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Learning and Teaching

Assessment Lifecycle

A life-cycle view

The assessment life-cycle is fundamentally an academic model or framework for viewing the assessment and feedback process in its entirety. The way in which it shows a high level view of the academic processes involved offers a ready means of mapping business processes and supporting technologies against it. Use of the model has therefore been central to ADD's research into assessment in terms of serving as a framework to gain a holistic picture of institution-wide activity.

The assessment and feedback lifecycle shown below was developed by Manchester Metropolitan University and has already been adopted/adapted by a range of other HEIs.

There are 8 main stages in the life-cycle:

  1. Specifying
  2. Setting
  3. Supporting
  4. Submitting
  5. Marking and Production of Feedback
  6. Recording Grades
  7. Returning Marks and Feedback
  8. Reflecting

At a more detailed level the processes also include: assessment scheduling; submission of assignments; tracking of submissions; extension requests and approvals; academic integrity; academic misconduct processes; examinations; marks recording; moderation and external examining.

The life-cycle is presented in a cyclical fashion to emphasise the iterative nature of many of these activities (even though many of the participants in this research have highlighted the fact that some of their processes and information systems actually work in quite a linear manner). We have preserved the numbering of the original model for ease of commenting in this text but it needs to be recognised that, when developing any new piece of assessment, stage 8 – reflecting on what has gone before, is often the first stage in the process.

The model is intended to be pedagogically neutral (more about asking the right questions and stimulating thought than having a basis in any particular pedagogic stance). It can be applied to both formative and summative assessment and to any scale of learning e.g. from whole courses/programmes of learning or to short pieces of learning such a short course that takes place over a single day. The model covers all assessment and feedback practice whether or not materials are in digital format and supported by information systems therefore it suits our purpose as a model for Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) as opposed to the narrower Electronic Assessment Management (EAM).

Electronic Management of Assessment by Academic Development Directorate is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work by Jisc at Electronic Management of Assessment.