Bridging the gap between markers’ tacit knowledge and students’ assessment literacy


  • Gemma Mansi



Tacit knowledge, student feedback, criteria, dialogue, academic writing


There has been an increasing emphasis within higher education on the need for explicit articulation of assessment standards and requirements and for these to be communicated effectively to students (O’Donovan et al., 2004; Sadler, 2010; Bloxham et al., 2011; McGrath et al., 2019). However, in practice, this can be difficult to achieve, depending, firstly, on markers’ abilities to effectively articulate their tacit knowledge and expectations and, secondly, on the knowledge and understanding of assessments that students bring with them into their degree. This student ability often depends on their previous varied educational experiences. Both students and staff may therefore find this a matter of challenge and frustration.This case study is based on discussions with students on the Childhood and Youth Studies (Extended) programme at the University of Greenwich and with staff across the University, as well as on the researcher’s personal reflections on the findings. It highlights: how important it is for staff to work in partnership with students early on in their studies, so as to develop their understanding of assessment language and the standards expected; how staff consider the experiences students have had with assessment and academic writing; and how they draw implications for assessment practices in their teaching context. Furthermore, the study aims to provide innovative recommendations for how markers can develop a continuing, meaningful dialogue with students, to enable them to build an understanding of their markers’ tacit knowledge about assessment and feedback in their discipline.  


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Case Studies