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Teaching & Learning Symposium 2018 18.05.18

The UCD Teaching and Learning symposium ‘Expanding and Developing Your Assessment Practice’ took place on Wednesday 9th May in the UCD O’Brien Centre of Science and was attended by around 100 faculty and staff.

Professor Tony Harland from the University of Otago, New Zealand was a keynote speaker. In 2013 he embarked on a major assessment project, coining the phrase ‘assessment arms race’ to describe the consequences for lecturers and for student learning of the proliferation of graded assessment tasks across a programme.

Professor Harland advocated curriculum change to break the grading habit, proposing as assessment goals a reduction in the number of graded assessments, assessment only of the important aims for learning, integrated assessment and creating space for formative assessment purposes.  These approaches tie in with UCD’s programme assessment and feedback project Assessment Enhancement Implementation Framework currently underway.

The second keynote, jointly delivered by the UCD Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Assoc Prof Marie Clarke and the UCD Director of Institutional Research, Ms Maura McGinn provided an overview and analysis of student feedback from the national ISSE and UCD Student Feedback on Modules survey.  National and international comparison data helped to provide insight into areas where UCD is doing well and where there is room for improvement with assessment and feedback. Increased clarity around grading criteria and more peer-review and group work were some of the emerging themes.

The presentations are available to UCD faculty and staff. You must log in to UCD Connect first.

Attendees at the symposium identified manageable ways to provide effective feedback in a timely manner, particularly with large class sizes, as a key assessment and feedback challenge. Examples of changes that they plan to make based on the symposium include the introduction of group-work, peer-review, formative assessment, reduced assessment, increased clarity around grading criteria, technology-enabled feedback, programme approaches and increased student choice in assignments.

For more information on the event including speaker bios, consult the EDYAP Symposium 2018 Programme.

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