The impact of Continuous Assessment on a temporal perspective: the results of a pioneering experiment at the University of Barcelona (Spain)

Daniel Montolio


This study completes the works by Gallardo, Montolio and Camós (2010) and Gallardo and Montolio (2011) and brings new evidence on the impact of continuous assessment on students’ results. We use a complete dataset with information regarding both the subjects taught and the results obtained by students at the Public Administration and Management Diploma Course of the University of Barcelona (Spain) that was a pioneering experiment at this university in implementing the guidelines of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) back in 2004. More precisely, we have information for seven academic years (2001/2002 – 2007/2008) on i) the lecturer who taught each subject; ii) the definition of the continuous assessment contained in the teaching plans when they were introduced; and iii) the students’ marks in each subject. With this information we compare the results obtained by students before and after the implementation, following the Bologna process, of the continuous assessment controlling for who was responsible of the subject. The results present new evidence on the impact of continuous assessment taking into account a temporal perspective. It is generally accepted that the implementation and development of continuous assessment has been one of the most difficult changes in adapting to the EHEA guidelines. Moreover, it is at the same time a key and a controversial aspect of the adaptation process itself. Indeed, there is no agreement on how continuous assessment in higher education is defined and how lecturers should implement the new assessment procedure. The present study aims to provide further information in this complex process of changing the evaluation process in our universities.

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Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 2341-2593