Assessment and feedback v3

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Assessment and feedback v3

  1. 1. Assessment and Feedback Serena Bufton Faculty Teaching Fellow
  2. 2. Planning Context • SHU Assessment and Feedback Policy (April 2008) • D&S Feedback Policy (July 2010) • SHU new Standard Assessment Regulations and Assessment Improvement Precepts (October 2010).
  3. 3. Faculty Feedback Policy • Draws on SHU Assessment and Feedback Policy (‘assessment for learning’) and Faculty priorities. • Emphasises the importance of formative feedback in module and course design and supportive summative feedback for all assessments. • Has implications for assessment design: a more incremental approach in which students build up towards the assessment task, getting feedback on the way?
  4. 4. SHU Assessment Improvement Precepts • Two assessment models: – Model A: a maximum of 6 tasks per module; up to 3 is the preferred number; pass or fail overall (not all tasks necessarily need to be passed). – Model B: a maximum of 3 tasks per module; 2 is the preferred number; all tasks must be passed. • Model A is the default model: modules being validated for 2011/12 will only be allowed Model B status in a few contexts.
  5. 5. Conditions for Model B • Professional Body requirements. • ‘subject discipline and/or legislative requirements (eg health and safety) which generally can be evidenced and which would damage the employability of students if they were not recognised’ • Applications for Model B assessment have to be approved by the Faculty Implementation Team before validation and agreed by the Secretary and Registrar. ‘Case law’ will be established.
  6. 6. Implications for Course Planning • If Model B is being planned, there needs to be a rationale and evidence to support this as early as possible so that agreement can be sought. • In the case of Model A, the implications for module design and assessment strategy need careful planning, especially the relationship between assessment tasks and learning outcomes.
  7. 7. Learning Outcomes (LOs) • These should cover knowledge and understanding, intellectual skills, subject-specific skills and key skills (QAA). 3-6 LOs are recommended. • Subject Benchmark Statements identify discipline- specific LOs. • Existing SHU advice (LTI ‘Guides’) imply a firm link between LOs and assessment tasks, as do the QAA codes of practice. • Custom and practice may therefore be that LOs are attached to tasks rather than to the module as a whole. • The University’s current position is that all LOs have to be passed.
  8. 8. Implications for Assessment Design • Under Model B, as all tasks have to be passed, this is not a problem. • Under Model A, students passing a module overall may not meet all the learning outcomes. • How therefore can assessment design under Model A ensure that all LOs are met? • Advice has been repeatedly requested from the University. The problem has been acknowledged but no solution offered as yet. • In the meantime, some suggestions:
  9. 9. Designing assessment for Model A • Possible ways forward (we have some case studies if these would be of use to you): – end-loading the assessment: one task at the end of the module. This may be possible for a 10- credit module or even a semester-long 20-credit one, but may not be generally appropriate; – designing each assessment task in such a way that it covers all the learning outcomes. This may not be possible or desirable (over-assessment?) • Other possibilities….
  10. 10. Ways of minimising the problem • Weight the assessment tasks differentially with later tasks more heavily weighted and carrying more of the LOs. • Use in-module retrieval of failure. • Write your LOs at a very general level (but this simply hides the problem or introduces further complexity - eg tiered or incremental LOs, a blurring of LOs and assessment criteria).
  11. 11. Things to think about • Prioritising assessment for learning and an assessment design that is pedagogically defensible. • Designing the assessment and feedback strategy and course content concurrently. • Thinking about ways of maximising formative feedback. • Looking early on at the balance of assessment activities across and between levels of study. • Presenting a case for Model B as soon as possible if this is being planned in.
  12. 12. How we can help • We have no answers; there are no prescribed ways of responding to the University and Faculty ‘givens’ in assessment design. • Our role is to support you. • We can make suggestions and work with individuals and teams as they plan their modules and courses. • We will also maintain pressure to get more information and guidance from the University and pass this on to course planning teams.

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