Symposium 21/10/2021 – Student Panel – Video

Amina Akhmedova and Simbi Juwon-Sulaiman are current students at UAL. They share their experiences of assessment in Fine Art and Graphic Design.

Talking us through their journeys in applying to university, Amina and Simbi explore their experiences of feedback. They make an urgent case for staff and students to build confidence to speak about intersectional identities in assessment and groups crits.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Ecosystems for Designing with Compassion – Video

Dr Maha Bali: Ecosystems for Designing with Compassion

Dr Maha Bali invites us into an interactive session that explores ways to design our curriculum and assessment in compassionate ways.

By designing systems that promote autonomy for students and teachers, student agency is held as a core way to enact compassionate assessment.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Lightning Talk Janine Francois – Video

Janine Francois, Course Leader for BA Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, UAL, shares her approaches of encouraging students to share their whole self through assessment.

We look at student’s work and reflect on how heritage, identity and personal practice can be valued within the art school.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Lightning Talk Mo Ling Chui – Video

Mo-Ling Chui, Course Leader for Design Management at London College of Communication, UAL, shares the Hackathon that was designed to address issues of identity, belonging and sense of community.

Using collaborative strategies and design thinking, students were prompted to self-assess using inspirational prompts: ‘I like, I wish, I wonder’.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Creative Arts Learning Model – Video



Professor Sheila Gaffney and Nina Spencer offer their insights into how registry and academics worked together to develop an assessment framework: Creative Arts Learning Model (CALM) at Leeds Arts University.

The framework responded to concerns over learning outcomes and assessment criteria that were not fit for purpose in a creative arts context.

This session took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Panel discussion on pass/fail assessment – Video

This panel discussion on pass/fail assessment in arts higher education is between invited speakers:

  • Professor Sam Broadhead (LAU)
  • Dr Neil Currant, (UAL)
  • Peter Hughes, (LAU)

It is facilitated by Dr Kate Mori (Academic Engagement Manager, QAA). 

The discussion explores the potential of pass/fail as a compassionate approach to assessment and explores the challenges in changing practice and policies from the perspective of staff, students and the wider institution. A fascinating conversation that explores the complexities of feedback and assessment and implications for student belonging. 

This panel discussion on pass/fail assessment in arts higher education took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).

Symposium 21/10/2021 – Keynote from Dr Jan McArthur – Video

Assessment for Social Justice: why belonging matters

Dr Jan McArthur rethinks the purpose of assessment through the lens of social justice.

Drawing upon Axel Honneth, belonging is explored as relational and related to the philosophical idea of recognition.

We consider care, respect and esteem as ways to bring joy and compassion to assessment practices.

This keynote took place online during the ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’ symposium on 21st October 2021.

The symposium forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 and is a partnership between University of the Arts London (UAL), Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and Leeds Arts University (LAU).


Belonging through assessment Symposium

Thursday 21st October
10-4pm

Join us for a day of interactive discussion, reflection and practice sharing, exploring perspectives and possibilities of assessment to nurture belonging as a way to address issues of social justice.

This symposium will feature presenters from across the higher education sector including Dr Maha Bali (Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning & Teaching at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt) and Dr Jan McArthur (Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice at Lancaster University, UK).

Colleagues from University of the Arts London, Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University will open up the space to consider humanising, compassionate policies and pedagogies of assessment.

Topics will include: 

  • authentic assessment for social good in the creative industries 
  • compassionate feedback 
  • pass/fail grading and the implications of these on policy design and enactment.

This event forms part of the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project ‘Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion’, led by University of the Arts London, partnered with Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University.

Please book your place here: https://events.qaa.ac.uk/qaaevents/435/home

More information
For more information about the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project, take a look at this blog.
You can also get in touch with Vikki Hill, Project Lead, at: v.hill@arts.ac.uk
International colleagues and non-QAA Members should contact Vikki directly.
This event will be recorded and shared on the project blog.

SpeakerTalkTimings BST Timings UTC
Vikki Hill
Project Lead, UAL
Welcome10-10.159-9.15
Dr. Jan McArthur
Lancaster University
Keynote10.15-11.159.15-10.15
 Break/ sharing space11.15-11.3010.15-10.30
Professor Sam Broadhead, LAU
Dr Neil Currant, UAL
Peter Hughes, LAU
Panel discussion on pass/fail assessment in arts higher education11.30 – 12.3010.30-11.30
 Lunch Break12.30-111.30-12
Dr Maha Bali American University in CairoKeynote1.-212-1
 Break/ sharing space2-2.151-1.15
Mo-Ling Chui, UAL
Michael Smith, UAL
Janine Francois, UAL

Belonging & Assessment Lightening Talks2.15-
3.15
1.15-2.15
Nina Spencer, LUA
Professor Sheila Gaffney   LAU
CALM assessment model3.15-3.30

2.15-2.30
Amina Akhmedova, UAL
Simbi Juwon-Sulaiman, UAL

Student panel  3.30-3.50

2.30-2.50
Vikki Hill
Project Lead, UAL
Close and Thank you  3.50-4

2.50-3

Launch Event – 10th June 2021

We were delighted to be joined by colleagues from across the UK and beyond to explore the project themes and the paradoxical questions that are raised when we speak about social justice and assessment, quality indicators and compassion. As a team, we designed this event to be an open exploration of the research and personal motivations that have brought each of us to this collaboration. The discussions that took place will inform our research development and we are grateful for the contributions from the participants. This post outlines key points from each speaker alongside their slides.

Vikki Hill, project Lead, introduced the session and gave an overview of the project team and aims. Her focus was on creating compassionate cultures.

Dr Emily Salines continued the discussion on how compassion can be an approach to address distress and disadvantage in assessment practices.

Liz Bunting spoke about how we think about belonging and how it’s nurtured and began to tease out tensions between assessment policies and practices and promoting a sense of belonging.

Professor Sam Broadhead

Professor Sam Broadhead, shared a story of a mature students at Leeds Arts University and her experiences of assessment and belonging in arts education.

Nina Spencer shared a video where she explored the student journey in coming to university, undergraduate and postgraduate experiences of assessment.

Peter Hughes presented his work on pass/fail assessment that challenges normative practices and proposes it as a compassionate form of assessment.

Allan Atlee

Allan Atlee spoke about the importance of trust in to create equitable learning environments and surfaced questions on the competing expectations of assessment.

Professor Vicky Gunn

Professor Vicky Gunn prompted us to consider the role of assessment criteria, what is valued and how staff make evaluative judgements within the creative disciplines.

Introduction to the team at University of the Arts London

A photograph of Vikki Hill - a white woman with blonde hair in a blue shirt.

Who are you and why is this project important to you?

I’m Vikki Hill, Educational Developer: Attainment (Identity and Cultural Experience) in the Academic Enhancement Team at University of the Arts London. I am the Project Lead for the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project – Belonging through Assessment: Pipelines of Compassion.

I’ve been working in arts education for over 20 years and spent over half of this teaching young people in Further Education where relational, pastoral and wellbeing are integral to the learning experience. I came to work at UAL to lead the OfS-funded Catalyst project Creative Mindsets that aimed to develop anti-racist pedagogies and eliminate awarding differentials between home white students and home students of colour. As co-lead of the Fostering Belonging and Compassionate Pedagogy Strand of academic enhancement, I work with course teams across UAL as they reflect on pedagogies and practices and develop strategies to address racism, bias, isolation and unbelonging. I am interested in compassion as I see this as a call to action to support social justice. Gilbert states that ‘compassion means the noticing of social of physical distress to others and the commitment to reduce or prevent that distress’(Gilbert, 2017, p189). Whether this is through compassionate pedagogies or compassionate policies, creating the conditions of compassion means taking action to alleviate disadvantage. As we create a collaborative space for our three arts institutions to come together we are asking questions about our creative context – what is assessment for? what does it do? what do we want it to do? can it be compassionate?

Why is this project important to University of the Arts London?

Increasingly the call to address structural inequality has been heard across the higher education sector through global movements such as Why is my Curriculum White?, #RhodesMustFall and #BlackLivesMatter. This project brings together academic teaching staff, educational developers, quality enhancement and senior leadership – those who design and implement assessment policy – to create a space to interrogate processes and policies with students and to enhance socially just assessment practices.

Gilbert, T. (2017). When Looking is Allowed: What Compassionate Group Work Looks Like in a UK University in Gibbs, P. (ed), (2017) The Pedagogy of Compassion at the Heart of Higher Education, Cham: Springer

A photograph of Dr Emily Salines. A white woman with black hair and a black top. Emily is smiling a the camera.

Who are you and why is this project important to you?

I am Dr Emily Salines. I am an Educational Developer: Academic Enhancement at UAL, working with course teams at London College of Communications to help improve student experience, attainment and retention, with a particular focus on closing awarding differentials. As part of this work, I also co-lead the Enhancing Assessment for Equity strand of the Academic Enhancement Model across all UAL colleges. 

Pedagogies of belonging and compassion offer a framework in which obstacles to equity can be interrogated and removed, to develop inclusive assessment approaches and support student success. This project is important to me because it supports an investigation on ways in which we might rethink assessment and feedback, and reframe them as sites of compassion, belonging and learning instead of instruments of sorting and judging, and sources of anxiety for students and staff. 

Photography of Liz Bunting - white woman with blonde hair and sun glasses

Who are you and why is this project important to you?

I’m Liz Bunting, an Educational Developer in Academic Enhancement at UAL. My focus is supporting course teams in eliminating the university’s awarding differentials by creating reflective spaces to co-design pedagogic approaches in attainment, social justice and anti-racism.

This includes co-leading the Fostering Belonging and Compassionate Pedagogies Academic Enhancement Model strand alongside Vikki Hill, and together we publish a range of open-access teaching and learning resources on the topic, including our series of belonging themed podcasts.

My own experiences of un-belonging have driven my research interest in sense of belonging and identity, and a commitment to compassion as an ethical foundation for education. This collaboration affords an opportunity to examine assessment through a human and relational lens, and reimagine assessment policies and practices with compassion at their heart. What if assessment was centred on respect, trust and care? If we reduced power dynamics and enabled students to co-create the rules? If we fully recognised, and go some way to alleviate, the emotional labour for staff and students? By doing so, might we be able to influence student sense of belonging, and perhaps educators’ sense of belonging too?

Who are you and why is this project important to you?

I’m Dr Neil Currant, Educational Developer (Reward and Recognition) at UAL.

I have been working as an educational developer for the past 16 years after a career as a school teacher. I originally started in Higher Education on a project researching the benefits of using electronic portfolios before moving into more general educational development.

My interests include learning technology, inclusion, belonging, assessment and developing the teaching practices of new lecturers and graduate teaching assistants. In my current role, I run the Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education course called Thinking Teaching.  I also support colleagues in gaining recognition for their teaching practices. My doctoral research was on the experiences of belonging for British Asian and Black students at university.

From my early days as a school teacher, I always felt that there was something wrong with educational assessment practices. Often they are mechanical, process-driven and devoid of the human touch.

In attempting to be fair, reliable and valid, assessment processes risk undermining student belonging and human connection. This project is an opportunity to think beyond traditional approach to assessment practices and bring back the social, human element.