Trenger institusjonen en policy for vurdering?

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Illustrasjonsfoto: Colourbox

I høyere utdanning er det i dag krav om nye vurderingsformer med større vekt på læring og tilbakemelding med økt bruk av digital teknologi. Hva styrer denne utviklingen? 

Utarbeidet av Vidar Gynnild (professor i UH-ped, NTNU)

Setter kun fantasien begrensninger for hvilke vurderingsopplegg som kan tas i bruk, eller er det behov for retningslinjer som setter felles rammer – kort sagt en policy for vurdering? Hva ligger i begrepet «policy»? Hvilke spørsmål kan eller bør en policy for vurdering klargjøre, og hva taler for eller imot et slikt dokument?

En policy for vurdering – hva kan den inneholde?

For å se hva en policy for vurdering kan inneholde vises det til eksempler fra University of Plymouth, UK, og Monash University, Australia, til slutt i dette dokumentet. De to eksemplene viser at en policy for vurdering kan utformes på ulikt vis, og nedenfor gis noen eksempler på spørsmål å ta tak i:

  • Målavklaring: (Formativ; summativ). Skal det være krav om summativ vurdering i alle emner, eventuelt i hvilket omfang? Inngår tilbakemelding til studentene i vurderingsopplegget? Skal formativ vurdering telle til endelig karakter, eller kun som et læringstiltak underveis i studiet?
  • Rammeverk for vurdering: Normbasert/kriteriebasert. Hva betyr dette i praksis?
  • Forventningsavklaring 1: Hva forventer institusjonen av studentene?
  • Forventningsavklaring 2: Hva kan studentene forvente av institusjonen?
  • Krav til vurderingsordningen: Hvor pålitelig, gyldig, autentisk, transparent og rettferdig er vurderingsordningen? Hva bør prioriteres?
  • Vurderingsformer: Er det noen begrensninger, eller er alt tillatt?
  • Teknologi: Hvilke typer teknologi kan benyttes ved vurdering? Gis det noen begrensninger?
  • Akademisk integritet: Hva dette betyr, og hvordan vurderingsordningene kan bidra til å fremme integritet i utdanningen. Hva er konsekvensene av integritetsbrudd?
  • Anonymitet: Eksisterer det krav på dette feltet?
  • Sensurveiledning: Hvilke regler gjelder? Forstår studentene hva de måles på?
  • Sensur, klage og begrunnelse: Hvilke regler gjelder? «Blind sensur»? Sensorveiledning?
  • Sensurordning: En eller to sensorer? Krav til erfaring for å kunne sensurere alene?
  • Vurderingskompetanse: Hvordan sikrer institusjonen at den/de som vurderer har tilstrekkelig faglig og evalueringsteoretisk kompetanse?
  • Kvalitetssikring av vurdering: Privatisert, institusjonalisert eller kollegiale løsninger?
  • Monitoring: Hvilke rutiner har institusjonen for at policy for vurdering blir fulgt?

De fleste institusjoner har trolig behandlet noen av disse punktene hver for seg uten at begrepet «policy» blir brukt. Det er imidlertid ikke sikkert at vurderingsteoretiske begreper er tatt inn og forklart, for eksempel hva «kriteriebasert» vurdering innebærer i praksis ved institusjonen.

Definisjoner av begrepet “policy”:

  1. A plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters: American foreign policy; the company's personnel policy
  2. A course of action, guiding principle, or procedure considered expedient, prudent, or advantageous (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/policy
  3. A definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions
  4. A high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/policy)

Definisjonene antyder at en “policy” gir retningslinjer for handling på et gitt område, i dette tilfelle vurdering. Spesielt den andre definisjonen vektlegger betydningen av valg ut fra flere alternativer som veileder for praksis. En policy for vurdering gir med andre ord føringer for felles praksis ved institusjonen, hva som er ønsket og ikke.

Velrennomerte, internasjonale utdanningsinstitusjoner har oftest en policy for vurdering. Det gis imidlertid ikke én felles mal for hvordan dette bør gjøres, noe de to eksemplene nedenfor viser. Likevel finnes det fellestrekk, og en policy for vurdering blir stadig mer aktuelt også her til lands, blant annet fordi digital teknologi gir nye muligheter og utfordringer. Samtidig har vurdering som fenomen fått langt større oppmerksomhet, blant annet med større vekt på læring og tilgang til et stort antall vurderingsformer. I teorien kunne fantasien være den eneste begrensende faktor. Vurdering er imidlertid også et teoretisk felt, og arbeid med policy forutsetter innsikt i dette.

 Nedenfor er gjengitt et par eksempler fra England og Australia, og langt flere finnes på internett.

University of Plymouth, UK

The purpose of assessment at Plymouth University is to:

  • help students perform to the best of their abilities through assessment that's inclusive and supports their learning and future employment

  • encourage, motivate and involve students in extensive learning
  • provide a fair and reliable measure of students’ performance, knowledge and skills against the learning outcomes and discipline pedagogy
  • help students to develop, through timely and constructive feedback
  • give our stakeholders confidence that a student has achieved the necessary level of achievement, giving a reliable and consistent basis for their award.

What you can expect as a student:

  • Pre-assessment activities, designed to help you understand what assessment is and how it works.

  • Clear and transparent assessment guidelines and briefs, and marking criteria for each assessment, with clear information on how and when feedback will be provided, through programme and module handbooks.
  • Appropriate discussions on assessments with staff and other students.
  • A range of assessment methods (these may include self-assessment, assessment by (and of) other students, and technology-aided assessments).
  • Assessments that are valid and aligned to clear and realistic learning outcomes. There's normally two summative inclusive assessments for each 20-credit module, unless there are specific and overriding disciplinary or professional body requirements.
  • Formative assessments where you can give, and receive (where appropriate), personal, group or general feedback which identifies where you can make improvements.
  • A schedule that spreads formative and summative assignment deadlines throughout the year.
  • The opportunity to use originality checking software and, where possible, to submit your assessment online.
  • To have assessments marked anonymously, unless the school has approved a specific exemption or it's not practical because the assessment method involves direct contact between you and the examiner.
  • To get provisional marks on all assessed work, including examinations, with personal, group or general feedback as soon as possible, and within a maximum of 20 working days.

As a student, we'll expect you to:

  • engage with 'feed-forward' and feedback informative and summative assessments, and put in place any suggested improvements

  • demonstrate that you've achieved academic and where appropriate professional standards through the completion of assessments
  • meet the professional and ethical standards appropriate to the subject
  • tell the programme leader about any medical or other reasonable adjustments requiring modification to assessments at the start of the academic year or, as soon as possible
  • comply with Plymouth University academic regulations, including those on assessment offences.

Staff in our schools, colleges and partner institutions should make sure:

  • assessment is a fundamental part of the programme, giving students a clear opportunity to demonstrate general and specific subject skills, knowledge and understanding, linked to learning outcomes and future employment

  • assessments are reliable, inclusive, and authentic and designed to minimise the use of modified assessment and over-assessment of learning outcomes
  • assessments are valid, and aligned to clear and realistic learning outcomes. There should normally be two summative inclusive assessments for each 20-credit module, unless there are specific and overriding disciplinary or professional body requirements
  • schedules of assessment spread formative and summative assessment deadlines across the programme
  • students have the opportunity to take part in pre-assessment activities, guidance and support to help them understand whatt assessment is and how it works
  • students are given clear and transparent assessment guidelines and briefs, and marking criteria for each assessment, with clear information on how feedback will be provided, through programme and module handbooks
  • students are given the opportunity to use originality checking software and where possible to submit their work online
  • assessments are marked fairly, using the published marking and grading criteria and appropriate second marking and moderation
  • assessments are marked anonymously, unless the school has allowed an exemption or it is not practical because the assessment method involves direct contact between the student and the examiner
  • students receive constructive personal, group or general feedback and provisional marks as soon as possible, and within a maximum of 20 working days for all assessment, including examinations. In exceptional circumstances, students and the Associate Head Teaching and Learning or equivalent will be told of any reason for a delay and a revised date will be issued
  • they conduct regular reviews of assessment practice, quality of staff feedback and external examiners, and invite students to comment on how assessment is provided.

How the University supports this:

  • Providing staff development workshops in all aspects of assessment.

  • Providing adequate resources and an ICT system that supports the assessment process.
  • Providing digital tools to encourage innovative assessment.
  • Appointing and training appropriately qualified external examiners.
  • Recording and storing assessment data on the Student Record System.
  • Making sure academic regulations and the assessment policy are accessible and regularly updated.
  • Monitoring how the assessment policy is put in place across the University.

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/teaching-and-learning/guidance-and-resources/plymouth-university-assessment-policy-2014-2020

Monash University, Australia

Assessment in Coursework Units Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define the nature of assessment at Monash for units involving coursework, including as part of a graduate research course.

Scope

This policy applies to all coursework units. It does not apply to the thesis component or equivalent of a graduate research course.

Policy Statement

The Monash University Assessment in Coursework Units policy is informed by research and best practice models within the higher education sector. There is an expectation that discipline areas will draw on assessment research relevant to their field to underpin how this policy is implemented.

The statements below outline the principles of coursework assessment at Monash. The processes through which assessment in coursework units is executed are described in detail in the Unit Assessment Procedures.

Principles of assessment at Monash

1. Assessment must reflect the values of effective learning and teaching identified in Monash University key strategic documents and comply with current legislation, and university policy and procedures on privacy.

2. Assessment must be aligned with desired course and unit outcomes.

3. Assessment practices must be conducted and undertaken ethically and with honesty and integrity by staff and students. While acknowledging cultural variations, tasks must be designed and students educated in ways that promote academic integrity.

4. An appropriate assessment regime should demonstrate an articulation of knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies, and attributes. 

5. As unit assessment will contribute to and shape students' learning it must be:

  • Challenging: Assessment must be intellectually challenging, appropriate to the level of study, relevant, and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate evidence of learning.
  • Engaging: Assessment must be structured in such a way that students are motivated to engage in the intellectual, practical, and professional dimensions of the task.
  • Integrated: Assessment tasks must foster the integration of theory, practice, and salient professional requirements.
  • Educative: Students' learning must be enhanced through assessment design and feedback.

6. Grading aspect and parity

It is expected that most assessment tasks are assessed using a criterion-based approach.

Where assessment is:

Criterion referenced: clear criteria, against which students' work will be assessed, must be provided in the interests of parity across assessors, groups or campuses.

Norm Referenced: a comparison of students' results across assessors, groups or campuses must occur in the interests of parity.

7. Assessment must be purposeful and the purposes of each assessment must be made clear to students. These purposes include:

  • Assessment for preparation
  • Assessment for learning
  • Assessment for demonstration

Assessment for preparation: Assessment tasks must be designed to appraise the knowledge and skills of students early in a unit of study. Diagnostic assessment is therefore used to show a learner's preparedness for a unit and identify potential gaps in knowledge, skills and understanding.

Assessment for learning: Assessment tasks must be designed to help students engage with ideas, skills and practices that they will develop further during their unit or course. Such tasks should encourage students to reflect on their learning, develop their own learning approaches, learn from other students and monitor progress through the setting of their own learning goals. Assessment for learning must be a prominent focus in the design and delivery of units, must be varied in nature and be meaningful to learning.

Assessment for demonstration: Assessment tasks must be designed to make overall judgements about student's understandings and performances in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit and course. These summative assessment tasks must be varied in nature, aligned with the learning outcomes and be appropriately staged in the learning cycle.

8. Assessment practices and processes must be continuously monitored for quality assurance and improvement purposes, and must be:

  • Aligned and credible: Assessment must serve the unit and course objectives or other professional objectives.
  • Explicit and transparent: The requirements of assessment tasks and the means by which students' work will be judged and overall grades determined must be clearly communicated to students.
  • Reliable: Assessment tasks must strive to yield consistent and reproducible results
  • Timely: The scheduling of assessment must provide for the students' learning needs.  Where feedback is provided it must be given in time for students to improve their learning.
  • Responsive: Formative and interim-summative feedback must be constructive and supportive of further learning.

http://www.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/learning-and-teaching/assessment-in-coursework-units-polic