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Please Sir, May I have some more exams?
 

Please Sir, May I have some more exams?

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Keynote for http://www.e-assessment-scotland.org/programme/

Keynote for http://www.e-assessment-scotland.org/programme/

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    Please Sir, May I have some more exams? Please Sir, May I have some more exams? Presentation Transcript

    • “Please Sir, May I have some more exams?”The student perspective on assessment activities.
      Becka Colley
      Dean of Students
      National Teaching Fellow
    • Areas of Focus…
      Changing nature of student population and expectations about learning environments
      Attitudes towards assessment processes
      Dealing with feedback
    • But first…
      What goes through the mind of a student in an exam??
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d74_5af_Dzs
    • Key Issues
      Preparation for assessments
      Process of sitting assessments
      Feedback on performance
      Learning from and implementing change
    • How do students think they learn best?
      “I prefer practical learning as I like to do things and get bored when just listening to someone talking. I do quite well when working in a group as well as it gives me more ideas and opinions”
      “Through repetition. I like to study independently initially but then to consolidate the learning I like to discuss it and have feedback on it. I have a low attention span and so find a lot of reading and quiet time very hard work. I like to interact with people and so the discussion and debate of ideas appeals to me greatly”
      “I learn best from doing things or thinking through a problem with other people or by writing something down, drawing it. I don't learn much by just reading something”
    • The Impact of ‘massification’
      Over last 20 years Higher education has undergone radical and unprecedented change (Education Act, 1992; Dearing Report, 1997; Roberts Report, 2003; Leitch Report, 2006; Browne, 2010; CSR, 2010)
      Learners are entering with different expectations and assumptions about their experiences
      The student body has become dramatically more heterogeneous and has fragmented in some cases
    • Universities 2.0?
      Diversity of entry routes
      Issues of dealing with developing autonomy
      Earning whilst learning
      Disengaged learners seeking qualification
      Pressures on the system and individuals
      Changing processes within an inflexible system
      Tradition and history
    • In the context of…
      “Certain tutors appear arrogant and unwilling to listen to student's views. Tutors are often unable to make lectures interesting and/or teach the subject matter in a way that clearly communicates the information and is stimulating. £3,000+ per year definitely not worth it.” [quote from NSS]
    • We all know what an exam looks like, don’t we??
    • The Rules
      We are very good at saying what we think the students should do…
      But less effective at helping them learn from the process.
    • “Some final exam questions were too vague so there was too much to write about and not enough time.”
      “I didn't have access to exam papers after they were marked…I had to wait too long for exam results.”
      “The marking scheme for the exams, we should be able to view [it].”
    • Change…
    • What do you want?
      Process of review of academic offer
      Structure of academic year
      Process of assessment
      Timing of assessments
    • Student Union Feedback
      There was a strong preference to retain two exam sessions. This was felt to be more manageable in terms of revision. Students were not in favour of one exam session at the end of the academic year. A staged approach with summative assessment was viewed as the most appropriate. Also, January exams give an opportunity for students to ‘trial’ their exam revision and writing skills.
      [UBU feedback on review of the academic year, June 2011]
    • Practice Makes Perfect…
      “No regular mid term exams therefore its makes it difficult to see academic progress until at the end of term.”
      “Throughout the year they don't really give us mock exams, I'd prefer it if they give mocks so we know where our progressions are at, I think they should put more pressure on us with regular mock exams the revisions wouldn't pile up at the end of the year.”
    • Feedback
      “Feedback on assessment plays a crucial role in a student’s learning, self-esteem and future development.” [NUS, 2010]
    • Feedback
      “Feedback on failed exams not really given and I believe that information can be given so that the students know where they are going wrong.”
      “The exams mark scheme is never explained, so we don't know what exactly examiners want.”
    • Change…
    • Making it real
      Authentic assessment:
      “…an individual must be capable of performing meaningful tasks in the real world” [Mueller, 2011]
      How can we make this happen?
    • From this…
      To that…
    • Examples of authenticity
      Department of Biomedical Sciences:
      Combination of web-based genetic research tool (BLAST) with MCQs to deliver authentic, real-life tasks which require application of knowledge and understanding in a real-life professional context
      Can be assessed automatically = great for large numbers of students
    • Examples of authenticity
      School of Medical Sciences:
      Use of formative “e-assessment for learning” (in F42 and via VLE) to deliver automatic generic feedback to students.
      Work has been carried out on delivering question level feedback and topic based feedback – students would appear to best appreciate a combination of these.
    • Examples of authenticity
      School of Optometry:
      Use F42 for “Active problem-based learning”
      Formative group based case studies
      Information is automatically and gradually released during process
      Students make joint decisions, then receive email feedback.
      Group focus initially then individual summative process
    • Other Developments
      “Hybrid” assessments
      Some questions automatically marked, others done by a human
      More efficient use of human resources to allow time to be spent on students and feedback processes.
    • Other Developments
      School of Health Studies, School of Management and School of Lifelong Education and Development:
      Using e-peer assessment
      Students grading performance and/or give feedback collaborative group tasks.
      This assessment can take place either all together in the e-assessment suite or remotely via the VLE.
    • F42
    • F42
      Dedicated 100 seatere-assessment cluster
      Part of e-strategy/JISC-funded “ITS4SEA” project
      First used January 2009
      use for summative e-assessment has gradually increased:
      Useage: 2500 different students, from more than 30 modules covering range of subject areas across disciplines
    • F42
    • F42
      Pleasant, conducive surroundings
      Easier to customise what is visible on the student desktop for extra security &flexibility
      Easier to invigilate (more secure)
      Thin client technology more secure, easier/quicker to control and manage
      Separate area for students who need extra time
    • F42
      Use of smartcards now enables multiple simultaneous different exams in the room
      Have an “overflow” room in Student Central (30 students) to raise capacity to 130
    • Ten Ways to Change Undergraduate Education
      Make Research-Based Learning the Standard
      Construct an Inquiry-Based Freshman Year
      Build on the Freshman Foundation
      Remove Barriers to Interdisciplinary Education
      Link Communication Skills and Course Work
      Use Information Technology Creatively
      Culminate with a Capstone Experience
      Educate Graduate Students as Apprentice Teachers
      Change Faculty Reward Systems
      Cultivate a Sense of Community
      The Boyer Commission on
      Educating Undergraduates
      in the Research University: REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
      Boyer, 1999
    • Organisational system
      HE system
      Academic system
      Social system
      Student relations
      Student engagement & belonging
      Professional services system
      Dispositions & capacities
      May & Thomas, 2010
    • There are some positives!
      “The way we are assessed in different ways helps us develop a wide variety of skills”
      “Feedback for exams has always been fast and detailed”
      “Exam papers that are put up on BB for revision are also a very useful tool in terms of the style of questions asked and the answers that are required”
    • Any Questions?!
    • <Thank you!/>