Staff-student partnership in assessment: Enhancing assessment literacy through democratic practices

Susan J Deeley, Catherine Bovill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, research and practice focused on staff and students working in
partnership to co-design learning and teaching in higher education has increased. However, within staff–student partnerships a focus on assessment is relatively uncommon, with fewer examples evident in the literature. In this paper, we take the stance that all assessment can be oriented for learning, and that students’ learning is enhanced by improving their level of assessment literacy. A small study in a Scottish university was undertaken that involved a range of different adaptations to assessment and feedback, in which students were invited to become partners in assessment. We argue that a partnership approach, designed to democratise the assessment process, not only offered students greater agency in their own and their peers’ learning, but also helped students to enhance their assessment literacy. Although staff and students reported experiencing a sense of risk, there was immense compensation through increased motivation, and a sense of being part of an engaged learning community. Implications for partnership in assessment are discussed and explored further. We assert that adopting staff–student partnership in assessment and more democratic classroom practices can have a wide range of positive benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-477
Number of pages15
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date29 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • assessment literacy
  • assessment
  • co-assessment
  • co-creation
  • student engagement
  • examinations


Dive into the research topics of 'Staff-student partnership in assessment: Enhancing assessment literacy through democratic practices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this