Published on October 20, 2016
1. Assessment strategies in a digital age Rob Howe (@rjhowe) The University of Northampton Presentation at Blended Learning Conference, London. 26th October, 2016
2. Have we got it sorted? No – but 2% up on HEI sector average for A&F in NSS JISC – digital student tracker Online assessments are delivered and managed well (%). Agree – 61.8 (Npton) 54.8 (Sector) Neutral – 23.6 30.2 Disagree – 5.5 9.5 NSS trend
3. Need to join up University approaches Timings: 2007 Turnitin introduced to Northampton <2010 – Small scale trials (Turnitin, SoundsGood Rotheram (2009) and Looks Good) 2010-2011 – Piloting full e-submission 2012 – Whole University approach to submission and marking JISC (2016), Assessment and Feedback Lifecycle.
4. • We know many of the solutions but may be lacking time, motivation and skills to make a difference • Quality processes can regulate delivery and provide consistency but can also restrict innovation – fear of failure!
5. The SaGE workflow
6. Creating feedback opportunities Do students value feedback (or just the grade ?) “Staff complain that feedback does not work (Weaver 2006) and that students do not act on feedback (Mutch 2003). It is claimed that students are only concerned with their grades (Wojtas 1998; Nesbit and Burton 2006), see feedback as a means to justify the grade (Price and O’Donovan 2008; Price et al. 2010) or only read the qualitative comments if the quantitative mark is outside of their expectations (Duncan 2007).” (Hepplestone et al, 2011) @rjhowe
7. Some benefits for students • Allows students to read it at a time convenient to them • Allows them to concentrate more deeply on the comments in the absence of their peers. • Students able to access feedback whenever and wherever they complete future assessments. • Where grades are presented alongside feedback, students can use this information to inform their performance in future assessment tasks. • Feedback returned electronically may be returned quicker as time may be saved during administrative processes. • Device agnostic
8. Is it working? Feedback from students •Email • Blog • Spot surveys • Focus groups I also feel that lecturers returned grades to students much more promptly when they were on paper I do think that electronic feedback is good because it is easy and quick. It was beneficial as it is easier to hand in assignments instead of having to travel into the university however feel there is less feedback given It would be better if it was more uniform.I think its brilliant and it saves time and money on travelling.”
9. Did staff like it ? • Many did (after adapting their style) – Northampton Outside the Box Assessment practices: • Criminal Justice students produce videos and leaflets for public benefit • Paramedic Science students use videos to support peer assessment of applied skills • Distance Engineering students enjoy creative problem solving to test their knowledge and understanding • Engaging and assessing Sport students through digital storytelling • Mobile formative assessment for Foundation Art students • ......others.....
10. Support for assessment enhancement • JISC – Effective Assessment in a digital age • JISC - Transforming assessment and feedback with technology guide • JISC - Electronic management of assessment readiness tool http://ji.sc/emaready • Race (2015) The Lecturer’s Toolkit • Northampton’s Assessment and Feedback portal
11. Top five tips 1. Pilot extensively on robust tools and ensure all areas of the institution are represented. Assess your starting point using the JISC readiness tool - http://ji.sc/emaready 2. Consistent University policies and procedures – do assessments have to be bunched at the end / moderation or second marking ? 3. Mandatory (re)training for all staff involved and phased rollout. 4. Clear instructions for students. 5. Review survey feedback – and keep refining.
12. Questions? Contact details: Rob Howe (@rjhowe) Rob.Howe@northampton.ac.uk 01604 892483
13. References etc. Useful links • Hepplestone, S., Holden, G., Irwin, B., Parkin, H., Thorpe, L., (2011) Using technology to encourage student engagement with feedback: a literature review . Research in Learning Technology Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2011, 117–127. • JISC (2010) Effective Assessment in a digital age. HEFCE. • JISC (2016) Transforming assessment and feedback with technology guide, HEFCE. • Race, P. (2015) The Lecturer’s Toolkit: A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching. 4th edition. Routledge. • Rotheram, B. 2009. Sounds good: Quicker, better assessment using audio feedback. JISC funded project. http://sites.google.com/site/soundsgooduk/downloads. Image credits • Photography by Rob Farmer, University of Northampton