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Journey to the centre of assessment

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Assessment is the cash nexus of learning – it is where the payoff is for our students, where all their effort is rewarded with marks or grades.

When we design our assessment, we indicate to our students what is important and what they should focus on. In this presentation, Ann will explore a number of theories that focus on assessment design such as:

Constructive alignment – why aligning what we teach, with the way we teach it, with the way we assess it is important
Supporting learning – how assessment supports learning and how it is central to student learning
Authentic assessment – including the issues of assessment design and workload from the perspective of both students and markers

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Journey to the centre of assessment

  1. 1. Journey to the centre of assessment Ann Wilson, Learning and Teaching at Navitas
  2. 2. Welcome • Introductions – who is in the room? • Agenda for the session • Why is assessment important? – for students and teachers • How does assessment help learning? – through time and focus • What makes good assessment - Constructive alignment – Supporting learning – Authentic assessment
  3. 3. Why is assessment important?
  4. 4. Why is assessment important? • Leeds Metropolitan University Diary Survey asked students to record how they spent their time. • 75% of student learning time was spent out of class and almost all of this time was spent on assessed tasks. • 5% of student time spent on out of class activity unrelated to assessment.
  5. 5. Why do students attend to assessment? • Cash nexus of learning (Brown, 2012) Poll
  6. 6. Why do we as teachers attend to assessment? • Quality control mechanism for our courses • Check understanding and skills of our graduates • Feedback to our learners about their progress
  7. 7. Do you design the assessment for your course? • Poll • The importance of the feedback loop – to students and to teachers
  8. 8. Conditions Under Which Assessment Supports Students’ Learning (Gibbs and Simpson, 2005) Influences of assessment on the volume, focus and quality of studying • Condition 1: Sufficient assessed tasks are provided for students to capture sufficient study time • Time on task • https://sydney.edu.au/education- portfolio/ei/assessmentresources/pdf/Gibbs%20and%20Simpson.pdf
  9. 9. The right kind of tasks • Condition 2: These tasks are engaged with by students, orienting them to allocate appropriate amounts of time and effort to the most important aspects of the course.
  10. 10. Engages students in learning • Condition 3: Tackling the assessed task engages students in productive learning activity of an appropriate kind
  11. 11. Feedback issues – the teaching opportunity 4. Sufficient feedback is provided, both often enough and in enough detail (formative assessment) 5. The feedback focuses on students’ performance, on their learning and on actions under the students’ control, rather than on the students themselves and on their characteristics 6. The feedback is timely in that it is received by students while it still matters to them and in time for them to pay attention to further learning or receive further assistance 7. Feedback is appropriate to the purpose of the assignment and to its criteria for success 8. Feedback is appropriate, in relation to students’ understanding of what they are supposed to be doing 9. Feedback is received and attended to 10. Feedback is acted on
  12. 12. One model of learning
  13. 13. Two types of assessment • Formative assessment • The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments: help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work. Focus on feedback, low stakes, and developmental, a teaching opportunity. Assessment as learning
  14. 14. Summative assessment • The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. • High stakes, about judgement, focused on assessment of learning
  15. 15. Assessment of Learning • Captures sufficient study time • The right kind of learning activity • Focusses on the main elements of the course
  16. 16. Constructive Alignment (Biggs, 2003)
  17. 17. Blooms taxonomy 18
  18. 18. 20
  19. 19. Good assessment: • Captures sufficient study time • The right kind of learning activity • Focusses on the main elements of the course • Is aligned with the curriculum • Is valid, reliable and fair
  20. 20. Authentic assessment • Authentic assessment focuses on students applying knowledge and skills in real life settings. • http://www.deakin.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf _file/0005/268511/AUTHENTIC- ASSESSMENT.pdf
  21. 21. http://www.assessmentdecisions.org/ guide/ 23
  22. 22. Final thoughts - Workload and assessment • Is the assessment task capturing the right kind of work? • Workload for students, how much time on task? • Workload for teachers/markers – how long will it take to mark? • Have you constructed a marking rubric?
  23. 23. Questions
  24. 24. Survey • https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Feedback- PDandEvents

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