Managing assessment : student and staff perspectives

Joanne Smailes, Susan Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

‘I never realised assessment was for learning’ Laura Ludman BSc (Hons) Nursing, University of Central England Managing Assessment: Student and Staff Perspectives is a practical tool developed by the Managing Effective Student Assessment (MESA) benchmarking club. It aims to give senior management, staff and educational developers, teachers, and support staff insight into assessment issues along with ideas and tools to enable them to improve student learning and reduce the burden on staff. It is hoped that, as well as enriching the learning experience, the case studies will also encourage students to reflect on their experiences of assessment and promote student and staff dialogue around assessment practices. The underlying principle of the Managing Effective Student Assessment (MESA) benchmarking club was the emphasis and value placed on the student perspective. However, it was recognised that assessment is complex and needs careful management. This includes appropriate strategies, structures and support to ensure effective student learning. The initiative was led by the Higher Education Academy (formerly the Learning and Teaching Support Network Generic Centre) and University of Central England (UCE) with the aim of refocusing staff time into providing better support for students and making student learning more effective. The MESA group comprised of a senior manager at departmental level, a member of the educational/faculty development staff and up to three students from each of eight institutions: the UCE, University of Brighton, Coventry University, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Northumbria University, University of Sussex, and York St John College. The students and staff involved were from a range of different discipline areas and diverse institutions. The aims of the MESA group were to: • Share effective practices and issues in assessment; • Use assessment to enrich the student learning experience and seek to demystify assessment; • Enhance assessment practice to improve student retention and progression; • Manage change effectively and embed within institutions. The active involvement of students was facilitated through a student discussion forum which ran parallel to the inputs made by academic managers. The students were invited to discuss experiences of good assessment practice and identify assessment related issues that impacted on their experiences. The group then worked together to seek effective resolutions to the issues raised, which led to the creation of the case studies presented in this publication. The MESA project encouraged students and staff to learn from one another, as well as learning across subject boundaries and types of institutions. Managing Assessment: Student and Staff Perspectives was created in order to share this learning and to help others develop their understanding of what students need from assessment. It also considers how change can be managed and embedded within institutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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