Thursday, June 7, 2007

Reflection on Assessment

Reflection of Assessment

1. The form of assessment I have chosen for each learning activity is consistent with its learning objectives, and is integrated into the learning activity.

The assessments incorporated in the course reflects the learning objectives and is integrated into the learning activity. The learning activities are designed to highlight gaps and incorporate an understanding of the key skills and knowledge required to apply these skills. Quality online learning provides many opportunities for assessment and a number of tools outlined by Anderson (2004) will be utilised to assess the students. These include simulation exercises with automated responses, rubrics for students to assess their own work, and collaborative working environment where students can give each other feedback as they work on the assessment problem. Perhaps an area that is not exploited is that of peer feedback and peer assessment and this will need to be addressed.

The assessment problem based assessment will require students to address and resolve a context specific scenario. However, on reflection it appears that further work will be required to achieve a broad problem or one that incorporates a range of skills in different situation similar to a series of queries in small changed in the scenario. This is based on research undertaken by Swanson et al., (1987) discussed by Van Der Vleuten (2000) where research showed that once a score was derived on a particular case, that score turned out to be hardly predictive for a score on another case. “Apparently, problem solving was not a generic skill, but highly dependent on the clinical context. Even small changes in the context had a substantial influence on performance. Content specificity turned out not to be limited to problem solving, but was found in virtually all entities of competence assessment”. Further research into ensuring that completion of the scenarios will demonstrate competence will need to be undertaken.

2. Students will have opportunities to undertake self-assessment and peer critique as well as receiving instructor feedback.

Students will have opportunities to undertake self-assessment and test their new found skills in each module through a series of exercises and quizzes will enable students to use the resources to complete the tasks and measure there own ability to appreciate gaps in their knowledge and address this by either posing queries to the tutor or to colleagues. The quizzes will have embedded comments and answers through using Flash media. On completion of the self-assessment activities students will be provided with general feedback. Biggs (1998) in Rushton (2005) argues that the effectiveness of formative assessment is dependent upon the student’s accurate perceptions of the gap, as well as their motivation to address it. This is also consistent with Chickerings principle of self-directed learning (Chickering, 2006). This argument is facilitated from a constructivist perspective that views the student’s involvement in the process as essential, and therefore advocates the use of strategies such as self assessment (Ruston, 2005). An activity at the end of each module draws on the key learnings and reflection on the process of resolving the assessable scenario. On reflection perhaps more opportunities for feedback from students should be incorporated in the modules.

3. The strategy underlying the assessment approaches I have chosen reflects the view of teaching and learning evidenced by my Teaching Perspectives Inventory results, but also reflects new insights I have gained into assessment and e-learning.

Ruston (2005) suggests that leaner assessments can be facilitated by the constructivist perspective on student involvement in the process as essential, and therefore advocates the use of strategies such as self assessment. The module allows self-directed learning however, taking into account that certain competencies prescribed by the Pharmacy Council need to be attained before completion. It is not sufficient to have a teaching perspective based on nurturing as it is not enough to merely have a go and put effort. Students need to meet the target to be deemed competence. Gaps between student understanding of competence and that which is prescribed will also need to the addressed.

Anderson, T. (2004). Toward a theory of online learning. In Anderson, T., & Falloumi, F. (Eds.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 33-60). Athabasca (AB): Athabasca University.

Rushton, A. (2005). Formative assessment: a key to deep learning? [Electronic version]. Medical Teacher 27(6),509-513.

Van Der Vleuten, C.P.M., Dolmans, D.H.J.M., & Scherpbier, A.J.J.A. (2000). The need for evidence in education [Electronic version]. Medical Teacher, 22(3), 246-250.

No comments: