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Key Assessment Questions Mary Rice & Dale Holt Institute of Teaching and Learning - Ph: 78187

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Presentation on theme: "Key Assessment Questions Mary Rice & Dale Holt Institute of Teaching and Learning - Ph: 78187"— Presentation transcript:

1 Key Assessment Questions Mary Rice & Dale Holt Institute of Teaching and Learning - Ph: Ph:

2 Key assessment questions What is assessment? Why assess? What should be assessed? How should we assess? How should we interpret & respond?

3 What is assessment? Assessment occurs ‘…whenever one person, in some kind of interaction, direct or indirect, with another, is conscious of obtaining and interpreting information about knowledge and understanding, or abilities and attitudes of that other person. To some extent or other it is an attempt to know that person’ (Rowntree 1977, p.4).

4 Broadening conceptions of assessment To find out/diagnose, act/teach, monitor/feedback and improve Value of informal & formal Various contexts – classroom, online, consultations, work placements Applied to students, colleagues & self

5 University context for assessment Why assess? …Assessment (HE) Operational Policy & Procedure (Principles) What to assess? …Attributes of a Deakin Graduate How to assess? …Assessment Procedure (Setting Assessment & informing Students) & Plagiarism and Collusion Operational Policy & Procedure How to interpret & respond? …Assessment Procedure (Receiving Assessment Work; Reviewing Results & Ensuring Comparability; Special Consideration & Special Assessment) See also Student Charter

6 Why assess? Provide feedback during the process of learning to improve learning (formative diagnostic assessment) Make judgements about the level of student learning at the end of a course (summative assessment).

7 Why Assess? Selection by assessment Maintaining standards Motivation of students Provide feedback to students Provide feedback to the teacher Preparation for life (Rowntree, 1987, pp )

8 What should be assessed? Thinking critically and making judgements Solving problems and developing plans Performing procedures and demonstrating techniques Managing and developing oneself Accessing and managing information Demonstrating knowledge and understanding Designing, creating and performing Communicating (Nightingale et al.,1996, p.3)

9 How should we assess? Three guiding questions: What do you want students to be able to demonstrate they have learnt? What formats will best enable them to do that? What formats will best enable students to learn from assessment not just for assessment?

10 How should we assess? Possible formats: Individual, pairs, groups Written, oral, graphical Print, face-to-face, computer-based, multimedia (PowerPoint, Audio, Video) Assessed by teacher, peers, or self

11 How should we assess? Build combinations from the above formats and match them with appropriate tasks and desired skills and understandings.

12 Assessment Combinations Group oral research presentation (face-to- face) - incorporating teacher, peer and self assessment. Group written research proposal assessed by the teacher only Individual computer-based quiz or test – self monitoring Document or policy analysis – teacher assessed.

13 Assessment combinations Presenting a case study – peer assessed Building a portfolio – self and teacher assessed Keeping a log or journal - self and teacher assessed or not assessed at all The traditional individual essays/assignments assessed by teachers The traditional exam assessed by teachers

14 A way forward Re-examine why you are assessing, and what and how you assess Build a matrix that matches assessment tasks with content and desired learning outcomes. Check what you are doing against characteristics of effective assessment. Consider what could be changed now and what could be changed later on.

15 Some key considerations – what to assess, interpreting and responding to student responses Validity/educational relevance Reliability Respectability Inertia Cost Self-referenced, criterion-referenced & norm referenced

16 References Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. (2 nd edition) Berkshire: Open University Press. James, R., McInnis, C & Devlin, M (2002). Assessing learning in Australian universities. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, Centre for the Study of Higher Education for the Australian Universities teaching Committee. Nightingale, P. et al. (1996). Assessing learning in universities. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education. London: Routledge-Falmer. Rowntree, D. (1987). Assessing students: How shall we know them? London: Kogan Page.


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