QAC Workshop: Standards-Referenced Assessment Approach

Dr. Gayle Morris

Dr. Gayle Morris

Under the criterion and standards referenced assessment, students are provided with clear expectations about what will be assessed and to what standard, said Dr. Gayle Morris, Director of Academic Programs Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), in Hong Kong Shue Yan University’s QAC Workshop.

The QAC Workshop, organized by the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) was held on 3 December 2012 in the Library Complex of the University. It was the third academic activity related to outcomes based teaching and learning (OBTL) and the professional development of academic staff organized by the QAC in this academic year. The theme of the workshop was “Beyond learning outcomes: Enhancing student learning through a standards-referenced assessment approach”.

Around 30 academic staff attended the seminar, together with two associate vice presidents and five department heads / administrative and associate department heads.

Dr. Gayle Morris said in recent years universities internationally have been moving away from norm-referenced assessment (‘grading on the curve’ as it is commonly known) to criterion and standards referenced assessment. Under the criterion and standards referenced assessment, students are graded on the bases of the quality of their work alone, not how they perform compared to other students in the class. Secondly, students know, at the start of their course, the criteria and standards by which they are going to be assessed.

Dr. Morris stressed the importance of assessment and feedback for learning. This involves sharing learning goals and the assessment criteria with students with the aim of helping them to know and to recognize the standards which they need to achieve. This also helps students to engage in self-assessment and peer assessment, and the feedback on their learning leads to students recognizing their next steps and how to take them.

“Academic staff should provide students with clear expectations about what will be assessed, and to what standard, and involve students in conversations about learning, not just with you, but each other. They also should facilitate feedback through which students are stimulated to develop capacities in monitoring and evaluating their own learning,” said Dr. Morris.

Dr. Morris also shared her experience in HKU about developing grade descriptors by faculty at programme and course level in the workshop using a video presentation. Participants in the workshop were organized into groups which stimulated a lively discussion across departments of the different practices of using assessment criteria by individuals in each group.

From left to right: Ms Andrea Hope, Associate Academic Vice President of HKSYU, Dr. Gayle Morris, Mr. Aman Shah, Associate Vice President (Quality Assurance) and Ms YU Ka Lee, Registrar (Quality Assurance) of HKSYU

來源:2012年12月號 [只有英文]

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