Week 6

  1. Consider what you have learned about assessment and feedback in HE.

In this week we learn about assessment and feedback. There are main categories of assessment, one is assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment as learning (Earl 2003). Assessment of learning is our traditional way of assessment; in it we make judgement about the students and it is based of summative assessment. One the other hand, assessment for learning involves formative assessment. It helps us to identify student achievements which further helps to change the teaching and learning activities according to learner requirements and it will have a big impact on feedback (Black and Williams 1998a). Secondly, assessment as learning is a subset of assessment for learning and it see student involvement in assessment with the help of feedback, peer participation and leaning monitoring for themselves (Black and Williams 1998a).  

Assessment strategy of a specific course or module has a great impact on student activity (Snyder 1971). This has an impact on student approach, he adopted for learning and how much time he spends on studying the subject and what he grasps from subject. There is strong evidence, negative ‘backwash’ effect (Biggs 2003) on student learning and achievements from a bad strategy of assessment. 

Approaches to learning:

This concept has developed from initial work of Marton (1976), with finding replicated in many phenomenographic approach. There are two learning approaches which includes surface and deep approach (Marton and Saljo 1997; Ramsden 2003). In surface approach the intension of student just tries to understand the material and he tries to get by with less effort and focus on details of knowledge. As a result, he so not gets the overall meaning of his studies, develop limited understanding of concepts and poor learning outcomes are here (Entwistle 1997). As compared students who adopt deep learning approach understand the idea and took more interest in his studies. “Biggs and Moore (1993) have argued that a range of course characteristics encourages students to take deep approach”.

Students’ perception of assessment:

Changing student approach is a complex process, with evidence from some studies that it is easy to induce the surface approach (Struyven et al. 2002) but it’s not easy to encourage deep approach. According to research of Trigwell (1999) that learning is result of interaction between student and learning environment and vary from learner to learner. As assessment, the student perception about assessment effect the approach they adopt (Prosser and Trigwell 1999). So, in short, the student perception about assessment effect the learning method they adopt.

Strategic approached and cue seeking:

Modern modular course structure means that they use summative assessment function and it puts pressure on student throughout of their programs to focus on assessment rather than learning (Heywood 2000). Students become cue conscious and they starting concentration on their assessment rather than on leaning. They started focusing on what tutor is looking for rather than focusing on subject of understanding the concepts.

Relationship between feedback and learning:

 “Research indicates that student Research indicates that students value feedback (Hartley et al. 2002; Weaver 2006) despite anecdotal staff views and contrary research evidence regarding how students fail to engage with it (Gibbs and Simpson 2004– 5).” Feedback is an important aspect and have a strong role in learning. Feedback has little values unless it is timely and students pay attention to it, and act on (Gibbs and Simpson 2004-5). 

Feedback is also important to adjust teaching. It is not only student who need to act on feedback, assessments are the way to support student future learning, and these findings are used to adjust teaching. (Black and Williams 1998a; Prosser and Trigwell 1999; Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2006).

  1. Consider what you have learned about your own and others’ practice in supporting student learning from doing this week’s activities.

This week activities were related to learning of assessment and feedback, for practical implementation of the topic we were assigned to conduct a session to evaluate how we use these techniques in our teaching practices. Usually there is a concept that peer feedback is enough to assess the learning methodology of a learner but after this week we learn more than this. In supporting student learning assessment and feedback play a vital role. Right assessment techniques and timely feedback plays important role in it. Angelo and Cross (1993) and Nicol and MacFarlane-Dick (2004) provides a range of ‘classroom assessment techniques’ that are designed to assist staff to get immediate feedback from the students and revise their teaching methodologies.

  1. What have you learned this week about formative and summative assessment and feedback in HE? 

Formative assessment is type of assessment that is conducted during a course work and done day to day to evaluate the student performance. As summative assessment is a type of assessment that is conducted at the end of a course or program to evaluate the outcome of that specific program or course. In higher education purposes of the assessment could be as follows:

  1. Certification
  2. Student learning
  3. Quality assurance
  4. Lifelong learning capacity

Each assessment have a specific purpose and they often have conflicts with one another. Some assessment gives confidence that students is having his own work, other promotes higher level learning. Some techniques provide reliable results as other provides different grades.

  1. How did you learn this?

A wide variety of case studies where there which we learnt this week. In those case studies practical examples of implementation of these assessment techniques were discuss. Case study 1 which was about a tutor law in that case study we learn a new technique in which all the students who were doing their law practice build team and work on specific cases for three weeks each group post their claims or defense against that claim, tutor moderates the discussion and comment and question also provide sources for more study. Each group assess individual contribution in team work and tutor give marks to each member in the basis of peer assessment. It was a type formative assessment.

In case study 2 we see the summative assessment, technique used for 2 years undergraduate program in a three-hour unseen examination with a rubric require four answers. Three from section A and one from section B. Section A was having eight question and section B was having four question. Section A was based on main topics from the course and B ask students to draw learning from course topics. The work is marked by tutor and moderated by a second tutor; an external examiner is the one who reports to examination board about it. Same a case study related to formative assessment was placed which gives an idea of formative assessment.

  1. What supported you to do that?

Assessment and feedback in important in learning environment, there are a lot of factors that supports us in favor of assessment and feedback. These factors emphasis on the importance of assessment and feedback. Some of those factors are as follows;


Assessment are used to validate either the learning is happening in a right way and in a right direction. “For validity ‘intrinsic validity’ (Brown et al. 1997), which means that assessment tasks are assessing the stated learning outcomes for the module, and this principle clearly underpin the notion of constructive alignment”.


“Assessment tasks should be generated comparable marks across time, across markers and across methods”. Reliability is demonstrated when one marker or different markers gives same judgement about a specific work at different times. Reliability check could also be purpose of assessment.


Assessment task should be design to enhance and encourage good quality and deep approach to the learning in students. A lot of research list different purposes of assessment (Gibbs 1999; Elton and Johnston 2002; Dunn et al. 2004), many of them are directly related to the effectiveness and helps as promoting learning tool.

All the above-mentioned points help us to understand the importance of assessment in a learning environment.

  1. What have you learned this week about the practice of supporting student learning in HE?

Supporting student learning in higher education is always a major concern of us in this course and it also have importance in our teaching practice. In this week we learn about assessment techniques and importance of feedback. Formative assessment considered as more helpful then summative assessment, as formative support the student himself about his performance as well as helps the teacher to evaluate a student performance in a well manner. Feedback from teacher in learning environment and peer feedback helps a learner to improve his weak areas and also help him to explore more in a relevant field.

  1. How has your understanding of this changed from doing this week’s topic and activities?

Assessment and feedback are important but after doing this week activities and working on this week topic we properly understand why it is very important. Case study examples helps us to understand the importance of them as well as in which situation which assessment and evaluation technique should be adopted to get the better results.

  1. What has challenged you about doing this?

In adoption of assessment techniques, we need to consider the learner’s learning approach. After evaluation of learning approaches adopted by learner, a teacher would be able to make an assessment format. “Students value assessment activities which appear worthwhile in themselves; they appear to have value beyond completing the task (Struyven et al. 2002). This notion has prompted the idea of ‘authentic’ assessment which is seen as ‘more practical, realistic and challenging’ (Torrance 1995).”

  1. What has surprised you?

Bloom taxonomy table helps teachers to design accurate assessment because it enables them to work in prototypical way. This table help us to understand on which stage an assessment should be conducted where to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create the factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive the knowledge dimensions.

  1. What has this taught you about your strengths in your practice in supporting student learning, through formative and summative assessment and feedback?

Formative and summative assessment and feedback helps me to strengths my practice in supporting student learning. Formative assessment in which I adopt class presentation on a given topic. For some topic’s assessment is done in the form of groups and for some topics it is done by individuals. Students use speaker notes and presentation slides to present the topic to other students and then or forum, peers give their feedback that help them to improve their knowledge and skills. This kind of evaluation help the students to improve their skills and it also contribute towards their final grade. At the end of the course a summative assessment is conducted in a typical way. Feedback from students after every topic and even a discussion after every formative assessment helps them to improve their learning skills as well as help me to change teaching strategy according to learner’s learning approach.

  1. What actions can you identify from this that you could take to further develop your practice in formative and summative assessment and feedback in the future?

Defined lines at the beginning of each program and at the beginning of each course must be drawn so there is proper format available for formative and summative assessment. Feedback for student’s improvement, peer feedback will help the student to improve.

  1. How well do you think you have achieved the learning outcomes for this week, Week 6 (found in the Introduction section)? Is there anything else you could do to achieve these learning outcomes for this week?

This week learning outcomes helps us to improve our assessment strategies and it also help us to improve the feedback and how well we can do this to improve our student learning process and support them to achieve their goals.