This Blog space has been set up so that we can continue to let you know what is happening in our Assessment OF/FOR/AS Learning Enhancement theme. For more details on the theme’s aims and objectives see our Enhancement Theme webpage. I (Geraldine O’Neill) will be managing this blog, but I will also invite others to contribute to its development.
The Assessment OF/FOR/AS Learning Enhancement Theme has had some very engaging and exciting recent discussions on the nature and context of assessment in Irish higher education. In September 2016, the USI and the National Forum met to debate how students can become more empowered in their assessment and feedback processes, an output of this is a recent Assessment Insight for use by both students and staff (available end of December 2016).
Following this event, a group of experts met on 9th November to discuss what is the meaning of Assessment OF/FOR and AS Learning, exploring how these concepts could be presented to widen the sector’s understanding of assessment. They are currently working on developing both a narrative and a visual overview of these terms. In addition, a separate group met to discuss how programme assessment can help to develop a more integrated assessment approach in a post-modularisation era. Some challenges in this area were assessment overload, programme structure, diversity of assessment, integrative assessment and developing more transparent assessment AS learning (students self-monitoring) and FOR learning (feedback to students and staff) throughout a programme.
The Networks and Disciplines also met, in Cork Institute of Technology, to debate how assessment can become more ‘authentic’ (Swaffield, 2011) for a changing world. In particular, they discussed how to enhance students across and within disciplines to become more motivated and engaged in assessment. The Networks and Disciplines presented some posters of their work on assessment which contributed to this debate.
These discussions will be rolled out over the next few months to widen the conversations and the outputs of these discussions will be shared in case-studies of practice and policy over the coming months. The National Forum will also be shortly producing a research report on a Profile of Assessment Practices in Ireland to help support the evidence-base for interpreting the context of assessment practices in Ireland.
Swaffield, S. (2011) Getting to the heart of authentic Assessment for Learning, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 18:4, 433-449, DOI: 10.1080/0969594X.2011.582838