Graham Gibbs

  • Measuring the response of students to assessment: the Assessment Experience Questionnaire

    Graham Gibbs and Claire Simpson, Open University

    Research paper

    Theme addressed: Assessment

    A review of literature on student assessment (Gibbs and Simpson, in press) has identified eleven conditions under which assessment supports student learning. A questionnaire has been developed to measure the extent to which assessment is experienced by students as meeting these conditions. Questionnaire items were generated, based on pilot interviews with students on a range of science courses, and on published accounts of student experience of assessment, to form a prototype Assessment Experience Questionnaire (AEQ). This prototype AEQ contains six scales, each containing six items, that address the eleven conditions:

    1. Time demands and student effort
    2. Assignments and learning
    3. Quantity and timing of feedback
    4. Quality of feedback
    5. Use of feedback
    6. The examination and learning

    This prototype has been administered to a total of 1,050 students on seven Open University science courses and also to students on six science courses at Sheffield Hallam University. The three scales concerning feedback (Scales 3, 4 and 5) have also been administered to 500 students on other courses at the Open University. The AEQ is being used to diagnose where assessment could be modified to improve student learning. Modifications will be made to assessment patterns on the courses being surveyed and the AEQ administered on the revised courses to monitor the impact of changes, in a three year study. This paper will describe the theoretical and empirical basis of the AEQ and describe its characteristics and scales. The audience will be invited to discuss the potential value of the AEQ for evaluating assessment patterns.


    Gibbs, G. & Simpson, C. (in press) Does your assessment support your students' learning?