‘Assessment and feedback practices should be designed to enable students to become self-regulated learners, able to monitor and evaluate the quality and impact of their own work and that of others.’

David Nicol (2010)

Research in higher education shows that learning is deeper, more sustainable and satisfying when students become responsible partners in their learning. The most powerful way to achieve this is to involve students actively in assessment processes, that is, by giving them regular opportunities to make assessment judgements about their own work and the work of others. This will develop their ability to monitor, evaluate and manage their own learning without relying on the expertise of the teacher. Over time, students will become independent and self-regulated learners with the confidence, self-reliance and collaborative skills necessary for life beyond graduation.

Drawing on research and practice, this website provides resources for teachers and senior managers in higher education wishing to redesign assessment and feedback based on a self-regulation model. 

THEORY AND PRACTICE takes a whole institution approach. It provides a framework for rethinking assessment and feedback practices. It also provides a range of practical ideas for the enhancement of university policy, strategy, course design, the student experience and for effective monitoring and evaluation of progress.

The REAP [Re-engineering Assessment Practices] project was the first successful attempt at re-engineering assessment and feedback using a self-regulation model.  REAP provides examples of assessment and feedback redesign across a range of large first year classes in different disciplines using technology.  REAP was supported by the Scottish Funding Council (£1m).

The PEER [Peer Evaluation in Education Review] project is a development of REAP and is collating research evidence, literature and examples of good practice in the use of peer processes to enhance learner responsibility and self-regulation.

The content of this website is supplied by David Nicol, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, University of Strathclyde. Contact: d.j.nicol@strath.ac.uk


Theory and Practice

Theory and Practice takes a whole institution approach and provides a framework and practical ideas for the enhancement of assessment and feedback in higher education.  The following areas are addressed:

  • Conceptualising assessment and feedback
  • Policy and strategy
  • Enhancing course design and classroom practice
  • Engaging students as active partners
  • Course documentation and quality assurance



REAP project

This project devised principles of good feedback practice based on a self-regulation model and showed the benefits of their application using technology across a range of disciplines.


PEER project

This project is investigating which models of student peer evaluation/feedback best help students develop diciplinary expertise and the ability to evaluate the quality of their own and other's work.

International Interest in REAP

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