Starting to enhance the role of assessment and feedback

The extract from a report by Helen Beetham summarises where the curriculum design projects felt they stood with regard to the topic.

Read the full report.

Some of the curriculum delivery projects focus specifically on this area so their work will be of considerable interest:

University of Bristol: eBioLabs (Biosciences)
University of Exeter: Integrative Technologies Project (Business)
University of Hertfordshire: Effecting Sustainable Change in Assessment Practice and Experience (ESCAPE) (Business/Life Sciences)
Westminster University: Making Assessment Count (Biosciences)

Assessment and feedback are a priority for all institutions concerned with the learning experience, as the National Student Survey regularly finds students most disappointed with this aspect of their studies. There is also plenty of evidence from educational research that assessment and feedback are critical drivers of learning. While these issues are being addressed directly in the Transforming the Curriculum through Technology programme, some projects in the Curriculum Design programme are considering how interventions in the design process can help produce curricula in which feedback and assessment are more supportive of learning. One baseline report noted that examinations remain the predominant format for assessment, occupying 70-80% of the final grade in some modules. As with teaching and learning generally, innovating assessment can require changes to costing models (how staff time is calculated), documentation, and general resourcing. Giving students have more choice over how they are assessed, and when, also has organisational implications. 

Baseline reports document a range of attitudes from staff and students on the value of e-portfolios. In some professions their use is becoming mandatory, and curriculum requirements are fully supported by the relevant professional body, but in other subjects their use is much less developed and can be resisted. 

Potential indicators:Greater diversity of assessment approaches in validated modulesGreater student satisfaction with assessment and feedback

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