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Designing assessment for inclusion: an exploration of diverse students’ assessment experiences

Assessment plays an important role in higher education, both guiding student learning and judging student success. However, assessment that treats all students the same is inequitable, since it ignores differences in students’ past and present circumstances. A shift to assessment for inclusion is advocated to promote student equity; one that incorporates diverse students’ perspectives on and experiences of assessment. A students-as-partners approach was taken to explore diverse students’ experiences of assessment, and their suggestions to make assessment more inclusive. A team of six staff and five student partners undertook a co-research project, facilitating workshops with 52 students from diverse backgrounds to understand their assessment experiences. While assessment goals varied, students reported assessment was an emotional experience, citing challenges with assessment design, process and broader university support. These findings can be aligned and incorporated within a previously developed assessment design framework, demonstrating that students can make nuanced judgements about the quality of assessment design in relation to inclusion. Future work on assessment design which seeks to be inclusive can and should therefore routinely involve students.



Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education