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Postgraduate Assessment Tool (PAT) Project

An online decision-making tool and guidance resource will be developed to aid in the design of effective assessment, marking and feedback which is aligned to learning outcomes and encourages the development of employability skills. The project will focus in particular on assessment and feedback for postgraduate taught programmes, and will recognise the nuanced differences in the postgraduate taught approach and needs as compared to assessment of undergraduates. The resources will build on what is already available from a previous WIHEA-funded project, MAPP and feed into the Institutional Review of Assessment activities. It is envisaged that the tool and guidance resource would include the following aspects; types of assessment, risks associated with different assessment types, transferrable skills and assessment, planning assessment at a course level, giving good feedback and exploring different types of feedback and strategies to encourage feed forward to future assessment. Guidance will be based on examples of good practice internally and externally and will be co-developed with students based on desk-based research and focus group discussions with students and staff.patimg

Information on members:

Dr Debbi Marais is leading the project. She is a Principal Teaching Fellow the University of Warwick and leads on Innovative curricula for PGT at the Medical School. Debbi is a senior fellow of the HEA and has almost 20 years of undergraduate and postgraduate experience in health care and medical education, having previously worked at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and University of Aberdeen.

Dr Lucy Hammond is also a Principal Teaching Fellow the University of Warwick, and leads on Student experience for PGT within Warwick Medical School. Lucy previously held posts at the University of Bedfordshire and University of Northampton and has over a decade of experience teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in health care and medical education.

Dr Stuart Allen manages and facilitates learning within the Postgraduate Taught provision at the School of Life Sciences. With substantial experience in Quality, Teaching & Learning, and Assessment he has an interest in ensuring all three are well aligned and that students are at the heart of, and the focus of, best practice across these elements.

Erika Hawkes is the Skills Development Manager at the University of Warwick and was previously Researcher Developer at the University of Birmingham. Erika researches, designs and teaches skills development activities for students with a particular emphasis on Masters students. Current areas of interest include threshold concepts in Masters study, embedded dissertation writing courses within the disciplines, and transitions into postgraduate study for non-traditional students. She is currently investigating the diversity of structures and assessment seen in PGT study as part of a UK Council for Graduate Education project and hopes the WIHEA project will feed into this. She is particularly interested in the way feedback and assessment can help students develop their writing in different genres and for diverse audiences. Erika is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Matt Teft is a PhD candidate in molecular phytobiology, he is currently working on a project that looks to characterise the role a gene called ATSCL26 in lateral root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. Although coming from a strong biological background, Matt is very interested in working in outreach and takes a keen interest in pedagogy. He has assumed many diverse roles during his time at Warwick, from working as a lab demonstrator for undergraduates, outreach officer in primary schools, and also a PG skills mentor to MSc students.

Zain is a PhD student based at Warwick Medical School. Currently, he is exploring the role of HbA1c for the early prediction of gestational diabetes under the supervision of Professor Saravanan. Zain’s interest for metabolic disorders began at the University of Brighton where he studied biology as an undergraduate. With aspirations of eventually acquiring a role in teaching, improving feedback and assessment is an issue that he considers crucial.

Project team:


Dr Debbi Marais


Dr Lucy Hammond


Dr Stuart Allen


Erika Hawkes


Matt Teft


Zain Ahmed