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Higher Education Assessment Design


A myriad of ideas abound about how to deter or detect contract cheating in higher education. Assessment design is one key strategy academics can consider in terms of deterring contract cheating by their students. This chapter considers the types of assessment that students say they prefer, enjoy, and find most useful, as well as those they say they are less likely to contract cheat on. Building on Self-Determination Theory, we establish a theoretical argument that students may be more motivated to complete work themselves if it meets their fundamental needs of a sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. We present this conceptual work alongside empirical studies and propose reimagining higher education assessment design that can deter contract cheating by motivating students to complete tasks themselves in order to gain the kinds of knowledge and skills that should be inherent in university assessments.


  • Contract cheating
  • Assessment design
  • Self-Determination Theory
  • Student motivation
  • Higher education
  • Student needs

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Correspondence to Wendy Sutherland-Smith .

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Sutherland-Smith, W., Dawson, P. (2022). Higher Education Assessment Design. In: Eaton, S.E., Curtis, G.J., Stoesz, B.M., Clare, J., Rundle, K., Seeland, J. (eds) Contract Cheating in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-12679-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-12680-2

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