Anglia Ruskin “Assessment Fiesta” – 17 Sep 2014

I recently delivered a workshop on methods to integrate Student Response Systems and VLEs for formative assessment and teaching evaluation at the Anglia Ruskin University “Assessment Fiesta”. It was a great opportunity to meet colleagues, listen to interesting presentations, and showcase my project on Academic Self-Efficacy and learning technologies (When Student Confidence Clicks). So here follows my account for the day and what I am most certainly taking home from this experience.

A link to the storify tweets collection for the day is here.

First of all, I listened to Kate Little (NUS) (@katelittle)
in conversation with Prof Sally Brown (@ProfSallyBrown) on issues related to assessment and feedback, its role in the NSS and I found out about the NUS Assessment Benchmarking Tool, which I want to use to check that my assessment strategy matches with NUS objectives.

  • The plan of NUS is taking up Student Unions to the same level of analysis of NSS scores adopted by HEIs.
  • Consistent and ‘authentic’ assessment are paramount values, whereas anonymity does not seem to be a big concern.
  • Setting up the scene on plagiarism by saying during inductions ‘not to do it’ does not seem the best approach.
  • Electronic feedback is ok, but students want to be able to become personal with the marker if need be.
  • Start early with administering assessment, embed task with your feedback to elicit further action and response to feedback.

I then went to a workshop by Phil Race (@RacePhil). My first time: very powerful. There was so much to take in! What I learnt…

  • One hasn’t learnt something unless she hasn’t spoken about it. Students need to verbalise. (And this is why teachers learn even more than students while they teach).
  • I learnt how to use post-its to generate quick and useful feedback within a group of people. (Apparently Phil is famous for this, but to me it was an epiphany).
  • An important question to ask (aside from what, when, where, and how) is ELSE?
    That creates more inquiry and stimulates deepening the analysis.
  • “Show students what quality is” says Royce Sadler.

There was a showcase of good practice made of short 7-minutes presentations:

  • I loved Debbie Holley’s (@debbieholley1) presentation on short videocasts she posts on her VLE, where she gets personal and re-assuring to the students. Really nice! She has a good blog with ideas as well.
  • I also liked Matthew East’s (@mdleast) presentation on group wikis developed and delivered via VLE from students to students. Excellent work and idea.

I delivered my own workshop, which was well received (chuffed!)

The final remarks (with the help of Sally Brown):

  • Students are better learners if they understand how learning occurs.
    (Sally Brown always cites education literature to students).
  • “Show them what quality is” says Royce Sadler.
  • Read Royce Sadler, Dylan William, and David Nicols (that is suggested by Debbie Holley) on assessment and feedback.

Ex-post entry:
Anglia Ruskin (Cambridge) had a presentation delivered by Prof Mantz Yorke, which pretty much relates to issues of student self-efficacy. I want to find out more about this. An introduction about his talk is here. (This was on 1 Oct 2014).

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