Assessment and quality assurance

Now is the time to design a system in which all learning counts

Submitted by dene.mullen on Tue, 12/10/2021 - 09:01
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Tara’s family never had much money, but her mother instilled in her a love of learning from a young age. Tara’s mum had grown up with dyslexia and little support. She wanted better for her bookworm daughter and stressed the importance of going to college. As a young adult, Tara worked full time in order to take affordable college courses online. But she struggled to balance work and family demands with the demands of college.

Standfirst
Our conventional, top-down approach fails to recognise that working adults often already possess many critical work skills, say Lisa McIntyre-Hite and Mackenzie Jackson
Teaser
Our conventional, top-down approach fails to recognise that working adults often already possess many critical work skills, say Lisa McIntyre-Hite and Mackenzie Jackson

If peer feedback was good enough for the Brontë sisters, it’s good enough for us

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 11/10/2021 - 09:01
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The art of writing, invented roughly 5,000 years ago, represents a blip in human history. It’s younger than agriculture, music and construction. And as recently as the US War of Independence in the late 1700s, most Americans couldn’t put pen to paper. In short: writing remains a new feat of technology. We’re still figuring it out. 

Standfirst
The shift online provides new ways to harness the power of peer feedback to improve writing skills, say Sherry Wynn Perdue, Pam Bromley, Mark Limbach and Jonathan Olshock
Teaser
The shift online provides new ways to harness the power of peer feedback to improve writing skills, say Sherry Wynn Perdue, Pam Bromley, Mark Limbach and Jonathan Olshock

Three lessons from exhibiting final-year projects online

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 23/08/2021 - 09:00
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Standfirst
Dechanuchit Katanyutaveetip describes three unexpected benefits he and his students discovered after they were forced to move the exhibition of their final-year projects online
Teaser
Dechanuchit Katanyutaveetip describes three unexpected benefits he and his students discovered after they were forced to move the exhibition of their final-year projects online

Self-directed learning is becoming the forgotten ingredient in HE

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 19/08/2021 - 09:00
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Much of the HE conversation lately has felt like a never-ending spin cycle of the sector’s new favourite words: “blended”, “hybrid”, “synchronous”, “asynchronous”. These are usually discussed in relation to the tutor’s role in the teaching set-up, and it’s been striking to see so little explicit discussion of self-directed learning – which arguably makes up the largest proportion of a student’s learning experience.

So why has the sector largely failed to account for what is usually about 80 per cent of students’ study time?

Standfirst
In the heady rush to extol the virtues of asynchronous learning, we are watering down the main element of students’ learning experience, says Linda Kaye
Teaser
In the heady rush to extol the virtues of asynchronous learning, we are watering down the main element of students’ learning experience, says Linda Kaye

Making grading in university courses more reliable

Submitted by Eliza.Compton on Wed, 11/08/2021 - 08:43
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If you’d like to grade exams for a major testing corporation, it takes a lot of work. Prospective graders for the Educational Testing Service, for example, undergo system and content training, and at least one content certification test.

Standfirst
Inconsistent or inaccurate grading can have serious real-world consequences for students. Paige Tsai and Danny Oppenheimer offer tips on how to recognise and fix the problem
Teaser
Inconsistent or inaccurate grading can have serious real-world consequences for students. Paige Tsai and Danny Oppenheimer offer tips on how to recognise and fix the problem

Students as educators: the value of assessed blogs to showcase learning

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 09/08/2021 - 13:00
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A vibrant student-centred learning experience with a range of classroom and online interactive experiences is an achievable objective. Transforming the joy of exchanging ideas with lecturers and peers into equally enthusiastic assessment outcomes is a bigger challenge. It’s a shame if the results of these dynamic activities and all that accumulated know-how stay hidden in the lecturer’s marking inbox, reduced to a grade on a spreadsheet.

Standfirst
Matt Davies explains how assessed blogs help translate the thrill of interactive learning into tangible outcomes that enrich and showcase students’ knowledge
Teaser
Matt Davies explains how assessed blogs help translate the thrill of interactive learning into tangible outcomes that enrich and showcase students’ knowledge

Online review exercises to improve student performance in large courses

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 26/07/2021 - 14:30
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Successful remote learning, like all learning, requires regular reviewing of learning materials and completion of homework. However, some students may lack the self-discipline to undertake this work, especially when these learning tasks do not contribute towards their overall course grade.

It is challenging for instructors to ensure all students are engaging with the course materials and completing set work when teaching very large cohorts online.

Standfirst
Online review exercises, used in combination with other learning activities, improve student engagement and learning performance in large online courses, Peng Cheng and Rui Ding explain
Teaser
Online review exercises, used in combination with other learning activities, improve student engagement and learning performance in large online courses, Peng Cheng and Rui Ding explain

Are online exams better for student mental health?

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 16/06/2021 - 00:01
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It’s no secret that student mental health is a growing concern. Covid has compounded many of the social, academic and financial inequalities and challenges to mental health across the higher education sector in the UK and beyond. The result has been more students needing mental health support than before the pandemic and compared to other demographics.

Standfirst
Traditional exams under tightly invigilated conditions are highly stressful for students, but online alternatives bring their own issues, says Michael Priestley
Teaser
Traditional exams under tightly invigilated conditions are highly stressful for students, but online alternatives bring their own issues, says Michael Priestley

Professors, stop pretending that you never cheat

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 11/06/2021 - 00:01
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I recently read Cheating Lessons by James Lang, and this article is a by-product − that is to say, not plagiarism − of that book.

Standfirst
Academics should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and look at cheating from a student’s perspective if we want to understand and eradicate it, says Hamish Binns
Teaser
Academics should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and look at cheating from a student’s perspective if we want to understand and eradicate it, says Hamish Binns

We ignore the administrative load caused by cheating at our peril

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 01:01
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The academic integrity space has seen much activity during the pandemic. It has attracted the attention of scholars of everything from digital critical pedagogy and student equity to student mental health, as well as the mainstream media. But amid the feeding frenzy, what there hasn’t been is anywhere near enough mention of the administrative support required when cases of misconduct are reported by educators.

Standfirst
The switch online has brought renewed scrutiny of misconduct, but without adequate resources, the real losers are our students, says Amanda White
Teaser
The switch online has brought renewed scrutiny of misconduct, but without adequate resources, the real losers are our students, says Amanda White