A Review of a Faculty-Wide Change in Assessment Practice for Open and Distance Learners of Science

Sally Jordan
The Open University, United Kingdom


Previous practice in the Open University Science Faculty has been for all modules to be assessed by a combination of summative continuous assessment, with extensive feedback comments, and an end-of-module task (an examination or an extended assignment). This practice, although wellestablished and apparently well received, has led to concerns, as reportedelsewhere, that staff and students have a different understanding of the purpose of continuous assessment: staff see its purpose as primarily formativewhilst students are primarily concerned with obtaining high marks.

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