A teaching and learning conversation with:
Senior lecturer in the School of Life Sciences and Education at Staffordshire University
Associate Head of CELT, Manchester Metropolitan, University
About this conversation:
This conversation is intended to provoke discussion about the role of assessment in higher education. A common model of higher education characterises the role of the teacher as delivering the curriculum to support achievement of learning outcomes; this tends to place primary, value on what is taught in the identified curriculum, with a much lesser value for what students learn outside this. The focus is on ‘getting a qualification’, and the teacher’s role is to help students to do this. Hence learning is seen as an individual event, using an acquisition metaphor to show how value has been added the students’ knowledge and capabilities. Participation may be covered by the occasional group project, possibly added into the curriculum in a slightly clumsy way, to tick the outcome of ‘work in teams’. Here learning gain is seen as an accumulation of acquired knowledge. Another model sees an undergraduate programme of study as bringing about a change in identity and providing the student with the ability to integrate into one or more communities of practice, which were inaccessible to the student before beginning the course. Here the emphasis to be placed on learning through the participation – thus knowledge is not just something the student possesses but something a student does. Here learning gain is seen more in terms of students moving from being legitimate peripheral participants towards becoming more full members of a community of practice.
Current models of assessment in UK HE tend to favour the first of these models, but in so doing may only assess a tiny portion of all that students learn at university. This conversation hopes to more fully explore the learning that occurs in university through student identity development.
About Paul and Rachel:
Paul is a senior lecturer in the School of Life Sciences and Education at Staffordshire University. As an educator in biosciences he has explored student learning and how it is linked to assessment and feedback. In particular he has been interested in communities of learning that students develop and the social interaction that they undertake outside the overt curriculum while carrying out self- and peer-assessment practices in order to make sense of their learning experiences.
Rachel works in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is particularly interested in quality assurance, curriculum management and assessment in higher education.
When: Monday 6th March 2017 12:30-13:30 (UK Time)
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