Brookes International HE Reading Group

  • HE Reading group

  • The Brookes International HE Reading Group is hosted by the Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and Development (OCAED) and meets monthly throughout the year (online) to discuss recent and/or seminal articles and publications that could make a difference to the way we think about our teaching, curriculum or students’ experiences. The articles are chosen to provoke reflection, insight and debate and are grouped around themes (4-5 sessions per theme). Anyone from across the international Higher Education community is most welcome. To take part in the sessions, please register your interest here

    Please send suggestions for articles to read to Dr Adrian J. Wallbank.


  • Theme 1: Assessment and Feedback (September – February) 

    Assessment and feedback has always been central to discussions around pedagogy, and as Knight (1995, p.13) stated, ‘assessment is a moral activity. What we choose to assess and how shows quite starkly what we value’. With issues such as modularisation, meaningful assessment, validity, constructive alignment, inclusive assessments and recent concerns about over assessment, there’s plenty for us to discuss, and an international perspective with reference to the literature should prove mutually beneficial for us all.

    Please join us for one or all of the following sessions:


    Wednesday 23 November 2022,14.00 - 15.00

    Whilst assessment accommodations (often individual) are the most frequent response to the challenging of making assessment inclusive, in this article Nieminen (2022) proposes a rethinking of assessment with inclusion designed in through a critical, socio-political analysis of academic ableism. Inclusion is at the forefront of our thinking about pedagogy in recent times and as such this article should give us plenty of food for thought. We hope you can join us for what promises to be a stimulating discussion at the link below:

    Nieminen, Juuso Henrik, (2022) ‘Assessment for Inclusion: Rethinking Inclusive Assessment in Higher Education’, Teaching in Higher Education, pp.1-19


    DECEMBER – NO READING GROUP


    Wednesday 18 January 2023, 14.00 - 15.00

    To build on the November session on inclusion, in this session we’ll consider Hanesworth, Bracken and Elkington’s (2019) discussion and analysis of socially just assessment praxis. The article discusses Universal Design for Learning (UDL and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP), and as such should have relevance for us all in our endeavours to promote assessment for learning for all students. We hope you can join us at the link below:

    Hanesworth, Pauline, Bracken, Sean, and Elkington, Sam, (2019) ‘A Typology for a Social Justice Approach to Assessment: Learning from Universal Design and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy’. Teaching in Higher Education, 24(1), pp 98-114.


    Wednesday 15 February 2023, 14.00 - 15.00

    In this final session on the theme of assessment and feedback we take a more holistic view and consider Jessop, El Hakim and Gibbs’s (2013) analysis of feedback, expectations and inconsistencies across modules. The article describes an truly worldwide initiative that aims to help redesign assessment regimes, so the session promises to be of great interest to all of us in terms of fostering assessment coherence across programmes. We very much hope to see you at the link below:

    Jessop, Tansy, El Hakim, Yassein, and Gibbs, Graham, (2014) ‘The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts: A Large-scale Study of Students’ Learning in Response to Different Programme Assessment Patterns’. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(1), pp 73-88.


    Previous sessions and recordings

  • Anonymous marking, sometimes spearheaded by students unions, has been brought in across many areas of the sector, often in the interests of fairness. However, its effect on student learning and relationship building with lecturers has been less well understood. In this session we’ll interrogate Pitt and Winstone’s (2018) examination of whether it undermines the learning potential of feedback and whether it really does promote fairness. We hope you can join us at the link below:

    Pitt, Edd, and Winstone, Naomi, (2018) ‘The Impact of Anonymous Marking on Students' Perceptions of Fairness, Feedback and Relationships with Lecturers’. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(7), pp 1183-1193.

    Session recording to follow
    The systematic review of the research on how learner’s receive, respond to and use feedback. Winstone et al (2017) provide us with a taxonomy to help us contextualise ‘feedback dialogues’ and ‘recipience processes’ which should provide us with basis for some insightful discussion and debate. We hope you can join us at the link below:

    Winstone, Naomi E., Nash, Robert A., Parker, Michael, and Rowntree, James, (2017) ‘Supporting Learners' Agentic Engagement with Feedback: A Systematic Review and a Taxonomy of Recipience Processes’. Educational Psychologist, 52(1), pp 17-37.


    Session recording