Thursday, 20 November 2008

200 yards with the Business School

The ESCAPE project will work with two Schools - the School of Life Sciences and the Business School. On Monday 17th November I ran a workshop on assessment and feedback for the Business School. Although not specifically tied to the project it was a great opportunity to start/feed into the dialogue on assessment / feedback in the school and in particular help the School to respond to the challenges raised by the National Student Survey (NSS).

I had a full-ish room - (around 40 - 50 people - I think!) I mixed the session up with some presentational material - which mainly focused around principles of good assessment and feedback practice, with the chance for the School to reflect on their own assessment practice and identify where and how their current assessment practice aligns with the principles. We had a really engaging discussion, which naturally included observations suggesting students don’t really understand what feedback is, through to trying to identify opportunities for each person to think about how they can make a small commitment to change.

Although good assessment is an embedded and aligned activity (and not as John Heywood writes ‘too often afterthought of higher education’) assessment practice can be enhanced by constant reflection and a commitment to make on-going small changes.

I am minded of the wonderful notion that I cannot map out how to get to china. But I know how to walk 200 yards - and in 200 yards time I will ask someone else the direction towards china. Join my 200 yards together and soon enough I will be in China.

I challenged the Business School to work with me and help them be the most improved School in the University relating to Assessment and Feedback - NSS wise. Let’s see if they rise to my challenge.

Thanks Business School - great session

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