Thursday, February 27, 2014

On the bleeding edge - the pain of the innovator

I sense a kindred soul, crying into their pillow (in the wilderness).

Assessment innovation and student experience: a new assessment challenge and call for a multi-perspective approach to assessment research. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 26 Feb 2014 doi: 10.1080/02602938.2014.890170
Abstract: The impact of innovative assessment on student experience in higher education is a neglected research topic. This represents an important gap in the literature-given debate around the marketisation of higher education, international focus on student satisfaction measurement tools and political calls to put students at the heart of higher education in the UK. This paper reports on qualitative findings from a research project examining the impact of assessment preferences and familiarity on student attainment and experience. It argues that innovation is defined by the student, shaped by diverse assessment experiences and preferences, and therefore its impact is difficult to predict. It proposes that future innovations must explore assessment choice mechanisms which allow students to shape their own assessments. Cultural change and staff development will be required to achieve this. To be accepted, assessment for student experience must be viewed as a complementary layer within a complex multi-perspective model of assessment, which also embraces assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment for lifelong learning. Further research is required to build a meta-theory of assessment to enhance the synergies between these alternative approaches and minimise the tensions between them.

tl;dr - overcome the innovator's dilemma and student (staff) resistance by involving them in the process of developing and delivering novel assessment formats. Easier said than done with a class of 300.

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