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My Course > LEARNING AND TEACHING INNOVATION CENTRE > Guidance, Resources and Toolkits > Assessment and Feedback > Assessment for Learning > Enhancing the seminar experience through preparatory assessment tasks

Enhancing the seminar experience through preparatory assessment tasks

Page last updated by CN=Admin3/O=LIS on 10/08/2015


The attendance / preparation model involved four forms of assessment: attendance at weekly seminars (10%); weekly submission of Seminar Activities (SA’s) (10%); summative assessment of one of the 10 SA’s submitted chosen at random (10%); an in class multiple choice test (10%). Each week students prepared for their seminar by producing a written answer to a given task relating to that weeks lecture. It was submitted via the Managed Learning Environment (StudyNet), a hard copy was then brought to the tutorial where students could share their findings and gain formative feedback from the lecturer and their peers.

The SA’s were posted on StudyNet by 9am each Wednesday and the student was asked to bring with him/her to the seminar room two copies of their work. One copy was handed in to the lecturer at the very beginning of the seminar. The other copy was kept by the student so that it can be referred to and used during the seminar. Participation through attendance was recorded and constituted 10% of the total marks.

A total of 10 seminar prepared pieces (SA1-10) were to be submitted. Only those submitted on time were counted. This constituted 10% of the total marks. Two of these 10 prepared pieces were chosen at random and marked out of 10. Contributing 20% of the total marks.

The case study addresses:how the assessment supports student learning; particular benefits of the assessment; provision of feedback on student submissions and encouraging student engagement with the feedback.

The case study has been reviewed by Mark Russell (Deputy Director of the Blended Learning Unit) and Helen Barefoot (Deputy Head of the Learning & teaching Institute) with comments added where the assessment fits within principles of good practice, namely; Chickering and Gamson’s “Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education” (1987), Gibbs and Simpson’s “Conditions under which assessment supports students learning" (2004) and David Nicol’s 10 principles of “Good Feedback Practice”, (2007).

Authors’ contact details

Maria Banks - m.banks@herts.ac.uk

Further Information

Chickering, A. W. & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, 39(7), 3–7.

Gibbs, G. & Simpson, C. (2004) Conditions under which assessment supports students learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. 1, 3-31.

Nicol, D, J. (2007) Assessment design for learner responsibility, http://www.reap.ac.uk