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

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Report submitted to PG Diploma in Practitioner Research Projects, DIT, 2018.


The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 highlights that whilst modularisation has allowed for greater flexibility, it has also produced some problems including fragmentation of programmes with large numbers of modules leaving students feeling over assessed and staff burdened (Hunt, 2011). Nicol & Macfarlene-Dick (2006) have argued that formative assessment can promote better student learning and that assessment can be used more effectively by embedding ‘feedback’ and ‘feedforward’ in curriculum practices. Their studies identify how formative feedback does not have to solely come from the teacher, but can also be provided by peers and even generated by the students themselves. The Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NFETLHE) has put forward similar arguments to enhance learning if we move away from a purely ‘Assessment OF’ approach and shift towards a more ‘Assessment FOR’ and ‘Assessment AS Learning’ approach, giving the students a more central role (NFETLHE, 2017). Figure 1 below illustrates these concepts and highlights the dynamic relationship between formative assessment and learning (NFETLHE, 2017).

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