Pandemic adaptations can improve inclusive assessment practices today: UA network releases report

The University Alliance Teaching & Learning network have released their report: What works? Supporting student progression and attainment through sustainable inclusive assessment practices.

Seven institutions from the network, led by Teesside University, carried out the research project to identify which inclusive assessment policies and practices implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic could be applied in a post-pandemic world.

During the pandemic, it was discovered that assessment practices had become more inclusive. Many of the adaptations made in response to lockdown restrictions were actually helping to close awarding gaps and improve continuation rates – even for the most disadvantaged students. UA universities wanted to figure out why, and how they could keep these adaptations going.

This project was a continuation of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement project, released last year, in which nine attributes for enabling more inclusive assessment styles were identified.

As part of the process for producing the most recent report, each university recognised the ‘enablers’ and ‘barriers’ to inclusive assessment at their institutions. These were gathered from recurrent themes in their analysis of existing internal data, and interviews with students and staff.

The enablers and barriers were then mapped across each of the nine attributes, to reveal the challenges facing their implementation.

The result is a collection of outputs that provide practical insight for other higher education institutions, showcasing the inclusive assessment attributes that work in practice, and which barriers need to be addressed.

Find the research project outputs on our dedicated page here.

The University Alliance institutions involved in the project were as follows:

Further reading