Assessment and quality assurance

Three lessons from exhibiting final-year projects online

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 23/08/2021 - 09:00
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Standfirst
Dechanuchit Katanyutaveetip describes three unexpected benefits he and his students discovered after they were forced to move the exhibition of their final-year projects online
Teaser
Dechanuchit Katanyutaveetip describes three unexpected benefits he and his students discovered after they were forced to move the exhibition of their final-year projects online

Self-directed learning is becoming the forgotten ingredient in HE

Submitted by dene.mullen on Thu, 19/08/2021 - 09:00
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Much of the HE conversation lately has felt like a never-ending spin cycle of the sector’s new favourite words: “blended”, “hybrid”, “synchronous”, “asynchronous”. These are usually discussed in relation to the tutor’s role in the teaching set-up, and it’s been striking to see so little explicit discussion of self-directed learning – which arguably makes up the largest proportion of a student’s learning experience.

So why has the sector largely failed to account for what is usually about 80 per cent of students’ study time?

Standfirst
In the heady rush to extol the virtues of asynchronous learning, we are watering down the main element of students’ learning experience, says Linda Kaye
Teaser
In the heady rush to extol the virtues of asynchronous learning, we are watering down the main element of students’ learning experience, says Linda Kaye

Making grading in university courses more reliable

Submitted by Eliza.Compton on Wed, 11/08/2021 - 08:43
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If you’d like to grade exams for a major testing corporation, it takes a lot of work. Prospective graders for the Educational Testing Service, for example, undergo system and content training, and at least one content certification test.

Standfirst
Inconsistent or inaccurate grading can have serious real-world consequences for students. Paige Tsai and Danny Oppenheimer offer tips on how to recognise and fix the problem
Teaser
Inconsistent or inaccurate grading can have serious real-world consequences for students. Paige Tsai and Danny Oppenheimer offer tips on how to recognise and fix the problem

Students as educators: the value of assessed blogs to showcase learning

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 09/08/2021 - 13:00
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A vibrant student-centred learning experience with a range of classroom and online interactive experiences is an achievable objective. Transforming the joy of exchanging ideas with lecturers and peers into equally enthusiastic assessment outcomes is a bigger challenge. It’s a shame if the results of these dynamic activities and all that accumulated know-how stay hidden in the lecturer’s marking inbox, reduced to a grade on a spreadsheet.

Standfirst
Matt Davies explains how assessed blogs help translate the thrill of interactive learning into tangible outcomes that enrich and showcase students’ knowledge
Teaser
Matt Davies explains how assessed blogs help translate the thrill of interactive learning into tangible outcomes that enrich and showcase students’ knowledge

Online review exercises to improve student performance in large courses

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 26/07/2021 - 14:30
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Successful remote learning, like all learning, requires regular reviewing of learning materials and completion of homework. However, some students may lack the self-discipline to undertake this work, especially when these learning tasks do not contribute towards their overall course grade.

It is challenging for instructors to ensure all students are engaging with the course materials and completing set work when teaching very large cohorts online.

Standfirst
Online review exercises, used in combination with other learning activities, improve student engagement and learning performance in large online courses, Peng Cheng and Rui Ding explain
Teaser
Online review exercises, used in combination with other learning activities, improve student engagement and learning performance in large online courses, Peng Cheng and Rui Ding explain

Are online exams better for student mental health?

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 16/06/2021 - 00:01
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It’s no secret that student mental health is a growing concern. Covid has compounded many of the social, academic and financial inequalities and challenges to mental health across the higher education sector in the UK and beyond. The result has been more students needing mental health support than before the pandemic and compared to other demographics.

Standfirst
Traditional exams under tightly invigilated conditions are highly stressful for students, but online alternatives bring their own issues, says Michael Priestley
Teaser
Traditional exams under tightly invigilated conditions are highly stressful for students, but online alternatives bring their own issues, says Michael Priestley

Professors, stop pretending that you never cheat

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 11/06/2021 - 00:01
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I recently read Cheating Lessons by James Lang, and this article is a by-product − that is to say, not plagiarism − of that book.

Standfirst
Academics should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and look at cheating from a student’s perspective if we want to understand and eradicate it, says Hamish Binns
Teaser
Academics should drop the holier-than-thou attitude and look at cheating from a student’s perspective if we want to understand and eradicate it, says Hamish Binns

We ignore the administrative load caused by cheating at our peril

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 01:01
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The academic integrity space has seen much activity during the pandemic. It has attracted the attention of scholars of everything from digital critical pedagogy and student equity to student mental health, as well as the mainstream media. But amid the feeding frenzy, what there hasn’t been is anywhere near enough mention of the administrative support required when cases of misconduct are reported by educators.

Standfirst
The switch online has brought renewed scrutiny of misconduct, but without adequate resources, the real losers are our students, says Amanda White
Teaser
The switch online has brought renewed scrutiny of misconduct, but without adequate resources, the real losers are our students, says Amanda White

Forget everything you think you know about online engagement

Submitted by dene.mullen on Tue, 04/05/2021 - 01:01
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During the seismic shift to online and blended formats that we’ve all attended to, much of the focus has been on technological capabilities and solutions. Within this, even finer focus has been placed on online behaviours as a way of understanding student engagement.

However, lessons from cyberpsychology may be central here. To explain a little, cyberpsychology focuses on the psychological experiences of our interactions with new technology and the internet and seems to be entirely relevant to many discussions about online learning.

Standfirst
There’s much interest in how many times students access the VLE or complete online tasks, but that only provides part of the picture, says Linda Kaye
Teaser
There’s much interest in how many times students access the VLE or complete online tasks, but that only provides part of the picture, says Linda Kaye

AI has been trumpeted as our saviour, but it’s complicated

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 23/04/2021 - 01:01
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Artificial intelligence is full of potential and has been trumpeted as our saviour, the way forward, the answer to all the world’s ills and the future of learning. But this is not the true picture. Yes, AI has much to offer in education, but it’s not the be all and end all.

Standfirst
Time saved by lecturers on marking assignments could indeed be used to enrich teaching, but unfortunately many silver linings have a cloud, says Harin Sellahewa
Teaser
Time saved by lecturers on marking assignments could indeed be used to enrich teaching, but unfortunately many silver linings have a cloud, says Harin Sellahewa