Keynote Address: Professor Sally Everett

Professor Sally Everett PFHEA, CMBE, NTF, PhD, MA, BA (Hons), Professor of Business Education and Vice Dean (Education), King’s Business School, King’s College London

Radical assessment change, the quiet way: rocking the boat without falling out of it

Whilst we all benefit from the collective wisdom of a rich community of assessment scholars and enjoy a plethora of research insights to shape our practice and policy, many of us continue to face resistance and barriers when we try to embed positive assessment change at institutional level. Despite being able to draw upon evidence-informed initiatives that have transformed pockets of higher education assessment practice, our students continue to voice concerns that something isn’t quite working for them. Being able to translate theory into meaningful and sustainable assessment change that fosters deep, inclusive and meaningful learning at a university, faculty (and programme) level continues to prove elusive. To deliver the change we seek, disruption and action are necessary steps along the journey. When talking about organisational change, Meyerson (2001) asks whether it is possible to make radical change without mass disruption, and “rock the boat without falling out of it?”. Taking this concept into assessment change management, I reflect upon 15 years of trying to change and reimagine assessment practices at several institutions. I argue that we need to become tempered radicals (change agents); collectively building a community that works to bring about significant changes which are evolutionary and incremental, yet powerful and long lasting. By discussing approaches such as co-creation with students, de-risking change and using ‘quick wins’, I hope to help delegates navigate through their own choppy waters of institutional assessment change and ultimately, radical transformation.


Sally is Professor of Business Education and Vice Dean (Education) at King’s Business School, King’s College London (since January 2019). Sally is also the Academic Lead for Inclusive Education for King’s College London and is championing inclusive assessment. Sally is a National Teaching Fellow (2017), Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2013), Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence award holder (2016) and is the Equality Officer for the Association of National Teaching Fellows. Sally is a member of the Chartered Association of Business School’s Race Equality Working Group and their Equality and Diversity Committee. Sally has also been the Deputy Dean for the business school at Anglia Ruskin University, and a previous Head of Department at the University of Bedfordshire. In her various management roles she has led on numerous ambitious assessment change initiatives and is happy to share the highs and lows of those experiences! Sally has also published widely on inclusive education, student employability, diversity, and tourism.

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