Changing assessment in higher education: A model in support of institution-wide improvement

Macdonald, Ranald and Joughin, Gordon (2009). Changing assessment in higher education: A model in support of institution-wide improvement. In Gordon Joughin (Ed.), Assessment, Learning and Judgement in Higher Education (pp. 193-213) Dordrech, Netherlands: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8905-3_11

Author Macdonald, Ranald
Joughin, Gordon
Title of chapter Changing assessment in higher education: A model in support of institution-wide improvement
Title of book Assessment, Learning and Judgement in Higher Education
Place of Publication Dordrech, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Publication Year 2009
Sub-type Chapter in textbook
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-8905-3_11
ISBN 9781402089046
Editor Gordon Joughin
Chapter number 11
Start page 193
End page 213
Total pages 21
Total chapters 12
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Assessment of student learning is a complex matter being dealt with in large, complex institutions, involving diverse collections of staff and students engaged in intensive activities that lie at the heart of higher education. Not surprisingly, assessment has become a focal point of research and innovation in higher education. Consequently, the literature on assessment is now considerable and growing rapidly, while national projects to generate ways of improving assessment have become commonplace in many countries At the same time, however, attempts to improve assessment often fall short of their promise. Wellfounded statements of assessment principles fail to work their way down from the committees which draft them; individual lecturers’ innovative assessment practices take hold within their immediate sphere of influence without infiltrating a whole programme; limited progress is made in encouraging departments to take seriously the assessment of generic qualities or attributes considered as essential learning outcomes for all graduates.

What then does it take to improve assessment in a university? This chapter presents a response to this situation focused on an emerging understanding of the nature of higher education institutions in the context of change. The purpose of this chapter therefore is to present a model of higher education institutions that is relevant to this context, highlighting those aspects of universities and similar organisations which require attention if assessment practices are to be improved. We believe that the challenges facing educational organisations, their aspirations and those of their staff, are best construed and most successfully pursued by clarifying their nature in the light of recent organisational thinking, and that failure to do this will inevitably lead to unrealistic goals, misdirection and consequent dissipation of energy, and, ultimately, disappointment, while at the same time more effective ways of achieving improvement in assessment will not be pursued. The chapter therefore begins with a model of higher education institutions which seeks to clarify our understanding of the nature of universities, followed by an exploration of the implications of the model for changing assessment practices.
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 29 Aug 2011, 09:48:43 EST by Associate Professor Gordon Joughin on behalf of Teaching & Educational Development Institute