Feedback may be considered ‘good’ according to many of the criteria in the literature whilst still having little or no impact on students’ learning in the longer term. Here we argue for greater prominence for feedback in curriculum design. Clear principles for giving guidance on assessments and feedback at the programme level, which complement those already established and widely used for single assessments, would help curriculum designers consider communication to students about assessments in a broader context. These processes should create a dialogue that aids the students’ progression in their learning from one module to the next and encourages the development of autonomous learners. Based on a review of the literature on programme-focused approaches to teaching, assessment and feedback, the current paper delineates the benefits of a programme level approach to communication around assessments and proffers a list of broad principles that will help academics achieve a coherent and developmental approach to feedback.
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