Good Practice in EMA

Enhancing assessment practice

e-assessment may enhance the quality of the learner’s experience is through the closer alignment of assessment with the pedagogic approach used – as options for modes of delivery broaden to include blended and online models, assessment in a similar form becomes increasingly appropriate and relevant.

Jisc Effective Practice with e-Assessment

When considering eAssessment many of the same aspects of good practice apply as with traditional paper based assessments. Jisc have defined these 6 key considerations when developing eAssessment.


The choice of assessment type is appropriate for the assessment, also consider the appropriateness of the timing of the assessment (see Timeliness) and what you are assessing (see Relevance)


Assessments to be delivered at the best time, aligned with the students learning. Feedback should be returned as soon as possible so that learning feedback can be connected to assessment content.


Good assessment benefits student learning and should be about assessing both knowledge and skills. Good Assessment design should measure both the skills you want the students to develop as well as assessing the knowledge that they have acquired.


Ensure that the system where the submission point is situated is accessible to all your students and that they know exactly where it is and how to get there.


Does the task assess what you want it to assess? Does it measure the student’s attainment, against the learning outcomes at the appropriate level?

Quality of supporting systems

Ensure that staff have the time and availability in their workloads to undertake their responsibilities associated with the assessment. The guides and other help/support resources that are freely available to both staff and students. The technology and any restrictions it might have such as file upload limits etc.

Along with the 6 considerations layed out by Jisc it is also worth considering the following.

Good practice in providing electronic feedback via Electronic marking follows the same best practice guidelines that should be applied to the delivery of all feedback;

  • Feedback is best provided as soon as possible after the assessment took place, so that the learning from feedback can still be connected to the assessment content.
  • Feedback should be critical but supportive to learning so as to encourage a student’s confident scrutiny of their future work.
  • Feedback should where possible be directly related to learning outcomes and given assessment criteria so that students are very clear on what was and will be expected of them.
  • Feedback should be given with care and attention to standards of respect for diversity and individuality and should rarely be directed at the student but rather at their work.
  • Feedback should be more than just ticks or crosses, tempting as it is to put ticks beside things that are correct or good ticks don’t give much real feedback it takes a little longer to add short phrases such as ‘good point’, ‘I agree with this’, ‘yes, this is it’, ‘spot on’, and so on, but such feedback comments do much more to motivate students than just ticks the same applies with crosses – it is worth spending some time explaining what is wrong.


Online course in Assessment and Feedback (video & HTML) –  University of Huddersfield

Good Practice using Turnitin and Grademark (video) – Dr Martin Graff, Reader in Psychology University of South Wales


References to Scholarly Articles:.

Ferrell, G (2013) Dialogue and change: an update on key themes from the JISC Assessment and Feedback programme

Ferrell, G (2012) A view of the Assessment and Feedback Landscape: baseline analysis of policy and practice from the JISC Assessment and Feedback programme.

JISC. (2010) Effective Assessment in a Digital Age: A guide to technology-enhanced assessment and feedback [online], Bristol, HEFCE. Available (accessed 19 Nov 2014).

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and Classroom Learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice5(1), 7–73.

Bourner, T. (2003). Assessing reflective learning. Education + Training45(5), 267–272.

Brown, S. (1999). ‘Institutional strategies for assessment’, in Brown, S. and Glasner, A. (eds.), Assessment Matters in Higher Education: Choosing and Using Diverse Approaches. Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press, pp. 3–13.

Mason, D. V, & Woit, D. M. (n.d.). Providing Mark-up and Feedback to Students with Online Marking. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin Volume 31 Issue 1, March 1999, 3–6.

Spilsbury, H., & Batt, S. (2010). The quiet revolution: The experience of introducing electronic marking at the University of Huddersfield.

Sterngold, A. (2012). Change : The Magazine of Higher Learning Confronting Plagiarism : How Conventional Cyber-cheating, (November), 37–41.

Yorke, M. (2003). Formative assessment in higher education : Moves towards theory and the enhancement of pedagogic practice, (1997), 477–501.

Youmans, R. J. (2012). Studies in Higher Education Does the adoption of plagiarism- detection software in higher education reduce plagiarism ?, (November).