Assessment for learning and skills development: The case of large classes

Mohammed Wanous*, Brian Procter, Kinaz Murshid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely accepted that assessment has a great influence on the quality of learning. Assessment can be a powerful tool for improving students' learning and motivation. It also helps in developing a positive and supportive learning environment. The present paper briefly outlines the original assessment arrangements for a cross-department programme at the University of Bristol, Faculty of Engineering before describing the process of reviewing these arrangements and designing a more developmental teaching, learning and assessment framework. The programme is called Professional Studies (PS) and has become compulsory for all six branches of Engineering taught at Bristol. The total Engineering undergraduate population of around 800 students attends the PS course every year. PS is crucial for Engineering degrees to be accredited by the respective professional bodies, such as I. Mech. E., Inst. Civil Eng. and Inst. Aero. Eng. In addition to teaching professional awareness, the PS course seeks to develop a range of transferable personal skills, which are highly sought after by employers. This dual objective has played a key part in shaping the way the PS course teaching, learning and assessment strategy has been developed. Over three years, input from students, academic staff across the six Engineering departments, the Engineering Council UK, external examiners and prospective employers, has helped to adapt the course to optimize the effectiveness of the learning outcomes and to control the heavy demand associated with large classes on teaching and assessment resources. Finally, a brief evaluation of the new method is provided with possible further improvements.

Translated title of the contributionAssessment for learning and skills development: the case of large classes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


  • Assessment of large classes
  • Engineering education
  • Learning and skills development
  • Teamwork


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