Monday, 28 June 2010

ESCAPE themes - so far so good!

Readers of the ESCAPE blog, and those of you that know our project, will be aware that we are trying to support staff develop both 'educationally effective' and 'resource efficient' assessment.

We believe that all staff want to do a good job but also acknowledge they experience various demands on their time. Research, consultancy activity, teaching, assessing students, providing pastoral care etc.

To reconcile the desire to help staff develop good assessments against the 'time-demanding' backdrop, part of our engagement is to provide ready access to the literature. Sure, staff might want quick 'hints and tips', and we are providing them, but we are keen too to make sure that the hints and tips etc. are located against a set of themes that describe what good assessment looks like.

For completeness, although stated elsewhere our ESCAPE themes are:

Good assessment for learning...
  • Engages students with the assessment criteria
  • Supports personalised learning
  • Ensures feedback leads to improvement
  • Focuses on student development
  • Stimulates dialogue
  • considers staff and student effort

These themes have evolved over the duration of the project and now follow us around as we talk about the project and work with our ESCAPE partners.

It's really helpful to know that as we share our themes in different arenas we are not seeing any adverse reaction. They seem to capture the thoughts of the practitioner too; indeed we wrote them with a view on being accessible and having face validity. They have been shown on numerous events, both inside and outside the University of Hertfordshire, and are seemingly doing what we set out to do.

In fact a participant at a recent event indicated he seen them before, Unlikely, (highly unlikely), but at least it shows the notion that the themes are not challenging 'appropriate' thinking about good assessment and that staff already indicate they like them.


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