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"It is just common sense, really!"

Posted: Tuesday 13th February 2018

So what’s going on in HE these days? Concerns and preoccupation with the Office for Students aside, it seems that “everyone” is undertaking programme/curriculum reviews with a strong focus on assessment. This is the conclusion my colleagues and I have reached based on all the interactions we have had with a large number of institutions in the past few months.

Catalyst for the surging interest in IPA was our successful workshop held at Brunel University London on 21st November, and an Inside Government talk in London on 5th December. As a result, we have been busy visiting institutions far and wide to share our experience of integrated and programme level assessment. Thank you to everyone who have made us so welcome! It is of course always a pleasure to share practice, but why does IPA strike such a cord?

Clearly an attraction is the opportunity to reduce assessment, but I think it is more than that. Staff that we have met are concerned about doing the best for their students, and therefore the positive impact on students from engaging with authentic assessment, specifically designed to demonstrate achievement of clearly articulated programme learning outcomes, is something that most people will see as a ‘good thing’. The collegiate nature of running a programme with integrated assessments is also a positive feature, and there is no doubt in our mind that students benefit from experiencing a programme – not a collection of modules.

As one academic put it after listening to me talk about IPA – “It is just common sense, really!”