Types of Assessment Methods



What is a Gobbet?
A gobbet can often be a passage of literature, an image, a cartoon, a photograph, a map or an artefact which provides a context for analysis, translation or discussion in an assessment.

Structure of Gobbet Assessment

As an indication, three gobbets are equivalent to one essay question in terms of time in an assessment. The art of setting a good gobbet assessment depends on the gobbet the assessor chooses. A good piece of gobbet must be carefully selected to illustrate a particular theme. An answer to a gobbet is not a summary or paraphrase of the piece; unlike an essay it does not usually include an introduction and a conclusion. It is a precise and focused piece of writing that provides the context, meaning and signficance. Disciplines such as history or archaeology often use gobbets to assess students on their deep understanding of the subject, giving students the opportunity to think, extract and analyze.

Three concepts to answer gobbets

  1. Where does the gobbet come from?
  2. How does the gobbet fit in with the material around it?
  3. When was the gobbet written or formed?
  4. What comes immediately before and after it?


  1. What is the gist or purpose of the gobbet?
  2. What are the main ideas contained within the gobbet?


  1. Why is it important?
  2. What are the implications?
  3. Are there any direct applications?
  4. What does it add to our understanding as a whole?

Y Declarative
Y Functioning
  Take Time to Set
  Take Time to Answer
  Take Time to Correct
  Take Time to provide Feedback
Y Suitable for Large Class
  Can substitute with Computers
Y Passive
  Process Oriented Method
Y Product Oriented Method
P = Possibly    Y =Yes

Advantages of Gobbet Assessment
  • A gobbet is short to answer but at the same time, it can assess many levels of learning outcomes similar to an essay. Gobbet is suitable to be given as an in-class assignment.
Disadvantages of Gobbet Assessment
  • Students require practices to answer gobbets, particularly in their time management.
How to design a good Gobbet Assessment
  1. Ensure the students know what the objectives of the assessment are.
  2. Provide students the time period, guidelines and assessment criteria. The students should also be aware of who is going to assess them – tutor, peers and/or self? And if peers or themselves are going to assess, would the weightings be the same as the tutor's assessment?
  3. Prepare a structured marking sheet for all assessors.

Marking Rubrics
Below is a sample rubric for a gobbet. This is partly extracted from "Definition, purpose, and marking criteria: Gobbets", Durham University (2008)

MARKING RUBRICS Excellent Proficient Average Poor
Context: Outstanding grasp and a mature understanding of the gobbet and its contexts Comments on the nature, authorship, and other material pertinent to the context and interpretation of the piece Make some pertinent comments on the nature, authorship, and other relevant aspects of the gobbet Fails to expand on the nature, authorship, and other issues relevant to the gobbet
Analysis: Clear, coherent and compelling analysis Demonstrates familiarity with the area under discussion Demonstrates some familiarity with the area under discussion May paraphrase rather than analyse the gobbet under discussion
Meaning: Comprehensive coverage. This may be achieved by citation Identify the point of the document or the theme that it illustrates Identify the point of the gobbet ' the subject or the theme which it illustrates Fails to identify the point or the theme of the piece
Citation: Economic and effective use of all material cited Substantiates the points that are made from evidence Contains some citation but not appropriately used to substantiate the piece Contains no citation.
Significance: Identifies the gobbet's significance in an independent, distinctive, and authoritative way Explores some of the significance of the gobbet with reference to such issues as typicality, representative ness, uniqueness, reliability, bias Touches on the wider significance Fails to identify the gobbet's wider significance

Tips for students

(From "Marking and Assessment", Classics and Ancient History, Bristol University (2008))

When trying to gauge how long a gobbet answer should be, you should always be guided by how many marks it is allotted in comparison to other questions on the exam paper. For example, if the essay questions are worth 40 marks and the gobbets 20, the gobbets should be approximately half as long as the essay.

If time is short, it is better to jot down some notes for which you might pick up a few marks than to write nothing at all.

DON'Ts and DOs for Students
From "Gobbet Guidelines", School of History, Classics and Archaeology, The University of Edinburgh (2008).


  • DON'T write an essay about the subject the piece is related to. If you are shown a picture of bust of Pericles, don't write an essay about who Pericles was but when the bust was created, where it stood, and why it was created.
  • DON'T just paraphrase what is already in the piece. You need to evaluate that information as well, that is the point of a gobbet.
  • DON'T get carried away writing a short biography of the author: only include information of the author that is relevant to assessing the value of this particular piece.
  • DON'T write an introduction and conclusion like what you did with an essay.


  • DO include cross-references to any other primary sources, written or otherwise, that you are aware of that contrast or corroborate with what is said in this piece.
  • DO feel free to answer in bullet-point form
  • DO be PRECISE, CONCISE and STRICT about only sticking to relevant information: you've only got 20 minutes
Web Reference and Resources
Tips for students To Reference these pages

Copy and paste the text below:
Chan C.(2008) Assessment: Gobbet, Assessment Resources@HKU, University of Hong Kong [http://ar.talic.hku.hk]: Available: Accessed: DATE