Skip to main content

Assessment Principles

Principles of Effective Assessment

Designing successful assessments requires careful consideration to ensure they effectively measure student learning outcomes and promote meaningful learning experiences. There are several principles you should consider when designing your assessment(s).


  • Ensure that your assessments align closely with the module and programme learning outcomes (assessments should measure what you intend to teach)
  • Use a variety of assessment types across a programme, such as quizzes, exams, essays, presentations, group projects, and practical assignments (this variety develops assessment literacy and key skills)
  • Consider progression from year-to-year. Is the level of challenge (knowledge, skills) appropriate to the stage of study. Does the assessment fit within the overall progression of the degree programme?
  • Consider the timing of assessments throughout the academic year (ensure reasonable distribution of formative and summative assessments avoids overwhelming students)
  • Incorporate peer assessment for some assignments (this can help students develop critical evaluation skills and provide diverse perspectives on their work)
  • Provide clear and detailed instruction for each assessment, students should understand what is expected of them (see our guidance on Writing A Clear Assessment Tasks and Writing an Effective Assessment Brief)
  • Develop assessment rubrics that outline specific criteria for grading (these rubrics make grading more transparent and help students understand how they will be evaluated – see our guidance on Writing Assessment Rubrics )
  • Provide prompt and constructive feedback on assessments (feedback should highlight areas for improvement and guide students toward better performance in the future – see our guidance on Effective Feedback)

Useful Resources