Making Assessment Matter

people collaborating

Acclaimed experts in university assessment Professor David Boud, Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, and Dr Chris Deneen from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, conducted an all-day workshop on Assessment.  Organised jointly by the School of Business (SoB) and the School of Humanities and Communication Arts (SHCA), the workshop, with 85 participants from the two schools, was held in the Peter Shergold Building on Monday 23rd October. The SoB has a particular interest in assessment that validates course learning outcomes as they are seeking AACSB accreditation.

At the plenary session, Professor Boud proposed that assessment is not only a measure of student achievement, but of greater importance is enabling students to build their own capacity to judge the quality of their own work, so they may continuously improve.  In a workshop session, later in the day, he suggested that students can be encouraged to seek and use feedback by indicating the type of feedback they want. Encouraging a peer review dialogue, and using the feedback from a previous assessment task to improve the next one was also proposed.

Chris Deneen considered the importance of authentic assessment in his talk.  By introducing assessment tasks that have a level of authenticity to a professional environment, students are encouraged to believe enough in the assessment task to invest time on it.  This he sees as a form of partnership with students.  In his subsequent workshop session he focused on making assessment credible, and provided techniques for clarifying the intention and values behind learning outcomes, and how these can be validated through appropriate assessment techniques.

One immediate effect was seen on the relevance of this workshop when three SCHA academics were spotted in an alcove in the foyer of the Peter Shergold Building after the event, busily revising a unit’s assessment tasks.

Learning Futures.NOW. Issue 3.

-November 2017-