Assessment

Assessment

Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK) and Chris Beaumont (Liverpool Hope University College, UK)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-744-7.ch008
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Abstract

Assessment probably has a more important effect on student learning than anything else. For the student, high grades and good qualifications signify success and open better opportunities in life. The converse is also true; so it is no wonder assessment drives student behaviour. Ramsden (1992, p. 187) expresses it succinctly: “From our students’ point of view, assessment always defines the actual curriculum.” When you add to this the consideration that assessment results are not only important to students, but also to teachers, departments, and whole institutions that are also judged on the results of their students, assessment becomes a hot topic. Thus, whatever we say we value, however well we design PBL cases and facilitate tutorials, at the end of the day the assessment is the key driver for student learning. What we value must be reflected in what we assess. In this chapter we explore a number of issues connected with assessment of PBL. PBL raises some particular difficulties, but in many ways it can quite naturally provide a constructively aligned system for teaching, learning, and assessment (Biggs, 1999). There are five fundamental questions we need to answer when considering assessment. Why are we assessing? What is the purpose of the assessment? What are we going to assess? How do we decide which learning outcomes will be assessed? How do we assess them? How do we develop the assessment tasksand grading criteria? When are we going to perform the assessment and, finally, who will do the assessing? In this chapter we will consider these in turn.

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