April 20, 2012, by Teaching at Nottingham
Assessment “as” (not “of”) learning
Dr Matt Green: “As a lecturer with a longstanding interest in the contributions that technology can make to teaching, as well as a member of the University’s own Assessment in the Digital Age working group back in 2010, it was fantastic to see the conference topic generating such momentum and enthusiasm. The day’s discussions were opened by Professor Saul Tendler, PVC for Teaching and Learning, who sounded a note that carried throughout the day, heralding a shift in emphasis from the assessment of teaching/learning to assessment as teaching/learning.
“Professor Stephen Marshall, Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), developed this theme, describing his university’s long-term work to utilise technology so as to incorporate assessment within the learning and teaching process and to reduce the assessment and marking burdens on both students and staff. It was very encouraging to see emerging evidence of individual gains in terms of workload together with clear indications of improvements in practice.
“The second keynote, delivered by Corony Edwards, Director of Educational Development at the University of Birmingham, and her colleague Dr. Andrew Quinn outlined the Birmingham Assessment for Learning Initiative (BALI), part of the HEA Change Programme. Like initiatives here in Nottingham and at UNSW, the ultimate aim is to generate institutional-wide change that is promoted organically rather than following a top-down model.
“Overall, the day was for me personally very engaging. Though it wasn’t possible to attend all of the parallel sessions, other high-points including Dr. Jo Robinson’s explorations of alternative modes of feedback and Dr. Andrew Fisher’s discussion of electronic marking and feedback. The last word went to Professor Tendler who, at the close of the concluding roundtable discussion, expressed his hope that digital tools will allow us to assess “real knowledge” which is meaningful and applicable to students and teachers alike.”
Dr Matt Green,
School of English
Recordings of the conference parallel sessions are available from the conference web page.