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Sue Bloxham

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Professor of Academic Practice and Director of Educational Research, Faculty of Education



phone: internal 2518 external 01524 384384

Location: Barbon 003, Lancaster campus


My teaching and research interests encompass assessment, academic standards, using teaching and learning to support non-traditional students and most aspects of classroom teaching. I am particularly interested in exploring how assessment can be used to improve student achievement and enjoyment.


Public Output


Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education: a practical guide. Open University Press (with P. Boyd) 2007


Selected Journal Articles

Accountability in grading student work: Securing academic standards in a 21st century quality assurance context. British Educational Research Journal, forthcoming. (with P. Boyd)


Mark my words: the role of assessment criteria in UK higher education grading practices Studies in Higher Education forthcoming 2011. (with P. Boyd and S.Orr)


Generating dialogue in assessment feedback: exploring the use of Interactive cover sheets. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 35: 3, 291 — 300 (2010)(with Campbell, E)


Examining the tension between academic standards and inclusion for disabled students: the impact on marking of individual academics’ frameworks for assessment Studies in Higher Education 35: 2, 209 — 223 (with M. Ashworth & L. Pearce) (2010)


‘Marking and moderation in the UK: false assumptions and wasted resources’ Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 34 (2) 2009.


‘What are we really trying to do with assessment in teacher education? - resolving conflicting purposes’ Practitioner Research in Higher Education, 2 (1) 13-21, 2008


‘A system that is wide of the mark’. Times Higher Education, October 26th 2007


‘Learning to write in higher education: students’ perceptions of an intervention in developing understanding of assessment criteria’. Teaching in Higher Education 2007, 12, 1, 77-89 (with A West)


‘Embedding Personal Development Planning into the Social Sciences, context’ Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 2, (3) 191-206 (2005) with A. Slight


‘Understanding the Rules of the Game: marking peer assessment as a medium for developing students’ conceptions’ of assessment’ Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , 29 (6) pp 721-733 (with A. West) 2004


‘Improving student achievement in a multi-disciplinary context’ Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 1: 3 pp181-188 (with A Chapman) 2004


Contributions to Books

selected chapters in books and conference proceedings, for example:


‘Unintended Consequences: a study of the unexpected outcomes of critical professional learning’ in Knight, P & Tait, J Developing a key competence: curriculum and the management of independent learning Kogan Page. (with Heathfield, M.) 1996.


‘The Social Contract between Young People and Society’ in Ledgerwood, I & Kendra, N The Challenge for the future: Towards the new Millenium for the Youth Service Russell House Publishing (1997)


'Helping Sports Studies Students understand the rules of the game: a case study in raising student achievement in writing' in Rust, C (Ed) Improving Student Learning: Diversity and Inclusivity. Oxford Centre for Staff and learning Development. (with A. West) 2005


Invited seminars and conference keynotes

Assessment: Research and Innovation for Inclusive Practice Conference, Keynote lecture, University of Central Lancashire, July 2010

University of the Highlands and Islands, keynote lecture, Staff Conference in Learning and Teaching (May 2010)

University of Aston Seminar on assessment research April 2010

Liverpool University Assessment, Student learning and feedback; keynote lecture, March 2010

Manchester Metropolitan University, Challenging Assessment Initiative conference, keynote lecture, September 2009.

Teesside University, The myths of marking in higher education: Some important questions and a few answers! Staff seminar, September 2009

University of Portsmouth, Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education, Seminar, May 2009.

University of Sunderland Feedback Colloquium, March 2009.

Using assessment to support the achievement of diverse learners, keynote lecture, Cumbria Study of HE Network assessment conference Carlisle, 9th July 2008.

How can we use assessment to support transitions into and through higher education, keynote lecture, Solstice Conference, Edge Hill University, June 2008

Assesssment: measurement, accountability or learning, keynote lecture, University of Kent Staff conference, Canterbury, May 2008.

What are we really trying to do with assessment in teacher education? - resolving conflicting purposes. Keynote lecture, ESCalate assessment seminar, 16th April 2008, University of Gloucestershire

Higher education assessment practice as we know it: Can it and should it survive Liverpool Hope University pedagogical research seminar, February 2008

The central role of dialogue with tutors in students’ perceptions of how they come to understand assessment requirements and feedback. Paper to the Literacy Research Centre, Seminar Series, University of Lancaster. March 2005 (with A. West)

Active methods to accelerate students’ understanding of the demands of HE assessment, workshop for Chester College of HE Learning and Teaching Conference, May 2004

Theories of Organisation and Managing Change - the manager's role in developing and improving practice. Keynote lecture, National Youth Agency Women managers' Seminar, March 1994



Conference papers

Recent examples:


Accountability in grading: the provenance of standards in a 21st century quality assurance context. Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Conference, Celtic Manor, Wales, 14th-16th December 2010 (with P.Boyd & S.Orr)


Mark this down! Investigating the consequences for students of the gap between policy and practice in relation to grading in higher education Paper presented to EARLI/Northumbria Assessment Conference 1st – 3rd September, 2010. Slayley Hall, Northumbria, (with P. Boyd & S.Orr)


Mark my words: An analysis of HE lecturers’ essay marking approaches Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Conference South Wales, 8th – 10th December 2009 (with P.Boyd, M.Ashworth and S.Orr)


Grading Student Work: Using think aloud to investigate the assessment practices of university lecturers, British Educational Research Association Annual Conference Manchester, 2009 (with P.Boyd, M.Ashworth and S.Orr)


Investigating the mysteries of marking: the implications of staff marking practices for academic development; International Improving Student Learning Symposium. Imperial College, London, September 2009 (with P.Boyd, M.Ashworth and S.Orr)


Valuing Inclusivity: The Impact On Frameworks For Assessment Society for Reseach in Higher Education Annual Conference, Liverpool, Dec. 2008 (with M. Ashworth & L.Pearce)


Creating a feedback-dialogue: exploring the use of interactive coversheets, International Improving Student Learning Symposium, Durham University, 1st-3rd September 2008 (with L. Campbell)


Generating dialogue in coursework feedback: exploring the use of interactive coversheets EARLI/ Northumbria Assessment Conference, Berlin, August 27th- 29th, 2008. (with L. Campbell)


“Say it to me…the way I can understand”: Students’ perceptions of assignment information and feedback’. Paper presented to the Northumbria SIG Assessment Conference 30th August – 1st Sept 2006


'From Fragmentation to Integration'. 1st European Conference on the First Year Experience. University of Teesside 26-28th April 2006 (with J. Inman).


‘Advancing Learning and Teaching in Initial Teacher Education’ convened symposium at the British Educational Research Association Conference, Sept 2005


‘Embedding Careers Advice and Personal Development Planning into the Social Sciences’ paper to the 9th Quality in Higher Education International Seminar: Enhancing Student Employability, 27th-28th January 2005 (with A. Slight)


‘Assessment: helping diverse students understand the tacit demands of studying in higher education’ convening & contributing to Symposium of 3 papers at 12th International Improving Student Learning Conference, Birmingham, Sept 2004 (with P.Boyd, A. Chapman & A.West)


‘I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want: helping students grasp the language and tacit requirements of course assessment’ convening group of papers presented to the Institute for Learning & Teaching Regional Forum, March 2004 (with P.Boyd, A. Chapman & A.West)


‘Playing the Assessment Game’ Poster presentation to at British Sociological Association Annual Conference. University of York, March 22-24 2004 (with A. West)


‘Understanding the Rules of the Game: marking peer assessment as a medium for developing students’ conceptions of academic practice’. Paper presented to The Institute of Learning and Teaching in HE Annual Conference, Warwick, July 2003


‘Student perceptions of graduateness and Key Skills in Higher Education: the implications for induction and course design’. Paper presented to The Institute of Learning and Teaching Annual Conference, York, June 2000

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Sue Bloxham created this on 17 September 2008.
This was last edited on 13 May 2011.
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