Overassessment in higher education: does less mean more?

  • Lucia Galvez-Bravo LJMU
Keywords: overassessment, mean marks, student satisfaction, summative assessment, workload


In spite of recent claims of the need to reduce overassessment in higher education, there is a surprising lack of consensus of what this term really means together with a lack of empirical evidence of the effects of multiple assessments on student learning and achievement.  This study explored the relationship between student achievement and number of assessments, and their potential links to student satisfaction, based on data from modules of the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, LJMU during 2014/15.  The trends found suggest that there is no relationship between fewer assessments and improved academic performance.  Indeed, there was a slight trend showing the opposite and, further, modules with more assessments recorded higher feedback (module appraisal) marks.  This paper discusses the potential implications of the results in the context of overassessment concerns.  Suggestions are given for practice to clarify the concept and shed light into its potential implications.
Research In Practice