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Roadworks On The Learning Highway: The Uk Experience Of Assessment.

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

A through K and Beyond

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1090.1 - 10.1090.9

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Paper Authors

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Tim McLernon

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David Hughes

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Roadworks on the learning highway: the UK experience of assessment.


School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster at Jordanstown Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland Ph +44 (0)28 90366515 Fax +44 (0)28 90366515


School of Civil Engineering, Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN Ph +44 (0)28 90274014 Fax +44 (0)28 90663754

1.0 Introduction

This paper is based on the view that good assessment promotes good learning, and the two should run smoothly in parallel as a ‘two-lane learning highway’. This view is based on and illustrated by an examination of theory relating to; why, what and how assessment is conducted in UK Higher Education.

However the practice of assessment and students learning in the UK is subject to many obstructions which act as roadworks on this learning highway. This paper concludes with a diagrammatic representation of these obstructions, illustrating practical factors which should be considered in order to make optimal use of the theory.

2.0 Assessment and learning

Assessment is an integral and essential element in the higher education process. There is an onus on academics to ensure that, if assessment is to take place, the most appropriate methods of assessment are employed.

Student’s education will have been driven by assessment and the outcomes of that assessment process will have determined that student’s university career. The expectation of students embarking on a higher education course is that the process of assessment-led education will continue. This mindset ultimately affects teaching and learning methods in higher education and, perhaps obviously, the assessment of student learning in higher education.

Higher education is about letting students take responsibility for their own learning by encouraging student-centred learning. Good assessment practice requires considerable thought, preparation and execution on the part of the academic. In today’s climate of diminishing resources, the administrative demands made of academics and the requirements for achievement

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

McLernon, T., & Hughes, D. (2005, June), Roadworks On The Learning Highway: The Uk Experience Of Assessment. Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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