HEA Symposia Series: Transforming Assessment in Higher Education

  • Start date: Wednesday 12 April 2017
  • End date: Wednesday 24 May 2017

THE  ROLE of assessment in the ever changing world of higher education is the focus of two symposia.

The Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) ‘Transforming Assessment in Higher Education’ symposia series aims to bring together cutting edge examples of effective efforts at sustainable and manageable change at programme, school, faculty, college and or institutional-level, with regards to assessment and feedback.

Hosted at the HEA in York, the aim of each one-day symposium is to provide an open and supportive environment within which to share and discuss contemporary practice-based programmes and initiatives in priority areas.  As well as to begin to craft a principled, and evidence-informed, approach to devising support and guidance for changes with regards to transforming assessment in higher education.

The HEA welcome submissions outlining discipline-specific innovations in devising and facilitating alternative approaches to assessment design, practice and administration within these broad themes, as well as examples detailing wider institutional initiatives aimed at strategic and systemic change.

They would be particularly interested in examples of inter-disciplinary approaches, as well as examples that cross the boundaries of two or more of the core themes.

Symposium One, “Technology enabled/electronically managed assessment”, will take place on Wednesday April 12th.

This symposium will consider innovative ways to improve the operational effectiveness, efficiencies and consistency of assessment processes through available technologies underpinned by sound pedagogies. This might include efforts towards electronic submission, marking and feedback, as well as investigation into the integration of systems, notably the institutional virtual learning environment and student record system.

Submissions could relate to once or more of the following questions:

  • How is the adoption of EMA being increased, its functionality developed and reliability improved? Where the gaps and what are the priorities for developments in this area?
  • How are barriers to stakeholder engagement in EMA processes being overcome? How are institutional culture and stakeholder attitudes being changed?
  • What marking technologies are being used to generate consistent and timely, yet personal and helpful, forms of feedback? How is technology supporting and encouraging student engagement with both assessment criteria and making use of their feedback?
  • What processes and workflows are being improved as a result of EMA adoption? How is technology improving the stakeholder experience around assessment, marking and feedback?
  • How is technology enabling innovative forms of student assessment and feedback? How are assessments being designed with technology in mind?

Finally, Symposium Two: “Enhancing student engagement through assessment” will take place on Wednesday May 24th.

Student engagement is recognised here as a multi-dimensional concept. When applied to assessment these might include, for instance, strategies which focus on developing approaches to assessment and feedback which harness and foster: students’ enthusiasm for and enjoyment of active involvement with subject content; learners’ active participation in evaluating and directing the processes of their own learning; and student participation in the governance and (co)construction of assessment.

Submissions could relate to one or more of the following questions:

  • What principles underpin your specific model of student engagement in assessment and feedback? (This could include an examination of relevant theoretical and conceptual frameworks informing your work)
  • What is the relationship between student engagement in assessment and feedback practices and learning outcomes?
  • How can we effectively measure learning gain through a focus on student engagement in assessment and feedback?
  • How do we promote staff engagement in assessment and feedback practices?
  • How do we develop inclusive assessment feedback practices?
  • How does your discipline impact your student engagement in assessment approach(es)?
  • How can the lessons learnt from student engagement within assessment within your discipline be translated and adapted for use in other disciplines?
  • How can assessment design promote staff and student engagement in learning?

For those whose case studies have been selected for the symposia there will be further opportunities for the work to be considered for a HEA Transforming Assessment case studies series resource to be made available to the sector in late 2017. Those selected for the case studies series will be notified by the end of May 2017.

And a selected range of successful submissions will be invited to develop full articles for a special issue of the Higher Education Pedagogies Journal for release in early 2018 subject to approval via the HEP journal peer review process.

CLICK here for more information, to submit and view case study deadlines or to book on any of the symposiums.