Assessment as a locus for engagement: priorities and practicalities
This paper considers how assessment can productively act as a locus for engagement. It focuses on the important case being made by diverse global assessment experts who argue that we would do well to rethink assessment such that learning, rather than quality assurance and measurement, becomes the main priority of assessment design in higher education settings. New discourses of assessment have emerged internationally to capture this important conceptual shift. These are briefly indicated and linked to key design features and indicative practices whereby assessment and feedback environments can be enhanced to promote and foster learner engagement. The paper highlights the importance of incorporating assessment for learning (AfL) approaches which are authentic to the ways of thinking and practising of the subject- community within a given field of study. It proposes that advancing the assessment and feedback
literacy and capabilities of assessees through authentic assessment and dialogic approaches are vital, but these need to be embedded in the disciplinary content and inherently viewed as pedagogic practices, rather than piecemeal approaches or bolt-on additions to the extant curriculum. It puts forward suggestions for effective implementation, but concludes that the development of staff assessment literacy, underpinned by academics’ familiarity with new assessment discourses, is a fundamental prerequisite for effective AfL environments. This is highlighted as one of the key contextual challenges that must be acknowledged and addressed if AfL is to be scaled up meaningfully as a locus of learner engagement.
How to Cite
The authors who publish in this magazine accept the following conditions:
- The authors retain the rights to their work and give the magazine the right to first publish the work, simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons License - Attribution which allows others to share the work indicating the intellectual authorship and the first publication in this magazine.
- Authors may adhere to other non-exclusive license agreements for the distribution of the version of the published work (eg deposit it in an institutional archive or publish it in a monograph), provided that the first publication took place in this magazine.
- Authors can disseminate their work online (eg in institutional repositories or on their website) before and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges and increase citations of the published work.