Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 12 No. 2 (2021): Evaluation, feedback, equity: a challenge in education

Innovating university assessment: It can be done, indeed it must be done!

agosto 27, 2021


University teaching aims to promote the development of skills – general and specific – essential for academic success, for active citizenship and for a positive inclusion in the professional scenario. The paper starts from an observation: the evaluation practices (declared as well as practiced) affect the approach to the contents and guide students study strategies by favoring or not a deep learning; for this reason, these practices can be a strategic lever to improve the quality university education. A somewhat revolutionary push to rethink evaluation came from the pandemic; the break with the known has given in some cases the opportunity to develop educational assessment methods. The evaluative practice described in the paper finds its place in this framework. Avoiding excessively naive readings or taking no account of the basic mechanisms regulating the university system which can obstacle the widespread of similar practices, experiences like the one presented show that it is not only possible but also necessary moving in this right direction.


  1. Allan S. (2020). Migration and transformation: a sociomaterial analysis of practitioners’ experiences with online exams. Research in Learning Technology, 28, 2279. DOI: 10.25304/rlt.v28.2279.
  2. Altbach P.G., Reisberg L. and Rumbley L.E. (2009). Trends in global higher educa-tion: tracking an academic revolution. A Report prepared for the UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education. Paris: UNESCO. DOI: 10.1163/9789004406155.
  3. Aquario D. (2019). Quale Valutazione per l’apprendimento? Verso la promozione di una assessment identity. ITALIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, 29-44. DOI: 10.7346/SIRD-1S2019-P29.
  4. Balzaretti N., Vannini I. (2018). Promuovere la qualità della didattica universitaria. La Formative Educational Evaluation in uno studio pilota dell’Ateneo bolognese. Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS Journal), (18): 187-213. DOI: 10.7358/ecps-2018-018-balz.
  5. Bell A., Mladenovic R. and Price M. (2013). Students’ perceptions of the usefulness of marking guides, grade descriptors and annotated exemplars. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(7): 769-788. DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2012.714738.
  6. Bartram B., Bailey C. (2010). Assessment preferences: a comparison of UK/international students at an English university. Research in Post‐Compulsory Education, 15(2): 177-187. DOI: 10.1080/13596741003790716.
  7. Berggren B., Fili A. and Nordberg O. (2015) Digital examination in higher education – experiences from three different perspectives. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology, 11: 100-108.
  8. Biggs J. (2003). Constructing learning by aligning teaching: Constructive alignment. In Teaching for quality learning at university (2nd ed., pp. 11-33). Buckingham: The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.
  9. Boud D., Falchikov N. (2007). Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education. Abingond: Routledge.
  10. Boud D., Soler R. (2016). Sustainable assessment revisited. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(3): 400-413. DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1018133.
  11. Boyer E.L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate, Prince-ton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  12. Brown S. (2014). Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Higher Education. Global Perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  13. Coggi C. (2005). Valutare gli studenti. Problemi teorici e prassi nella facoltà. In: Coggi C., editor, Per migliorare la didattica universitaria (pp. 205-238). Lecce: Pensa MultiMedia.
  14. Coggi C., a cura di (2019). Innovare la didattica e la valutazione in Università: Il progetto IRIDI per la formazione dei docenti. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  15. De Angelis M., Trinchero R. (2020). Progettare la valutazione per competenze nell’istruzione superiore. Giornale Italiano della Ricerca Educativa, 24; 37-53. DOI: I 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P37.
  16. Dochy F., Segers M., Gijbels D. and Struyven K. (2007). Assessment engineering. Breaking down barriers between teaching and learning, and assessment. In Boud D. & Falchikov N. editors, Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education. Learning for the longer term (pp. 87-100). New York: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9780203964309-15.
  17. Duguet A., Morlaix S. (2012). Les pratiques pédagogiques des enseignants universitaires: Quelle variété pour quelle efficacité?. Questions vives. Recherches en édu-cation, 6(18): 93-110. DOI: 10.4000/questionsvives.1178.
  18. Duncan G.J., Dunifon R. (2012). «Soft-skills» and long-run labour market success. In: Polachek S.W. & Tatsiramos K, editors, 35th anniversary retrospective (pp. 313-339). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  19. Felisatti E. (2019). La valutazione all’Università: riflessioni dal passato e prospettive per il futuro. Italian Journal of Educational Research, 15-28. DOI: 10.7346/SIRD-1S2019-P15.
  20. Fetterman D.M. (2001). Foundations of empowerment evaluation: Step by step. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  21. Flores M.A., Veiga Simão A.M., Barros A. and Pereira D. (2015). Perceptions of effectiveness, fairness and feedback of assessment methods: a study in higher educa-tion. Studies in Higher Education, 40(9): 1523-1534. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2014.881348.
  22. Galliani L., Notti A.M. (2014). Valutazione educativa. Lecce: PensaMultimedia.
  23. Gibbs G., Simpson C. (2005). Conditions under which assessment supports students’ learning. Learning and teaching in higher education, 1, 3-31. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-8348-9837-1.
  24. Grion V. (2016). Assessment for Learning all’università: uno strumento per modernizzare la formazione. In Fedeli M., Grion V. & Frison D., editors, Coinvolgere per apprendere. Metodi e tecniche partecipative per la formazione (pp. 289- 317). Lecce-Brescia: Pensa MultiMedia.
  25. Grion V., Serbati A. (2019). Valutazione sostenibile e feedback nei contesti universitari. Prospettive emergenti, ricerche e pratiche. Lecce: Pensa Multimedia.
  26. Grion V., Serbati A., Sambell K. and Brown, S. (2020). Valutazione e feedback in DAD in tempo di emergenza: strategie d’azione nei contesti universitari (pp. 75-90). In Limone P., Toto G, & Sansone N, a cura di, Didattica universitaria a distanza: tra emergenza e futuro. Bari: Progedit.
  27. Gulikers J.T., Bastiaens T.J. and Kirschner P. (2004). A five-dimensional framework for authentic assessment. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(3): 67-86. DOI: 10.1007/bf02504676.
  28. Kechagias K. (2011). Teaching and assessing soft skills. MASS Project, 115-117.
  29. Lassoued Z., Alhendawi M. and Bashitialshaaer R. (2020). An exploratory study of the obstacles for achieving quality in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Sciences, 10(9): 232. DOI: 10.3390/educsci10090232.
  30. Montalbetti K. (2018). Assessment for learning in higher education. Giornale italiano di ricerca educativa, 2, pp. 111-124.
  31. Montalbetti K. (2020). Formare i futuri insegnanti alla ricerca empirica. Dalla teoria alla pratica. Pedagogia Oggi, 18(1): 168-182. DOI: 10.7346/PO-012020-11.
  32. Montalbetti K., Orizio E. (2020). Learning assessment skills in higher education: students at work. Form@re-Open Journal per la formazione in rete, 20(1): 115-127. DOI: 10.13128/form-8250.
  33. Moscovici S.E., Mucchi-Faina A. E. and Maass, A.E. (1994). Minority influence. Nelson-Hall Publishers.
  34. Pagani V. (2020). Dar voce ai dati. Junior: Bergamo.
  35. Pastore S. (2012). Silent assessment? Cosa pensano della valutazione gli studenti universitari. Giornale Italiano della Ricerca Educativa, V, Numero speciale, 62-73.
  36. Perla L., Felisatti E., Grion V., Agrati L.S., Gallelli R., Vinci V., Amati I and Bonelli R. (2020). Oltre l’era Covid-19: dall’emergenza alle prospettive di sviluppo profes-sionale. Excellence and Innovation in Learning and Teaching-Open Access, 5(2): 18-37. DOI: 10.3280/exioa2-2020oa10802.
  37. Ricchiardi P. (2005). Sviluppo di strategie di apprendimento in contesti didattici diffe-renziati: un’indagine. In Coggi C., a cura di, Per migliorare la didattica universi-taria (pp. 305- 356). Lecce: Pensa MultiMedia.
  38. Ricchiardi P., Emanuel F. (2018). Soft skill assessment in higher education. Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS Journal), (18), 21-53. DOI: 10.7358/ecps-2018-018-ricc.
  39. Sambell K., Brown S. (2020). The changing landscape of assessment: some possible replacements for unseen, time constrained, face-to-face invigilated exams. Avail-able at: assess-ment-collection/ (novembre 2020).
  40. Sambell K., McDowell L. and Montgomery C. (2013). Assessment for learning in higher education. Abingdon: Routledge.
  41. Struyf E., Vandenberghe R. and Lens W. (2001). The evaluation practice of teachers as a learning opportunity for students. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 27(3), pp. 215-238. DOI: 10.1016/S0191-491X(01)00027-X.
  42. Struyven K., Dochy F. and Janssens S. (2005). Students’ perceptions about evalua-tion and assessment in higher education: a review. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(4), 325-341. DOI: 10.1080/02602930500099102.
  43. Ullah A., Ziao H. and Barker T. (2019) ‘A study into the usability and security implications of text and image based challenge questions in the context of online examination’, Education and Information Technologies, vol. 24, pp. 13–39. DOI: 10.1007/s10639-018-9758-7.
  44. Yilmaz R. (2017). Problems Experienced in Evaluating Success And Performance In Distance Education: A Case Study. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education- TOJDE, 18(1), 39-51. DOI: 10.17718/tojde.285713.
  45. Wiggins G.P. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.


Metrics Loading ...