1,779 research outputs found

    Assessment and the promotion of academic values

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    This paper raises issues concerning the relationship between student assessment and the values which academic institutions propagate. It argues that many current assessment practices are incompatible with the goals of independence, thoughtfulness and critical analysis to which most academics would subscribe; that forms of assessment which are commonplace are not consistent with the behaviour of academics in their own contributions to knowledge; and that there is evidence to suggest that the assessment policy of many departments undermines deep approaches to learning on the part of students. Some indications are given of possible strategies to address the problems which have been identified, drawing upon ideas from academic and professional practice in general and self-assessment and peer review in particular

    Assessment could demonstrate learning gains, but what is required for it to do so?

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    A ready source of data to investigate learning gain is that generated normally through student assessment. That such data cannot currently be used for this purpose needs explanation and the refreshment of assessment thinking to bring it in line with thinking about standards. This opinion piece discusses what is required for this to occur

    Toward a pedagogy for professional noticing: Learning through observation

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    A necessary skill that underpins all professional practice is noticing that which is salient. Noticing can be learned directly and indirectly through a variety of campus-based and placement activities. This paper suggests that developing a capacity for noticing is under conceptualised and underdeveloped in courses preparing students for the professions. It discusses three aspects of noticing: noticing in context, noticing of significance and noticing learning, and explores the use of these through a case study of simulation in nursing education. The case study points to the importance of close attention to the circumstances in which noticing can be fostered and, in doing so, points toward the potential of developing a pedagogy of professional noticing

    The development of student feedback literacy: enabling uptake of feedback

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    Student feedback literacy denotes the understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make sense of information and use it to enhance work or learning strategies. In this conceptual paper, student responses to feedback are reviewed and a number of barriers to student uptake of feedback are discussed. Four inter-related features are proposed as a framework underpinning students’ feedback literacy: appreciating feedback; making judgments; managing affect; and taking action. Two well-established learning activities, peer feedback and analysing exemplars, are discussed to illustrate how this framework can be operationalized. Some ways in which these two enabling activities can be re-focused more explicitly towards developing students’ feedback literacy are elaborated. Teachers are identified as playing important facilitating roles in promoting student feedback literacy through curriculum design, guidance and coaching. The implications and conclusion summarise recommendations for teaching and set out an agenda for further researc

    Refocusing portfolio assessment: curating for feedback and portrayal

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    Portfolios are embraced extensively in higher professional education as effective tools for students to represent their learning and help prepare them for future practice. They are very diverse, used for both formative and summative purposes; however, concerns are raised that the current emphasis on academic standards and/or the focus on employability may lead to the perception of portfolios simply as means to portray achievements. This paper argues that contemporary portfolios in digital environments can readily facilitate both purposes. It conceptualises a whole-of-programme approach to the use of portfolios in which consideration is given to the need to bring curation skills and feedback processes to the forefront of portfolio practices. For teachers considering these issues, a planning framework for the design of programme-wide portfolios is proposed

    Exploring cultures of feedback practice: the adoption of learning-focused feedback practices in the UK and Australia

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    In recent years, there have been calls in the literature for the dominant model of feedback to shift away from the transmission of comments from marker to student, towards a more dialogic focus on student engagement and the impact of feedback on student learning. In the present study, we sought to gain insight into the extent to which such a shift is evident in practice, and how practice is shaped by national and disciplinary cultures. A total of 688 higher education staff from the UK and Australia completed a survey, in which we collected data pertaining to key influences on the design of feedback, and the extent to which emphasis is placed on student action following feedback. Our respondents reported that formal learning and development opportunities have less influence on feedback practice than informal learning and development, and prior experience. Australian respondents placed greater emphasis on student action following feedback than their counterparts in the UK, and were also more likely than UK respondents to judge the effectiveness of feedback by seeking evidence of its impact on student learning. We contextualise these findings within the context of disciplinary and career stage differences in our data. By demonstrating international differences in the adoption of learning-focused feedback practices, the findings indicate directions for the advancement of feedback research and practice in contemporary higher educatio

    Researching feedback dialogue: an interactional analysis approach

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    A variety of understandings of feedback exist in the literature, which can broadly be categorised as cognitivist information transmission and socio-constructivist. Understanding feedback as information transmission or ‘telling’ has until recently been dominant. However, a socio-constructivist perspective of feedback posits that feedback should be dialogic and help to develop students’ ability to monitor, evaluate and regulate their learning. This paper is positioned as part of the shift away from seeing feedback as input, to exploring feedback as a dialogical process focusing on effects, through presenting an innovative methodological approach to analysing feedback dialogues in situ. Interactional analysis adopts the premise that artefacts and technologies set up a social field, where understanding human–human and human–material activities and interactions is important. The paper suggests that this systematic approach to analysing dialogic feedback can enable insight into previously undocumented aspects of feedback, such as the interactional features that promote and sustain feedback dialogue. The paper discusses methodological issues in such analyses and implications for research on feedback

    Examining the nature and effects of feedback dialogue

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    Research has conventionally viewed feedback from the point of view of the input, thus analysing only one side of the feedback relationship. More recently, there has be an increased interest in understanding feedback-as-talk. Feedback dialogue has been conceptualised as the dynamic interplay of three dimensions: the cognitive, the social-affective and the structural. We sought to explore the interactional features of each dimension and their intermediary effects on students. We analysed students’ feedback dialogue excerpts as cases using interactional analysis. Analysis involved iterative inductive and deductive coding and interpretation of feedback texts generated in an online course. The cognitive, social-affective and structural dimensions were interwoven within excerpts of feedback dialogue with effects on learners that extended beyond the immediate task (e.g. reframing of learners’ ideas, critical evaluation). The interactional features of each dimension include: cognitive (e.g. question asking, expressing oneself); social-affective (e.g. disclosure, expressing empathy); and structural (e.g. longitudinal opportunities for dialogue, invitational opportunities). The study provides evidence that strengthens the call for reconceptualising feedback as a dialogic and relational activity as well as supporting the view that dialogic feedback can be a key strategy for sustainable assessment

    Sustainable assessment revisited

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    Sustainable assessment has been proposed as an idea that focused on the contribution of assessment to learning beyond the timescale of a given course. It was identified as an assessment that meets the needs of the present in terms of the demands of formative and summative assessment, but which also prepares students to meet their own future learning needs. This paper reviews the value of such a notion for assessment; how it has been taken up over the past 15 years in higher education and why it might still be needed. It identifies how it has been a successful intervention in assessment discourse. It explores what more is needed to locate assessment as an intervention to focus on learning for the longer term. It shows how sustainable assessment can help bridge the gap between assessment and learning, and link to ideas such as self-regulation, students’ making judgements about their own work and course-wide assessment

    The effects of peer judgements on teamwork and self-assessment ability in collaborative group work

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    A crucial determinant of the success or failure of collaborative group work is the effect of peer feedback interventions on learning. Research exploring such effects on developing soft skills is sparse. This study seeks to address whether peer feedback leads to enhanced teamwork behaviour and self-assessment ability, two skills highly sought after by employers. Specifically, this study examines the direct effect of formative performance rating and the mediating effect of praise and criticism in peer feedback messages on achievement in teamwork and self-assessment skills. The sample consists of quantitative and qualitative data from 98 students enrolled in business programmes using a particular form of collaborative group work. The paper finds a direct positive relationship between formative performance rating and summative self-assessment ability. It also finds that praise negatively mediates the relationship between formative performance rating and summative teamwork. Further analyses suggest that a significant proportion of comments provided is past- rather than future-oriented. Potential strategies to overcome the limitations of current practices are discussed
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