Implementing best practice guidelines to promote assessment for learning: challenges and rewards (Dundee University)

A sunny day at Dundee (24th July)

After the two-day conference in Bradford, I travelled to Dundee to attend the Higher Education Academy funded seminar at Dundee University on the 26 July. The seminar was really useful and challenged some of the existing literature on assessment and feedback. The key message from the morning session is that feedback should be a dialogue rather than something that is “given” to students. This is certainty something that we found some of our staff are doing through their use of GradeMark.

In the afternoon session, we were able to gain a bit more insight into the interACT project, another project in the JISC assessment and feedback program. While projects have met before at project meetings and webinars, it was really good to have a focused session on the project. The work they are doing is interesting and I would like to see if we can use a similar model to look at our assessment and feedback practice here.

The last session I stayed for (I had to catch a flight back to Cardiff…) was Dr. Steve Draper’s session on 2D feedback (Ipsative and cohort-based). I wish I could have stayed for the whole session, but I had to leave half way through Steve’s session.  Steve suggests that “grades” or “marks” can also play a role in feedback. We are often too quick to dismiss that grades alone are not feedback. What Steve suggests is that if students were given the opportunity to understand their grades with context, i.e. compared to their previous work/others work in discussions with each other or tutors, they can also have a role in improving students’ learning. This is certainty a way we can also look into how GradeMark could improve the assessment experience for students. We are often focused on the “text” function within GradeMark (and rightly so), but what about the grade within GradeMark?How could we help students understand the relationship between grades and the comments from tutors? This is certainty something that is worth thinking about.

The presentation slides for the event is available here at the Higher Education Academy website.

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