Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment (TESTA) is a method of reviewing the assessment and feedback practices at a programme-level to identify areas of enhancement and effective practice in higher education. Since its inception, TESTA and its methodologies have been implemented across a wide range of UK universities, including Strathclyde, Dundee, and Edinburgh.
How does it work?
The core element of TESTA is the collection of data on assessment and feedback practices at a course level. These are collated to offer staff a holistic view of the student experience across an entire degree programme. Data are collected via course reviews, student questionnaires, and focus groups, and programme-level meetings bring teaching teams together to reflect upon current practices and potential enhancement areas. These meetings are designed to create an opportunity for teaching staff to exchange assessment and feedback practices collaboratively.
The benefits of TESTA
By adopting TESTA methodologies, the University and its academic Schools are aiming to enhance the student learning experience by increasing student engagement through more varied assessment and feedback approaches. Broadening approaches will help facilitate student engagement with deeper learning and further develop their understanding of assessment and feedback literacies. Importantly for both students and staff, TESTA additionally presents the opportunity to identify areas of over-assessment, with an aim to reducing workload, enhancing efficiency, and improving student and staff assessment experiences.
TESTA at the University of Aberdeen
At the University, TESTA is coordinated by the Centre for Academic Development. The TESTA team includes academic and professional services staff, the Dean for Educational Innovation, School Directors of Education, and undergraduate interns. The latter work closely with staff as student-partners, and are a key feature of the TESTA process.
More information on assessment and the work of Mailie Besson and Samu Turi, the inaugural TESTA interns (pictured), can be found here.