External Examiner Slides, Chris Rust

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Information about External Examiner Slides, Chris Rust

Published on January 30, 2009

Author: paulmaharg

Source: slideshare.net

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Alison Bone, Chris Rust and Paul Maharg presented a plenary panel session at the LILAC conference entitled 'Transforming the External Experience: Collaboration and External Examining'. These are Chris's slides.

Assessment Standards: Changing the external-examiner system Dr Chris Rust, Deputy Director ASKe CETL Directorate: Margaret Price, Jude Carroll, Berry O’Donovan and Chris Rust Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

Origin Weston Manor Group, November 07 40 National and International Experts in Assessment Triggered by the Burgess Report, NSS Results Two days of discussions Outcome Six tenet manifesto for change to assessment practice related to standards Sent to HEFCE, HEA, QAA, UUK, GuildHE, NUS Lead article in THES – April 24, 08 Submission to Parliamentary select committee

Weston Manor Group, November 07

40 National and International Experts in Assessment

Triggered by the Burgess Report, NSS Results

Two days of discussions

Outcome

Six tenet manifesto for change to assessment practice related to standards

Sent to HEFCE, HEA, QAA, UUK, GuildHE, NUS

Lead article in THES – April 24, 08

Submission to Parliamentary select committee

Why change is needed 1 Our current systems focused on marks and grades aren’t working Belief that it is possible to distinguish the quality of work to a precision of one percentage point (Elander & Hardman, 2002) Belief that double-marking will ensure fairness and reliability (Laming (1990) Belief that consistency can be achieved through conformity, and simple numerical rules (e.g. level 1 essay 3,000 words, level 3 essay 5,000; or no more than two pieces of assessment per module) The combination of scores, which obscures the different types of learning outcome represented by the separate scores The distortion of marks by the type of assessment (e.g. coursework c.f. examination) and the actual subject discipline/s studied (Yorke et al, 2002; Bridges et al, 2002) The distortion of resulting degree classifications by the application of idiosyncratic institutional rules (e.g. Armstrong et al, 1998) (Rust, 2007)

Our current systems focused on marks and grades aren’t working

Belief that it is possible to distinguish the quality of work to a precision of one percentage point (Elander & Hardman, 2002)

Belief that double-marking will ensure fairness and reliability (Laming (1990)

Belief that consistency can be achieved through conformity, and simple numerical rules (e.g. level 1 essay 3,000 words, level 3 essay 5,000; or no more than two pieces of assessment per module)

The combination of scores, which obscures the different types of learning outcome represented by the separate scores

The distortion of marks by the type of assessment (e.g. coursework c.f. examination) and the actual subject discipline/s studied (Yorke et al, 2002; Bridges et al, 2002)

The distortion of resulting degree classifications by the application of idiosyncratic institutional rules (e.g. Armstrong et al, 1998)

(Rust, 2007)

Why change is needed 2 A ssessment standards applied to high-level complex learning can only be understood through active engagement with members of a disciplinary community “ we can know more than we can tell ” (Polanyi, reprinted 1998, p.136) ‘ making sense of the world’ is a social and collaborative activity (Vygotsky, 1978) Tacit knowledge is experience-based and can only be revealed through the sharing of experience – socialisation processes involving observation, imitation and practice (Nonaka, 1991) Meaningful understanding of standards requires both tacit and explicit knowledge….. Such criteria are socially constructed requiring the sharing of tacit knowledge over time (O’Donovan et al. 2004; Rust et al, 2005 )

“ we can know more than we can tell ”

(Polanyi, reprinted 1998, p.136)

‘ making sense of the world’ is a social and collaborative activity (Vygotsky, 1978)

Tacit knowledge is experience-based and can only be revealed through the sharing of experience – socialisation processes involving observation, imitation and practice (Nonaka, 1991)

Meaningful understanding of standards requires both tacit and explicit knowledge….. Such criteria are socially constructed requiring the sharing of tacit knowledge over time (O’Donovan et al. 2004; Rust et al, 2005 )

Why change is needed 3 Changes in higher education (e.g. massification, reduced unit of resource, expectations of increased productivity in staff) threaten the ‘health’ of disciplinary communities and their ability to share and exemplify professional judgement. There has been slow progress in the professionalisation of university teachers and limited attention paid to professionalising assessment practice Reliance on the external examiner system to mediate standards within the system is misplaced (Newstead and Dennis, 1994) “… it cannot be assumed students graduating …. will have achieved similar standards” (QAA, 2007) If some aspects of high-level learning can only be assessed using professional judgement then we need to ensure that judgement is indeed professional

Changes in higher education (e.g. massification, reduced unit of resource, expectations of increased productivity in staff) threaten the ‘health’ of disciplinary communities and their ability to share and exemplify professional judgement.

There has been slow progress in the professionalisation of university teachers and limited attention paid to professionalising assessment practice

Reliance on the external examiner system to mediate standards within the system is misplaced (Newstead and Dennis, 1994)

“… it cannot be assumed students graduating …. will have achieved similar standards” (QAA, 2007)

If some aspects of high-level learning can only be assessed using professional judgement then we need to ensure that judgement is indeed professional

Tenet 6 “ Assessment is largely dependent upon professional judgement and confidence in such judgement requires the establishment of appropriate forums for the development and sharing of standards within and between disciplinary and professional communities.”

“ Assessment is largely dependent upon professional judgement and confidence in such judgement requires the establishment of appropriate forums for the development and sharing of standards within and between disciplinary and professional communities.”

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