Assessing the Student: The British Way

One of the things that I have noticed is the differences between how students are assessed back in the United States compared to here in the United Kingdom.  During my undergraduate degree in California, it was a common expectation to usually have homework due about once or twice a week, a paper or presentation of some sort, and then two to three examinations throughout the semester.  Of course this can vary from module to module, but you could always expect some sort of course outline similar to this.  Sometimes there attendance and regular quizzes were included as well.

As I have finished up my first term here in at Aston University, I have noticed that my entire grade markings rely on only one or two examinations or projects/papers.   This is interesting because there are pro’s and con’s to this method of assessment.  A couple of the good things are that all of the assessments or projects are meaningful and the student does not have to worry about a ton of extra homework to stress about.  One of the disadvantages of this is that you really have to keep up with the class and won’t know how you will do in the assessment until afterwards.  This can be extremely hurtful because a student does not get the chance to make up for anything if they performed poorly in an examination.

Although I have mixed feelings about the examination process, I feel that there are advantages and disadvantages to both.  But in reality, I have quite enjoyed the different method of teaching and assessing of students and I hope to do well in the near future.