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National Launch Conference Quality Enhancement in: - Assessment - Responding to Student Needs.

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Presentation on theme: "National Launch Conference Quality Enhancement in: - Assessment - Responding to Student Needs."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Launch Conference Quality Enhancement in: - Assessment - Responding to Student Needs

2 At the end of a full day………. …….what can I add or contribute? 1. A voice from the grass roots 2. A practitioner's perspective on the basis for the themes 3. Practicable and proven suggestions about what serving teachers can do next

3 For teachers like me…. Student numbers Increased, with poorer students Resources - decreased Each year, it seems…..

4 So if I achieve enhancement.. The first part of the return from improvement will be taken up in simply holding quality and standards where they were last year, in a more demanding situation Only anything above and beyond that will go into acknowledged enhancement

5 Significant enhancement? In my experience, it occurs NOT by doing something better then before, but By doing something in a better – and hence different – way So I am seeking changes in my practice which will be cost-effective, and effective

6 As a foot soldier, I see the present scheme in these terms: Foundation built since audit began Well-founded new developments

7 As a foot soldier, I see stage 1 of the scheme in these terms: Foundation built since audit began Enhancement of Assessment Responding to student needs

8 So? We should: 1. Identify what we are building on 2. Work on the developments of that which have most potential

9 Enhancing ASSESSMENT? What are we building upon? Alignment of Assessment and Outcomes Real attention being given to key skills and higher level learning outcomes 25 years experience of self-assessment

10 Outcomes Assessment T & Learning Ideal Alignment

11 Outcomes Assessment T & Learning 10 years ago, there was much lack of fit

12 Every audit found examples of: Outcomes claimed but not assessed Assessment in place, but satisfied by performance we don’t really value Outcomes for which there was no purposeful development activity in place

13 Biggest problems were with: “Educating the Reflective Practitioner” for Higher level cognitive and interpersonal capabilities

14 Outcomes ? Assessment ? T & Learning ? Alignment for Capability

15 Change and development - but this has taken time!

16 Ex: Aalborg pilot (1993) Project-oriented course; end of semester 1 Previous assessment based on project report with minimal “process analysis” Pilot for 25 students What did you have to do? How did you do it? How well did you do it? How can you do better next time? How useful has this been to you? Immediately, enthusiasm. Six months later: “You must never do that again, because…………”

17 “You must never do that again, because…. ………….. we had such an advantage over the other 375 students”. You must do it for everyone. Yet only in 2002 were outcomes and learning and teaching eventually aligned And assessment still needs attention Change and development do take time!

18 Generally, in Scotland, things have changed: Best practice is built upon programme specifications, in which outcomes and assessment are usually well aligned

19 The result is that Outcomes and assessment convey much the same message; in addition, assessment is usually transparent

20 Outcomes Assessment T & Learning Modern Alignment

21 Outcomes Assessment T & Learning Modern Alignment

22 Outcomes and Assessment T & Learning Modern Alignment

23 The next logical step is………. ……..to integrate these two remaining aspects more and more

24 Outcomes and Assessment and Learning and Teaching Future Integration

25 And that is happening already: Last week I listened to a Salford Computer Scientist, describing his work on their PGCHE Creating a “Virtual Assessment Environment” Driven from radically changed and outcome- sensitive assessment Quantum leap in outcomes and performance Yesterday, an e_mail describing introduction of formative peer assessment in Chem Eng at Heriot-Watt. BIG SUCCESS!

26 Integration should entail: Self-assessing learners who direct their own learning Self-assessing learners who monitor their own learning Self-assessments presented, portfolio-style, for “auditing” Peer-assessing in learning groups where structured interaction is cost-effectively harnessed for feedforward Rigorous making of judgements, in all of this

27 Heading Performance Making the judgement – transparently and objectively S_ C_ A_ L_ E _

28 The result? Alverno College Liberal Arts College; self-assessment integral Access or dropout entrants common Group overheard at breakfast with domestic concerns………. ……. and then planning what they each wanted to take from the morning's lesson, and how they would arrange that Another group overheard on departure………. Would it be like that in your university? Moral: self-monitoring and self-directing pays off

29 Soft words butter no parsnips! Specifically, what should integration entail for the average, hard-pressed lecturer?

30 Enhancing ASSESSMENT? What should we be doing next? I know what I’ll be doing! [Cost-effectively] [Completing aligning Assessment and Outcomes] [Continuing aligning both, with Learning] Developing self-assessment, especially for higher level abilities Hence developing formative peer assessment Making all assessing transparent – and objective

31 Enhancing ASSESSMENT? What should we be doing next? I’ve told you what I’ll be doing! What will you be doing? minute to tell your neighbour, and hear what they have to say

32 So much for: Foundation built since audit began Enhancement of Assessment

33 Now what about: Foundation built since audit began Enhancement of Responding to student needs

34 RESPONDING TO STUDENT NEEDS? What are we building upon here? 25 years of campaigning for data that informs! The demand for informed self-evaluation…… …. has led to the ingathering of data… …. using effective tools of enquiry …. informing teachers about student learning and the learning experience…… …. in forms which can be used to enhance…… ….and prompt us to discover and meet needs

35 BUT………… The pedagogy and practice are still not very well developed We are not yet very good at dealing cost-effectively with varied individual needs And we are only tentatively grappling with different types of need - especially the affective needs

36 We must still develop Methodology, and proven good practice - for varied needs

37 Learning Needs…... Are held in different ways And so have to be dealt with in different ways [And may come up as fish swimming the wrong way, if your version of ppt is not the same as mine]

38 Learning needs can be like... Fish, in a fish-ladder

39 Need = declared Desired outcome known: let’s get on with it Just listen to me

40 Need = known Safety! Outcome known, but private!

41 Need = undefined Exploring possibilities I don’t know what my need is!

42 Need = unperceived Challenge! I don’t recognise that I have a need

43 Learning needs can be like... Fish, in a fish-ladder listen Give me safety Can I explore? I’m fine

44 It’s obvious, but neglected that We can’t respond to needs until we find out what they are!

45 It’s obvious, but neglected that We won’t find out what the real needs are, unless we ask – and listen – and are seen as likely to first listen and then act upon what we hear

46 WHAT NEXT? What should we be doing next? I know what I will be doing next

47 I’m developing appropriate e_tivities: NEED Declared Known Undefined Unperceived ACTIVITY Mager’s answering Anonymous negotiation Action learning sets Claim – and checking

48 At course team level, I’ll First establish a partnership approach, involving students and teachers Promote “tools of enquiry”, far beyond questionnaires Use these to help teachers and students to analyse the learning experience and identity the real needs Pilot enhancement for current cohorts HOW?

49 As an example, from UHI: A new module, with new goals and methods Six weeks into semester, a morning for evaluation workshops Students and staff analyse experiences so far Compare notes Decide immediate priorities and changes in plan for rest of semester Establish that teachers wish detailed rather than general feedback: not “This is (in)effective” but “This is (in)effective, because ………….”

50 The activities were planned to: 1. Identify worthwhile learning and development to date 2. Advise Stop/Start/Continue on learning activities 3. Identify immediate priorities, for learners and teachers 4. Anticipate difficulties

51 Joint forward planning, for the current cohort, meant Real point in identifying needs Shared responsibility, and monitoring of decisions for enhancement Learning and teaching activities could become just that

52 Best practice is: Formative, not summative, for all Set up at the grass roots, in particular contexts Suitably timed Based on safety to declare or expose needs Empathic, especially to affective needs Responsive – and thus obviously worthwhile Cost-effective A joint activity Intrinsic to the learner-teacher relationship

53 The consequences? Once students have engaged in a meaningful exercise to identify their needs, and take them on board, then … They know that we want to know They tell us, unprompted, in helpful detail, about joys as well as worries

54 BUT, institutionally The methodology is less well developed – and appreciated The progression has been far from sector- wide Some institutions need to catch up with best practice elsewhere They risk being left badly behind So the case for institutional collaboration, for “working together”, is strong in this case

55 INSTITUTIONALLY, I WOULD……. First establish a partnership approach, at course level Promote “tools of enquiry”, far beyond questionnaires Use these to help teachers and students to analyse the learning experience, and enhance it Pilot enhancement which benefits current cohorts Pillage effective practice

56 WHAT NEXT - INSTITUTIONALLY? I’m just a grass roots teacher nowadays YOU are here today as the institutional policy makers. So ………. What should your institution be doing next to enhance in this area? minute to tell your neighbour, and listen to what they have to say

57 Scotland will concentrate on: Foundation built since audit began Enhancement of Assessment Responding to student needs

58 It will be exciting, and worthwhile: We shall be striving to optimise the effectiveness of whatever resource is available to each of us, for the benefit of student learning The evaluative innovators, who have so often been regarded as the lunatic fringe, could emerge as those whose work and advice is sought, and built upon

59 SO? What is teaching? “Teaching is an activity which brings together two people, one of whom is rather more of a learner, the other of whom is rather more of a teacher – an activity within which learning and teaching take place”

60 Let’s set out to establish that: “Enhancement is an activity which brings together two groups of people, one of which consists of those who are rather more learners, the other of which includes those who are rather more teachers – an activity within which the enhancement of learning and teaching takes place”


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