AE1e : Assessment…

Assessment time is nearly upon us…. 🙂

I’m involved in two types :

  • Formative (ongoing, ungraded, discursive assessment and feedback).
  • Summative (at the end of each unit, graded, written feedback).

My formative assessment takes the form of :

  • Reviewing and commenting on student class work
  • Replying to students homework blog posts
  • Class discussion and peer assessment

I take a discursive approach to this assessment / feedback. It’s really about :

  • Giving a framework for reflective practice. Prompting them to ask questions about their work.
  • Encouraging students to engage with the concerns of fellow practitioners, their industry and involve themselves in communities of practice and the wider context of the discipline.

My summative assessment responsibilities on AFMC incorporate these concerns with the additional issues :

  • Providing graded feedback for students based of how effectively they have met the Assessment Criteria (stemming from the intended learning outcomes) of the unit.
  • Achieving parity and consistency through internal verification (10% of papers are IV’d) and external moderation.

The main obstacle to this process seems to be the difficulty students have understanding the exact specifics of what they must hand in. I try to make this process as straight forward as possible :

  • Providing checklists of tasks to complete and elements to hand in.
  • Referencing the criteria as we cover them in the classes.
  • Assigning homework tasks (to be uploaded to student blogs) that cover terminology and technical criteria that might be difficult to demonstrate in the end of unit submission.
  • E mail support throughout the submission process to answer questions students may have.

6 thoughts on “AE1e : Assessment…

  1. Adam , it all seems very clear from what you have written. Is it easy to assess the students who are working in your subject area ? is everything very black and white as to whether the criteria have been fulfilled? is it more like maths where there is only 1 correct answer ? ( with possibly a few ways of getting to that answer )
    I am at the beginning of a long road with the development of my understanding of technology ( see my PPD plan) and find it a very interesting area for research.


  2. Hey Heather,

    yeah good questions…

    I think it is pretty easy in respect of the access course I teach on (AFMC). The criteria are clear and the student either demonstrate them or not. If they don’t tick all the boxes they don’t pass and have to resubmit (effectively ticking boxes from a list of shortcomings we give them in the feedback). That sounds quite devoid of spirit but the intended learning outcomes really centre on being able to apply certain techniques and so it is pretty black and white. I actually tell the class I won’t be scoring initially on creativity . Although this does feature in the criteria for awarding higher grades. Again though the banding is clear and after having seen a variety of approaches it becomes quite straight forward recognizing where a submission fits into the reward system.

    That isn’t to say some areas of software and technollogy teaching and learning don’thave potential for more interesting assignments and testing ;eading to more involved and interesting assessment but the area of AFMC I am involved with is quite ‘did they or did they not perform the desired task or demonstrate understanding of terminology correctly yes or no tick cross…’

    I feel a bit like that sounds like I’m part of some sort of problem but I try and engage creatively during class time and open students eyes to wider possibilities, it’s just when it’s crunch time I’m compelled to stick to the criteria (for fairness to the student as much as anything else)…

    Will check the PPD plan… have you submitted all your bits then?


  3. Hi there,
    All really makes a lot of sense and as heather mentions, seems very black and white in lots of ways.

    In terms of the issues with students being unsure of understanding the exact specifics of what they must hand in have you tried showing them examples of past work – or do you think this might limit them and lead to carbon copies? I have found with the PGCert having all the examples really helpful to feed off and in fact mean that I strive to better them – but they help as a starting point.

    Thanks for all of your helpful and constructive feedback – I imagine your students get alot from your clear and thoughtful assessment.


  4. Hey Ed,

    I do session with my class where we ‘mark’ some examples from past years… it’s a good way of visually impacting on them the most obvious elements that bring a piece down.

    I agree about the PGCert examples too… super helpful.


  5. Hi Adam,

    Checklists, referencing criteria, email support – exactly, without this there would be quite a few lost sheep. Often there can be so much focus in the production of work that all personal admin goes out of the window and a lot of guidance is needed – I myself may have missed something out without all the remiders from Lindsay!

    It’s interesting that creativity is a latter criteria (infact I need to refamiliarise myself again with your previous post and cross reference a bit). Today it’s at the front of my thoughts again as I’ve been assessing A level portfolios for next years intact and the main thing I’ve been looking for are the few sparks of creativity that’s often hidden amongst all the motions of repetitive curicula they must go through.


    1. Interesting but it makes sense. Its really a vocational skills unit in a lot of ways… judgement of the creative application is secondary to demonstrating capacity to use the tools. Then we look at if they were used ok, well or brilliantly.

      I bet you get a rush each time you find a hidden creative gem in the proverbial muck heap of repetitive curricula!


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