Assessing learning in Higher Education

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Advice to new university lecturers on assessment, from an event run by the Economics Network of the Higher Education Academy.

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Assessing learning in Higher Education

  1. 1. Assessment
  2. 2. Assessment <ul><li>What is it ? </li></ul><ul><li>Why assess and for whom? </li></ul><ul><li>How should we assess? </li></ul><ul><li>When should we assess? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the desired outcome? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Assessment? <ul><li>Summative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>progression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>certification, awards, reward </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>grading, classification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge, skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>incentives </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why Assess? <ul><li>For staff to monitor progress </li></ul><ul><li>Does assessment meet learning objectives? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Why Assess? <ul><li>For students to monitor progress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate standards </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. How should we Assess? <ul><li>What does each form of assessment test? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Essays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentations </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Good Assessment <ul><li>Should …. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be transparent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide a clear procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>offer direction and reassurance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>encourage discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promote desired outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Outcomes <ul><li>Skills Development </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Application </li></ul>
  9. 9. Assessing Outcomes <ul><li>Development of skills through assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>summative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>explicit marking criteria: varying criteria weights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>samples for students of good and bad practice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>feedback forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>group work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>formative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>negotiating criteria (possibly in groups) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>marking by students, with peer feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>class discussion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>posting students' work on intranet (anonymously) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Effective Feedback
  11. 11. Good Feedback <ul><li>Should …. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be informative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promote reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>encourage dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>identify expected standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be timely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be sensitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promote self esteem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>indicate progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>feedback and feed forward </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marking is insufficient </li></ul>
  12. 12. Types of Feedback <ul><li>Written – detailed v summary sheet </li></ul><ul><li>E mail – personal and short </li></ul><ul><li>Web – individual or general </li></ul><ul><li>Interview – one-to-one </li></ul><ul><li>Group – workshop or tutorial </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback on feedback </li></ul>
  13. 13. Matching Assessment and Feedback <ul><li>Essays </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Tests </li></ul><ul><li>Examination </li></ul><ul><li>Presentations </li></ul>
  14. 14. Time-saving practices
  15. 15. Marking <ul><li>Self Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>E assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Questions requiring mathematical or graphical solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Set responses </li></ul>
  16. 16. Links <ul><li>http://www. qaa .ac. uk / academicinfrastructure /benchmark/statements/Economics. pdf </li></ul>

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