|Project:||Choice of Assessment Methods within a Module|
|Project Team:||Geraldine O'Neill and Aine Galvin|
|Collaborator(s):||Judy Walsh, Kathy O'Boyle, Evelyn Doyle, Nicholas Clipson, Anna Kelly, Mark Rogers, Karen O'Shea (2009/10, for 2010/2011 see the Overview of Modules document in the Methods section)|
HEA Training of Trainers
Encouraging students to take some responsibility in how and what they learn is in keeping with good practices in student-centred learning1. By extending this decision-making to ‘choice of assessment’ methods it allows students to take some control of their learning and to play to their strengths. This is also an example of an inclusive assessment approach. This inclusive approach can be very beneficial for staff and students when there are students with diverse learning needs within a particular module.
1. O’Neill, G., McMahon, T. (2005). Student-Centred Learning: What does it mean for students and lecturers? In, Emerging Issues in the Practice of University Learning and Teaching pp. 27-36. Dublin: AISHE publication.
The overall objective of this project was to design and then pilot an inclusive approach to the assessment of learning in UCD. This involved the development of a choice of assessment methods within a range of modules in order to accommodate the range of different learning needs. In using this approach, however, care was taken to ensure equity in assessment methods and it was important that the both assessments had coherent alignment between learning outcomes, assessment criteria, marking procedures, and feedback mechanisms 2,3,4,5.
This project, therefore, aimed to also research into: the outcomes and the experiences of the staff and students on the implementation of student assessment choice in a variety of modules across UCD.
2. Craddock, D., and Mathias, H.(2009)'Assessment options in higher education', Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education,34:2,127 — 140
The student questionnaire was handed out at the end of the semester in the three modules using this approach in Semester 2, 2009/2010 (see Overview of the Modules). 97 students returned the questionnaire. In addition, the module co-coordinators involved were interviewed.
The majority of students (82%) were glad with their assessment choice. The initial descriptive analysis of the data from this study demonstrates that students across three diverse modules in UCD were very receptive to the idea of choices of assessment methods. They felt that they had been empowered by this process and that having some control in relation to their assessment reduced their anxieties and allowed them to play to their strengths. Students were very positive about the equity of workload between the assessment methods in their module.
The module co-ordinators reported on the importance of putting significant efforts into the early assessment design. In particular, they noted the importance of using the Student Information Template to both design for assessment equity and to communicate assessment choices to students. For further details, see Interim Inclusive Assessment Report, June 2010.
The project was showcased at a Teaching & Learning seminar on 20th January 2011, see the Empowering Students presentation for more information. During the seminar the following case studies were delivered:
For further details on this project, or if you are interested in developing assessment choices in your UCD modules, please contact Dr Geraldine O’Neill (7162839, geraldine.m.oneill@ucd.)