22 SES 07 A, Assessment Practices
European Universities have changed in regard to curricula and programmes due to the implementation of the Bologna Process. These changes brought about implications for teaching, learning and assessment processes. The aim of this paper is to look at the ways in which Portuguese university students and teachers look at assessment in higher education and in particular about changes in assessment methods after the implementation of Bologna process. Earlier literature suggests that assessment and learning are interconnected (Scouller 1998) influencing the student learning (Gibbs 1999; Scouller 1998). The way students learn depend on how they think they will be assessed. Assessment influences, either negatively or positively, student learning and may be seen as an incentive for study and for improved performance (Biggs 2003; Brown, Bull and Pendlebury 1997; Boud and Falchikov 2007). Consequently, the assessment practices used by university teachers have an important role in the quality of learning (Fernandes, Flores, and Lima 2012; Flores et al. 2014), and need to be creative including a variety of methods (Wen and Tsai 2006; Brown, Race and Rust 2004). Existing literature also reveals that assessment methods, other than traditional ones, enable more effective learning (Struyven, Dochy and Janssens 2005; Birenbaum and Feldman 1998). These methods encourage the development of autonomy, sense of responsibility, and reflection (Sambell and McDoweel 1998). Also, the approaches to learning may be influenced by the used assessment methods (Marton and Saljo 1997). The assessment methods based on a learner-centred approach (Webber 2012) enhance the development of the skills needed for real life, because the purpose of assessment is to ensure that the success criteria of education and training process are the same as used in practice (Segers and Dochy 2001). In addition, the formative role of assessment is important to improve learning, because it provides students with feedback during their process of learning (Brown, Bull and Pendlebury 1997) making it possible for both students and teachers to get to know how learning is proceeding (Biggs 2003).
Biggs, J. 2003. Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Buckingham: SHRE and Open University Press. Birenbaum, M., and R. A. Feldman. 1998. Relationships between learning patterns and attitudes towards two assessment formats. Educational Research 40 (1): 90-97. Boud, D., and N. Falchikov. 2007. Rethinking assessment in higher education: learning for the long term. Routledge: New York. Brown, G., J. Bull, and M. Pendlebury. 1997. Assessing student learning in higher education. London: Routledge. Brown, S., P. Race and C. Rust. 2004. Using and experiencing assessment. In Assessment for learning in higher education, ed. P. Knight, 75-85. Birmingham: SEDA. Fernandes, S., M.A. Flores and R.M Lima. 2012. Students’ views of assessment in project-led engineering education: findings from a case study in Portugal. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 37 (2):163-178. Flores, M.A., A.M. Veiga Simão, A. Barros and D. Pereira. 2014. Perceptions of effectiveness, fairness and feedback of assessment methods: a study in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2014.881348. Gibbs, G. 1999. Using assessment strategically to change the way students learn. In Assessment Matters in Higher Education: Choosing and using diverse approaches, eds. S.Brown and A. Glasner, 41-53. Buckingham: SHRE and Open University Press. Marton, F., and R. Saljo. 1997. Approaches to learning. In The experience of learning. Implications for teaching and studying in higher education, eds. F.Marton, D.Hounsell and N. Entwistle, 39-58. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. Sambell, K., and L. McDowell. 1998. The values of self and peer assessment to the developing lifelong learner. In Improving Student Learning: Improving Students as Learners, ed. C. Rust, 56-66. Oxford:Oxford Center for Staff and Learning Development. Scouller, K.M. 1998. The influence of assessment method on students’ learning approaches: Multiple choice question examinations versus assignment essay. Higher Education 35 (4):453-472. Segers, M., and F. Dochy. 2001. New assessment forms in problem based learning: the value-added of the students‘ perspective. Studies in Higher Education 26 (3): 327-343. Struyven, K., F. Dochy, and S. Janssens. 2005 Students’ perceptions about evaluation and assessment in higher education: a review. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 30 (4): 331–347. Webber, K. 2012. The Use of Learner-Centered Assessment in US Colleges and Universities. Research in Higher Education 53 (2): 201-228. Wen, M. L., and C.C. Tsai. 2006. University students’ perceptions of and attitudes toward (online) peer assessment. Higher Education 51 (1): 27-44.
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