Pre-conference Master Classes 2013

Delegates are invited to attend  a series of master classes prior to the start of the conference on Wednesday 26 June 2013.  Experts in the field of assessment will be leading these sessions on Assessment for Learning, Writing good questions for on-line assessment and Oral assessment.  To register for a  master class please follow this link.

Professor Gordon Joughin – Using oral assessment

‘Oral assessment’ simply means assessment in which students’ understanding and capabilities are expressed or conveyed by speech instead of writing.  The assessment may be purely oral or include oral and other components. Oral assessent takes many forms: undergraduate and doctoral vivas, class presentations, OSCEs, moots, design juries, debates … the list is almost unlimited.  This masterclass will explore the nature of oral assessment in its many forms, what is best assessed orally, how to use oral processes to support student learning, and how to ensure that it is used in ways that are valid, reliable, fair, affordable, and acceptable. In a highly interactive session we will be generating practical ideas for using oral assessment to its greatest effect, learning with and from each other within a framework informed by the facilitator’s research on students’ experience of different forms of oral assessment.

Who the masterclass is aimed at? This masterclass will be of most benefit to colleagues who are currently using any form of oral assessment, who are finding it particularly satisfying and/or challenging, who are wishing to explore its dynamics in order to improve its effectiveness, and who are seeking to learn with and from colleagues with a similar commitment to oral assessment and student learning.

What should you get out of attending? An enriched understanding of how oral assessment works to improve learning and a collection of practical ideas for designing/reviewing/improving your current practice with respect to its validity, impact on learning, reliability, fairness, affordability, and acceptability.

Liz McDowell, Kay Sambell and Catherine Montgomery:  Assessment for Learning  

Assessment for Learning (AfL) is widely discussed and promoted as a positive and productive approach to assessment, learning and teaching. However it is not always easy to translate interesting ideas, stemming from AfL, into practice.   One of the Centres for Excellence (CETL)  funded by the English HE Funding Council focussed on AfL and developed a range of practical approaches to putting AfL principles into practice.  These form the basis for the masterclass.

In this masterclass, participants will identify problems in assessment and learning in their own practice, and then match them up with AfL principles.  We will then move on to developing practical ways in which AfL could be used in the specific context, drawing on the resources of the CETL AfL including the recent book, ‘Assessment for Learning in Higher Education’ authored by Kay Sambell, Liz McDowell and Catherine Montgomery who are the leaders of this masterclass.

Sally Jordan and Tim Hunt: Producing high quality computer-marked assessment

Purpose/aim/ content:

Online computer-marked assessment presents an opportunity to assess and provide personalised and immediate feedback to large classes, with savings of cost and greater consistency than human markers. It can motivate and engage students. However concerns are frequently expressed as to the validity and authenticity of assessment of this type and concerns are also expressed as to the cost and time required to author high quality e-assessment items.

This master class will illustrate simple ways in which the quality of computer-marked assessment can be improved, using a range of strategies from innovative question types (including computer-marked short-answer questions with tailored feedback) to careful embedding of the questions within a module’s assessment strategy and the monitoring of student responses so as to improve the feedback provided.

Who should attend: Anyone (from any academic discipline) who is interested in introducing online assessment, or in improving the quality of their practice. Note: although we will demonstrate question authoring in Moodle, the principles discussed will be platform-independent. No technical expertise is required but please bring an open mind!

We hope that this master class will provide attendees with experience of a range of question types and an opportunity to discuss the benefits and limitations of assessment of this type.