Surveying the Foundations: The Purposes of Assessment at Foundation Level and How Best to Achieve Them

  • Sarah Hale University of Sheffield
Keywords: assessment, mature, widening participation


Assessment is central to university study and is a key aspect of how students experience higher education. It is a significant source of worry and stress to students, and this is arguably particularly so for non-traditional Foundation Year students. The purpose of assessment in most contexts is to test and/or demonstrate knowledge and/or competence, which conflicts with the key Foundation Year aim of developing skills in undertaking assessment. Drawing on the literature, alongside case studies from the University of Sheffield’s Foundation Year, this article explores ways in which these tensions can be lessened, and assessment deployed effectively to better meet the needs of Foundation Year students.



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Author Biography

Sarah Hale, University of Sheffield

Sarah is a Programme Director for Foundation Years at the University of Sheffield. She first attended university in 1994 as a twenty-nine-year-old single parent, and liked it so much she never left. She knows how lucky she is.