Jane Headley Helen Pittson


This paper reflects upon the development of the Harper Adams University Community of Practice for Exemplars (CoPfE). The University’s aspiration for greater use of formative feedback was the catalyst for the creation of the CoPfE. Through informal monthly sessions members share experience, expertise and findings from their use of exemplars. Results from CoPfE members’ investigations on the impact on students have been overwhelmingly positive, with students identifying growth in confidence in their academic skills and gaining a clearer understanding of the requirements of assessment. Results of a staff survey showed exemplars were mainly being used with assignments, and most commonly with first years. Staff noted both students’ understanding of quality increased and they had greater transparency of staff expectations. Facilitators and members of the CoPfE promote the use of exemplars throughout the institution and seek opportunities for dissemination through conferences and published papers. This paper shares the process of establishing a Community of Practice (CoP) to encourage others to consider this bottom up approach.