Students as Partners in Assessment (SaPiA)

Students as Partners in Assessment (SaPiA)

Engaging students as partners in their learning and student experience is important as it gives them a sense of ownership and academic staff can benefit from their insight.

Student partnership is a broad area and can include student participation in university committees, module and programme development, feedback processes and more.


Arising from the TEU's existing focus on assessment design and academic integrity, in 2020 we undertook some work in the area of student partnership in assessment. This was funded in part by quality improvement (QUID) funding from the DCU Quality Promotion Office. It drew on existing work from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the National Student Engagement Programme.

Explore our resources on this page and contact us if you would like guidance in getting partnership started with your students.

Contact: Rob Lowney


This two-page resource summarises the main findings of this project. It explores a variety of partnership possibilities in assessment and how academics and students can make partnership a success. Click to access the resource as a PDF file.

The literature underpinning this project is explored in our literature scoping review. This review was conducted in spring 2020 and the final publication was released in December 2020. 

Click to access the document.

Students as Partners in Assessment: A Literature Scoping Review.pdf


Watch this short video, in which Rob Lowney and Kate Goodman, Vice-President for Academic Life at DCU Students' Union, discuss the student perspective on student partnership in assessment.

The TEU, in conjunction with NSTEP and DCU Students' Union, hosted an online seminar (supported by the National Forum) on 11 March 2021 to explore student partnership in assessment.

The event included:

1. Overview of student partnership
2. Overview of the literature of student partnership in assessment 
3. Possibilities for student partnership in assessment
4. The student and staff perspective of utilising partnership approaches to assessment

A link to the seminar recording and all supporting material is available below. 

SaPiA Seminar 11 March 2021 - Shared links



Lowney, R. (2022). From profiling and practising to progressing student partnership in assessmentNational Student Engagement Network, Maynooth.

Lowney, R. (2022). Students as Partners in Assessment (SaPiA) Case StudyNational Student Engagement Programme.

Lowney, R. (2022). Practising student partnership in assessment. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) 10th Anniversary Conference, Dublin.

Lowney, R. (2022). Students as partners in assessment: the experiences of an Irish university. University of Hull Teaching and Learning Conference. Online.

Lowney, R. (2022). Partnership practices in assessment. Change Agents Network (CAN) Conference. Online.

Lowney, R., Ní Bheoláin, R., O'Riordan, F. (2022). Supporting Student Partnership in Assessment with Technology. ALT CPD Webinar, April.

Lowney, R. & O'Riordan, F. (2021). SaPiA: Principles and Practices. Assessment Institute. Online.

O'Riordan, F. (2021). Student as Partners in Assessment. Business Education SIG webinar: Students as Partners. Online.

Lowney, R. (2021). Approaches to student partnership in assessment. RAISE Special Interest Group for Partnership. Online.

O'Riordan, F. & Lowney, R. (2021). SaPiA: The experiences of students and staff at Dublin City University. [Plenary Lecture/Keynote], National Congress of Pedagogical Practices in Higher Education (CNaPPES), [Online].

Lowney, R. (2021) Making student partnership in assessment work. [Oral Presentation], AdvanceHE Island of Ireland Symposium: Partnership for Student Success: Developing graduates for the 21st century, Online.

O'Riordan, F., & Lowney, R. (2021). What is the Future for the Assessment of Learning Through Final Examinations. Invited presentation and panel contributors. National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 28th May.

Lowney, R. & O'Riordan, F. (2021). Facilitating Student Partnerships in Assessment with TechnologyPresentation at EdTech 2021: Shaping Education Post Pandemic: Pockets of Innovation for Building Back Better. 27th-28th May. 

Lowney, R. (2021) Using Moodle to support student partnership in assessment. [Oral Presentation], MoodleMoot Ireland and UK, Online.

Lowney, R., & O'Riordan, F. (2021) Students as Partners in Assessment. National Seminar Series. Dublin, Ireland. 

Lowney, R., Ní Bheoláin, R., & O’Riordan, F. (2021). Students as Partners in Assessment (SaPiA). Invited presentation [online], IUADigEd, Dublin, 8th February.