This section attempts to provide guidance and resources on aspects of assessment. 

Design your course assessment

Assessment should be valid, reliable, fair, transparent and authentic. In the context of Learning Outcomes, assessment tasks (and marking criteria) should enable students to demonstrate their achievement of these outcomes and facilitate robust decisions. Within each programme, therefore, a range of assessment instruments should be used without over-reliance on a single approach (such as the traditional unseen written examination papers). Further, programmes need to avoid ‘over-assessment’ of students and maximise the opportunity for students to learn from previous assessments (as is agreed to be one of the educational purposes of assessment).[1]

Research shows that formative assessment is educationally powerful.[2] Schools and Programme Boards work to ensure that each programme provides students with sufficient opportunity for such formative feedback. Each programme will measure the degree to which students do engage with such support when it is available. Integrative assessment[3] strategies can be developed which attempt to tackle this issue within the context of a range of academic disciplines and modular programmes.

[2] Nicol D and Macfarlane-Dick D (2006) “Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice”, Studies in Higher Education, 31.2, pp 199-218

[3] Enhancement Themes: Integrative Assessment  Approaches include using ‘feedforward’, cumulative and progressive assessments, for example.


As per the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, “Assessment should be valid, reliable, fair, transparent and authentic”.  One useful way of ensuring reliability and transparency in assessment is through the use of rubrics, which can help communicate expectations to students, ensure consistency of grading and are also a very quick way of providing feedback to students.  For more information have a look at the quick guide to rubrics below:


Download a PDF version of the Rubrics Guide guide.

The example rubrics shown in the Rubrics guide can be imported into your Blackboard course.  Save the Blackboard Rubric Export (Zip file). zip here to your computer and navigate to Course Tools -> Rubrics in your Blackboard course to import

Self and Peer Assessment Guide

Many academics in NUI Galway are using self- and peer- assessment, as an effective learning method for students.  The following guide will give you an overview to how Self- and Peer- assessment can be beneficial for both the student and lecturer.


 Download a PDF of the Self And Peer Assessment Guide guide


If you would like to discuss assessment ideas or get more information on assessment practices, please feel free to contact the Educational Developer or other members of CELT.


If you would like an individual consultation or advice, you are very welcome to contact the Director, Assistant Director or the Curriculum Developer and an appointment can be booked via the CELT office.