Assessment Design: types of assessment task


What is it?

An interview is a form of assessment which can test a student’s ability to respond verbally under time constraints. Interviews can be used to elaborate on or justify decisions made in a related assessment (eg the production of an artefact or research proposal), or to simulate a situation such as meeting with a client or a job application process.

Recommended levels:


Suitable for groups?


Things to think about

The focus of the interviews needs to be clear and students need to have some idea of what to prepare in advance. You need to decide whether you will allow the student to bring in notes or not. The interviews need to be planned in outline in advance, to ensure that each student is asked questions of a similar number, level and relevance. This is just to provide an overall structure; it doesn’t preclude you following up individual responses with questions which will be tailored to the student, which will give you a better picture of their ability to think quickly. You could share with the students in advance the basic questions which might be asked to give them an idea of what to prepare.

As for all event-based assessments we would recommend having two assessors present who should complete the mark sheet independently before conferring to agree a final grade after the assessment.

This kind of assignment can be stressful; students may find it helpful if you explain exactly what will happen during the interview and give them opportunities to practice. Students with Personal Learning Plans relating to anxiety may need an alternative assessment.

Assignment length

10 minutes

Group work

This type of assessment wouldn’t be used with groups.

Plagiarism Issues

It would be difficult for students to conduct an entire interview using the words of others, and you can reduce the risk by modifying the line of questioning depending on their responses. You should not ask the same questions of each student; you will need to have a small bank of available questions. However, you need to ask questions of similar difficulty of each person.


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