Assessing students and giving feedback in higher education 23082012
AssessingStudents and givingFeedback in HigherEducation Anu Ylitalo Pedagogue at Tritonia EduLab A Lecture and Workshop for the LauguageTeachers of the Vaasa Consortium of HigherEducation 23.8.2012
1. Assessment in general2. Assessmentaccording to constructivealignment3. Differentways of assessment4. Differentassessmentmethods5. Tools for assessment6. Workshop7. Giving feedback
AssessmentA process • of obtaininginformation to makeeducationaldecisionsaboutstudent s • to give feedback to the studentabouthis/herprogress, strengths and weakness(Kellaghan&Greaney, 2001).Duringorafter the course the teacherassesseshowwell the studentshaveachieved the learningoutcomes set for the course(Lindblom-Ylänne&Nevgi, 2009).A waygive a coursegradeaccording to
Purposes of assessment 1The purposes of assessment (e.g.Trotter, 2006): 1. provideuseful and timely feedback 2. motivate 3. support the learningprocess (>lead to improvedperformance)Assessment is • the mostimportanttool to supportstudents’ learning • an essentialqualityassurancemeasure in universityeducation
Räisänen &Frisk (1996): 1. Guiding the learning process 2. Controlling the learning process 3. Choosing what to learn and predicting4. Motivating the learner 5. Developing the learning process 6. Observing the learning process
According to constructively coordinated education the key elements are: The intentedlearning outcomes, the educational content, teaching methods and assessment oflearning; all these elements should be aligned to each other The aim with the constructively coordinated educational model is to offer tools to theteacher, who by using them can plan the teaching in a way that promotes deep learningin the students.
The assessment methodhas a strongeffect onhow the studentstudies and learns in the course: • Learningstrategy (surfaceordeeplearning) • Attending the lectures • Use of timeAssessmentmethodshouldbealigned with thelearningoutcomes and teachingmethodsIf you want to change student learning>change the methods of assessment (Remember to informstudents)
ConstructiveAlignment in practice (E.g. Biggs, 2009; Lindblom-Ylänne&Nevgi, 2009)1. Define the intendedlearningoutcomes (ILO’s)2. Select the topics to betaught and studied3. Choose assessment tasks that address the outcome and that enable to judgehowwellstudent’sperformancemeet the criteria4. Transforthesejudgements into summativegrades5. Choose the teachingmethods.
Differentways of assessment (Alaoutinen& al., 2009; Hyppönen & al., 2009)Assessment maybebased on • Assessment made byteacher, self-assessment, peer-assesment • Quantitative and qualitativeassessment • Finalexamorcontinuousassessment • Different assessment methods (traditionalexaminationordifferentvariation s of it, i.e. learningassignments)
Teacherassessing, self-assesment, peer-assesment (Hyppönen & al., 2009)1. Teacher assessing (The teacher is as an expert in his/her field)2. Self assessment (An individual student or a student group assesses its own work or actions)3. Peer assessment (Students assess the outputs or actions of other students)The success of assessment can be promotedwith assessment instructions given to thestudents
The place of assessment in teaching (Alaoutinen& al., 2009; Hyppönen & al., 2009) 1. Diagnostic: The assessment takes place before studying (i.e. a pretest) 2. Formative: The assessment takes place during studying (assessment is utilised for learning) 3. Summative: The assessment takes place after studying(i.e. a final examination) Diagnostic Formative Summative
Quantitative and qualitativeassessment (Biggs, 2009)Quantitative assessment meters the amountof knowledge (i.e. multiple-choice) • “How many things the student can mention?”Qualitative assessment involves making judgments against criteria (rubrics) • “How well the student has achieved the learning outcomes?”
Continuousassessment (Hyppönen & al., 2009)Differentkinds of assignments, testes andexericesareassessedthroughout the course • Possibility to obtainmoreinformation of the students’ competencesduring and after the courseMotivatesstudentstakepart in contactteaching and focus onlearningthroughout the course• The use of peer-assessment!For example: Studying Contact Contact and minor teaching / teaching / Final Feedback on Pretest and major lecture and lectures and Examination work learning feedback feedback assignments
ActivatingquestionThinkaboutoneormanycourses thatsucceededwell (2 minutes): •Howwas the course? •Whatreasonseffectedthat the coursesucceededwell?
Differenttypes of examinations (Hyppönen & al., 2009)• Pretest • Portfolio examination• Iterativeexamination • Openbookexamination• Traditionalexamination • Quickreports• Verbalexamination • Presentationexamination• Home examination • Dramaexamination• Internet examination • PBL examination• Bookdialogueexamination • Multiplechoiceexaminatio• Lecturedialogueexaminati n on
Essential parts in choosing theassessment methods • how it suits the object • how it supports the aims of the study periodReflect on what kind of learningis being pursued:“What kind of performance should beconfirmed by assessment?”
The alignment between teaching andassessing is based on the verbsinvolved in the objectives of learning: 1. During the study period the activity should aim at fulfilling these verbs 2. The students should be able to complete their assignments, if they act according to these verbs
AssessmentTasks (ATs) (Biggs, 2009)• Provide students the opportunity to demonstrate how they have achieved the ILOs• Provide the evidence that allows teachers to make a judgment about the level of a student’s performance in relation to the ILOs and to give a final grade.
Common ILOs and PossibleAssessmentTasks (Biggs, 2009)Common ILOs PossibleAssessmentTasks• Describe • Essayquestion, exam, oralpresentation(peerassessment)• Explain • Assignment, essay question exam, oral, letter-to-a-friend• Integrate • Project, assignment• Analyse • Case study, assignment• Apply • Project, case study, experiment• Solveproblem • Case study, project, experiment• Design, Create • Project, experiment• Reflect • Reflectivediary, portfolio,self-assessment• Communicate • A range of oral, writing or listening tasks, e.g. presentation, debate, role play, reporting, assignment, precis, paraphasing, answering questions etc.
DesigningAssessmentTasks (ATs) (Biggs, 2009)Steps:1. Select a practicable task that embodies the target ILO verb.2. Develop grading criteria so that you can make a judgment on how the ILO has been met by a student’s performance3. Decide how the graded performances can be combined to give a final grade.
• When planning the assessment it is good to remember the different criteria that exist.• The students should be aware of the criteria.• The assessment criteria are connected to the guiding task that the assessment stands for, because they enable the students to channel their studies in the right direction.• The challenging task of measuring learning is good to keep in mind when planning the assessment.
Solo taxonomy as an example of an assessment criteria framework(Biggs, 2007; 2009)• Solo taxonomy is a general assessment framework• The taxonomy can be used to define quality criteria for learning and to classify answers based on their quality• In the taxonomy, learning is divided into five levels• The levels are hierarchical and present the depth of the achieved learning: – The first three levels present a surface approach to learning – The levels 4–5 present a deep approach to learning.
1. Pre-structural level: The answerer does not have 5. Extended factual information. The answer is incoherent and abstract does not answer the question. level2. Unistructural level: The answerer examines the 4. Relational subject from a single point of view, or can name a level single relevant fact in his/her answer.3. Multistructural level: The answerer has produced a 3. Multistructural list of several unconnected, but relevant facts. level4. Relational level: The answer is coherent, and has a clear structure and meaning. The answerer also 2. Unistructural level connects the facts to one another and makes generalizations.5. Extended abstract level: The answer includes 1. Pre-structural level hypotheses and generalizations and the application of knowledge.
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ASSIGNMENT ASSESSMENT PERCENTAGE OF THE FINAL GRADE1. Main assignment Grade 0-5 55%2. Assignment Grade 0-5 35%3. Assignment Acc. – Fail. 10%
• As a rule, the students exams are assessed with numbers or with a performance entry >The students do not know which factors influenced the given number• The students should be aware of what is expected of them to receive a certain number (e.g. assessment matrix)
• A one-way message from the assessor• It is possible to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses• It presents things, which the student should concentrate on in the future
• Enables a discussion between the teacher and student o presenting questions and justifying the solutions• Ties up the assessors time• A verbal assessment is important though, when it comes to the students learning and development
Grading ILOs or Assessment Tasks? (Biggs, 2009)Normally we grade the task(assignment etc.) but logically weshould grade the ILO directly • “How well did the student do in the ILO (explain …; reflect …; create …)?” • not on how well did the student do in the project, the exam ect.
Group discussion (3-5 members i a group):• What kind of experiences do you have about assessment in language teaching?• What kind of assessment practices are experienced to work?• What are the things you have been experienced challenging in assessment?• Student’s feedback?• What are the special features in the assessment in language teaching?• Other things / issues you would like to discuss in the group?
• Giving feedback means that the teacher, peer- student or expert gives feedback on students work, participation, learning tasks, activities• The thingsinfluencing the way of giving feedback: – The assignment – The availabletools – The resources
• The feedback in lecturecourse is oftenonly a finalexamgrade• The teacher can keep a mid- course assessment in the course, either orally or in writing• The teacher can get information of how the student to understand the issues by asking the student a few questions
Good feedback is more than just praise • Finding nuances, diversified observation and giving feedback in different waysDifferent ways of giving feedback are 1. Simple feedback 2. Specified feedback 3. Unspecific compliments 4. Strengthening the experiences 5. Listening actively 6. Written feedback
• Means that you give a short feedback to the student• Stating confidence or appreciation for something• E.g. The teacher can encourage the students ”Im happy that you are well prepared for this assignment.”
• Means that apart from the simple feedback, the teacher justifies and specifies why they have this opinionE.g. of feedback:"Im happy that you are well prepared for thisassignment. This means that we can continuefurther in processing the subjects at hand.”
• Means stating an opinion or giving feedback, where the recipient’s unique worth is recognised, regardless of their performance or behaviour• The teacher can strengthen the group spirit by saying e.g.:”I love being your teacher!””I’ve missed seeing you at the lectures!”
• This is a form of feedback that is meant to observe experiences and feelings as well as sharing them and verbalising them• The teacher can use this form of feedback e.g. with new students: “I understand if you feel nervous in the beginning. It’s quite normal and I can remember myself being nervous when I started studying.”
• The aim is to listen to the student and thus strive to understand what the student has to say• Then the teacher repeats in her own words what she thinks the student said• During this form of feedback the teacher does not assess, express her own opinions, ask questions or give advice to the student
• Written feedback is perhaps the form of feedback we first think about, when we hear the word feedback• It is good to draw up the feedback with care, because – the feedback becomes stronger in written form – written feedback can be read several times• When planning the feedback, remember that it should – be part of the intented learning outcomes – support the students thinking – gives the student the opportunity to improve on their performance
• Giving critique in a constructive way – The academic tradition has often been to find faults in the work produced by students, instead of giving positive feedback or bringing forth the strengths of the work. – This could be viewed as promoting quality, but it should be done constructively – It is important to receive critique; this helps the person evolve and learn. – The critique becomes constructive, when the student told the performance in addition to how to proceed, alternatively, – The student should be aware of • what does not work • why it does not work • what can be done instead
• The critique becomes constructive, when the student is told how he/she can alternatively performance• Constructive critique should be specified in order to be constructive and instructive
By observing the following things critique can bemade constructive: • Express your opinion • Present the critique in the form of a wish • Be aware of which words you use • Use the word “I” when communicating
1. Listening is moreimportantthanadviceorratings. Everyone has their own idea of strengths and weaknesses. The teacher may ask first what the student himself thinks of his performance (eg, self-assessment).2. Use the Hamburger model: Sayfirst the positivethingshonestly and realistically. Thensay the thingswhichneeddevelopmentin a constructiveway. Finallymake a summary of the discussion.3. Feedback should apply to student’s output or activity, not human personalities4. The power struggle should be avoided when giving feedback. Feedback situation should not end in yes-no debate between the teacher and the student.5. Feedback shouldbegivenduring the learningprocess (the course). That is when the teachercanguide the student.
• Alaoutinen, S. & al. (2009). Lut – Teachers QualityManual. On Internet: http://www.lut.fi/en/lut/introduction/qualitymanagement/qualitymanual/Documents/ Opettajan_Laatuopas_B5_Eng_www.pdf.• Biggs, J. (2009). Enhancing learning through constructive alignment. On Internet:http://www.ouhk.edu.hk/PAU/20th_Anniversary/web/090514_JohnBiggs.pdf• Biggs, J. (2011). SOLO Taxonomy. On Internet: http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/solo_graph.html)• Elmgren, M. & Henriksson, A.-S. (2010). Universitetspedagogik.• Hyppönen, P. (2009). Handbook for Teachers.• Kellaghan&Greaney, (2001). Using assessment to improve the quality of education. On Internet: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001262/126231e.pdf)• Lindblom-Ylänne, S. &Nevgi, A. (2009). Yliopisto-opettajan käsikirja.• Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in HigherEducation. 2th Edition. London: Routledge.