From Surviving to Thriving: Using Compassionate Assessment and Feedback to Foster Engagement and Effective Learning

 Professor Sally Brown, Independent Consultant & Emerita Professor at Leeds Beckett University & Visiting Professor at Universities of Plymouth, Edge Hill, and Liverpool John Moores.

Kay Sambell Photo

 Professor Kay Sambell, Independent Consultant & Visiting Professor of Assessment for Learning at the University of Sunderland and the University of Cumbria


 Assessment and feedback have a significant impact on the lives of both students and staff: in this keynote, Professors Sally Brown and Kay Sambell discussed the importance of universities recognising that assessment and feedback processes can have a huge positive or negative impact on students, depending on how they are directed, and that staff engaging in designing and marking assessments need compassionate approaches that don’t result in unrealistic workloads or extreme stress for themselves or their students.

Professors Brown and Sambell argued further that students who engage in authentic assessment tend to have a greater sense of belonging and commitment than those that use only traditional assessment formats. In this keynote, participants had opportunities to:

  • Consider how we can make assessment more compassionate for staff and students;
  • Review how authentic assignments can be systematically and efficiently designed to foster student engagement;
  • Examine examples of authentic assessment for a variety of different disciplines;
  • Consider how to redress imbalances between formative and summative assessment;
  • Discuss how changes can be made incrementally to improve the quality of learning opportunities afforded by assessment activities.