Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment (TESTA) is a National Teaching Fellowship Project, funded by the Higher Education Academy, focused on Assessment for Learning. It has been used successfully on over 100 programmes worldwide at over 40 UK universities (including Durham, Nottingham, Edinburgh, and Bristol) as well as in India, Australia, and the US.
TESTA provides a strategy for mapping and evaluating an assessment environment, collating and triangulating data so that course teams can develop interventions to improve the quality of student learning. It "works with academics, students and managers – and for students, academics and managers – to identify study behaviour, generate assessment patterns to foster deeper learning across whole programmes, and debunk regulatory myths which prevent assessment for learning."
TESTA for your Department
There are 5 key stages to undertaking a TESTA mapping of your assessment environment:
- Course Audit (~2 hours; staff)
- Assessment Experience Questionnaire (~10 minutes; students)
- Questionnaire Follow-Up Focus Groups (~1 hr per group; students and staff)
- Triangulating Data for a Case Study (time variable; staff)
- Course Development Team Meeting and Assessment Review (time variable; staff)
Please contact your Curriculum Development Officer for guidance, support, and training on how to run TESTA in your department.
Further guidance is also available from the TESTA website, including anonymised case study examples from other UK universities.
- Helps teams talk about programme design to develop connections within and across units
- Can reduce assessment quantity to improve assessment quality and remove duplication
- Benefits student learning and wellbeing
- Eases the staff workload burden
- Relies on evidence and principles
- Helps develop feedback as a dialogue
- Enables greater student knowledge and confidence about assessment for learning
- Improves NSS scores