Dr Chris Moore of UWE recently presented at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference (2016) about his approaches to embedding authentic assessment into a unit delivered to a large cohort of students.
The unit in question was a Level 4 Anatomy unit attended by over 200 students with delivery of 12 topics, spread over 24 weeks involving lectures, practicals and tutorials. Assessment was managed by 3 hours of exams and a piece of coursework with the overarching outcome declared as ‘Demonstration of knowledge, understanding, application’.
Early on it was clear that method of assessment was problematic due to difficulties incorporating the full 12 topic areas at any depth. However when a student approached Dr Chris Moore and queried “Do I have to attend any of the practicals to pass this year?” it became clear that not only was the answer “No” but the assessment of the unit was not fit for purpose. As the practical elements of the unit were of great importance and formed the fundamental knowledge required by students to progress in the course, some changes needed to made. The solution was the ‘Continuous Online Practical Portfolio’.
The presentation (linked below) covers the changes that were made to the delivery and assessment of the unit in order to embed authenticity by re-focusing attention on the practical elements and also covering the full range of topics at greater depth. Interestingly, all marking was also completely automated.
- Unlocking the potential of authentic assessment and leveraging the investments in learning technology infrastructure [PDF]
Also note: iSpring was used for summative and formative tests, enabling content delivery to be combined with test questions. LearnPad tablets were used for controlled exams.