for students. 

The design of a project requires careful planning to enable a clear and transparent workload for learner and lecturer alike.  Ideally, project goals and milestones should be articulated for the duration of the project and these can act as opportunities for ‘check-in’ and feedback on progress. Individual projects can take significant student time, and this should be reflected in its weighting toward the module grade.

Online Assessment 

Ensure students have advice, where multimedia is used, on how to submit their project online. Ensure students have access to the technology they require to complete it. Consider the length required, for example, shorter videos may work better. Provide guidance on the maximum file size for online submission. Brightspace is able to support the scaffolding of a project by utilising rubrics, check-lists, self-assessments etc. Tools and technologies to support this assessment type include:

Preparing Students

Provision of clear goals and outcomes are essential. Scaffolding of the project activities may also be necessary through a structured student guide to aid and support completion. This might usefully include self-assessment questions/prompts, rubrics or checklists to guide the process. Make sure to clarify indicative expectations of workload, including time for learning how to use tools where relevant, for example video or audio editing software. 

The lecturer could also build in ‘check-points’ to map and review students' progress. These could be formative submissions as a means of providing feedback on work in progress or scheduled sessions to hear from the individual students on their progress and/or to address queries.

Learn More 

The following are some key resources that are currently available if you would like to learn more about this key assessment type