27 March 2013

On the assessment game

I've been thinking quite a bit about assessment recently, partly because I'm working on a piece for the website on "assessment drift", but also because I'm currently editing the video of a very interesting keynote by Kathryn Ecclestone at our course Study Day last Saturday (references below).

So it was more than usually intriguing to get an email today from a reader of something I had written long ago on the use of essays for assessment. As a throw-away at the end of that piece, I wrote: "Incidentally, and rather self-indulgently, I had a go at one of my son's set essays a while ago, free of all the constraints about how someone might see fit to assess it. How would you mark it? (There are at least two spelling mistakes)." But the link did not work--I restored it (thereby uncovering a piece which had been effectively invisible for at least a decade), and read it again.

I still think the question it poses is interesting, and the invitation to grade the piece (preferably with reasons, and conceding the absence of "learning outcomes" and "grading criteria") stands--via comments or email. If I get enough feedback, I'll try to make sense of it in a blog post.

Ecclestone, K. (2002) Learning autonomy in post-16 education: the politics and practice of formative assessment, London: Routledge

Ecclestone, K. and Hayes, D. (2009) ‘The therapeutic FE college’, in  The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education, London: Routledge

Ecclestone, K. (2010) Transforming assessment in lifelong learning, Buckingham: Open University Press

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Comments welcome, but I am afraid I have had to turn moderation back on, because of inappropriate use. Even so, I shall process them as soon as I can.