by CLAIRE FIELD
If we improve assessment design and offer more authentic opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned, we improve learning
The webinar saw Joanne Wright (Uni Queensland), Liz Branigan (La Trobe U) and Helen Gniel from Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency reflecting on the changes they had seen in the sector in 2020 as teaching and assessment moved on-line, and which of the changes would be long lasting.
The takeaways were;
* unsurprisingly, there are risks to academic integrity in re-using assessments year after year (a more pronounced trend in business, maths and physics according to Professor Wright),
* that students have concerns about data privacy with some on-line invigilation tools and that they are not suitable for all disciplines (despite endeavours by some senior academics to use them anyway)
* that on-line assessment can allow for more authentic assessments if, as educators we think about the knowledge, skills and aptitudes we want to test – and then design assessments accordingly.
Dr Branigan described how her team in Education Services provided La Trobe U’s academic staff with a variety of assistance to create more authentic assessments. She also shared an elegant solution to students’ need for feedback but lack of interest in reading written comments. By turning on additional functionality in Moodle, academics are now able to provide two minutes of verbal feedback to each student on each assessment rather than spending 20 minutes per student drafting written feedback.
Mr Newbery’s piece was less a reflection on how things are changing and more a step-through of what educators need to think about when designing observational assessments in VET, how to do them well and in compliance with the regulatory requirements. A must read for VET trainers and assessors.
If we improve assessment design and offer more authentic opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned, we improve learning and allow for greater innovation in teaching.
Claire Field is an adviser to the tertiary education sector.