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DEMOS Project

Online Materials for Staff Disability Awareness
[Modules] : Assessment

Summary of content

Recently academic researchers and educational developers have written much about the way in which assessment methods in higher education can be designed more effectively and lead to improvements in student learning. Often assessment has been a bolt -on activity which is only considered once the course outline has been completed. However, increasingly course designers are considering assessment issues as part and parcel of the teaching and learning process.

Additionally, the needs of disabled students have generally been considered only after this process is complete and usually just before the assessment takes place in a largely ad hoc manner (Earle and Sharpe, 2000). Many disabled students are frustrated by provision made for them in higher education institutions (HEIs) and often their needs are not met. A push for more inclusive approaches and new legislation such as the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA)(2001) is leading to consideration of the needs of disabled students at a much earlier stage.

This module will provide an introduction to some of the issues that are currently relevant to the assessment of disabled students. Inclusive approaches are introduced, and, coupled with more traditional arrangements, encouraged as the way forward for educational designers.

Such approaches should pave the way for more seamless educational provision for disabled students and may provide more equitable and effective education of all students.

N.B. : This module refers to the academic assessment of students. It does not cover issues relating to the assessment process that disabled students undergo in higher education in order to receive a grant (the Disabled Students' Allowances, DSAs) or to the assessment of dyslexia.

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