22 SES 07 B, Teaching, Learning and Assesment in Higher Education
In the foreword of Innovative Assessment in Higher Education, Boud (2006) confirms that there is a wide range of changes that is leading to a need for innovation in higher education. Innovation is of great importance in the whole education process, and is of special relevance regarding assessment and evaluation.
Assessment in higher education, understood for a long time as the process that allows the certification of students, is today considered a task that enhances learning and, therefore, must be in line with the teaching and learning process (Zabalza, 2003).
As expressed by Boud (2006) innovation in assessment is essential to improve the quality of learning outcomes. These innovations are moving in different directions (Boud, 2006: xvii):
- They are generating alternatives to traditional assessment practices (…)
- They are involving students more actively not only in teaching and learning activities but in assessment itself (…)
- They are generating new forms of portrayal outcomes (…)
- They are recognizing that assessment itself has a powerful influence on learning and that changes to assessment may have a greater influence on students’ learning than other changes on the curriculum (…)
The assessment activity of professors has changed: university teachers must take into account new tasks that weren’t considered before. Assessment, focused in the development of competencies, means/implies an extra workload for teachers (Gibbs, 2006). Professors/lecturers need to spend more time assessing, designing assessment (Zabalza, 2003) and giving quality feedback and feedforward to students (Gibbs, 2006; Nicol, 2009; Carless et al, 2006).
It is also important to involve students in their own assessment, increasing their responsibilities (empowerment) and enhancing/improving their learning self-regulation (Nicol, 2009).
The study presented here is part of a wider research project, named Re-Evalúa “Re-engineering of e-assessment, technologies and development of teachers and students’ competencies” (Rodríguez, G. 2008), financed by Junta de Andalucía (P08-SEJ-03502).
The main research question of the study is: Which are the main assessment and evaluation tasks that university teachers should perform in higher education?
Secondary issues that arised are:
- What is the importance that professors give to each of these tasks?
- To what extent do they consider themselves prepared to put them into practice?
- Do they already put some of the tasks into practice? To what extent?
According to these research questions, the main objective of this study is: to design and validate an instrument (questionnaire) to evaluate the current situation of university teachers with regards to their assessment activity and help them reflect upon it.
Boud, D. (2006). Foreword. Cordelia Bryan and Karen Clegg. Innovative Assessment in Higher Education. New York. Routledge. Carless, D., Joughin, G., Liu, N.F. (2006). How Assessment supports learning: ! learning-oriented assessment in action. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University ! Press. Gibbs, G. (2006). Why assessment is changing. Cordelia Bryan and Karen Clegg. Innovative Assessment in Higher Education (11-22). New York. Routledge. Gibbs, G. (2006). How assessment frames student learning. Cordelia Bryan and Karen Clegg. Innovative Assessment in higher education (23-36). Routledge. Nicol, D. (2009). Transforming Assessment and Feedback: Enhancing integration and empowerment in the first year. Mansfield: Enhancement Themes. Rodríguez, G. (2008). Re-Evalúa: Reingeniería de la e-Evaluación, tecnologías y desarrollo de competencias en profesores y estudiantes universitarios. Documento fotocopiado. Universidad de Cádiz Zabalza, M.A. (2003). Competencias docentes del profesorado universitario. Calidad y desarrollo profesional. España: Narcea S.A de Ediciones.
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