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Assessment matters: What guides might we use as individuals, teams and institutions to help our assessment endeavours? A presentation to Wolverhampton.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessment matters: What guides might we use as individuals, teams and institutions to help our assessment endeavours? A presentation to Wolverhampton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment matters: What guides might we use as individuals, teams and institutions to help our assessment endeavours? A presentation to Wolverhampton University Mark Russell

2 Briefly introduce yourself and … Discuss with your neighbours what you would do if you wanted to fail more students and / or provide them with a lousy experience?

3 Learning = f (assessment)? From what the students tell us… to How to design a learning environment

4 Assessment and desirable Learning The methods we use to assess students are one of the most critical of all influences on their learning. (Ramsden, 1992)

5 Assessment and designed Learning Designed Learning Activities Designed Assessment Activities Intended Learning Outcomes Designed Assessment Activities Intended Learning Outcomes Designed Learning Activities

6 Guide #1 Acknowledge the importance of assessment in curriculum design activity

7 What is working now? Take a few minutes to tell your neighbour a couple of things about your current assessment endeavours that you know / think or have a hunch that works. Specifically tell them… – What you do that you know / think / have a hunch works. – How you know it works. Swap over – Jot a few notes on a Post-It note

8 What does the literature suggest is good assessment? Conditions under which assessment supports students learning Setting assessment tasks 1.Capture enough study time (in and out of class) 2.Are spread out evenly across timeline of study 3.Lead to productive activity (deep vs surface) 4.Communicate clear and high expectations Feedback Conditions 5.Is sufficient (in frequency; detail) 6.Is provided quickly enough to be useful 7.Focuses on learning rather than on marks 8.Is linked to assessment criteria/expected outcomes 9.Makes sense to students 10.Is received by students and attended to 11.Is acted upon, to improve work and/or learning (Gibbs & Simpson, 2004) Good assessment and feedback practice should: 1 Help to clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, standards) 2 Encourage 'time and effort' on challenging learning tasks 3 Deliver high-quality feedback information that helps learners to self-correct 4 Provide opportunities to act on feedback (to close any gap between current and desired performance) 5 Ensure that summative assessment has a positive impact on learning 6 Encourage interaction and dialogue around learning (peer and teacher-student) 7 Facilitate the development of self-assessment and reflection in learning 8 Give choice in the topic, method, criteria, weighting or timing of assessments 9 Involve students in decision-making about assessment policy and practice 10 Support the development of learning groups and learning communities 11 Encourage positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem 12 Provide information to teachers that can be used to help shape their teaching (Nicol, 2009) Assessment… 1. Should be for learning, not simply of learning 2. Should be reliable, valid, fair and consistent 3. Should incorporate effective and constructive feedback 4. Should be innovative and have the capacity to inspire and motivate such as with the use of technology 5. Should measure understanding and application, rather than technique and memory 6. Should be conducted throughout the course, not simply positioned as a final event 7. Should develop key skills such as peer and reflective assessment 8. Should be central to staff development and teaching strategies, and frequently reviewed 9. Should be of a manageable amount for both students and tutors 10. Should encourage dialogue between students and their tutors, and students and their peers (NUS’ Principles of effective assessment) (Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning in Assessment for learning, Northumbria University) Assessment Standards Manifesto (AsSKe) Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education 1.Encourages contact between students and lecturers 2.Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students 3.Encourages active learning 4.Gives prompt feedback 5.Emphasizes time on task 6.Communicates high expectations 7.Respects diverse talents and ways of learning (Chickering & Gamson, 1987)

9 As a (possible) summary … Good assessment for learning … …Engages students with assessment criteria …Supports personalised learning …Focuses on student development …Ensures feedback leads to improvement …Stimulates dialogue …Considers staff and student effort

10 Principles and Practice

11 Without trivialising … Some quick ideas (linked to themes) 11 Ask students to … Summarise what the feedback you provided meant to them. Stimulates dialogue Ask students to … Demonstrate how they have used feedback from previous assessment activity to enhance the current assessment task Ensures feedback leads to improvement

12 Themes (Principles) in Practice #1? 12

13 Guide #2 Might you use assessment principles that are research- informed and work for you (and your context)? If so… don’t forget examples of principles in practice

14 Some other guides (tools) A typical assessment pattern?

15 Some alternatives…

16 Student matters

17 Students matter

18 Beyond smiling faces

19 Help to demystify assessment

20 Guide #3 Numerous resources currently exist for teachers and students Explore what works best for you

21 Institutional matters

22 Process matters Course / Programme design Course / Programme review Is the focus on… Assurance or stimulating opportunities for enhancement? Is the balance (QA/QE) okay?

23 Beyond the individual (cascading and networking

24 Work with the organisation and its component parts

25 Helping / hindering A question to ponder in the next few days… In what ways are (y)our institutional processes helping and / or hindering (y)our assessment intentions ?

26 Guide #4 Seek to ensure that the processes of the Institution are aligned with the desires to review, assure and enhance the quality of our assessment and feedback activities Seek to design-in cascading, diffusion (and evaluation) activities at source.

27 Summary #1 Assessment is important – FACT Teachers, Students and institutional processes all have a role to play in the A&F enhancement agenda. A number of guides (directions and tools) are available.

28 Summary #2… If we are serious, we need to… – recognise that responsibility for the enhancement of assessment rests with many stakeholders (including us). – work in ways that are context specific but nudge where needed – give people opportunities to share their work and thinking – be appreciative (where we can) and try not to be too value laden Institutions are not bricks and mortar. They are made up of people and systems. As difficult as it is, we can influence both!

29 A feedback hierarchy

30 A feedback hierarchy (again)

31 Provide alignment diagnostics? 31

32 32 Show the Features and Consequences?


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