Tuesday, 7 May 2019


WP3 European Curriculum Design TOOLKIT

Assessment and Feedback ONE: Current (2019) trends and themes in assessment

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece by David Quin as part of the DESTIN capacity building project. The opinions expressed in this DESTIN toolkit are calculated to prompt project discussion, debate and development and are not in any way meant to be a reflection of IADT policy, Irish government policy or EU policy.

These are some of the more current or up to date (2019) components and trends in assessment and feedback within ‘European’ Study Programmes. These could be described as more ‘fashionable’ components and some may prove difficult to implement within your Institutional or National context. Your programme or institution may already have well-established best practice in relation to some or all aspects of assessment and feedback. If so, please consider sharing your processes, procedures and documents with the DESTIN team through our DESTIN TOOLKIT.
A willingness to comply with such up to date assessment and feedback trends will help to make your programme more ‘recognisable’ to prospective international reviewers and potential international partners. The trends are presented here in no particular order of importance…

Varied Types of Assessment

In the past, it was too often the case that any and all subjects and disciplines were assessed solely through ‘exams’. This is no longer acceptable practice. No matter what your students are learning, you should always ask if there’s a newer, better way in which to assess their learning and to feedback useful information to them on how they might improve their learning and their grades. It’s often appropriate to tailor assessment and feedback types to the type of learning (for example e-learning should perhaps be assessed and fed back through the e-platform, group work should be assessed and fed back (in part at least) through group assessment and feedback.
See page two of UCD - Making the Most of Your Module Descriptor.pdf below for a short list of alternative assessment types.

A Focus on First Year Assessment

To facilitate each student's transition from second-level to university learning, assessment design in the first year needs to progressively move students from early low-stakes assessment – which build confidence – to more challenging assessments - for achievement. Students need to be engaged and empowered in their learning experience in order to achieve the level of social and academic integration for successful First Year learning.

No Over-Assessing and Assessment Schedules

Too often, Students and lecturers do not have an overview of the assessment of the Study Programme. Students tend not to grasp their assessment workload. They aren’t always sure how many assessment tasks they have at any one time. They aren’t confident about the assignments they have submitted and can be confused about when they get results and/or feedback or both.
Lecturers don’t always see the assessment load that students have. Having a programme assessment strategy enables students and lecturers to have an understanding of the student assessment experience.
Here are some questions to ask:
• How many assignments do your students have over the year?
• How long is needed between submission of student work and the issue of provisional results and
• What assessment methods assess the programme and module learning outcomes?
• What assessment methods do students experience over the whole programme?
• Over the course of a full programme, do students have enough/too many essays/projects/tests?
How many essays (or other assessment methods) do students do in Year 1 (2, 3, as appropriate)?
• Is there over-assessment or under-assessment? Are all the assignments/tests/projects/exams needed?
• How do the assessment methods link within and across modules?
• How does the assessment planned for a module meet the module learning outcomes?
What does it contribute to the assessment of the programme learning outcomes?
• Where do students develop the academic referencing and writing skills needed for the programme?
How are these assessed?
• How do assessments fit with the student effort hours per module? Have students time to read,
to practice skills or to just think?
• Do students have time to prepare for exams?
from 'NF - HoD perspective on Programme Level Assessment.pdf' (Dr. Marion Palmer 2013) – see hyperlink below

Assessment Of, For and As Learning

It’s no longer enough to use assessment OF learning, in order to simply check what our students have learned. Today, we need to consider how we can use Assessment For Learning and Assessment As Learning. How will our students self-assess and peer-assess in order to enhance their own critical analysis skills, their understanding of assessment and a better understanding of the value of their own work and the work of others?

Irish NF commentary - designing assessment of-for-as learning through your programme


See page two of UCD - Making the Most of Your Module Descriptor.pdf below for a useful list of alternative assessment types


'NF - HoD perspective on Programme Level Assessment.pdf'

(Dr. Marion Palmer 2013)

This is an excellent 2 page document asking some very useful questions about a Study Programme's coordination of Assessment and Feedback

www.davidquin.ie/DESTIN - NF - HoD perspective on Programme Level Assessment.pdf

Assessment Lexicon for IADT's Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies

This lexicon can be issued to students at the start of each academic year. It explains the correlation between Alpha Grades and the language of any Feedback given.

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