The appropriate analysis of students’ responses to an assessment is an essential step in improving the quality of the assessment itself as well as staff teaching and student learning. Many academics are unfamiliar with the formal processes used to analyze assessment results; the standard statistical methods associated with analyzing the validity and reliability of an assessment are perceived as being too difficult for academics with a limited understanding of statistics. This inability of academics to apply conventional statistical tools with authority often makes it difficult for them to make informed judgements about improving the quality of the questions used in assessments. We analyzed students’ answers to a number of selected response assessments and examined different formats for presenting the resulting data to academics from a range of disciplines. We propose the need for a set of simple but effective visual formats that will allow academics to identify questions that should be reviewed before being used again and present the results of a staff survey which evaluated the response of academics to these presentation formats. The survey examined ways in which academics might use the data to assist their teaching and students’ learning. We propose that by engaging academics with a formal reflection of students’ responses, academic developers are in a position to influence academics’ use of specific items for diagnostic and formative assessments.