Skip to content

HE Assessment Conference – 28/29 June 2017 – Manchester

I recently attended the Assessment in Higher Education Conference in Manchester, hosted by the University of Cumbria. There was a large selection of presentations and workshops from across the University Sector in the UK, Europe, USA and Austrialia.
The first session I attended discussed the use of ‘Concepts inventories’ as assessment of learning gain – University of British Columbia

They explained how they had moved from lectures to more inquiry based learning – Justified through the development of skills

The University of British Columbia used the following framework:

1. Formulate the question
2. Lead them to resources and compile evidence – come up with proposal
3. Evaluate information and synthesise

Students worked in groups of 4 and the content is not fixed, therefore assessment an issue. Muli-faceted assessment had to be implemented, as they cannot rely on exam.

First year students – like doing a full scale research – with a group

1. Use online information and quizzes to support development and formative feedback.
2. Oral proposal and discussion (assessed similar to presentation)
3. Assessed via individual articles
4. Exam specific to their topic areas

The exam is made up of a concept inventory – with built in distractors (wrong answers) built around the common misconceptions – based on confidence in content handling.

There is a need for repeating the performance (soft skills) – cannot just do it in the module. Enhancing digital literacy and employability through portfolios assessment

Dawn Nicholson Manchester Met University (Geography)

Manchester Met made used of wordpress to develop a portfolio. However, they did suffere from lack of engagement in the weekly tasks as the driver in the use of eportfolios.

They had a dedicated learning technologist in a weekly workshop to support students.
Used Trello as a step-by-step guide
Belbin team roles as a spreadsheet (!)

Same issues and benefits as we found.
– They made the students make the tutor adminstrator so the tutor could see any changes made and the development of the portfolio.

* -Sloane university used wordpress and said that they used a screencast of the learner talking through the wordpress site and submitted that.
* Perhaps we could get our Masters/BA dissertation students to screencast their proposals?

– Consitency menu/content created/uploaded by the students e.g. Structure/template?
– Any issues of rigour in academic writing? Plagiarism?
– How did you get through uni regulations?



Using posters for formative and summative assessment

Little empirical research on the use of posters for assessment (Sadler, 1989) – lots of how-to-guides and reports on innovation. Issues raised include student puzzlement and rigour.

Sadler states that students need to see a concept of the work looks like and the criteria to allow them to reach that standard. The lecturer offered three models of posters; one graded at 50%, one at 60% and one at 70%

They used them on a Introduction long thin module- component 1: poster submitted after first term. The topic was to based on a particular article or book. Supported by component 2: an essay.

Last year’s issues – LOs not clear, Students found it an issue to choose a topic and they had not been given a chance to practice.

This year:
* Explained the role of posters
* Be clear poster format
* Session on how to actually read a journal article
* 4 articles on 3 themes
* Students worked in a group to produce a formative poster on 2 articles
* Poster workshop 1 min pitch
* Seminar discussion
* Whole group feedback comments on posters strength and weaknesses
* Must have clear grading criteria in advance
* Students continued to ask how much text and detail is needed – need to emphasise the KEY ISSUES
The department covered the printing costs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *