Academic & Student Affairs

Give choice of topic, method, criteria, weighting or timing of assessments

Being able to manage and prioritise their work is a key graduate skill.  Providing students with opportunities to make decisions about which topic to do, when to hand work in, the weighting of an assessment or part of it enables them to practise this skill.  For example, students often have a choice of topic to, and some online testing allows them to take the test at some point during a specified period. 

Ways to do this:

  • Choice of essay titles
  • Choice of topic for extended essay or project/dissertation
  • Negotiated submission dates
  • Students generate criteria for assessment
  • Students provide additional criteria for assessment
  • Students choose the weighting for parts of an assessment

Some Queen’s examples:

CSC2007 Games Programming: Project Development Report and Assessment Pro-forma


There are six assessment tasks for this course.  Marks are allocated to each task.  For three of the tasks the weightings are fixed at 10%, 10% and 20%.  For the other three students can choose the weightings – between 5 and 30% - to a total of 60% to reflect the strengths of the project.  There is a proviso, in that if the module convener does not think that the mark distribution best matches the strengths of the project then he will adjust the distribution on the part of the student(s).