Understanding Assessment

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Assessment Methods

When you start your course at the University of Lincoln, you will come across a range of assessment methods that are designed for you to demonstrate your learning and knowledge. You should consult your Programme Handbook for the details of how your course  will be assessed. Some examples of assessment methods are:

  • Presentations
  • Portfolios
  • Essays
  • Activities
  • Logs
  • Reports

It is important that you are aware of your responsibilities regarding assessment.


Learning Outcomes

All modules have learning outcomes associated with them, which you are assessed on. Learning outcomes describe the threshold standard needed to pass a module. You need to read the learning outcomes for each module so that you understand what the essential learning is for your module and what you are expected to know, understand or do when you successfully complete the module.

It is not only important to look at the learning outcomes for the modules you take, but also the learning outcomes for your degree course. As you progress through your degree you will find that the learning outcomes for each module will require you to demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge.

In order to measure your learning and assess whether you have met the learning outcomes all modules will be assessed. Each assessment that you are set will have associated assessment criteria which describe the standard achieved. You need to read these so that you understand what you need to demonstrate in order to gain the best grades.



When you get to university, your work will usually be graded using percentages. At the University of Lincoln the pass mark is 40% and your grades will be calculated according to the grading scheme. Each percentage awarded corresponds to a class of degree (see table below) and your final overall percentage and credit total will determine your degree classification.


Assessment Criteria

Assessments you complete will be marked against a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria, which will usually be published in module or course handbooks. The criteria have two purposes: first, they are intended to ensure learning outcomes are met; secondly, they help you to understand the basis on which your work is assessed.

Assessment criteria allow consultants to focus their feedback on any given piece of work. Ideally, they should note those areas in which you are doing well and areas that you could improve on, enabling you to develop knowledge and skills.

Before starting any piece of assessed work you should check any instruction you have been given about how your work will be graded and what will be expected of you.


Assessment Submission Deadlines

All deadlines for formally assessed work (any piece of coursework that counts towards the mark for a course or any formal submission) will be provided to you by you consultant.



What gains you marks:

  • Meeting the Learning Outcomes for the module
  • Answering the question
  • Composing a clear argument
  • Using the right evidence and relevant examples
  • Showing how different theories, information and issues work together
  • Showing you understand the subject
  • Establishing an easy to follow structure
  • Using appropriate quotations
  • Referencing accurately
  • Thinking independently
  • Summarising a range of ideas and opinions
  • Putting forward alternative explanations
  • Analysing your material
  • Constructing sentences and paragraphs well
  • Writing in a clear and understandable style


What loses marks:

  • Poor spelling, grammar, punctuation
  • Unclear structure
  • Undeveloped argument
  • Not enough critical analysis of your material
  • Irrelevant sources or quotes
  • Over-long sentences
  • Paragraphs that are too long or short


How to maximize marks:

  • Make sure you know what referencing system you should use and stick to it
  • Proof reading your work to eliminate mistakes
  • Plan properly
  • Write a good introduction and conclusion
  • Check the assessment criteria and apply it to your assignment

About the Author

Michelle Barr

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