Making Sense of Assessments in HE Modules (Demystifying Module Specification) Jan Anderson University Teaching Fellow L&T Coordinator SSSL firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview This workshop is aimed at academic staff teaching Higher Education in Further Educational Institutions. It will consider the types of assessment commonly used in Higher Education and methods of preparing students for different assessment types. The link between learning outcomes and assessment (including constructive feedback) will be considered along with an exploration of module design via the UTreg Running order of session – Overview of assessment – UTREG – with examples – Interpreting the UTREG – Types of assessments – Discussion around preparing students for types of assessment – Discussion around giving feedback for different assessments
Question How do we decide how to assess a unit of learning?
Question How do we decide how to assess a unit of learning? – learning outcomes – skills – level of study – Programme requirements (assessment mapping) – Number of credits – Tariffs to ensure consistency Tariffs to ensure consistency
UTREG (online) Module specifications – Overview of the module Contains all information relevant to the module Learning outcomes Assessment type Assessment weighting – Must be adhered to e.g. learning outcomes, word count, type of assessment – Example 1 – working example to follow Example 1 – Example 2 Example 2
Example one: learning outcomes and links to assessment On successful completion of this module students will be able to: Knowledge & Understanding 1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of theory and research in positive psychology. (ICA, ECA) 2. Critically evaluate key theories and research studies carried out in the field of positive psychology (ICA) 3. Analyse and evaluate the impact of ethical issues on behavioural observation and intervention (ECA) Cognitive & Intellectual Skills 4. Employ a range of logical and supported arguments in discussing theory and research in the field of positive psychology (ICA) 5. Analyse and interpret evidence from a variety of sources attempting to explain issues around behavioural change (ECA) Practical & Professional Skills 6. Act with increasing independence in skills involved in carrying out a review of relevant literature (ICA) 7. Act with increasing autonomy in relation to conducting research including operating ethically utilising the BPS code of conduct (ECA) Key Transferable Skills 8. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and interpret research findings and communicate using appropriate academic language (ECA)
Assessment strategy ICA - Students will produce a 1,500 word essay. Guidance on structure, content and assignment- specific assessment criteria will be provided. The essay will be submitted during the last week of Term 1 (Summative ICA, contributing 40% to the overall module mark) This assessment relates to learning outcomes: 1, 2, 4 and 6. ECA - Students will produce a 2,500 word account, in report format, of an observed positive behavioural change (60%). This assessment relates to learning outcomes: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8.
Example 1: Assessment criteria In addition to the standard university level 5 marking criteria work will be assessed according to the students ability to:standard university level 5 ICA - demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate literature, to structure an academic logical argument based on appropriate evidence and to present a coherent well organised and structured essay. References should follow the correct APA format. ECA Analysis is well thought out, claims are supported by relevant data. Well organised & structured with references following the correct APA format and appendices included. Displays appropriate use of academic language.
Examples of assessment type Exams – open book, seen, take home, closed, osce’s, practical's, viva’s Written – essays, research reports, case studies, professional assessments, portfolios, reflective narratives Presentations – group, individual, poster, debates, conference presentation, Specific – work based competencies, labs, prototypes, art work, programme designs, performances, products – it goes on! Basically think of something and we can develop an assessment to assess it!
Preparing students for different assessment types Transparency of information about the assessment type Formative assessment to link into summative Taught elements to focus on knowledge of the subject rather than ‘how to pass the assessment’ Examples …..
Exams Open book – support the development of materials Closed book – support the development of knowledge – e.g. mind maps, summary of information cards – Run mock exam in taught session (under the given conditions) Feedback – generic – e.g. cohort feedback delivered via blackboard
Presentations Formative ‘one min’ stand up and tell me (no prep) or small group work feeding back to large group to get used to speaking in front of the class Feedback on abilities e.g. eye contact, engagement with audience, amount of reading from notes Development of slides – technical support? Examples - your practice? Feedback on presentations, related to learning outcomes, what worked, what didn’t, what could be improved and enhanced
Feedback should be… Focused on meeting learning outcomes Structured around criteria (generic and specific) Feeding-forward – always developmental (including what was done well and how this could be done better) Regular and varied – written and verbal, formal and informal