Assessment: Group Effort, or Individual Achievement Or: I can’t Believe It Is Not Group work

  • Date: 4 Feb 2014
  • Start Time: 10:00 am
  • Location/venue: St. Mary’s University College Waldegrave Road Twickenham , England, TW1 4SX

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Please note - The scheduling for this event has changed due to the UCU strikes, please see the attached for the amended programme.

This event is funded as part of the Arts & Humanities workshop and seminar series 2013-14. The workshop is free to attend for delegates from both subscribing and non-subscribing institutions but booking is essential to secure your place as numbers are limited.

This workshop aims to present and discuss a variety of teaching and assessment practices, where students work together, yet are assessed individually. These approaches are designed to provide an alternative to the single presentation, that focuses on the atomic student at just one moment, fostering instead individual learning through exchanges with others.


Among students there are not just different levels of ability, but many different types of ability. These differences affect assessment, both as a tool of learning and in the activity of marking. (For a review of the issues motivating concern in this area, see Falchikov, Nancy. Improving assessment through student involvement: Practical solutions for aiding learning in higher and further education. Routledge, 2013.) At moments of assessment, disparities between perceived ability and results can become apparent. This is a point registered by students in feedback exercises (such as a recent in house focus group). One way to deal with this reality is to set up not just the expected teacher:student dimensions of learning and assessment, but also student:student and student:class. This means involving more students in more diverse ways in different aspects of learning and assessment. This involvement can be mediated in dialogue. Rather than, for instance, an oral presentation being assessed on its standalone merits, the presentation, audience response, reaction to audience and other more richly-textured parameters such as these, can become part of the assessment. Assessment can take on a narrative format and as such be better understood than, say, assessment seeming to be exhausted by a simple numerical grade. The student under assessment, and perhaps their audience, can see assessment as a response to an ongoing process itself that be part of learning (cf. Tzuriel, D. “Dynamic ssessment of Learning Potential” in Self-directed Learning Oriented Assessments in the Asia-Pacific, (ed. Mok, Magdalena Mo Ching) for a broad context on the rationale we propose). These assessments can take forms such as dialogues, conference presentations, workshop involvement and so on.

Online teaching methods also provide means by which teaching and assessment can be more finely textured. Rather than continuous assessment, continuous insight is permitted when using a variety of media in innovative ways in order to highlight various aspects of subject matter. Podcasts, videos and original lecture formats can facilitate a 'flipped' classroom context wherein student engagement is sought in a range of ways, predicated on dialogical involvement. Online working can be used as a means of team-working that can see iterative co-construction of work to be assessed, allowing the student to see work as a process instead of just an end product and assessment as commentary in practice. The assessment is thus part of the learning process.

The workshop will present and discuss ideas for dialogical teaching and assessment techniques, including those using innovative media, in order to offer perspectives on multi-participant, mutual learning and dialogical assessment methods. Participants will learn about various technologies and methods, as well as the thinking behind those methods, permitting interpretation and personalisation of the material.

Final Programme is now attached

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Post-event related documents