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Assessment Resources

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What is Assessment?

Assessment is an important part of learning. As a student in Trinity, you are likely to encounter many different types of assessment.  We typically think of assessment as exams or essays.  However, assessments come in many forms and fulfil a range of purposes.  As a university student, one of the most important roles of assessment is to enhance your learning and prepare you for your life and work as a graduate.

Purposes of Assessment

Assessment is often broken down into two main types: Summative and Formative.  Summative assessment provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate the achievement of the learning outcomes associated with a module or programme; it is more evaluative and usually graded, such as end-of-semester exams.  Formative assessment, however, provides an opportunity for you to receive feedback on your work to help you improve.  This form of assessment is less formal and typically is not graded (or may have a small value towards a grade).


To make the most of your assessment, it is helpful to understand the various purposes assessment can serve.  Assessment has three main purposes: Assessment OF, FOR and AS learning:

assessment as for of explanation diagram

Trinity is encouraging a wider range of teaching, learning and assessment methods to improve student learning and responding to student diversity.  

For a glossary of terms used around assessment click here to see the TEP Glossary of Terms

Forms of Assessment

As a Trinity student, you will experience many different forms of assessment addressing one, two or all of the above purposes of assessment.  Every degree programme and module in Trinity has set learning outcomes.  All assessments aim to provide you with an opportunity to develop and/or demonstrate achievement of these learning outcomes. 

Your lecturer will prepare you for whatever assessment type they are using in their modules.  Here at SLD we are also keen to provide general support in the area of assessment.

We have developed a series of resources focused on the most common forms of assessment. For more information, click on the following links: 

  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Group work
  • Online blogs or wikis
  • Presentations
  • Reflection
  • Self-Assessment

What are ‘Graduate Attributes’ and how do they relate to assessment?

Trinity has identified specific Graduate Attributes that students are expected to demonstrate upon graduation.  They are important because they will:

  • Enhance your learning; working on them will help you become a better and more successful student and graduate
  • Help to prepare you for your future and lifelong learning given the changing nature of society
  • Enhance your employability as they are highly desired skills by employers.

During your time as an undergraduate in Trinity you will have the opportunity through your coursework and assessments as well as co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to develop and attain these attributes.  The above resources indicate the ways in which the various assessments can help you to develop the Graduate Attributes.

The Trinity Graduate Attributes are:

trinity graduate attributes diamond