Pre-assessment support – Is it one size fits all?

Swann, Nicola, Moir, Hannah, Owusu-Sekyere, Frank and Boddie, Tia (2020) Pre-assessment support – Is it one size fits all? In: AdvanceHE Assessment and Feedback Symposium 2020; 28th October 2020, Online. (Unpublished)


It has previously been identified that use of academic language can be a contributing factor to lower attainment for BAME students (Open University Annual Report, 2013) and that BAME students may be less likely to access support (Stuart et al., 2011). We investigated the use of pre-assessment support in nutrition and sport related courses at Kingston University and explored students’ preferences, to determine whether differences were evident between BAME and white students. Data collection consisted of questionnaires and focus groups, led by student partners. A total of 80 students completed the survey in this preliminary study, 47 reporting their ethnicity as white and 33 as BAME. Results suggested differences between white and BAME students in both use of and preferences for academic support, where the highest preference of BAME students was in-module tutorials compared to white students preferring individual staff meetings. One third of both groups identified online support as a preference, pre-COVID19, which will now become essential and for this to be effective we need to understand requirements of different student groups to provide universally accessible support options that acknowledge the benefits of personal support in both one-to-one and group environments. References Stuart, M, Lido, C., and Morgan, J., 2011. Personal stories: how students’ social and cultural life histories interact with the field of higher education. International Journal of Lifelong Education. 30 (4) pp. 489–508 The Open University, 2013. Equality and Diversity Annual Report 2013 [online]. Available at:

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