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Dimensions of a Work-Integrated Assessment
Transcript of Dimensions of a Work-Integrated Assessment
University of Exeter
For more information contact Richard Osborne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Create teams of students from the outset, encourage collaboration
Many forms of assessment require working alone, yet employment invariably requires some form of collaboration and team work, and often with unknown and perhaps even challenging individuals.
Encouraging students to work collaboratively and in teams improves their ability to negotiate and discuss, and develops their understanding of team roles and role flexibility.
Peer / Self Review
Include peer and/or self review explicitly in the assessment process
Typically the review of assessments (i.e. feedback) in formal education is only provided by teaching staff. In employment, however, much of the review process comes in multiple forms, e.g. informal peer feedback from colleagues, formal and informal reviews from clients, and self-review of personal performance.
Including peer and/or self review explicitly within an assessment helps students to develop critical thinking skills, and encourages articulation and evidencing.
Lightly structure the overall assessment; reward student approaches
Most thinking on assessment suggests that there should be explicit guidance to students concerning how and where marks are attained. However in employment part of the challenge for the individual and/or team is the structuring of the work that needs to be completed. Tasks need to be identified, processes decided, and priorities allocated.
Using a light structure approach encourages students to plan tasks and goals in order to solve a bigger problem, strengthening their project management and prioritisation skills.
Aim to set explicit audiences for each assessment point
In higher education the audience for an assessment is implicitly the academic that sets it, who will naturally be already aligned in some way with the course and/or module. This contrasts with employment, where the audience can be peers, but is more often the client or another external third party, with different values, priorities and expectations.
Having to think for a different audience on an assessment provokes greater reflective thinking, and requires new types of synthesis.
Multiple Assessment Points
Move to a more distributed pattern of assessment; consider introducing ‘surprise’ points
Assessments are often delivered in the form of one summative assessment, e.g. an exam or essay, at the end of a period of formal learning. In employment however, ‘assessment’ or evaluation points tend to occur frequently. In addition, timing is often out of individual control, and consequently it can be necessary to juggle competing tasks at short notice.
Using multiple assessment points helps to develop reflective thinking, whilst ‘surprise’ points support task prioritisation.
‘Real World’ Problem / Data
Set an overall real world problem, supported by real world data
Purely academic learning might require a theoretical problem in order to test a theoretical understanding. In employment though problems tend to be very real, and data rarely comes in coherent, standardised forms. It is usually in 'messier' formats that need to be interpreted to be of use.
Using a real world problem and real world data helps to develop skills in analysis, interpretation and evaluation.
Problem / Data
These dimensions can be challenging for students. Well designed challenge is good, but it must be supported. Tech trumps provide a way of aligning the affordances of digital technologies with dimensions of the model, providing this extra support -
"You want to do X, Y can help you do this"
Conditions under which students will develop employability skills, attributes and awareness
Analyse current assessment
Design changes to assessment
Evaluate impact of changes