We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Students' preferences in undergraduate mathematics assessment.

Iannone, P. and Simpson, A. (2015) 'Students' preferences in undergraduate mathematics assessment.', Studies in higher education., 40 (6). pp. 1046-1067.


Existing research into students' preferences for assessment methods has been developed from a restricted sample: in particular, the voice of students in the ‘hard-pure sciences’ has rarely been heard. We conducted a mixed method study to explore mathematics students' preferences of assessment methods. In contrast to the message from the general assessment literature, we found that mathematics students differentially prefer traditional assessment methods such as closed book examination; they perceive them to be fairer than innovative methods and they perceive traditional methods to be the best discriminators of mathematical ability. We also found that although students prefer to be assessed by traditional methods they are also concerned by the mix of methods they encounter during their degree, suggesting that more account needs to be taken about the students' views of this mix. We discuss the impact of the results on the way general findings about assessment preference should be interpreted.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Students' preferences, Assessment of ability, Undergraduate mathematics, Mixed methods.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Studies in Higher Education on 28/03/2014, available online at:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:11 September 2015
Date of first online publication:28 March 2014
Date first made open access:28 September 2015

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar