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Programme Assessment Strategies

Welcome to the PASS project


1 October 2009 - 31 October 2012

Funded by the HE Academy's NTFS project strand, this project aimed to confront a fundamental issue for every HE course/programme leader: how to design an effective, efficient, inclusive and sustainable assessment strategy which delivers the key course/programme outcomes.

Evaluation 1 November 2012 - 31 July 2013

ASKe, Oxford Brookes conducted a final work package to evaluate the impact of PASS workshops.

The Project Team

The original project team included 5 National Teaching Fellows from 6 universities (including 2 assessment-focused Centres of Excellence for Teaching & Learning (CETLs): ASKe and Assessment for Learning). The geographic location of team members presented several challenges; however, we made extensive use of virtual meeting places for our team meetings and limited our face to face project meetings to just 5 over the course of the project.

What we set out to do

Focusing on programme level assessment, the project sought to redress the current imbalance where assessment issues are primarily investigated and discussed at module/unit level by providing evidence-based guidance and exemplars/examples to help programme leaders develop and implement effective programme focused assessment strategies. Our position paper (pdf) sets out the case for Programme Focused Assessment and our progress through the project is outlined on the Project Overview/Reports page.

Our original plan was to have one year of development and investigation and two years of implementation. However, our first round of work packages found so little evidence of Programme Focused Assessment that we had two years of development and investigation and one year plus of implementation. We were pleased that the Higher Education Academy granted a short extension to the project.

Defining Programme Focused Assessment

It became evident from work on the initial work packages that we needed to define what we meant by Programme Focused Assessment. After much debate, and based on the examples emerging, the project team determined four key types of programme focused assessment, each with its own variants.

What we achieved


Members of the programme team provided papers at a number of dissemination events. A particular highlight was our final event at which a number of assessment focused projects and higher education agencies were represented. The event had an explicit 'forward-looking' theme giving the 60 participants an opportunity to discuss and debate common issues and share important developments emerging from the various projects.

More information

Although the project has ended, Ruth Whitfield, Project Manager, is happy to help with any queries you might have. Please use the contact details on the right.

Programme Assessment Strategies (PASS)



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Partner institutions

University of Bradford

National Teaching Fellowship Scheme Projects.

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)1274 233336
University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1DP, UK