Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, Architecture engineering

Publication Details

Sucessfully submitted for the award of M.A. in Higher Education, 2011.


Technological leaps along with increased numbers and greater student diversity is altering the higher education teaching landscape constantly. The academic's workload is escalating all the time, arising from resource constraints in a time of economic stringency. This places even more pressure on dealing with assessment rather than on enhancing learning. Despite evidence that supports formative assessment as being vitally important to students' learning, it is not widely appreciated among lecturers in higher education. As a result, lecturers under pressure, understandably, will maintain existing assessment and teaching systems rather than attempt to apply new techniques. Immeasurable hours, days or even weeks, spent providing detailed written feedback on students' work that was never read or acted upon (and was too late anyway for some students), was the motivation for this research which commenced in 2008. Replicating that initial inquiry over two further years, with two additional first year cohorts, then followed. This paper will argue that the application of the feedback technique applied throughout this research, including analysis of the students' perceptions of learning, has contributed towards understanding the first-year student's learning experience. It will be demonstrated that an effective formative assessment and formative feedback method that enhances learning can support the different educational needs of a diverse student population, without compromising standards. Published research underpinning formative assessment and feedback to improve learning for a more diverse tertiary student population, including some pragmatic stratagems, were examined and appraised within this study. Key words: Formative assessment, student diversity, enhancing learning, perceptions of learning, Studio environment.