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A HEFi resource from Sally Brown and Kay Sambell.

In the first ever external contribution to the MicroCPD series, Professor Sally Brown talks about the work that she and Professor Kay Sambell led throughout the pandemic to support the higher education sector in designing replacements to traditional assessments that were authentic.

They developed a systematic and practical 6-stage ‘task-generator’ that was underpinned by assessment for learning principles and enabled the creation of flexible context/scenario-based assessment activities for use off-campus.

Now Sally and Kay encourage us not to go back but to seize this opportunity to bring about lasting and meaningful change to our approaches to assessment.  

Towards authentic assessment
Towards authentic assessment

There are a number of ways to get involved and join the conversation at the University of Birmingham which you can find more about below:

Here are a number of resources that will help you to think about how to make your assessment more authentic:

The key posts about the approach (listed on the above website) are:

  • 23 March 2020 ‘Contingency-planning: exploring rapid alternatives to face-to-face assessment’. 
  • 2 April 2020 ‘Fifty tips for replacements for time-constrained, invigilated on-site exams’ 
  • 1 June 2020 ‘The changing landscape of assessment: some possible replacements for unseen time-constrained face-to-face invigilated exams’
  • 17th August 2020 Writing Better Assignments in the post-Covid Era: approaches to good task design
  • 21st August 2020 Changing assessment for good: a major opportunity for educational developers
  • 19th March & 3rd May 2021 Compendia of examples of authentic assessment in practice from diverse disciplines
  • 13 August 2021 The third Compendium of examples of authentic assessment in practice
  • 17th November 2021: Compendium 4: Thirteen authentic assessment examples from Hong Kong.

HEFi Assessment Design Workshop, focussing on semester 2 approaches - Wednesday 9th February 2022, 13:00-14:30 (With optional additional 30 minutes for question design activity).  Attendance in person or online.  Sign up on Eventbrite.

HEFi guidance on assessment and feedback
Canvas resources on assessment and feedback
Canvas assessment support hub for staff

If you would like advice on a specific topic, or wish to request a workshop discussion, please contact

To share ideas or questions about assessment and feedback with colleagues, start a conversation on HEFI-OPEN@JISCMAIL.AC.UK