Coventry University: 25th September

Here are the main slides we used in our day together Coventry University (215 downloads) . Additionally, the ‘statements’ exercise and slides can be found on the ‘archived downloads’ page. I’ve put a few extra slides in, on self-assessment, which I would like to have talked about if we’d had more time. Thanks for joining in to everything today – you were a great group to work with. I’d love to come back and run a day on linking the factors underpinning learning to large-group lectures and to small-group teaching. And possibly to go much deeper into reliability, validity, transparency and authenticity of assessment – there’s lots about this on my website.

Scotland e-assessment Conference: Dundee: 23rd August

Here are the main slides I used in my short workshop about designing MCQs. Dundee (203 downloads)  Here are the responses to ‘Designing MCQs would be much better for me if only I …’ MCQs: 'if only' responses (181 downloads) – a great set, thanks.
As time ran out, we didn’t get round to the formulation of recommendations – but that can be done just as easily through Twitter. Please send me one or more Tweets with your own recommendations. I had a great conference, and very much enjoyed everyone else’s contributions. Many thanks to David Walker and all the team who organised the conference.
Peter Hartley and I did a radio interview at the conference with John Johnston, which you can (if you don’t mind me criticising Michael Gove) hear on this link:
Or, better, you may well find it interesting to hear Sally’s interview at:




August: plagiarism is today’s theme

A chilling anonymous article in the Times Higher Education of 1 August 2013 describes the work of a ‘freelance ghost-writer’ who writes essays and dissertations to order, with little risk of discovery. All writers are carefully vetted by the agency (they must be Oxbridge or elite UK Russell group graduates and submit sample assignments before being accepted for work) and rely mainly on Wikipedia and Google books to write assignments for a pre-specified grade, as outstanding work submitted by a mediocre student would raise suspicion.  The ghost writer is well-versed in avoiding plagiarism detection services, which in any case, since these assignments are personalised for each client, are unlikely to show up through Turnitin or other software.  Some clients are lazy, others are desperate and yet others know their written English isn’t up to scratch to get good marks. From time spelling errors or short poorly written sections are added in, just as a cabinet maker faking antiques will rough up the edges of a piece of furniture to age it.  [Plaigiarised straight from Sally Brown this afternoon, who is presently writing her new book alongside me!]

Plymouth University: 17th-18th July

Here are the main slides I used in our workshop on 17th July on small group teaching Small Group Teaching (184 downloads) . I have not included the slides about your own ‘Curriculum Enrichment Project’, as I’m sure you will know all these details in any case. One of the questions which came up in the creative problem solving exercise was ‘What can I do when 150 Chinese students all want to ask for individual clarification, outside class, in private?’ The question sparked off some great discussion. I’d be most interested if users of this site would email me with creative solutions to this problem, at Thanks for all the useful replies I’ve already had to the Tweet I sent on the same subject.

Here are the main slides I used in my two workshops on 18th July: Towards assessment as learning (187 downloads) , Linking learning outcomes (173 downloads) . I look forward to visiting Plymouth University again in the autumn – this ‘curriculum enrichment’ project is most timely and exciting.