Assessment continues to be high on the agenda of those in higher education with numerous reports, research and student surveys signalling it as no longer ‘fit for purpose’ and not meeting students’ expectations. There is a growing impetus for change from students, lecturers and academic managers and researchers and advisory organisations provide the evidence for improving assessment practice. Despite this, much conventional assessment continues unchallenged whilst pioneers push at the frontiers of practice, developing assessment for learning and student engagement. Sadly, assessment has proved surprisingly difficult to change, bound up as it is with traditions and concerns about standards and fairness.
This conference is an opportunity to debate concerns and increase understanding of assessment practice within and across academic disciplines. It will provide the opportunity to share innovations, evidence-based change, reflections on practice, research and evaluative studies with a particular focus on the voice of the practitioner, working to improve assessment in their programmes and institutions. It will look to the future as well as critique the past, exploring potential in new forms of assessment and e-assessment. Overall, it will focus on the pragmatic, the possible, which balances the need for assessment which supports learning and student satisfaction whilst meeting demands for quality assurance and standards.