Transforming Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA)
Transforming Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA) is a joint National Teaching Fellowship Project with four partner universities of similar character: Bath Spa, Chichester, Winchester and Worcester. It was funded by the Higher Education Academy for three years (2009-2012). TESTA aims to improve the quality of student learning through addressing programme-level assessment. The aim of TESTA is to help programme teams rethink their assessment diet and as a result improve the student learning experience for all involved: students, staff, and more specifically, programme leaders.
The TESTA methodology uses a mixed methods approach and within this approach it draws on three tools to triangulate data. These include a programme audit which consists of a qualitative interview with the programme leader and a content analysis of programme documents; the use of a quantitative questionnaire to determine students’ learning behaviour in relation to assessment and feedback patterns in the programme; and finally focus groups with between three and eight students to provide explanation for some of the phenomena suggested by the audit and questionnaire.
Given the current level of activity around curriculum review, TESTA can be a useful tool to gain better understanding of your students’ experience of assessment on the course and how it can be redesigned. For more information on the methodology and to download the tools visit the TESTA website.