22 SES 01 B, Teaching, Learning and Assesment in Higher Education
Our research aimed to contribute guidelines to facilitate adopting a learning-oriented assessment in the contexts of university teaching-learning.
The research aims were:
1. To identify the assessment systems in Spanish university teaching.
2. To describe the conceptions and attitudes of students about learning assessment.
3. To determine the main factors that are obstacles in the development of a learning-oriented assessment, derived from the assessment practices used and the students’ conceptions and attitudes.
4. To design procedures and tools to facilitate the adopting of a learning-oriented assessment, overcoming the difficulties come across in the teaching-learning processes developed in Higher Education.
The change in assessment is a demand derived from the process of building the European Space of Higher Education (EEES). The continuous assessment of the progress of students is more necessary than a final check. The strengthening of enough feedback to support learning improvement is needed. A diversification of the assessment instruments is required. Moreover, it is advisable to reassign responsibilities about assessment, considering that the very students can act as assessment agents.
The concept of learning–oriented assessment has become stronger and here we find works such as those of Brodie and Irving (2007), Carless, Joughin and Wok (2006), Carless and others (2007), Gibss and Simpson (2004), Keppell et al. (2006), Wilson and Scalise (2006). The emphasis of the core idea is the formative dimension of assessment. The conditions for its development would be (Gibbs y Simpson, 2004):
1. It is necessary to set up assessment tasks that implicate students in the appropriate study and learning tasks. Assessment tasks are also considered as learning tasks.
2. The providing of feedback is needed so that the students act on the information that they receive and use this information to progress in their work and learning (feedforward as against the traditional feedback).
3. Students must be involved in the assessment process of their own work. This turns out to be a crucial competence for their future professional life, facing achieving continuous and autonomous learning.
It is important to know the students’ perceptions on assessment given that these largely explain how they act. How they position themselves, the ideas they have interiorized from experience condition how they are disposed to getting involved in the assessment and to prospectively take advantage of the feedback that they can receive through it. The assessment literature records a clear consensus about the influence that the perceptions on the assessment method used by the teacher has on the students’ way of tackling learning (Crook and Mahalski, 1985; Scouller and Prosser, 1994; Biggs, 2005; Wilson and Fowler, 2005).
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