Feedback informs the learner as to how they are proceeding against the described task and also provides educators with a range of information about how the learner has engaged with their teaching. If assessment tasks are scheduled in such a way that enables the assessment to develop the learnersâ€™ skills through feedback, then examining learner performance provides valuable information as to the design or implementation of later activities. A critical loop for educators is to examine how learners have performed in both graded (summative) and non-graded (formative) assessments in order to consider the design of later assessment tasks. While it may not be practical to redesign a graded activity within a semester, as tasks may already be published in unit guides or equivalent, the use of non-graded tasks and support processes needs to be considered. It is also important to consider the implications of learner performance for future iterations of the unit, or future assessments in the overall program.
- What are you able to learn from the regular processes of judging learner performance and associated feedback?
- In a unit, how can you adapt activities and non-graded tasks to reflect this?
- After a unit, how can you adapt assessment tasks in the next iteration of the unit to reflect this?
- How can you communicate what you learn about your students to others within the program?
- How will you change your unit on the basis of what you have learned from learner responses to the assessment task?
Also refer to:
Helping students with referencing
I saw some early in-class writing, and the studentsâ€™ referencing really worried me, so I made a point of stressing to them that they need to get this right, â€˜or elseâ€™. Despite my scaremongering, when I looked at their first big summative task, around half of the class were that bad they technically plagiarised their sources. I told them this in my feedback comments; they fought back, saying it wasnâ€™t fair to be assessed on referencing when nobody has taught it to them yet. I had to push a few things around but I was able to find some time to get them to do the mechanics of referencing in class â€“ real low-level, nitty-gritty stuff, but it worked, and there were fewer accidental plagiarists in the next assignment. â€“ Education lecturer
Building on learner performance
We were teaching a new cohort of students who hadnâ€™t come to uni through the usual entry schemes, which meant we didnâ€™t have much data about their capabilities. We needed to teach some concepts around sustainability that required a certain level of maths understanding, and we didnâ€™t quite know how much to assume. I talked with someone in the School of Mathematics and they referred me to a mathematics diagnostic quiz, which we administered the semester before my unit ran. What really surprised us was that many students were more numerate than we expected, so instead of getting everyone to do the remedial activities we were more targeted with our limited resources. â€“ Science lecturer
The University of Technology Sydney Assessment Futures site has a section about Reviewing assessment tasks www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/teaching-and-learning/assessment-futures/designing-and-redesigning-assessmen-3