Research Output
Building Communities and Enhancing Belonging: A Route Map for Assessment Design
  A sense of belonging to a community in HE has been linked to positive outcomes for students such as increased engagement, identity development and retention (Masika & Jones, 2015; Soria & Stubblefield, 2015) and has emerged as a buffer to declining mental health following the COVID-19 pandemic (Gopalan et al., 2021).

A key challenge for students undertaking assessment and engaging in feedback is that it tends to be an individual experience and often fraught with stress. Through dialogue with staff and students, our research project established that assessment and feedback practices mediate belonging and communities in unseen ways. Meaningful interactions between staff and students can have a lasting impact on their work and make them feel that they matter (Gravett & Ajjawi, 2022), for example, group assignments support the formation of communities that outlast assessment deadlines.

The following route map draws on our project findings to provide key questions and ideas for how to support a sense of belonging at each stage in the assessment design journey.

  • Type:

    Teaching Resource

  • Date:

    19 October 2023

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Haddow, C., & Brodie, J. (2023). Building Communities and Enhancing Belonging: A Route Map for Assessment Design. [Assessment guide]



Belonging, Enhancement, Community, Higher Education, Assessment, Feedback

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