Do staff and student voices echo the literature on assignment brief design?

  • Do staff and student voices echo the literature on assignment brief design?


    • Fiona Gilbert,, Oxford Brookes International
    • Garry Maguire, Oxford Brookes International


    The call for an increase in the range of assignment types, deriving primarily from the need to focus on student employability, has lead to an increasing range and complexity in the nature of assignment tasks (Gilbert, 2012). With this trend likely to continue, the challenge for staff in setting and students in interpreting the instructions for these assignments, is likely to become ever greater. There is currently both a lack of research into this stage of the assessment cycle and a lack of guidance in this area of assessment literacy development. To what extent do staff currently perceive this area of practice as challenging? To what extent are these reflected in student perceptions of the challenges involved in reading and interpreting assignment briefs? To what extent are these perceptions reflected in the research literature? To what extent can this inform our practice? With the challenge for staff and students alike in 2012 and beyond being to ensure that increasingly complex assignment tasks are communicated and interpreted efficiently and effectively, this workshop will explore the question: ‘do staff and student voices echo calls from the literature on assignment brief design?’ and offer a tentative solution to meeting this challenge through an in-depth examination how the literature informs guidelines and principles of effective assignment brief design. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal assignment setting and interpreting practice, to raise their awareness to assignment instruction processing perceptions and to extend their knowledge of diverse areas in the literature to inform their practice in this area of assessment literacy.  

    Gilbert, F. (2012). Written assignment types in assessment: a varied and healthy diet?  Brookes Journal of Learning and Teaching. Vol.4. Issue 1.  January 2012 

    Keywords: Assessment Brief Practice, Learning Environments - Self and Peer Assessment