Designing a Reflective Assessment with Universal Design for Learning Principles: Insights from a Speech and Language Therapy Programme

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Reflection is a requirement of the regulatory bodies for trainee and practicing Allied Health Professionals, making authentic reflection on practice a typical form of assessment in Higher Education professional programmes. The pessimism of reflective assessments from authors, working in HE motivated the scoping and design of an evidence-based assessment for reflection on the BSc Speech and Language Therapy Programme at De Montfort University.

This paper presents a tripartite of challenges relating to the assessment discourse for professional programmes within a neoliberal University. First, the tension between professional and academic education is highlighted, addressing key themes from the debate around whether reflection can be assessed and how. Second, this is contextualised by the Higher Education Institutional national and local measures and the implementation of ‘assessment of’ and ‘assessment for learning.’ Third, the challenges of social mobility are presented given the high-stake responsibility for equitable learning and assessment. The principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) are therefore explored in the context of widening participation.

In response to the literature, practitioner reflections have influenced the design of an assessment which is pedagogically sound but inviting for students. This assessment is presented to demonstrate how reflective assignments may allow for creativity, individuality, and real-life value, whilst also providing a holistic judgement of students’ skills. UDL is implicit to the project and rightly aims to reduce barriers in the curriculum and the learning environment to promote inclusivity and support all students to achieve.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGateway Papers De Montfort University Press
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2022

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