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#31 – Assessment and learning

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#31 - Assessment and learning
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Note: We recorded this conversation in the middle of 2023 but for various reasons I was only able to edit it and get it published now.

In this conversation, Ben and I had discuss the assessment process, linking it to broader themes of learning, curriculum design, and student experience. We talk about the centralisation of assessment and explore the tensions between institutional control and the autonomy of teachers. We discuss student satisfaction and the influence of risk aversion in educational decision-making. We also talked about the impact of learning outcomes, grade boundaries, and the increasing shift towards consumer and transactional models, on academic decision-making. And we highlight the evolving expectations of employers regarding graduate competencies and skills, prompting a reexamination of traditional education and assessment approaches.

We also talk about valid and reliable assessments and rubric development, including the emerging trend of co-developing rubrics, which encourages a more participative approach to assessment. We emphasise the importance of developing assessment literacy, and conclude that understanding the multifaceted role of assessment is crucial for educators, administrators, and students alike, especially in today’s rapidly changing educational landscape.


Additional resources

  • Boud, David, and Nancy Falchikov. Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education: Learning for the Longer Term. 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN: Routledge, 2007.
  • Carless, David. “Learning‐oriented Assessment: Conceptual Bases and Practical Implications.” Innovations in Education and Teaching International 44, no. 1 (February 1, 2007): 57–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703290601081332.
  • Fischer, Juan, Margaret Bearman, David Boud, and Joanna Tai. “How Does Assessment Drive Learning? A Focus on Students’ Development of Evaluative Judgement.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, May 4, 2023, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2023.2206986.
  • Rust, Chris. “The Impact of Assessment on Student Learning: How Can the Research Literature Practically Help to Inform the Development of Departmental Assessment Strategies and Learner-Centred Assessment Practices?” Active Learning in Higher Education 3, no. 2 (July 2002): 145–58. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469787402003002004.
  • Wiliam, Dylan. “What Is Assessment for Learning?” Studies in Educational Evaluation, Assessment for Learning, 37, no. 1 (March 1, 2011): 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2011.03.001.

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