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Assessing students in HE Dr Alex Dockerty BSc PGCE PhD Faculty of Education and Society University of Sunderland UK.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing students in HE Dr Alex Dockerty BSc PGCE PhD Faculty of Education and Society University of Sunderland UK."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing students in HE Dr Alex Dockerty BSc PGCE PhD Faculty of Education and Society University of Sunderland UK

2 Undergraduate assessment The University uses a modular scheme. A standard module: is one-sixth of a full-time student's annual learning activity; it is worth 20 credits; This is at least 200 hours of student learning activity, including about 50 hours contact time, directed learning, assessed work and private study (there is no minimum specified contact time); Modules are transferable and can be taken from one university to another

3 There are five levels of module: The study load for a full-time student is 120 credits per year. The standard teaching year comprises three terms, totalling 34 weeks including assessment time.

4 The Assessment of Modules The overall pass mark for each module is 40%. To pass a module a student must also have submitted work for each element of assessment. Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees BSc and BA with Honours The Honours Degree classification bands are as follows: 70% - 100% = First Class 60% - 69% = Upper Second Class 50% - 59% = Lower Second Class 40% - 49% = Third Class 0% - 39% = Fail

5 Activity 1 - Why do we assess? In groups of 5 Think of 5 reasons why we assess. write them down as a group and each member of the group should be prepared to tell the rest of the class one reason. reasons for assessment.doc

6 6 Terminology Formative Assessment (Assessment for learning) – Assessment for providing feedback to learners in order to help them learn, and feedback to teachers for deciding how a student’s learning should be taken forward. Summative Assessment (Assessment of learning) – Assessment which provides overall evidence of the achievement of students and of what they know, understand and can do, by assigning a value to what the student achieves.

7 Assessing students’ work “Assessment criteria are what the student must do to show effective learning at the level required, for the work in question. Using clear assessment criteria, aids the quality of judgement in marking, reduces subjectivity and makes it possible to have fair and consistent marking.” (University guide to assessment 2010)

8 In higher education, 'assessment' describes any processes that appraise an individual's knowledge, understanding, abilities or skills. There are many different forms of assessment, serving a variety of purposes

9 The way in which students are assessed fundamentally affects their learning. Good assessment practice is designed to ensure that, in order to pass the module or programme, students have to demonstrate they have achieved the intended learning outcomes

10 An example

11 LEARNING OUTCOMES Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to:. 1, Have a deeper and broader knowledge of biochemistry and cell biology 2, Relate their investigations to theoretical principles. 3, Relate concepts of biochemical and cell biology mechanisms and related investigations to the needs of the school science curriculum

12 ASSESSMENT METHODS Summative assessment will include a 1 Hour 30 min Examination assessed by staff, testing learning outcome 1 and comprising 50% of marks. An example of a recent examination paper is included. One x 1000 word Laboratory report testing learning outcome 2 and comprising 50% of marks. The criteria for this are included. The introduction and discussion should make use of appropriate literature to show understanding at a higher education level. Plus a 15 minute verbal presentation to peers relating an area of the module to its teaching in schools. Pass/fail Testing LO3

13 G:\olomouc\Generic Assessment Criteria.docx

14 Learning outcomes become more complex

15 LEARNING OUTCOMES: This module is designed to enable trainees to: 1.demonstrate a critical understanding of the respective roles of teachers, educational institutions and communities in education 2.identify and analyse significant theories of teaching, learning, motivation and assessment in relation to observed practice; 3.understand and evaluate the structure and relevant content of the National Curriculum and a range of examination specifications and in their subject; 4.demonstrate a knowledge of the development on the curriculum within their subject discipline, including recent initiatives, and its impact on subject pedagogy; 5.analyse the logical order of development of a topic or theme in their subject and use this knowledge to plan for pupils’/students’ progression in the subject 6.identify and strengthen their subject knowledge and develop skills appropriate to their teaching; 7.analyse arguments and write critically.


17 Deciding on how to assess students. Assessment that is fit for purpose uses the best method of assessment appropriate to the intended learning outcomes, the context, the students, the level, the subject and the institution. To help choose the most appropriate methods, here are some questions from Brown, Race and Smith, 1996 which may help to clarify the options. Activity 2 which of the following should you. mixeddocx.docx which of the following should you. mixeddocx.docx which of the following should you.docx

18 18 Feedback to students The Seven Feedback Principles 1.Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, standards, criteria) 2.Helps development of self-assessment in learning 3.Delivers high quality information to students about their learning 4.Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning. 5.Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self- esteem. 6.Provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance. 7. Provides information to teachers that can be used to shape teaching. (Higher Education Academy))

19 Effective Feedback – PIE Positive – start with something good Improvement – identify one area to work on Example – provide a specific example Giving students too much feedback will overload them and they will not engage with it all. A good rule for giving feedback us to give the students 3 pieces: One positive, so they know what they have done well One area that can be improvement that can be made for the next time. And an example of how the work can be improved in this area. This gives the students the opportunity to concentrate on one area that needs improving and getting this right for the next time, rather than trying to improve too much at once.

20 PhD Assessment The University of Sunderland will award the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil)) to registered candidates who successfully complete approved programmes of supervised research. Programmes of research may be proposed in any field of study provided that: the proposed programme is capable of leading to scholarly research and to its presentation for assessment by appropriate examiners; the University has the resources to provide appropriate supervision in that area of study; the student has appropriate qualifications and/or experience to embark on such research.

21 The degree of PhD will be awarded to a candidate who has satisfied the following learning outcomes: The creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication; A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice;

22 The ability to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches; The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments;

23 The Registration Period The minimum and maximum periods of registration will be as follows: Degree Mode of Study Minimum Maximum PhD Full-time 2.5 years 4 years Part-time 3.5 years 6 years

24 The average period of study for an MPhil is 2 years in full time mode and 3 years in part time mode. The length of an MPhil thesis is between 20,000 and 40,000 words depending on the subject area. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) PhD candidates are expected to critically investigate an approved topic and to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to their chosen field. The investigation should result in the creation and interpretation of knowledge which extends the forefront of a discipline and makes an original contribution to knowledge. The average period of study for a PhD is 3 years full time or 4-5 years part time. The length of a PhD thesis is between 40,000 and 80,000 words depending on the subject area. There are no examinations apart from an internal viva voce at yearly intervals with a written progress report and at a viva the end with an external academic

25 Full time MPhil/PhD students – First Year Report (Standard progress report) The 1st report is submitted 9 months from your start date and should normally be 3,000 to 6,000 words in length and should include: -the title of the research programme, the start date of the programme and the date of the report; -the aims of the research; -a statement of the research question(s); -a summary of what is involved in the whole programme -an indication of how any concerns raised during the RC/REG sub-group have been addressed; -an indication of any deviations from the research programme that was approved at the RC/Reg meeting; -the stage reached in the programme of research (with reference to the timetable presented on the RC/REG form); -a statement defending the originality of the work (PhD only); -a literature review, if appropriate to the discipline; -an outline of the methodology used with a brief rationale for the methods chosen; -a review and discussion of the work already undertaken; -a summary of the intended further work; -a summary of research training including, for example, generic training courses or training provided by the University, subject-specific training, health & safety, conference presentations, presentation and attendance at research seminars; -a copy of your Training Needs Analysis (PDP); -issues of concern to the student should be raised in the progress report and highlighted during the presentation to the panel.

26 Second Year Report The report submitted at the end of the second year of study should be the same as the standard report produced at the end of the first year of study except that: -the literature review may be omitted if included in the first report; - copies of papers or presentations should be included in an Appendix to the report; - you should include any changes to the programme since the last Annual Review. Mock Oral Examination (a)By the end of the third year of study the student should have submitted their thesis and it is expected that the annual review meeting at the end of the third year will normally take the form of a mock oral examination.

27 Training A candidate for a research degree will follow a programme of research training where this is necessary for attainment of competence in research methods and of knowledge related to the subject of the thesis. Training will be provided in research skills and techniques, research environment and research management.

28 Other skills you should expect to develop during the research degree programme include: * personal effectiveness * communication skills * networking and teamworking * career management. Supervision A candidate will have at least two and normally not more than three supervisors. One supervisor will be a Director of Studies (lead supervisor) who will be a member of the University staff with responsibility to supervise the candidate on a regular and frequent basis. In addition a Co- supervisor from the University and/or an external Cosupervisor will be added to your team. Distance students will also have a local supervisor based near the area in which they are studying.

29 G:\olomouc\AQH-L6- 1+Training+needs+Analysis+PDP-1.doc G:\olomouc\AQH-L6- 1+Training+needs+Analysis+PDP-1.doc

30 PhD Survival Programme This programme is compulsory for postgraduate research students at their initial stage of their degree. It is hence recommended that new students book on to this programme as this includes an induction for Postgraduate Research Students.

31 _degrees/postgraduatedevelopmentprogrammes /phdsurvivalprogramme/day1/ _degrees/postgraduatedevelopmentprogrammes /phdsurvivalprogramme/day1/ _degrees/postgraduatedevelopmentprogrammes /phdsurvivalprogramme/day2/ _degrees/postgraduatedevelopmentprogrammes /phdsurvivalprogramme/day2/ _degrees/postgraduatedevelopmentprogrammes /phdsurvivalprogramme/day5/ _degrees/postgraduatedevelopmentprogrammes /phdsurvivalprogramme/day5/

32 Activity 3 In your groups discuss and write down 3 things you have found similar and 3 things you have found different to your own first degree experiences from the UK system described Then write 3 things that seem to be the same and 3 things different from your own PhD studies. Be prepared to share these with the class.

33 Thank you

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