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Simon Lightfoot

Abstract

The aims of this paper are to highlight the way policy briefs were employed as an assessment tool on a final year foreign policy orientated Politics/IR module in a UK university. It explores the skill/employability rationale behind the use of the tool alongside wider concerns about diversity of assessment before moving onto some practical aspects of its introduction within the module and the evolution of the task. Finally, it reflects on student opinion of the assessment, it highlights some of the expected and unexpected challenges in using policy briefs as an assessment tool and proposes some future modifications. Overall, this paper argues that policy briefs can be utilised on more “traditional” modules and that they have a range of benefits for both students and staff, confirming the general findings of Chagas-Bastos and Burges (2018) and others, whilst making a more explicit case for their use in relation to the fact that the tool allows students to demonstrate research-based employability skills.

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Article Keywords

Policy brief, Assessment, Employability, Research-led teaching

Section
Teaching, Learning and the Profession
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