Learning Assessment Workshop with Dr Janice Orrell

Wednesday, 20 January, 2010 (All day) to Friday, 22 January, 2010 (All day)

Presenter: Asso Prof Janice Orrell

Format: Workshop

Session 1: Achieving greater efficiency in assessment while improving alignment and effectiveness

The focus of this workshop was on expanding the range of assessment tasks to match programme and course learning outcomes while keeping the marking and grading manageable. This workshop provided information, examples and processes for using student and staff time more efficiently in assessment. The emphasis was on ways to closely align assessment tasks to the purposes for the unit of study, increasing authenticity and effectiveness in student learning activities. This involved ensuring assessing is pivotal in learning, rather than a postscript to teaching.

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Session 2: Assessment beyond Intuition: Developing and using assessment rubrics for courses

This workshop addressed the assessment design process as an element of curriculum design, in particular the articulation of standards for disciplines and professional education and their integration into course design.  Rubrics are highly useful for ensuring greater consistency and accuracy in assessing students’ learning performances.  Rubrics also contribute to making assessment a more transparent process and assist students in developing their capacity for self-assessment and for becoming active agents of their own learning. The challenge is to develop rubrics that tap into the tacit ‘wisdom of experience’ of academic teachers and that can be shared and justified. This workshop provided validated taxonomies upon which generic as well as discipline and task specific rubrics can be built and an opportunity to begin the process of rubric design.

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Session 3: Assessment as Learning: Assessment at the undergraduate program level

This workshop considered the ways in which assessment designs establish learning cultures among students and departments. An important consideration was how assessment and feedback might be designed to support students’ transition into the university and engagement with their studies. Another consideration was how assessment design might change over a course of studies to assist students to become increasing independent, self-managing learners. It considered how the learning assessment agenda can incorporate discipline specific codes and understandings as well as institutional aspirations such as graduate qualities.

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