Assessment Literacy for Graduate Attribute Enhancement (ALGAE) in Biomedical Sciences

Assessment Literacy for Graduate Attribute Enhancement (ALGAE) in Biomedical Sciences

School:  Edinburgh Medical School

Team Members: Kevin Robertson, Susan Rhind, Kirsty Hughes


In HE curriculum design, the development of learning opportunities supporting domain-specific learning objectives (LO) and the co-development of graduate attributes (GA) is challenging. This proposal outlines a plan to use assessment literacy (AL) to enhance integration of both LO and GA. It will then analyse student perceptions of AL benefits to learning. This is framed in a new competency model for the Biomedical science (BMS) curriculum based on Miller’s Pyramid.

The BMS Literature Comprehension assessment (LCA) introduces undergraduates to the critical analysis of primary research. Within its domain-specific teaching are opportunities for the development of written communication (of reasoning/ rationale), critical and analytical thinking – core GA. In 2019, a pilot AL intervention targeted at improving student comprehension of the assessment rationale and marking criteria alongside GA competency development was positively received.

Here, we propose three new activities to build on this pilot. Firstly, migration of all LCA teaching to an AL format. Secondly, the collection and analysis of data on (a) question grading in formative tutorials (b) overall marks for the course. Thirdly, utilisation of a new questionnaire to survey student perceptions of: the importance of understanding assessment and standards, the value of AL tutorials to exam preparation and perceived confidence/ competency in self-assessment, comprehension of standards and communication.

Funds are requested to support post-intervention analysis of effects on overall student performance, test if student assessment proficiency improves with experience and analyse student perceptions of preparedness for the exam and development of their analytical and communication skills.

Final project report

Download the final project report (PDF)