Friday, 23 April 2010

Here comes the data (1) ...

We are now starting to see the fruits of our labour on the ESCAPE project. Some of the 'fruits' arise when we talk to staff about their assessment practice and resulting experience whereas other 'fruit' arises from observations of student performance and their engagement with their studies. I thought I would share some of what we are finding ...

A new module (not one of the original ESCAPE modules) wanted help with Peer Assessment. The member of staff was already engaging her students with peer assessment and hence were reaping numerous learning gains.

* Students were able to see how their peers responded to the same task
* Students were able to engage more with the marking criteria and standards

Previously, however, she was kept very busy after the peer assessment by dealing with more than expected students questioning their marks. Whilst it is highly appropriate that the students are exposed to a fair and reliable assessment, many of the efficiency gains made by the staff member were lost due to the need to deal with students on a one-to-one basis.

With the help of the ESCAPE project we were able to re-purpose a web-based data collection facility (developed to support computer based assessment). Using the web based data collection facility we posted to the students a series of questions (asking them to reflect on their own submission and the peer assessment process. This was an addition to the work previously done and hence created addiction learning gains. Importantly, we also included an opportunity for the students to 'comment on their mark' and note that if they were over or under marked to provide evidence where this was the case -with reference to the marking criteria used in the peer assessment process. The result was of which a vast reduction in 'additional' time required by the staff member to look at the concerns.

This addition was a real win-win. Students were now reflecting on the process (and sharing the reflections with staff) and the staff were reaping efficiency gains.

Slightly self-promoting but this typifies exactly the type of things this project is about. Using technology (led by pedagogy) to reap learning and efficiency gains.

I can't see this technology-supported intervention stopping when the project finishes.

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