UCL Changemakers


Diversifying Assessment Types used in Bioscience degrees

This case study explores how students and staff collaborated in using student opinions to improve and diversify the methods of assessment utilised by UCL’s Division of Biosciences.

14 July 2021

Case study by Manuela Sadik

What was the aim of your project?

We had three goals:

  • To identify forms of assessment that are overused by courses under UCL’s Division of Biosciences
  • To compile suggestions of possible alternative forms of assessment 
  • To understand student views/opinions of the current forms of assessment used

What did you do?

We distributed an online survey to students from Bioscience-related courses to collect the relevant data. To gather more in-depth data, we also organised focus groups during which students could elaborate on their views and opinions.

What were the main successes of the project?

We knew that students would have more time at the end of the academic year (after exams) so we organised for our focus groups to occur then. This ensured a higher attendance and more informative discussions as the students could reflect on their experience of the entire academic year.

What difficulties did you face during your project? What would you do differently?

We ended up being very pressed for time as we had to prioritise other university commitments (e.g. dissertations). Reflecting on the experience, we should have set aside  a regular time each week to meet and identify what needed to be done to move the project forward. It would have been a lot easier to tackle the project in small parts. Completely neglecting the project for other work and having to do a majority of it at the last-minute was immensely stressful.

What impact has your project had? On whom?

The Student Academic Representatives have organised a consultation with our team to discuss the possible changes that could be made to the course structure as a result of this project. Changes to the forms of assessment utilised are also likely as we have received a lot of positive feedback from students and academics alike.


Apply to start a ChangeMakers project

Find out how to apply for your own funding or visit our ChangeMakers Resource Bankfor information, tips and resources to help you plan for and undertake a ChangeMakers project.