Integrated Assessment and Feedback Practices and Effective Transition to Junior Honours


  • Celine Caquineau The University of Edinburgh
  • Kirsty Ireland The University of Edinburgh
  • Ruth Deighton The University of Edinburgh
  • Allison Wroe The University of Edinburgh
  • Kirsty Hughes The University of Edinburgh



Feedback, skills development, scientific writing, student expectations and student experience


This study focused on a newly implemented large science course whose main aim was to prepare students effectively for Junior Honours, and whose learning outcomes included the development of core competencies in scientific learning such as scientific writing and critical thinking. It provided fully integrated essay assignments with preparatory and supportive learning activities, and with multimodal feedback and feedforward opportunities. This study investigated the long-lasting impacts of these integrated assessment and feedback practices on the development of scientific writing and critical thinking skills in Year 2 undergraduate students. It examined the benefits on the students’ learning experience and academic performance in Year 2 and analysed their conveyance to Junior Honours. This longitudinal study over two years combined both quantitative and qualitative approaches to investigate the students’ academic performance in scientific writing tasks, the students’ perceptions of their scientific writing skills and of their abilities to do well in Year 3. The results showed that although less current students felt confident in their skills development than the previous cohort, they actually performed better in Year 3. The findings also showed that a large proportion of students from both cohorts were unsure about their abilities to perform well in the subsequent year as they didn’t know the work standards expected. These results illustrate i) the need to help students reflect on their performance and skills development and ii) the importance of clarifying the expectations of each year level to ensure more efficient transitions across years. We suggest that all learning activities (including assessment, feedback and skills development activities) should be considered from a global programme view rather than in isolation within in each course. This should clarify the conveyance of learning experiences benefits across year levels and help students reflect better on their skills development through their degree.

Author Biographies

Celine Caquineau, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Celine Caquineau FHEA, is a lecturer in the Biomedical Teaching Organisation at the University of Edinburgh, where she contributes to all aspects of undergraduate teaching (design, delivery, assessment and feedback) in a variety of courses from Year 1 through Honours years. Email: Specific interests include innovative learning, MOOCs, assessment and feedback.

Kirsty Ireland, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Kirsty Ireland AFHEA, is a Transcript Editor at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and a Program Developer on Edinburgh Universities SLICCs project within the Employability Team. Email: Specific interests include reflective learning, MOOCs and creativity in teaching.

Ruth Deighton, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Ruth Deighton FHEA, is a lecturer in the Biomedical Teaching Organisation at the University of Edinburgh, where she is the organiser of the Medical Sciences Honours programme. Email:

Allison Wroe, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Allison Wroe is a lecturer in the Biomedical Teaching Organisation at the University of Edinburgh, where she contributes to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching (including design, delivery, assessment and feedback). Email:

Kirsty Hughes, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Kirsty Hughes FHEA, is a Research Assistant in Veterinary Medical Education at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG. Email: Specific interests include assessment and feedback, e-learning, the student experience and staff development.


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Original Research