Keynote: Redesigning summative assessments: fairness, reliability and validity
Presenter: Dr Rachel Forsyth, Lund University, Sweden.
Slides: View Rachel's slides from her keynote presentation.
Abstract: The observation that assessment in higher education has changed very little over time is frequently made, and partially accurate.
Assignment tasks which were commonplace in the nineteenth century, such as essays and unseen examinations, are still present in many university courses. This is not in itself a problem, but it is as important to review types of assessment as it is to review any other aspect of a course. Other aspects of the curriculum may have changed, students come with different experiences and expectations, and we now have a range of technologies available to us. We should regularly ask ourselves if summative assessment tasks and criteria should remain the same, and if so, how we can ensure that they are fair, reliable, and valid.
Making changes to assessment can be a daunting task, with multiple stakeholders to satisfy, and apparently complex regulations. However, it is also a landscape of myths and legends, handed down from generation to generation of academic staff.
Rachel’s keynote presentation will look at the basis for reviewing existing summative assessments and identify key factors to consider if you are reviewing your practices. Do you look forward to seeing, and marking, students' achievements? Is there a place for so-called authentic assignment tasks such as business presentations, clinical protocols, or scientific posters in place of some final exams? Is assessment purely a sorting and ranking tool, or is it integrated in the teaching process? Should there be a relationship between curriculum planning, assessment design, marking criteria, and feedback? What role does assessment play in building trust between student and teacher, and between student and institution? Who needs to be involved in assessment design and management?