With the wide student population entering higher education, inclusivity is becoming an important issue. Hence the curriculum needs to reflect the complex mix and breadth of student cohorts. Research shows that students value recognition of their social backgrounds and learning requirements. These are considered to be crucial in reinforcing deep learning.

The University of Greenwich Assessment and Feedback Policy makes several references to inclusivity:

"The range of assessment types should be designed to ensure inclusivity and acknowledge different learning styles, but without unduly multiplying the different types of assessment activity"

"Assessment procedures must ensure that assessment is fair, valid and reliable, through being designed in relation to explicit criteria, being inclusive and scheduled appropriately so that workloads are equitable and feedback can be acted upon."

"Being designed to promote inclusivity and in such a way as not to disadvantage, either overtly or by omission, any student or groups of students;"

Inclusive assessment in practice

  • offer alternative assessment methods - allow all students to chose from a range of assessment methods for one task, this way they can demonstrate how they met the course objectives using  the method they are most comfortable with (for example offer an option of an essay, presentation or exam)
  • offer a variety of methods throughout the course - a wide range will balance the strengths and weaknesses; having said that be aware of including too many assessment types. For more information visit the Loading, bunching and variety page
  • offer support with exam technique - offer any guidance that may lessen the impact of stress on performance, for example draw students attention to the importance of planning, explain grading criteria.

There are several resources produced by other institutions that offer guidance on how to make assessment more inclusive. A very useful and exhaustive practical resource, with solutions to inclusive assessment, has been produced by Plymouth University through their 7 steps series. Click on the link to access the file. Other resources include: