Using Assessment Scenarios

The Problem

University students often don’t know how to respond to feedback on their assessment pieces. Rather, they focus on the mark or grade rather than the feedback.

The Context

University students are generally provided with formative feedback and comments on summative assessment items, but are not necessarily taught how to use such feedback to their advantage. By taking on different perspectives or roles, students can be taught how to reflect on their assessment work and to plan how to reconstruct their future practice based on past assessment experiences. First year students can be introduced to the 4Rs reflective writing framework to help them focus on feedback rather than the mark/grade.

The Pattern

  1. Explain the importance of responding effectively to feedback on assessment. Ask students to think about a recent assessment scenario in which they received an assessment piece (formative or summative) back from a tutor in one of their units – it is a good idea to ask them to bring one along for this task.
  2. Introduce the 4Rs reflective framework (see Resource 1) as a way to be proactive about improving assessment results.
  3. Model the use of the 4Rs by reflecting on your own scenario – such as your response to student feedback on the unit or your response to reviewer feedback from an article you submitted to a journal. Use the prompting questions in the framework as a guide.
  4. Ask students to use this framework to jot down points about their assessment scenario. Share with a peer.
  5. Now ask students to take on the role of the tutor/marker and fill out the framework (see Resource 2) from this perspective. Share with a peer.
  6. Ask partners to do a 1-minute role-play of one of their scenarios, with the student whose assessment scenario it is, taking on the role of tutor/marker, and their partner taking on the role as the student. Ask students to discuss with their partner a plan of action based on their reflections – peers also provide suggestions (see Resource 3).
  7. Ask for volunteers to share examples.

Related Patterns



  1. Student perspective
  2. Tutor perspective
  3. Action plan



This pattern was initiated by Mary Ryan (Education)