Our project will model ways in which research and practice-based evidence can be used to improve student learning by:

1. providing resources to enhance the design of M-level assessment at project team universities, nationally and internationally. Originators of new Masters courses will have a significantly better data set on which to base choices of fit-for-purpose assessment approaches for postgraduate level;

2. offering staff in participating institutions opportunities to engage in productive dialogue about Masters provision, particularly regarding assessment and feedback, and to learn from the different international approaches encountered;

3. enabling the Core Team and Evaluation Panel members opportunities to work closely together to reflect collectively on how to improve M- level assessment and feedback, with implications for improving undergraduate assessment practice also.

The study/programme will build on and contribute to the body of knowledge around HE pedagogy in a significantly under-researched area by:

1. collating diverse international practice into a usable digest, publishing practical advice on innovations;

2. engaging assessment specialists/experts to offer formative guidance as the project progresses to ensure its relevance and generalisability;

3. broadening the scholarly discourse of M-level assessment.

It will provide benefits during and after the project:

For the journalism students:

1. a live learning project engaging them in the production of authentic assignments and giving them formative feedback during the course of production;

2. experience in undertaking national and international assignments on a scale unusual in undergraduate programmes;

3. authentic self-development opportunities in an area of their professional work in which job opportunities exist as freelance writers in the educational press;

4. engaging them in scholarly research which is likely to improve their understanding of research and the assessment processes, which can transfer to their own meta-learning.

For Masters students generally by:

1. enhanced awareness by the staff who design their programmes of a wider range of innovative assessment methods;

2. potentially offering better and more authentic assessments, particularly for professional subject areas.

The bid will also share and transfer appropriate project outcomes relevant to the sector by:

1. involving staff in at least 50 HEIs in an opportunity to share diverse approaches resulting in publications, networking opportunities and a website available to all UK staff and potentially many more worldwide;

2. opening up a dialogue among M-level teachers world-wide about appropriate and fit-for-purpose methods of M-level assessment.

The project will make a distinctive contribution in that it:

1. Uses a highly original approach to data collection by engaging journalism students as researchers;

2. Can take advantage of an exceptional core team and advisory group, with excellent contacts and goodwill in universities internationally.