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Strategies for assessment and feedback  involving international students [in Law]

Strategies for assessment and feedback involving international students [in Law]



Slides for the presentation given by Jude Carroll at the event Assessment and feedback issues for teaching international students in Law on 16 May 2011.

Slides for the presentation given by Jude Carroll at the event Assessment and feedback issues for teaching international students in Law on 16 May 2011.



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    Strategies for assessment and feedback  involving international students [in Law] Strategies for assessment and feedback involving international students [in Law] Presentation Transcript

    • Strategies for assessment and feedback involving international students [in Law] 16 May 2011
    • Teaching International Students project
      • Funded through
      • TIS Team 2009 -2011) :
      • Janette Ryan, Jude Carroll, Fiona Hyland (ESCalate), Inna Pomerina (Economics), Melodee Beals (History, Classics & Archeology) , Simon Steiner (Engineering) , Malcolm Todd (C-SAP), Ali Dickens (LLAS), Andrea Frank (CEBE), Caprice Lantz (Psychology), Richard Atfield (BMAF), Adam Child & Katherine Lagar, HEA
    • TIS events and resources
      • Today!
      • The Student Lifecycle
      • http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/teachingandlearning/internationalisation/studentlifecycle
    • Background for assessment discussions
      • Most international students go home with a qualification.
      • Most teachers have strategies for assessing diverse (culture + language) groups
      • Most standards seem safe
      • Most teachers give feedback
      • Most students say they would recommend others to come and do their programme
      • But…..
      • True for your students?
      • Your assessment strategies for cultural diversity? For language diversity?
      • Are your standards for home and ISs the same?
      • Any issues around feedback?
    • Same outcomes for assessment with
      • Less stress [teachers and students]?
      • Less workload strain?
      • Less struggle? [It will never be easy!]
      • Less panic (real or imagined) about standards?
      • More time and effort on learning?
      • More rapid ‘catching on’ of what is expected?
      • More efficient ways to align teacher/student expectations and actions?
    • Standing in international students’ shoes…. [especially in the beginning]
      • Assessment is in the top 3 for anxiety (UCoSA, 2004)
      • Unexpected / surprising (‘.. did not expect difference’ Pointon, 2009)
      • Unavoidable
      • Unfamiliar (a bit… very … totally)
      • Unclear (Grades, Standards, criteria ….) "Despite having earned almost exclusively very high marks, handing-in always feels like a trip to the casino to me”.
      • Urgent & Important
      • Time-consuming
      • [Over time], assessment can be (often) welcome
    • A Postgrad student writes, [ at the end of her UK studies ]:
      • During my studies in Romania I had to memorise things, which …. was tested and nobody cared if the following day you remembered nothing. However, during my Masters degree [in the UK] I had to write 4,000 word assignments and read many articles from dissimilar positions. I also had the chance to write about topics that I was interested in, which made the tasks more personal and enjoyable.
      • What differences can you spot? Go beyond the obvious
    • Assessment: cultural differences, different academic practices
      • TASK: Read the handout.
      • Make a list: What assessment issues would the students face when they travelled to UK Law programmes?
    • What ‘works’ and what ‘does not work’ for effective assessment practices?
      • Denial ‘I teach. It’s up to them to learn.’
          • ‘ I didn’t admit this student who can’t speak English’
          • ‘ They came here for a British education….’
      • ‘ Repair’ ‘You fix them and then I’ll teach them’
      • ‘ These students can’t….. They don’t ….. They are not motivated….’
      • Students must adapt ‘These students need to learn new ways, to learn our ways. I’ll help them do that…. a bit’
      • Teachers accommodate and adjust their practice
      • ‘ OK, XXX is not reasonable so let’s require that the students do YYY. But this [ZZZ], this we cannot and will not change…..’’
    • A shared responsibility…..
      • Students adjust and adapt ‘New game, new rules’
      • Teachers adjust, include and accommodate
      • ‘ New players, new game’
      • Focus for the rest of this session:
      • What helps and hinders both sides concerning assessment?
      • What contextual factors [institutional / disciplinary] need attention?
    • What teachers can do that helps students with UK assessment…..
      • Teaching relevant skills
      • Provide practice , practice, practice, practice - especially if it is low-risk
      • Exemplars
      • Specific, criteria-linked feedback .
    • Making assessment effective: a shared responsibility
      • Institutional-level:
        • admission,
        • additional support
      • Programme-level planning
        • Skills teaching [academic writing, argument, critical reading etc]
        • Progression
        • Raising students’ own awareness (‘ assessment literacy ’)
      • Teachers’ skills
    • Teacher skills linked to assessment of ISs?
      • Being explicit
      • Formative feedback
      • Reading student texts for meaning
      • Creating inclusive tasks
    • Teachers’ concerns about assessment and feedback [for international students]
      • Time
      • Standards  
      • What to mark
      • Fairness  
      • Students’ contextual knowledge / setting a task
    • What are the questions we need to be asking ourselves and our colleagues about effective assessment and feedback?
      • Activity: In groups, we will address 4 areas which link to effective assessment of international students
      • Task: using the prompts and the handout, create questions that need to be answered.
      • Concentrate on making good questions.
      • Write the three best on a flip.
    • Focus on standards [Reliability]
      • [What students should be doing + how well they should be doing it]
      • Agreeing on :
      • Criteria
      • Outcomes
      • Grades
      • Thresholds between pass and fail
      • Achievements for level (start, middle, graduate….)
      • … ‘ good enough’ English language standards
      • Plagiarism and use of sources
    • Focus on Validity
      • [ What teachers should judge; aligning judgments with learning outcomes.]
      • Agreeing on :
      • relative importance of language, structure, ideas/content in determining a grade
      • downplaying/ overlooking less important criteria when marking
      • sustainable marking: managing frustration, ‘bug-bears’, stamina, etc
    • Focus on method [‘How’ ‘what’]
      • [What teachers ask students to do to show they have met learning outcomes.]
      • Creating tasks which:
      • give everyone an equitable chance to succeed
      • permit alternatives [formats] where appropriate to strengthen validity (for example, less language demanding methods where content is central; more time where some read slower; etc)
      • assess students’ learning in the course , not what they bring with them
      • keep teachers’ workload realistic
      • match students’ workload to the value of the grade.
    • Focus on Feedback
      • [To tell students if they are on track. In future, getting on track and/or improving.]
      • Clear (the student understands what it means)
      • Helpful (The student can act upon it for future benefit)
      • Specific (The student can see how it could be done)
      • Timely
      • Focused (The important messages)
      • Efficient (Teacher workload is sustainable)
    • Finding answers
    • Bringing it back to you