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An Exploration of Assessment Practices at Cardiff University’s Schools of Engineering, Psychology and the Centre for Lifelong Learning PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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An Exploration of Assessment Practices at Cardiff University’s Schools of Engineering, Psychology and the Centre for Lifelong Learning. Jeremy Hall Nicholas Jones Wouter Poortinga. Key Questions.

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An Exploration of Assessment Practices at Cardiff University’s Schools of Engineering, Psychology and the Centre for Lifelong Learning

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An Exploration of Assessment Practices at Cardiff University’s Schools of Engineering, Psychology and the Centre for Lifelong Learning

Jeremy Hall

Nicholas Jones

Wouter Poortinga


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Key Questions

  • What does the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) say about the breadth of assessment of our subject areas?

  • How is this being met in our own schools’ course/programme design?


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QAA Benchmark Statement for Music: Assessment

Music programmes have assessment strategies which reflect the variety of abilities and skills developed within diverse curricula, and which enable students to demonstrate progressive levels of attainment. A variety of methods is desirable, involving both formative and summative assessment.

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/benchmark/honours/music.asp


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Lee Dunn: ‘Selecting Methods of Assessment’ (2002)

When choosing assessment items, we tend to stay with the known or the 'tried and true methods', because they seem to have the ring of academic respectability, or possibly because it was the way we were assessed as undergraduates ourselves.From learners' perspectives, however, it often seems as if we are turning them into 'essay producing machines' or 'examination junkies'. When choosing methods it is important to offer variety to learners in the way they demonstrate their learning, and to help them to develop a well-rounded set of abilities.

http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/2_learntch/briefing_papers/methods_assessment.pdf


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Cardiff University Assessment Strategy

Assessment is at the heart of the student experience; it shapes the curriculum and helps define what is important for students. Assessment is thus an integral part of all learning and teaching activities. The Cardiff University Assessment Strategy is the vehicle through which enhancement of assessment will be achieved. The Strategy is based on the three principles that underpin practice at University, School, programme, and unit of study level. The principles of assessment are that it will be: valid, reliable and explicit.

www.cardiff.ac.uk/learning/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Assessment-Strategy-final.pdf


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Music Modules within LEARN’s Humanities Programme: Embedding Assessment


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QAA Benchmark Statement for Psychology: Assessment

The choice of assessment methods should be clearly related to the learning objectives. Assessment methods may include formal examinations, multiple-choice tests, assessed essays, practical reports, other reports, information technology use, case-studies, portfolios, dissertations and formal assessment of performance in oral presentations and debates, including seminar and individual presentation.

To ensure that the full range of skills being developed (…) a diversity of assessment methods is encouraged.


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Benchmark Standards Psychology

A typical honours degree psychology graduate should have obtained

  • subject knowledge and understanding

    • E.g. subject specific knowledge/ scientific underpinnings of psychology

  • subject specific skills

    • Use statistical methods

  • generic skills, with a particular emphasis on independent empirical research

    • E.g. communicating ideas, computer literacy, scientific reasoning, presentation skills


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Assessment in School of Psychology

  • Does breadth of assessment cover the benchmark standards (i.e. overall learning outcomes)?


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Conclusion Psychology

  • The assessment practices at the School of Psychology are diverse and broadly reflect the benchmarks of knowledge and skills that a typical single honours psychology student is expected to have acquired upon graduation.

  • However, main focus is on ‘traditional’ written examination.

  • Incorporating assessment methods for more generic academic skills?

    • E.g. performance in oral presentations and debates, including seminar and individual presentations.


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Teaching, learning & assessment:

“There should be a holistic approach to the design of the curriculum.

The methods of teaching, learning and assessment should be constructed so that the learning activities and assessment tasks are aligned with the learning outcomes that are intended in the programme”

QAA Benchmark Statement for Engineering: curriculum


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Teaching, learning & assessment:

“Existing engineering programmes have been developed over many years and deploy a diverse range of learning, teaching and assessment methods to enhance and reinforce the student learning experience. This diversity of practice is a strength of the discipline.

Whichever methods are employed, strategies for teaching, learning and assessment should deliver opportunities for the achievement of the learning outcomes, demonstrate their attainment and recognise the range of student backgrounds.”

QAA Benchmark Statement for Engineering: curriculum


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Assessment:

“Assessment is the means by which students are measured against benchmark criteria and should also form a constructive part of the learning process. There should be a programme level approach to assessment that ensures output standards are met”.

QAA Benchmark Statement for Engineering: assessment


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All three QAA subject Benchmark Statements recommends that assessment methods should be diverse.

However, it is noteworthy that diversity is somewhat neglected in the Cardiff University Assessment Strategy.

The Strategy was approved by Senate in November 2005. We would suggest that diversity of assessment methods is a topic that should be addressed more robustly and explicitly in the next update of the document.

Overall Conclusion


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