Where Can We Find Time to Make, and Learn From, Mistakes?

  • Beverley Jane Allan University of Nottingham
  • Caroline M Anderson University of Nottingham


The foundation Science year at our university is a fast-paced course designed to cover the necessary fundamental content needed for progression onto a variety of life, health, and bioscience degrees while at the same time developing scientific skills and preparing students for undergraduate study. There is a constant thread of summative assessment across the year, leaving little time for formative assessment and feedback opportunities where students can make mistakes and learn from them. To address this, a programme-level approach to assessment has been adopted, resulting in the learning outcomes for more than one module being assessed within the same piece of coursework. Taking this approach has provided the opportunity to plan the provision of valuable time and safe opportunities for students to engage with formative activities moving forward. These formative opportunities will provide students with feedback that they can use to learn from their mistakes in time for the summative coursework assessments.    


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