Assessment: Written exams – guided portfolio writing

Course schedule

This course is not scheduled yet.

Course description

In this meeting we will discuss the key elements in ensuring exam quality. When you register for the meeting, you will receive the assignment details approximately one month before the start. Completion of the assignments about the ‘quality of written exams’ (Part IIa) is a pre-requisite for joining this meeting to get (peer) feedback. In this way, you can make further improvements and include these in your UTQ portfolio. 

Since the quality of your written exam is based on the assessment quality of your entire course (assignment Part I: the assessment strategy of your course) we will also reflect on this.

Target group & Prerequisites

This meeting is designed for lecturers with a lot of experience in designing written exams.

The content should tie in with the teaching duties of teachers at Wageningen University:

  • Participants should have experience in administering written exams.
  • Participants should be responsible for designing (part of) the written exam of at least one course for which an exam or draft exam already exists.
  • Participants should have attended the course (Re)designing a course and/or should be able to construct an assessment strategy which shows congruence between intended learning outcomes, assessment methods and test elements, plus the weighting of each sub-part and/or evaluate and if necessary improve the quality of an existing assessment strategy.
  • An up-to-date Assessment Strategy must be available for the course you will be working on.

Learning outcomes

After completing the assignment and attending the meeting the participant is able to:

  • Show examples of (an assessment with) both closed and open exam questions and their corresponding answer models.
  • Explain how the example of an assessment meets the quality criteria: validity, reliability, transparency, usability/practicability and positive impact on student learning. 
  • Explain how the assessment fits within the assessment policy of the university or faculty (regarding OER, rules & regulations of examination board etc.).  
  • Use a psychometric analysis to improve the quality of the assessment. 
  • Substantiate the choice of method used to determine the cut-off point and the grading of the work. 
  • Reflect on personal strengths, weaknesses and development in relation to assessment. 
  • Formulate plans for further development of assessment expertise. 
  • Acknowledge the usefulness of giving peer feedback by using FeedbackFruits 
  • Acknowledge importance of formative assessment, with focus on students’ ownership of learning outcomes.  


The content covers:

  1. Formulating your own open-ended questions using the question formulation criteria
  2. Formulating your own closed questions using the question formulation criteria
  3. Drawing up and using a model answer for open-ended questions
  4. Specification grid: the relationship between exam questions and learning outcomes
  5. Setting the cut-off point for your exam
  6. Using psychometric analysis to improve your exam


This activity is set up as self-study followed by a feedback meeting. First, you will go through the theories in your own time and make the assignments (6-8 hours). You need to complete the assignment as a preparation for the feedback meeting.

During the peer feedback meeting we will discuss the key elements in ensuring the quality of written exams, so you can make further improvements and include this in your UTQ portfolio.

Note: if you want more guidance and feedback while working on this assignment as well as more in-depth background information, you can register for ‘Assessment: written exams - blended course'.


After registration you will receive the self-study material.


Your completed assignment will be registered. You will not receive a certificate.


Participation is free for Wageningen University & Research staff involved in teaching WU courses.


We consider registration as final. When cancelled within three weeks before the activity starts, your chair group will be charged all costs of your subscription (€350,-).

If there are less than 2 participants in the course, Education Support Centre may cancel the course and notify you at the latest 2 weeks before the start of the course.